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Bad news and Good News

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by Boerseun, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Dec 21, 2012 at 4:50 AM
    #1
    Boerseun

    Boerseun [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The Bad news is I just came back from the dealer after having some repairs done. $1,500! worth of repairs - radiator had to be replaced, EGR valve assembly had to be replaced. The radiator was just replaced 2 years ago:confused:

    The Good news is, it is not the Tacoma :p, it is on a company Ford Explorer, so I don't pay the bill!

    My question though, is why have we spent more than $3,500 in repairs so far on a 5 year old Explorer, and on my Tacoma I have only replaced one O2 sensor for $78 over the last 11 years? If both trucks are built in America by Americans in very similar factories, why are some vehicles just crap and others keep going?

    Same for our family vehicles - we had a Chrylser van that was falling apart after 3 years, then got a Honda Odessey and put 211,000 miles on it over 10 years and did not have any problems.

    /Rant over - just confused about how and why....
     
  2. Dec 21, 2012 at 4:55 AM
    #2
    JRod4928

    JRod4928 Well-Known Member

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    I blame the Mayans
     
  3. Dec 21, 2012 at 5:49 AM
    #3
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    Clearly quality control issues. Ford, Chevy, Chrylser slam out the cheapest junk they can make. Their all junk. I'm one of the one's who makes a living fixing this shit.

    Can me a fanboy if you want, there is Toyota and Honda.

    Then there is everyone else.

    (at least in the affordable, normal person reality, not talking Rolls Royce's or Bently's here)

    I won't act like Toyota/Honda don't have their issues, cause they do. But overall, the quality of parts right down the the nuts and bolts is far superior to any "american" brand car. A car is a machine, things wear out and break on machines, it's a part of life. Take care of it (change fluids), repair it before it becomes a huge mess and it'll last a hell of a long time.

    I've just lost my ass at work over a Jeep Liberty and it's poor quality materials. Simple thermostat turns into a nightmare because they want to put steel bolts into alumiinum housing, like they won't fuse together. Broke the bolt, had to remove the entire timing cover, heat the shit out of it to get the broken bolt to move, then drill the hole, rethread it, find a new bolt, have wrong thermostat create more issues, threads strip out of the rethreaed hole...need to waste more time getting longer bolt to catch the threads....Fuck Jeeps.

    in 20 mins I slammed out an alternator on a newer Camry in the middle of all the jeep shit and was dicking with a chrysler town and coutry retarded spare tire at that particular moment too! Toyota....easy....Chrylers...total fucking retardedness.
     
  4. Dec 21, 2012 at 5:57 AM
    #4
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    This ^^^ Quality control is the main issue.

    Also, There is no incentive for the big 3 to build a quality automobile because they have conditioned the US consumer to buy a brand new vehicle every 3-4 years with all of the crazy incentives they offer on trade ins and new vehicles. All the ridiculous dealer rebates and such actually end up killing the used car market and resale value because there's no incentive to hold on to a car longer than 3-4 years.
     
  5. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM
    #5
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    I clearly recall sitting in one of my auto classes, and the prof (a jag/ford MT) was talking about how they are anymore just designing cars to be "disposable"

    For me, the kind of $$ a car cost, that shit better not be "disposable". Fuck that.

    Why I got a Tacoma.
     
  6. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:01 AM
    #6
    TexAggie

    TexAggie Well-Known Member

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    A lot of it has to do with design. As an engineer some of the things I see on domestic cars just make me shake my head.
     
  7. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:03 AM
    #7
    TexAggie

    TexAggie Well-Known Member

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    100% agree, to them it's about performance not quality.
     
  8. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:03 AM
    #8
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    THIS

    Ford is really bad. Just shit everywhere. At least GM still keeps it kind of clean in an engine bay.
     
  9. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:04 AM
    #9
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    Are they do dense to realize...better quality = better overall/long term performance?

    Or everyone just got a small dick?

    I'm driving around this 2012 corolla right now...i like it. very quiet, very smooth. some pep, the gizmo's are cool (but why do I need to 2 volume buttons for the radio, I have arms)

    Sorry for the ranting, off to work to tangle with some junk as piece of shit!!!!! Shit keeps me in a job though so...:cool::D
     
  10. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:09 AM
    #10
    ABA180

    ABA180 It burns when I pee....

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    I drove GM for 22 years, since I was 17. Always dreamed of owning a new one, which happened with my 06 Colorado.

    Right after I paid it off (not 2 weeks later), engine light is on. Truck had 78000 pampered miles and wasn't used to haul or plow. Cylinder head.

    First the dealer says $3000. I find the TSB about it online (07132) and the dealer "didn't know" about it because it's the first head he saw go on the trucks.

    6 weeks later there's a new service guy there and he says "I don't think it's the head, I'm not doing it". So I found another dealer which the old service mgr was at.

    He did the head but hosed me for almost $2000 for a cam and timing chain. Told me it was all related but he can't give it to me, "you pay me and GM will refund it to you, but I can't release your truck without payment"

    GM says no he can comp it but because I paid him it's my tough crap. The manager then tells me he's done with it and it's not his job to do free work..says he's done a lot of heads on these over the years and never needed to do anything else. Yes, the same guy who 2 months before said he'd never had a head go on them. A manager at GM even agreed with me that the dealer lied to me about it all but still won't budge, implied that I damaged the other parts driving it with the bad head..which the dealer told me was fine to do.

    Yet Toyota bought my wife's 13 yr old Tacoma in the buyback April 2008 for double the value and gave her a free rental for 60 days, and all that other stuff.

