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Dandy Dave

The worst lemon you have ever owned.

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I'm not sure that everyones definition of a lemon is the same. What is a lemon to one is just a normal car to another. I once had a Triumph TR4 that I spent an awful lot of time working on. I finally seem to have gotten it fixed pretty well but after a couple of months I just got bored and sold it. I'd call it a hobby not a lemon.

Iv'e known people who had cars that didn't necessarily have a great deal wrong with them but always seemed to have trouble at the most inopertune time where they would be stranded. Maybe some of these cars have it in for some of these people.

Actually a lot of the time I rather welcome a certain amount of trouble with cars. I always enjoy a good roadside restoration on a tour and always like to help out others who are having trouble. If you don't have to do any mechanic work on a tour, then you have only had hallf of the fun.

It woul still be interesting to find out different folk's definition of what a lemon is. Do tell.

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In my opinion a lemon is a car that falls apart from the dealership. As soon as you buy it, stuff breaks, falls off or just goes bad prematurely. A used car is usually a lemon because of the previous owner's abuse or lack of maintenance. A lemon from the factory is usually due to poor quality or design from the beginning. I know we used to blame it on the car being assembled on a Monday (the workers were tired or hung over from the weekend) or on a Friday (the workers just wanted to get out of the factory for the weekend and just threw things on the chassis without concern of quality of assembly). Who really knows what causes a car to be a lemon from the beginning?

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Actually, where did the word "lemon", used in poor cars originate from? I like lemons.........the fruit.

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Growing up, my parents had a '77? Pontiac Lemans. That car was so bad my dad switched to Toyotas (1978-1982 Celicas) and didn't buy another new car until my mom's '92 Acura Integra (which she still drives with only 30,000 miles on it.) He specially ordered that one "built in Japan".

He then drove a very nice '75 Lincoln Continental Mark V until the rear body mounts rusted through.

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I saw a lightly used 1996 Z34 Monte Carlo,black(very pretty),on a dealership lot.Had to have it.In the glove compartment it came with a very nice stack of dealership repairs.Hmmm,fixed or lemon?Bought it.Mistake.I added some more paperwork the next 3 years using it only 40,000 miles.In my job that is about 1 years traveling.Fortunately had also a very dependable little GMC truck that got the most miles put on it.Traded "the black mistake" in on a new 2002 Dakota which I still have.Excellent purchase.

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Worst: 1977 Plymouth Volare Station Wagon "Super Six". This car was equipped with 225 slant six...a Chrysler workhorse. In my case, the car would shut off unexpectedly while going uphill on left hand turns. but not all the time and never when I took it to the dealer. I finally got rid of the car in the fall of 1978 when I hit a Tri-axle loaded with coal.

Runnerup: 1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Brougham. The car was built with missing/leaking seals in the engine, transmission, and rear-end. I fought with GM every step of the way to get it fixed. I finally gave up and traded it in 1983 for an AMC Eagle wagon, which surprisingly turned out to be one of the best cars I ever owned. No significant repairs in 5 years of ownership.

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Two. 1st was a 1978 Toyota Celica bought brand new. It always lost coolant and dealer could never find the leak. The paint on it wasn't that great either, it dulled severely after about a year and a half, and I kept it polished and waxed. Between the car and the dealer, I had my fill of Toyota and traded it at 2 yrs old.

2nd was a 1997 Oldsmobile Bravada that for what I paid for it and what it cost me per mile to drive it, was the biggest POS I have ever owned. It had ALL of the S10 Blazer's faults and issues plus the all-wheel drive- which incidentally was one of the few things that didn't give me problems. The whole front end had to be rebuilt a piece at a time, it ate rear brake rotors and A/C compressors, it had all the Dexcool-related cooling system issues. When the front axle started popping, I said enough.

You cannot GIVE me another S10 based vehicle.

I've had 4 S-10 pickups and loved all 4 of them...an '84, a '93, a '96 and an '04). I was heartsick when I went to the PGH Auto Show (2004?) and discovered there would be no more S-10's made. Refused to buy a Colorado. My first 3 were used vehics, while my '04 (re-badged '03) was my only new one. The '04 did have a slew of problems, but the warranty covered them all for the first 36,000. Traded it this summer for a Toyota Tundra....Love it!

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81 Dodge Mirada. Bought used. Lovely looking car that would not run for a full week without a problem. Sold it to a mechanic buddy who spent a lot of time under the hood.

86 Firebird, bought new. Computer fried, left me stranded when it was 3 weeks old. It went downhill after that.

02 Audi Quattro A4. A nightmare car, bought used after being warned that they were trouble. If you have an Audi, get rid of it before it's out of warranty! Steering rack, fuel pump, electrical issues, relays, transmission, on and on.

I had lots of 50's and 60's junkers in my youth but never had any real lemons. Got my best service out of cheap 60's Fords.

