Here’s a list of cars that you should avoid by any means necessary. Now before the “I have the [insert vehicle here] and I’ve never had a problem” comments roll in, with proper care and maintenance, any car can run forever. As a matter of fact, the Oldsmobile Aurora, with the Northstar V8, ran for 225k miles before I traded it in and the next owner killed it. Not to mention, a few of the cars on this list I’ve either owned or wanted to own, while the others wouldn’t see the gravel in my driveway. So here’s the list.
This generation Ford Taurus was the equivalent of a boat anchor. My brother and my buddy had the same year Taurus. Besides the non-existent acceleration and the gutless stereo, breakdowns were common. Long story short, my brothers transmission went out after a couple of months of driving.
Owning a Northstar V8 automatically makes you a certified master mechanic. Between cooling issues leading to head gasket failure to the typically cramped engine bay, working on a Northstar V8 required a little finesse.
The Lincoln LS was meant to be a performance car for the aging Lincoln brand. Between the RWD layout and a V8 engine, the Lincoln LS was supposed to be a very good option for those who wanted luxury and performance without the price tag. However, the LS was plagued with reliability and drivetrain issues such as leaky valve cover gaskets, faulty coils and hard shifting transmissions.
Not saying all older European vehicles are not reliable or anything. You just take a risk when purchasing one second-hand. You will have the cool factor and end up with a performance car in some situation, but the luster stops when repair bills come in. Older European cars from Audi to VW, can come with expensive repair bills. Even if you do the work yourself, your still in for a expensive fix.
When the LX platform Charger, Magnum and 300 were first released, you had several engine options to choose from. The common 3.5L V6, and the 5.7L and 6.1L Hemi V8. You also had the dismal 2.7L in the base models, which wasn’t built to move these larger vehicles. So if you see any of the mentioned vehicles on Craigslist for super-super cheap, it has the 2.7.
As much as this pains me, the G8 is another used car to avoid, unless you buy it with the immediate intention of getting rid of the “DoD” system. If you didn’t, you should expect to do some major engine repairs.
Unless it’s an Alpha edition with the 5.3L V8 or the H3T, stay away from the H3. The inline five engine was not suitable for a vehicle of it’s size and weight. The engine also had numerous problems, leading to failure. The Passlock security system would prevent engine starting. The interior was subpar to its competition. And while the H3 was the “baby Hummer,” it still got dismal gas mileage.
The Nissan 300ZX is one of my favorite Japanese sports cars of all time. With that being said, the 60,000 and 120,000 mile services, according to the maintenance schedule, would murder your wallet. Just expect to drop well over $1000 dollars to service the 300ZX at these intervals.
Older Land Rovers-
Land Rover is considered to be the off-road luxury legends of Great Britain. However, in all their majestic glory, they were plagued with common reliability issues. There were air suspension problems, engine reliability problems, and let’s not talk about the Freelander, which was plagued with head gasket issues. In other words, don’t buy a used Land Rover, unless it is one of the newer ones, where the problems are less common.
The Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Stratus were rental lot queens from the Daimler-Chrysler family. In other words, they were dogged out because they were terrible vehicles. Let’s not forget the terrible 2.7 L V6. Even replacing the battery was an issue. You have to remove the fender to replace the battery.
Yes, you would have a Corvette and yes, would would be consider one of the cool kids. That is, until you tell what year it is. Long story short, the early C4 Corvettes had the same 0-60 time as a 2013 Chevy Equinox LTZ, 6.6 seconds.