What's a vehicle you love but it's just a terrible vehicle to own?

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I was watching an interview with a "car guy," and the person being interviewed brought up an interesting concept. He said something like, "Everybody loves at least one turd car. In other words, every car guy or gal out there has a kind of vehicle that they absolutely love, but the cars themselves are absolute turds." He then goes on to talk about cars he adores but they are absolutely a nightmare to work on and maintain. Here is a list of turd cars that I love. Some I've owned, and then some I just knew better than to own one:

Chevy Suburban - I absolutely LOVE these vehicles. Tons of room and power, and they are absolutely the best-riding SUV's on the planet. I can drive 5-6 hours to the beach and not feel like I've been in a fistfight when I get there. No soreness or anything. I love these vehicles. My wife had one, and I simply got tired of wrenching on it. It had electrical problems in various systems, we spend $1200 replacing all of the A/C components, and there was a coolant leak that we never could get fixed after multiple trips to the mechanic. The gauges started to get a life of their own, and tons of little stuff started breaking all at once. Although we were religious about changing the oil every 3k miles, the lifter noise and sludge in the motor and oil pan at 200k miles was enough for us to sell it. I hated to see it go, but it was too expensive to keep on the road.

Chevy full-size trucks: Owned one. Loved it. All the problems as above (and more) forced me to sell it.

Cars that I've known better than to own:
Small British sports cars from the 60s, 70s, and 80s - I love the look and vibe of the MG, MGB, MGA, TR6's, TR7's, and many of the sisters and cousins. Loved the look of the Fiat X1/9 and Spitfires. I think the majority of them came from the factory with a oil leak, I swear. I wanted an MGB when I was a kid, but I'm glad my dad never let me get one.

How about you? Any turd vehicles you can't help but love?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Cars with computers. When a car won't start because a sensor fails, that's a bunch of crap. The computer keeps the car from starting because of the sensor. Now you gotta figure out what sensor, find the sensor, and replace said sensor only to find out that the bad sensor has caused another computer problem somewhere else.

Please car companies, go back to carburettors, mechanical fuel pumps, distributors, and analogue gauges. Putting people back in cars and out of rolling living rooms will save headaches, money, frustration, and maybe even lives because we won't be relying on the car to do the driving.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Please car companies, go back to carburettors, mechanical fuel pumps, distributors, and analogue gauges.
I wish! Unfortunately it's getting impossible for mechanics to work on older cars and be able to sustain a living. Mechanics who specialize in working on non-computerized cars are now listed as Vintage Mechanics. I've lost the very finest mechanic I've ever had in my life two years ago for this very reason. He was extremely honest, knowledgable and skilled, but he couldn't make enough money to support his family.

Cars with computers. When a car won't start because a sensor fails, that's a bunch of crap. The computer keeps the car from starting because of the sensor. Now you gotta figure out what sensor, find the sensor, and replace said sensor only to find out that the bad sensor has caused another computer problem somewhere else.
The industry is moving towards disposable cars. When enough computer chips go out and the cost to repair the computerized components exceeds its market value the car is "totaled" instead of being repaired.

The only car I refuse my wife or daughters to own is the Mini Cooper. Their engines require a full rebuild every 50,000 to 55,000 miles like clockwork.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I wish! Unfortunately it's getting impossible for mechanics to work on older cars and be able to sustain a living. Mechanics who specialize in working on non-computerized cars are now listed as Vintage Mechanics. I've lost the very finest mechanic I've ever had in my life two years ago for this very reason. He was extremely honest, knowledgable and skilled, but he couldn't make enough money to support his family.
This is my problem exactly. I'm not a mechanic by trade, but have been working on cars for almost 3 decades now. It sucks because now, even though I can build and install an engine, I can no longer tune it. And even if I could, I would have to buy the new engine its own computer if I've modified even one thing. It's really frustrating.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Toyota Landcruiser. Crazy expensive and suck fuel like a locomotive.
But they can go practically anywhere on Earth and if I maintained one properly would most likely outlive me!
 
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Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Toyota Landcruiser. Crazy expensive and suck fuel like a locomotive. But they can go practically anywhere on Earth and if I maintained one properly would most likely outlive me!
I restored my 1979 FJ40 20 years ago (pictured below in its glory days). Engine had been rebuilt 4,000 miles before I got it. I sent the stock carburetor to Jim Chenoweth to rebuild it for street economy (went from 9 mpg to 11.5 mpg). New suspension, set it up with Yokohama AT Geolander tires with a reasonable wheel size for street driving, repainted and black powdercoated trim and accessories. It was actually more dependable and required virtually no maintenance unlike any of our other vehicles we owned. Definitely not a highway cruiser but it could get you anywhere from Point A to Point B.

FJ40LoResA.jpg
 

Macarina

Silver Member
Cars that I've known better than to own:
Small British sports cars from the 60s, 70s, and 80s - I love the look and vibe of the MG, MGB, MGA, TR6's, TR7's, and many of the sisters and cousins. Loved the look of the Fiat X1/9 and Spitfires. I think the majority of them came from the factory with a oil leak, I swear. I wanted an MGB when I was a kid, but I'm glad my dad never let me get one.
Yea... the Triumph Spitfires were my dream machines. Until I seriously started to consider one, I was overwhelming told to avoid. Simply said, it would be garaged, working on electrical, then driving it.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Had a used 1979 Jeep CJ7 with a 304 V8 and a new 1987 Jeep Comanche back in day when I lived in Florida. Had both awesome and horrific experiences in those Heeps.

I used to build and race Oldsmobile’s that were more reliable.

Just remember, if you’re gonna drive a dog, always better to get two. You’ll need the second to drive while the first one’s in the shop.

Pete

Edit - should mention that my wife and I went out on our first date in that Comanche. So there was that.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
I owned a 2003 BMW 330i ZHP for 11 years. Loved that car. Very fun to drive. But DAMN it loved maintenance. Drove it to 250,000 miles. Finally didn't want to put a second set of catalytic converters in after the rings kept leaking oil. It was done at that point.

Replace it with a 2017 Ford Focus RS. OMG! Even more fun to drive. We'll see how the maintenance goes.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
As of today it’s a 2003 Toyota 4 Runner.

LOVE the car, HATE (what’s left of) the frame.

Needed a four wheel after getting stranded in snow and unable to get home to my family during a 2018 late March snowstorm and power outtage... Saw it and ignored my Spidey-senses (probably just a surf fisherman’s truck I naively told myself). Took it to my mechanic AFTER the fact and found out about the notorious Toyota frame issues....

*sigh*
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
About 20 years ago, I was making pretty darn good money, wanted a 2nd "fun" vehicle. Bought a used convertible Chrysler Lebaron. Put a new convertible top on it and bought some wheels. Tried putting a "system" in it. Amp, 12s, tweets, mids. . . . .the stupid car had BAD F'N WIRING!!! I kept melting speakers and ruined TWO AMPS. Holy Crap. Decent gas mileage, I think I was lucky--6 cylinder? But absolutely the worst car ever for me.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
We had a 2012 Jeep Patriot that I despised. Thin seats that hurt on long drives, no extra headroom, I had to seriously duck my melon to get inside. I could barely fit my drum set in there with 2 people. There was very little acceleration.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
My friend had an inline 6 Cherokee that was practically indestructible. It was leaking from everywhere and needed just about everything replaced, but it always started and ran.
I owned a Cherokee with that in-line 6 motor. Indeed, indestructible! Loved that car. Drove it to 205,000 and sold it still running great.
 
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