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Vigo
Vigo Reader
2/26/10 12:50 a.m.
A lot of people are still pissed at GM for the godawful build quality of the 80's

And the 90s, and the 2000s. I honestly dislike being a driver or passenger in nearly ANY 90s gm because of how godawful their interiors were, and thats not to mention the MANY annoying/crappy mechanical traits.

Do you know how many 4l60s and 4t60s ive rebuilt with less than 100k on them? How about when replacing a $90. crank position sensor on your cadillac costs $1000.00 because i have to pull the tranny to get to it and its a COMPLETE PITA... seriously, a LOT of stupid E36 M3 came out of that company in the 90s.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
2/26/10 5:42 a.m.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
2/26/10 5:58 a.m.
Samurai07SS wrote: the 06 Malibu was a turd. It was the iteration of the old N-body and should've been retired years before.

You could have stopped there. It definitely doesn't make me or probably anyone else more interested in the new malibu. That 06 malibu will probably leave a very bad taste in the poster's mouth for years. Could have veen avoided if GM wasn't complacent and churning out utter crap.

Samurai07SS wrote: The only thing is when a Toyota or a Honda break, a parts guy smiles because it's feeding time.

I love this misconception. Please keep spreading it around so i can continue to look rich because i can maintain all three of my cars to near perfection. Toyota, Mazda, Mazda.

Samurai07SS wrote: i buy domestic and have always bought domestic because the price is right, the cars perform, they hold together well (and in the Adirondacks, that's important) and are very cheap and easy to repair.

Funny. I used to live within 30 minutes of the Adirondacks, and you gave the same reasons i buy Imports. I'm not biased though, i have owned one Chevy in my life, and i thought it was great. Some moron paid me about 3x what it was really worth, though, so i got rid of it. Went great with my mullet, and his.

Samurai07SS wrote: Also, you importcentric goomba, comparing a Cobalt SS to a WRX is comparing apples to oranges. I know, I OWN one. They are not riced out... these cars have the engine and suspension to embarass what is most considered rice out there. I think you need to stop sucking on the Japanese tit.

The point was that it LOOKS ricey. And it does. Not that it WAS rice. Rice doesn't usually perform. The cobalt SS does. But it still looks ricey. Matter of opinion of course.

As for sucking on the Japanese tit? Step back and take a look at what you just typed. Is it REALLY any better?

And before you brand me as another "japanese tit-sucker," i really hate almost every new car out there today. Japanese or otherwise. I have no real loyalties. I like cars, not brands. If the car doesn't do anything for me, then it's the companies fault, absolutely not mine, so don't brand anyone as such. I'm absolutely not import-centric. I'm "car i like-centric." The ones that i like that i'm willing to pay for that are still in decent shape just USUALLY happen to be imports of some kind. And not necessarily japanese. There's not a whole lot of fun with american companies to be had for $2000 or less. At least not what i'm looking for.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
2/26/10 6:12 a.m.

somebody tried the "buy what your neighbor makes" argument on me the other day.

I have 4 college friends who work for Toyota and 5 college friends who work for Honda. I have 1 college friend who works for GM and 2 for Delphi.

You figure it out.

edit:

forgot to mention that my friends who work for GM and Delphi are not really employees of the company. They have been working there for years but are contractors because both companies have no cash. Toyota and Honda pay OT to engineers....

3Door4G
3Door4G New Reader
2/26/10 6:46 a.m.
Samurai07SS wrote: I think you need to stop sucking on the Japanese tit.

My girlfriend's Korean, not Japanese, but that's still not a practice I intend on stopping anytime soon.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
2/26/10 6:51 a.m.

Awesome funny, you are lucky my monitor is under glass here at work.

Vigo
Vigo Reader
2/26/10 1:47 p.m.

^LOL

this is way off the main topic but how can ANYONE think a cobalt SS sedan is ricey?

I think the coupe is. gawdy wheels, gawdy spoiler.

irish44j
irish44j Reader
2/26/10 2:13 p.m.
Vigo wrote: ^LOL this is way off the main topic but how can ANYONE think a cobalt SS sedan is ricey? I think the coupe is. gawdy wheels, gawdy spoiler.

the coupe is what I was referring to, with said gawdy wheels and spoiler....

