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Old 12-11-2002, 08:35 AM
joe p joe p is offline
it leaks, its german
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: raleigh nc
Posts: 1,111
if the last year of a production run for a car is the nicest/best what about the first year of the production run?

Touchy subject with any manufacter, some are better than others. Its largly dependant on the volume of "new stuff" on the product. For example, when chevy first updated the 1500 truck in 99 in was largly new, biggest issue was frame repair from weak frames. Small accidents required frame replacement. You cant buy repair sections for the 99, only frames, in 2000, repair sections became available, why? Because they fixed the frame. I remember the 93 Mazda 626 4 cly auto's, la4el tranny, ford design. I think we replaced 90% of them under warrenty, and the rest under "goodwill" around 60k. (nice tranny, chucks its innards without warning and costs around 3k to replace and thats on a 20k car)

As a general rule a car at the end of its production run is the most "sorted out" and therefore the most reliable mechanically. However, the instant that new model is introduced you take a 20-30% hit in resale values. Personally, I'd never buy the "first run" of anything if I can avoid it.

LarryBible joe p, I just want to thank you for the very informative and insightful post.
Your welcome. Like I said, there is a ass for every seat, sit in what you like.

BTW, on the subject of the "bad" 140, if I am reading the trunklid right, thats a 350sdl. If you's had a prepurchase done by a QUALIFIED shop, you'd have known those were a problematic model. I'd have advised you to get a S320 instead, 94 to 99. Which BTW, is the one I want and I work on 'em for a living.

(I like 124's and 210s as well, but at 6'6" fit in a 140 better. Not to mention being the lazy bastage I am, like the features and comfort of the battleship)

The way I see it, 99% of problems with a car that is "preowned" can be avioded by simply picking the right car. Avioding problems with new product is a bit more complex, whan was the last time ya'll read a owners manual? I remember the biggest warrenty complaint we had with the 92 929 was the trunk remote release, no one ever read the damn manual and had no clue the valet switch was in the console. Needless to say, they would be in the service lane raisin hell about their trunk not working remotly on their 30k Mazda. Only to have it repaired in 10 seconds by turning it back on. (which is damn near imposible to do without embarrassing the client)

Only thing I can say is take the time to learn the features your car has and the proper way to use them, then complain when they dont work. Have your "new baby" checked BEFORE you sign the dotted line and make sure your not buying someone elses abused problems.

As a aside, a friend of mine wanted a es300 for his wife, I went through 3 before I found one he could buy with a reasonable assurance he wasn't getting a pig.

Now, this is where I step on some toes.

You buy a car that new was 100k or thereabouts. Then complain about 20k in repairs over a 10 YEAR period? That works out to be $2000.00 a year for a $100,000 car in repairs. Hummmmmm, sounds like a deal to me. If, and I repeat IF I was paying people to repair my 96 Dodge truck and was repairing the little things that have died over the years, I'd be into it for about $5500.00 in 2 years of ownership, that works out to about $2750.00 a year, seems to me thats a bit higher than the "bad" 140. What are you complaining about? I tell people upfront, average costs of keeping a car on the road should run about a grand a year depending on mileage, driving style and what you start with. And that is for "average" cars, not high dollar luxury vehicles. A single repair on some of these luxury cars can cost more than a used Honda, get used to it.

(the opinions in this post are mine)
Project Smoker, '87 603 powered wagon
Hauler, 96 CTD can you say torque?
Toy 73 Cougar xr7 convertible
Acme Automotive Inc.
Raleigh NC
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