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The one and only car I ever had that was truely a LEMON was a 1987 SS monte Carlo. I had the heads on and off the car a dozen times only to find the block had stress cracks in the valve galley. Change the engine to a 350, used that electronic carb, which was nothing but problems, replaced it with a carter 4 bbl. ran good for a while then every single part on this car would break. door handles, radio, glove box door, you name it and it broke at some point. The car was dieseased and even started to effect the new 350 I put in. I was so happy to see it drive away 3 years later. I sure can name a lot of great ones I had and wish I still did. The BEST ones were 67 Corvette 327/350HP, 35 Chevy pickup and 34 IHC., of course all the early 30's Mopars ran great as well. But the 67 and 35 ran like swiss watches.

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I hear that the only good thing on an S-10 was the 5-speed transmission. It fits in late twenties Dodge Brothers cars and helps them to be more roadable.

hI , CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS SET UP. I've seen them in Model "A's'' used as an overdrive. As much as I hate to change the originality of my 32 Ply PB, I thought of adapting this trans to make the car more user friendly under various road conditions.

Any and all help appreciated...I am considering using a GEAR VENDORS unit just to save the original 3 speed . Any suggestions ALWAYS appreciated and respected?

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I will try to get some more information on this setup for you.

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Worst, 1984 Fiero. In less than 18 months it had caught fire twice, had the engine replaced twice, transaxle once, engine computer five times, A/C compressor five times, dashboard once(cracked in half) fuel pump twice. GM finally bought the car back, I received credit for another GM product.

RUNNER UP First new car I had, a high school graduation gift. 1971 Plymouth Cricket The engine threw a rod out the side of the engine, two weeks old. If I made a panic stop the engine mounts were so soft that the fan would strike the radiator, was told that the A/C would have to be removed to put a smaller fan on the car. Talked them into removing the engine driven fan and installing an electric fan, very rare in 1971. Transmission linkage would come apart, gas pedal plastic mounts would breal once a week and more that I forgot.

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The worst lemon I had was a 99 Volkswagen Beetle that I bought for my wife.Ironically it was bright yellow and looked like a big lemon.It was a low mileage used car. Problems started almost as soon as we drove it off the lot.It had a automatic transmission that wouldn't shift,various electrical problems like lights not working and couldn't keep a battery in it or brakes on it. The biggest problem though was the dealer's incompetent service department. Every time it was brought in for service they always found something else wrong unrelated to the problem it was brought in for but didn't fix the original problem.Usually they screwed up that repair too. Once I brought it in for the transmission problem and they said the AC compressor was bad. The AC was working fine when it was dropped off.The brake light came on 5 miles away from the dealer after that repair. The last straw was when the service manager told me he was insulted that I thought his mechanics lacked any skill to fix the numerous problems with this car. I drove it off the VW lot and straight to a Chevrolet dealer and traded it for a Cavalier. The Cavalier has almost 100000 miles and no problems at all. That's my first & last experience with a foreign car.

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The worst lemon I had was a 99 Volkswagen Beetle that I bought for my wife.Ironically it was bright yellow and looked like a big lemon.It was a low mileage used car. Problems started almost as soon as we drove it off the lot.It had a automatic transmission that wouldn't shift,various electrical problems like lights not working and couldn't keep a battery in it or brakes on it. The biggest problem though was the dealer's incompetent service department. Every time it was brought in for service they always found something else wrong unrelated to the problem it was brought in for but didn't fix the original problem.Usually they screwed up that repair too. Once I brought it in for the transmission problem and they said the AC compressor was bad. The AC was working fine when it was dropped off.The brake light came on 5 miles away from the dealer after that repair. The last straw was when the service manager told me he was insulted that I thought his mechanics lacked any skill to fix the numerous problems with this car. I drove it off the VW lot and straight to a Chevrolet dealer and traded it for a Cavalier. The Cavalier has almost 100000 miles and no problems at all. That's my first & last experience with a foreign car.

Hitler said he would come back....and wreak havic for 1000 years. Maybe he was reincarnated as that yellow beatle. :eek: Dandy Dave!

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The second worse lemon I owned new was replaced by the worst lemon. I had an 1988 LTD Ford Crown Victoria wagon. I traded it in when the oil pan was rotting out, to the point that I was afraid to change the oil because the pan looked as if were about to tear in half with pressure on the drain plug. I sold that in 1993 for a Buick Roadmaster Wagon (great looking car!!! but....) It needed a transmission every 35,000 miles at 120,000 miles I had enough. Now I see these cars have a following, but I think it was a BIG POS

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When I was 17 in 1987 my grandfather (mother's side) gave my mother his car when he bought himself a new one. It was a 1976 Ford Granada, (no, it gets worse) with a white vinyl roof and powder blue body. My mother permanently lent the car to me and my sister so we could have a car to drive. I pretty much drove it full time.

I hated that car.

If the paint job wasn't bad enough, you had to reach through the steering wheel to change radio stations. Gas mileage was okay, IIRC, but I had it over a friend's house when the water pump died. It was about 10 degrees that day, and another friend came over and fixed it.