Didn't they cancel the SS sedan for 2010 anyhow?

poopshovel
poopshovel SuperDork
2/26/10 2:53 p.m.
John Brown wrote: Awesome funny, you are lucky my monitor is under glass here at work.

(man)sneeze gaurd?

AutoXR
AutoXR Reader
2/26/10 3:11 p.m.

I am actually posting this while sitting in my office at GM headquarters in Canada. Lots of interesting comments, some factual ,some wayy off base and downright looney.

I have worked for GM / Chrysler , Nissan / Toyota and Subaru. All at the corporate level. I can tell you that while you put GM under the microscope for the quality of their cars and their internal problems, the exact same problems exist at each of those manufacturers to the same degree.

Like it or not we still sell millions of cars and one of the words fastest paced economies has embraced our products (china / buick)

there is a very different mentality between the average GRM / motorsports enthuasist which makes up a small percentage of society and the average car buyer.

I was talking to our roadside provider the other day who provides service for a German manufacturer of quality cars. He said claim rates on their car due to failure (needs to be towed) far exceeds that of GM's.

before you think I wave the GM flag , my newest GM car is from 1979 , and I have 2 Honda's.

there is a lot more going on in the automotive world then can be read on jalopnik or autoblog.... a lot more.

J.McCreery

Vigo
Vigo Reader
2/26/10 7:22 p.m.

That is true, but the thing with GM is that nobody BUT us GRM-types likes it when E36 M3 blows up at low mileage (and then some mechanic/grm'r scoops it up for a song).

Fact of the matter is that regardless of how much or little performance or character GM products have had, their E36 M3 just BROKE too often, and that drove a lot of people away, especially when it was $2-3K transmissions.

And of course we performance junkies dont appreciate GM's junky trannies either because they stifled performance.

Like how the dohc 3.4 was emissions certified at ~280 hp and detuned to avoid blowing up trans (and people were impressed by 350z power almost 2 decades later?). And who thinks a northstar isnt a detuned joke at 270hp? And why did it take 10 years for GM to go from concept smallblock v8 FWD to actual production smallblock v8 FWD? E36 M3ty transmissions.

So GM both pissed off normal customers with expensive parts that broke on stock power, and shot enthusiasts in the foot and set back v6 performance by a decade by not having a transmission that could hold a lot of power until only a few years ago.

So i know GM is playing to the bread and butter and not us, but i still got no sympathy for all the ways they sucked over the last 2 decades. Nobody likes SUCK.

ProjectVIN
ProjectVIN New Reader
2/26/10 7:47 p.m.

I just did a prolonged study on the state of green/EV's back in Oct/Nov of 2009 as college fodder for my resume, and the results were sent to the COP15. What I didn't mention (because they're obviously going to disagree) is that, from what I gleamed about the state of hybrid and electric technology (both now and into the next decade), EV's are essentially unworkable and won't meet the needs of the motoring public anytime soon. It would be best to scrap anything other than a mild hybrid (see Prius, Fusion, et al.) and continue to focus on making GOOD CARS that people want. The greenies would likely complain and start the usual stink that full electric can work now, but they can be appeased once fuel cell technology becomes viable. In the meantime, I can think of one Japanese manufacturer that doesn't play the hybrid game, Subaru. They are focusing on quality and meeting the customer's needs. Despite the economy and some terrible new styling, they are increasing their profitability in this economy that has cause so many problems in the auto industry.

ronbros
ronbros Reader
2/26/10 8:00 p.m.

when GM fails, the US auto industry is goin down right after it.

and then the whole USA.

some people love life, and some hate life!

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
2/26/10 8:28 p.m.

AutoXr is definitely right about one thing: German car quality is mostly perceived. From ANY of their brands.

On the others, maybe not so much. Having been on the small end of the telescope (the actual service drive) from him for both import and domestic brands the imports have their problems too, particularly a certain manufacturer riding the wave of their '60's hippie car reputation (shiver. Those things are AWFUL). Having said that, the Jap cars were light years ahead of the imports from a reliability standpoint for a LONG time. I was at a domestic shop for the last six years and so don't have direct late import experience but I can tell you Chrysler's quality is a joke. Or it would be if it weren't so sad. the used domestics which came through were crap as well. The imports which came through just seemed to be screwed together better. Even the techs noticed it.

