Most unreliable car you have owned

Vacumatic

Dogged
In 2006 I was looking for a second car, there were young drivers in the family and we had a very old Golf that was running very well, just a bit old at 16 years, so I bought a new Fiat Grand Punto, it was sold a year later with less than 6000 miles and a loss of more than 50% on list price. We bought another Golf, that was fault free, and then we bought another Golf and that has been fault free.

Whilst we had the Fiat it had:

Two new steering racks, they rattled badly over bumps, the service desk said 'yes that was a known fault', I thought pity the salesman didn't tell me that when I bought the car.

Loose plastic exterior trim.

Zero power under 2000 revs, not too bad in the lower gears but if your were in 4th doing 45, change in to 5th, revs would drop to 1800 and the engine would just die, the car just slowed down and the engine would not pick up at all. Yes sir we have a fix for that, we can sell you a new chip for £350.

Failed ABS, warning light used to come on, brake pedal went dead, five minutes later it was ok, repeat after 10 minutes.

Failed power steering, typically it would fail on a run and you wouldn't notice until you came to a halt or a roundabout which turned into a squareabout.

On one journey, every warning light came on at once and over the next hour they went off one by one. The engine was fine and had plenty of oil. I took it to Mangoletsi, a Fiat main dealer, the car was two months old. They asked for £75 to plug a computer in to tell me what was wrong, when I said just tell me what is wrong and don't use the computer, just like they used to do. they didnt understand that idea.

Every time the car was washed the electrics would fail, by which I mean everything electrical would stop working.

Other problems were with the dealers. On one of the steering rack changes I noticed when collecting the car that the wheels were badly marked, as if they had been removed and allowed to fall face down on to the concrete. I went into the reception to complain. The workshop manager was called, he shrugged his shoulders and said 'it's a Fiat, what's the problem, probably would have happened anyway at some point,' he walked off. Service manager said 'sorry, but that's what we are up against. They still didnt fix the damage.

I would not buy an Italian car again. I had heard the joke that FIAT stood for Fix It Again Tony, it is absolutely true.
 
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Burgundy

Forum GOD!
65- plate Vauxhall Astra on 30k miles. LSPI induced catastrophic engine damage. Because it was just out of warranty neither the dealer nor Vauxhall wanted to know. It needs a new engine and has been sitting in pieces for nearly a year while we go through the courts.

We’ve got a Fiat 500 on the go currently that’s been pretty reliable over the last eight or so years. A cracked radiator hose is all it’s had beyond routine servicing. It’s now closing in on twelve years old and 90k miles.
 

R181

Grumpy old man
That would have to be a loaded out Ford 1985 diesel 3/4 ton super cab I bought new. I could be relied upon not to start in the cold, -25c to -35c, of winter unless the block heater was plugged for 4 hours before you wanted to go anywhere. That was with #1 diesel fuel and fuel line anti freeze/conditioner in the tank. The fuel tank change switch to change tanks died and you found out when you ran out of fuel. The water separator for the fuel line needed replacing and it has no moving parts. The water pump died. The premium sound system was DOA. They rebuilt the engine at less that 100,000 km/60,000 miles. I may have forgot a few things like poor fuel mileage. Have not driven a vehicle from the North American big 3 since then.

Bob

Forgot to say a starter went on it too. There must be a reason there is an old joke that says FORD means Fix Or Repair Daily.
 
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Rowlers

Massive Member
Staff member
Renault Laguna, AC would stall the car at low revs. Key card start often got stuck in the slot, so you couldn't turn it off. Likewise, sometimes the card wouldn't go in the slot so you couldn't start it.
Some kind of switch or contact in the gearbox would often think it was still in gear, so would prevent you starting. Multiple gear stick waggles later and away we could go. Dreadful car.
 

sev-8

Forum GOD!
I haven't had terrible experiences with cars. My most unreliable car was also my favourite, a Smart Roadster. Had 2 new ECUs due to water ingress and random rattles and buzzing. The local Mercedes dealer was so bad that I chose to drive a 120 mile round trip to a better one.

Was a lot of fun to drive though and I really regret selling it
 

Cheesepiece

Gold Member No. 8
1.0l Peugeot 206 X-reg - gearbox then ECU went on it (first car).
Mazda Rx8 - but I knew what I was getting into before the engine blew up. Fun car but not when the radiator stops working in the height of a British summer.
3.2 GSi Vauxhall Vectra - immobilised in a remote car park in Fort William on New Year's Eve while I was away with family. Ended up leaving that there and loading the 5 adults, dog and all luggage which had come over from Belfast to Scotland in two cars, into a Toyota Auris with a borrowed roofbox. Uncomfortable remainder of the holiday.
 

chris.hale

Forum DOG!
Staff member
Citroen Xantia. It drove beautifully and was very comfortable however the suspension, brakes and power steering were all hydraulic and the system had a habit of springing leaks which would render all three useless. More than once I returned to where I’d parked it to find it sinking apologetically onto its axles in a slowly spreading pool of green liquid. To add to the fun it then couldn’t be towed as it now had no suspension and had to be picked up on a truck.

What was really fun was when it would do it on the move leading to an alarming array of lights and the fun of trying to find somewhere to pull over before the steering and brakes gave out.
 

Cheesepiece

Gold Member No. 8
Citroen Xantia. It drove beautifully and was very comfortable however the suspension, brakes and power steering were all hydraulic and the system had a habit of springing leaks which would render all three useless. More than once I returned to where I’d parked it to find it sinking apologetically onto its axles in a slowly spreading pool of green liquid. To add to the fun it then couldn’t be towed as it now had no suspension and had to be picked up on a truck.

What was really fun was when it would do it on the move leading to an alarming array of lights and the fun of trying to find somewhere to pull over before the steering and brakes gave out.
There was a neighbour of my grandparents when I was growing up that had one of these. He used to shout at us for playing football in the street near his Xantia. He used to warn us not to do so because if the ball were to go under it then the special suspension would crush any child trying to retrieve said ball from beneath the car.
I see now that this may have been a half-truth.
 

Missoni

Fellow Traveller
Citroen BX...auto box would stop working intermittently; warning lights would come on and go off intermittently...loved it when it did work though...
 

Rufusdog

Forum GOD!
A c1979 VW Rabbit (aka Golf): brakes and alternator. A 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 station wagon/estate: rear seats crooked, rust under tailgate, transmission failure, poorly fitting doors all round and upholstery. The Oldsmobile was the last North America car I bought; since then I’ve had either Honda/Acura or Toyota/Lexus, which have all run like a charm. At the moment I’m driving a 2003 Lexus IS300 and 2005 BMW Z4 (in the summer only) with no issues. SWMBO drives a 2013 Audi Q5, which is a great drive, but has had 7 recalls…!!! My next car will be a Toyota or Lexus.
 

chazt

Senior Member
New 2004 Chevy Malibu.
Broke down with a failed electrical system BEFORE I MADE IT HOME FROM THE DEALER!
 

Dipesh

Forum GOD!
Staff member
An old golf GTI I bought when I was young. Some the cars fault, some mine though lol
 
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