It eventually developed a head gasket leak, and I told my parents I'd like to get rid of it. They said, no, we'll pay to get it fixed. So they did, and I was driving it later to a friend's house when I heard this sudden and very loud CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK from undre the hood. Turned out it threw a rod. Shortly after, I drove it to the junkyard.

Runner up is the '85 Chevy Celebrity my FIL gave my wife after we got married. It was a true POS, engine light always on, got 10 miles to the gallon. Finally I paid to get that fixed, and it was one big repair after another. Sensors always going out, etc. Eventually we traded it for a Saturn and never looked back. Saturn ran great.

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WORST (but with a redeeming quality):

1974 Chevrolet Vega. Rough running engine, whiny transmission, crappy electronics. :mad: My ex-wife DEMANDED it in the divorce. :D

WORST with NO redeeming qualities:

1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue with the 3.5 'short star' engine. Replaced engine. Rebuilt the A/C. Crappy electronics. BEAUTIFUL car, so it sold in a heartbeat. Will probably run forever for the current owner!

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...1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue with the 3.5 'short star' engine. Replaced engine. Rebuilt the A/C. Crappy electronics. BEAUTIFUL car, so it sold in a heartbeat. Will probably run forever for the current owner!

Hillarious!!!

I was looking at one a long time ago. Luckily a freind on mine told me how terrible the shortstar was and when I started pulling the TSBs I never gave the car a second thought.

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FYI:

I still wouldn't touch any car in the AUDI/VW GROUP. They are horrible and the parts are far too expensive for being a peoples car!

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Regarding the question about rotten cars back in the day; my father bought a 1957 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer 4 door hardtop brand new from the dealer. It was coral and white with a two tone gold interior, a hemi V-8 and factory air. My father told me that he thought it was the most gorgeous car he had ever seen.

The second day he had it he ran out of gas because the guage didn't work. Some time later, the trunk lock stopped working. The drivers' window fell into the door during a rain storm. A torsion bar broke. After about a year and a half, my father went outside to start the car and it wouldn't.

He told my mother that that car needed to be gone when he came home from work. My mother traded it in that day on a 1959 Mercury Monterey convertible. My father always said that the Dodge was the worst car he ever owned. Every time I see one now, I wonder how anybody could have kept it alive for 50 years.

The Mercury had the largest windshield I have ever seen. When it was about three years old, it got a crack in the center top of the windshield. It went through three replacement windshields that all did the same thing in the same place. When the insurance company said no more winshields, father traded it in on a 1963 Buick Electra convertible.

There were probably more lemons built years ago than today. Whenever I think of the care we lavish on our cars, I imagine that long-dead car dealers, mechanics, and assembly line workers must be somewhere laughing at us.

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That is easy, in 1966 I was in collage and all my friends were buying foreign cars, one buddy bought a Triumph TR4, another got a Mini-Cooper, another an Alfa Romeo coupe, and I decided I wanted something different and British. I picked a new Sunbeam Imp. It was Rootes Group effort to compete with BMC's Mini. It packed a 850 cc overhead cam engine in the rear, handled well and looked like a sanforized Corvair with single headlamps. Only problem was it was a piece of #$*&*#. Honest, the dealer even told me not to buy it. He told me to spend the extra $50 for a MG 1100 Sport Sedan and I would not listen. After all at 20 I was a car expert! Now at 62 I have finally realized I really don't know "everything." Anyway, within the first 6 months it used up 5 water pumps, 3 u joints, a generator, two mufflers and failed to start more times than I can count. It had more miles hooked to a AAA tow truck that it ever did on it's own. Finally I gave up, and traded down in years to a 1963 Mercury Comet S-22 convertible with a 260 V8 automatic, which got me through all the remaining years of collage AND a daily 112 mile round trip commute from Akron, to Cleveland, Ohio.

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It's a toss-up between my '70 LeMans and my '63 Lincoln. Neither one of them could run for more than a few weeks without a repair.

I sold the Pontiac to some kid, and a few weeks later was browsing in the local junkyard and there it was. The junk man said the engine went. The car still haunted me, though. A couple of months later, I saw another LeMans driving around with my front clip on it.

The Lincoln was difficult to work on as well as being unreliable. Three repair shops refused to put a water pump in it, so we did it ourselves. When someone finally bought it, the ball-and-socket accelerator linkage came apart under the car near the gas pedal. This thing was inside a boxed floor crossmember and it was 10 degrees and snowy at the time. I rigged-up a hand throttle consisting of a wire coat hanger attached to the carb and poked through a firewall grommet. I was very happy to see the buyer driving away, yanking on the coat hanger to accelerate!

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if i rule out cars that had problems becaused i abused them or didnt know what i was doing when i worked on them i have two.a 1976 duster and a 84 monte carlo.the duster loved not starting from day one.no heat ,just one thing after another.the best was when it got to 10 below the horn would blow[at 3am ] the monte t tops leaked,transmission went,and the ignition lock would lock up.again one thing after another.and if i listed everything that happen to these cars my post would be 5 pages long.they were so bad that i wouldnt even use them as demolition derby cars.

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