The import manufacturers based here in the US are buying more and more of their stuff from US manufacturers (I nearly flipped the first time I saw a Delphi wiring harness build tag in a KIA and later on a Mercedes) and frankly that's where a lot of their problems come from. Delphi has built electronic E36 M3 for years, ever since their days as a GM subsidiary.

The worst part of all this? I drove a late Malibu rental car for a short time, it actually wasn't bad to drive. Decent ergos, reasonable room, reasonably peppy, there were lots of reasons I could see driving one daily. What would stop me? GM's ongoing quality problems which make Toyota's current woes look like NOTHING.

I saw the 4T60's and 4L60's Vigo mentioned die at 50K miles, along with the Ford AXOD/A4LD versions (trivia: many of those boxes for both brands were built in the same plant in Strasbourg, France) and cars which gobbled multiple window regulators, Jeep V8's which would start sucking oil for no reason then spin a rod bearing, the Ford Vulcan V6's which would pop the heads off of cylinder head or main cap bolts, water leaks (I swear Chryslers had those designed in), numerous electrical problems, the list goes on. I can trace every one of them to the same problem: trying to build the damn thing too cheap.

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
2/26/10 8:45 p.m.

Hypothetical question.

If GM had lower labor costs would they still build crap? Or would the lower costs allow them to build a better car and still be competitive?

How much of the "cheapness" of their cars is directly related to the high costs of their UAW contracts?

edited cause I can't type or spell.

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro HalfDork
2/26/10 9:51 p.m.

In reply to AutoXR:

The big problem is NOBODY builds quality cars anymore.

We're all told that a car should last 5 years or until the warranty is up, then, just come on down and fork over another $30,000 for another 5 year POS.

How many Cobalts will last 20 years or more? How many Camrys, Neons (or whatever they call it now), Golfs, etc.

I'd bet no car built in the last five years will be kept on the road by average owners for more than ten years. GRM people and car nuts don't count here.

The reason is very simple. Cars are too complex and expensive to bother repairing. New battery in a Prius at ten years? Who in their right mind will spend $5,000 (for the part) fixing a ten-year-old economy car? That's more than the dealer would give on a trade-in.

Older cars were built to last longer and they're cheaper to fix.

My '58 Pontiac is still on the road with over 200,000 miles on it's original engine. It broke a rocker arm two months ago. I replaced it with a NOS piece so it should last another 50 years .

My '96 Ford has needed nothing more than regular maintenance and a set of timing gears in the last 160,000.

My '82 Toyota is finally rusting apart. Still on the original motor and trans.

Want to save the planet? Build a car that's actually worth all the hard-earned cash we fork over for it. Make it last and you'll get repeat customers.

This applies to every manufacturer, not just GM.

Shawn

Vigo
Vigo Reader
2/26/10 10:26 p.m.
Jeep V8's which would start sucking oil for no reason then spin a rod bearing,

I know why they do it. A lot of people cant figure it out

In a way, im glad domestic stuff always breaks because thats how i as a mechanic can afford to own so many cars.. i get them nearly free with all sorts of problems i can fix on the cheap.

There are probably a bunch of imports i could afford, but honestly most of them arent as much fun to work on because they ARE bolted together better (talking older cars here) and thus take a lot longer to take apart and put back together

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
2/27/10 7:31 a.m.

The running consensus at the Jeep shop was a combination of undersized PCV system and insufficient oil drain holes behind the oil control rings. Add a stint of overdue oil changes, shake well and listen for the death rattle.

Generally at the mileage this would start happening (~100k), people would say screw it and trade it (usually for a different brand because this was after a ton of window regulators E36 M3 the bed) so we never got to tear one down to see for sure.

zomby woof
zomby woof HalfDork
2/27/10 8:03 a.m.
Trans_Maro wrote: In reply to AutoXR: The big problem is NOBODY builds quality cars anymore.

Cars have never been as well built, and reliable as they are today.

When I was an apprentice mechanic, a cars life was over at 100,000 miles, and everything was rotten within 10 years, especially the Jap stuff. Only the cars that received special treatment remained. How many people on the board drive late model cars with over 100,000 miles, or more?