    Yeah..buy American. Buy GM. Go with that one.
     
  11. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:10 AM
    #11
    TexAggie

    TexAggie Well-Known Member

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    I personally think they do it because people buy them. It keeps sales up every year, and what do they care about resale. I do think things are changing because now they are having to offer huge warranties just to get people to buy them.
     
  12. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:11 AM
    #12
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    Another piece that factors in to this is the Short term profitability model in the US. Make as much profit as you possibly can in a short period of time. This shows in the common practice of the big 3 introducing a new Model (even though they pretty much just change the name) and only producing that model for a short period of time (4-8 years).

    Hence why a small dip in consumer sales crippled GM and sent them into bankruptcy. They were operating on such small margins that any slight change in the economic environment would have a dramatic impact.

    Japanese companies on the other hand, have always followed a long term profitability model which means you make steady sustainable profits over a long period of time to be able to weather the ebbs and flows of demand from external economic issues.

    That is something I still remember from business school. We did a big case study on it in one of my management classes. My professor had previously work in manufacturing so she was always having us do real life case studies of companies.
     
  13. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:14 AM
    #13
    Boerseun

    Boerseun [OP] Well-Known Member

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    People seems to be so conditioned to the idea that a car is a mechanical object that will require regular repairs, that they don't think anything about it when they have to get it fixed.
    I was talking to a lady here in the office who told us how she liked her Pontiac Aztec. She said it was a good vehicle; only had to replace the transmission once, a little work on the brakes, fixed a oil leak here and there and had to get the air conditioner pump replaced. She had 76,000 miles on the vehicle and though that the "maintenance" was minor. I don't know what she had before that Aztec, but obviously she was comparing it with something even worse. I told her about my truck that was 10 years old at the time, and I had $0.00 repair bill (that was before I had to replace the O2 censor, which is the only part ever replaced on the truck, other than tires, wiper blades and brake pads). She looked at me with a look of "yeah, right you lier".
     
  14. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:14 AM
    #14
    2TRunner

    2TRunner Don't give up here just yet

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    There is an award given to Jap auto makers for "Best Quality"

    The award is named after an american.

    American companies laughed the guy out of their offices.

    He went to the Japs.
     
  15. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:15 AM
    #15
    ABA180

    ABA180 It burns when I pee....

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    To me it isn't so much the product as the service. If GM would have done right and taken care of the ancillary shitshow from their defective head I really would have said "it sucks but at least they stood by it, so I'll buy from them again". I told the district rep that I am the reason he has a damn job, both as a consumer and a taxpayer..and that for my mind the government should have let them sink or swim on their own.
     
  16. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:21 AM
    #16
    ABA180

    ABA180 It burns when I pee....

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    Oh it will require work..just not that kind of work. The GM rep told me that the work my truck needed was normal. After I got done laughing I asked if he heard of the Tacoma buyback, which he said he did. I then asked him if he thought it was more "normal" for a 13 yr old vehicle with 160K in New england to have rust issues or a 5 yr old pampered commuter car to need half an engine. He said the 13 yr old truck. I then told him what Toyota did for my wife and asked him if he thought that was why the foreign carmakers are kicking his ass.
     
  17. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:23 AM
    #17
    TexAggie

    TexAggie Well-Known Member

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    OP I think your right a lot of people just think its normal, and don't realize that their might be something better out there. I had a 98 taco, which my dad owns now, before I got my 13 and never had a problem with the drivetrain, body or frame. All I ever replaced were gaskets, tires, brakes and shocks.
     
  18. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:35 AM
    #18
    JRod4928

    JRod4928 Well-Known Member

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    It's quality control, and it's the design life of the parts that they make. Two parts can be made to the highest quality control standards, but some manufacturers design parts to last 10 years where one is made to last 3 years.

    Also as an engineer (as someone mentioned above), we constantly have to balance between 3 things: cost, design life, and maintenance requirements (and safety, of course). Some manufacturers (Chevy) reduce cost by reducing design life, and thus increases maintenance requirements. It's accomplishes 3 things. Keeps prices down, Sells more cars when they die, and keeps their mechanics busy fixing their cars that break down because of the reduced design life.

    On the other hand, Toyota decides to put more emphasis on design life (quality) and reducing required maintenance but the cost is increased as a result.

    I think when we buy a Toyota we're expecting to have it last over XXX,000 miles before getting into major issues (engine, transmission, etc.). I'd rather pay for quality and peace of mind myself... That's why I own a Tacoma :)
     
  19. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:46 AM
    #19
    Joe D

    Joe D Well-Known Member

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    I would guess there are too many reasons to list and so many reasons we'll never really know. Maybe the US manufactures dominated the market for so many years they became complacent or it was a poor work ethic or planned obsolescence or poor culture or too much involvement from the bean counters and not enough involvement from the car guys? Could be all the above and many more factors.

    Obviously some very high quality automobiles are designed and built in the United States (Toyota & Honda based products). In my mind it's unfortunate the US branded manufactures have lost their edge.
     
  20. Dec 21, 2012 at 6:51 AM
    #20
    ABA180

    ABA180 It burns when I pee....

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    Sounds right to me Joe D..some people buy new every few years anyway so they were always going to make another sale. They could afford to cut corners when that was the case. Now with people keeping cars for longer periods of time it caught up to them IMO.

    And I'll agree too it's just poor work ethic, brought on by complacency. The propoganda of "buy American" doesn't cut it anymore when you sell a piss poor product and on top of that try to beat up the customer any way you can on servicing it.
     
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