My 06 GMC truck has 200k with only oil changes (original plugs, and air filter), and still gets MPG in the 30's. Try that in an old car.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair SuperDork
2/27/10 8:34 a.m.
zomby woof wrote: When I was an apprentice mechanic, a cars life was over at 100,000 miles, and everything was rotten within 10 years, especially the Jap stuff. Only the cars that received special treatment remained.

yep, back in the days of the five-digit odometer, when "original miles" meant less than 100k and really meant something because after the odo rolled everything pretty much went to E36 M3.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
2/27/10 8:39 a.m.

I have to say I am with Woof on this. In 1986 as an apprentice technician I remember seeing 5 year old 100K mile cars being sold for $250.00 Hell in 1986 I bought a 1979 Chevette with 48K miles on it for $350.00 and drove it home. Worst mistake I ever made!

What 48K mile 2003 vehicle are you going to do that with today?

Grtechguy
Grtechguy SuperDork
2/27/10 9:10 a.m.
John Brown wrote: I have to say I am with Woof on this. In 1986 as an apprentice technician I remember seeing 5 year old 100K mile cars being sold for $250.00 Hell in 1986 I bought a 1979 Chevette with 48K miles on it for $350.00 and drove it home. Worst mistake I ever made! What 48K mile 2003 vehicle are you going to do that with today?

But, also, today that same 5 year old 100,000 mile car is being sold for 2x - 3x the amount easily... inflation sucks

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
2/27/10 9:25 a.m.
zomby woof wrote: <When I was an apprentice mechanic, a cars life was over at 100,000 miles, and everything was rotten within 10 years, especially the Jap stuff. Only the cars that received special treatment remained. How many people on the board drive late model cars with over 100,000 miles, or more? .

I drive two.. a 94 Saab NG900 Turbo with 101,000 and a 96 BMW 318ti with almost 140,000 miles.

Both of these cars may have been cared for by their original owners.. but the owners who had them before me beat the E36 M3 out of them. The saab came to me cheap after the PO has supposedly been run off the road by a semi and lost it's reverse gear because he misshifted trying to get out of the way.

The BMW came to me clean, but I discovered a couple of months later it had been totalled and rebuilt before I got it.

I do agree.. todays cars are LIGHT years ahead of what the car companies churned out in the 60's, 70's, and 80's.. even the 90's. You could say they cars have never been screwed together better today than they have in the last 110 years.

It's a vicious circle. Cars cost more, so people need them to last longer. Because they need to last longer, they cost more. I think if the average car cost 10grand, people would not care about replacing them every 5 years (or less) but because even your nicest of the cheap cars is more than twice that... people do not want to shell out that kind of money on a reoccuring basis.

Moparman
Moparman Reader
2/27/10 9:27 a.m.

I think it gets down to your basic attitude. For at least the last 40 years, perhaps longer, GM has been competing in the world with companies that play to win. GM, in my estimation, has been playing not to lose. That is a fundemental difference in mind set.

GM's management and its unions have both been trying to maintain the status quo as much as possible. Products, product development, assembly and parts acquisition were all developed to be only as efficient as something resembling the way it always had been remained in place.

I believe it was the Wall Street Journal did a story on the Detroit Three a few years ago and mentioned that when both workers and management of each of the Detroit Three were asked who is the competition, nearly all answered the other twp Detroit manufacturers. They lived(ed) in such an insular world that they couldn't even recognize the true competition.

Marty!
Marty! HalfDork
2/27/10 9:32 a.m.

To me the reason GM will still fail is because they are simply too old/slow to learn from their mistakes. I'll use the Camaro as a perfect example. It was three years after it was approved for sale that they actually started building the thing. They knew the demand was there, yet they dragged their heels going into production.

Another aspect is the engine that is put into it (3.6 V6) gets 300hp and 30 MPG. Yet the 4 cyl that are in lesser models get half the power and less MPG. This tells me that GM has the technology to produce powerful efficient engines, but would rather play some kind of "class warfare" by keeping these engines in one model instead spreading them around. FWIW I do know that there are variants of the 3.6 found in other products but they are severely de-tuned. I guess Chevy doesn't want the Camaro owners getting into races with Malibu owners.

G8? Need I say more? If GM would've made a police version they could've gone against Ford in the police market. As it stands the Crown Vic has a monopoly in that market. I don't count the Charger as it seems more people are shying away from them due to the uncertainty surrounding Chrysler.

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