Letโ€™s talk reliability of new cars

Letโ€™s talk reliability of new cars

Author
Discussion

Blanchimont

3,987 posts

88 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
I've been left stranded twice, in 10 years of driving.

One was a Ford Ka, spring snapped. It was 15 years old at the time, and was rusted to fk.

The other was my old E92 M3. 3x injectors jammed open (after WOT) and flooded the engine.

However, the other issues I've had with cars:

Fiat: Snapped spring (my fault, hit a fking great pothole)
Renault #1: Nothing.
Renault #2: Thermostat, and 2 bushes
Ford #2: Nothing
Renault #3: Thermostat.
BMW #2: iDrive, Boot latch, Both Window regulators, AC, Steering rack, Engine fan, and something else.
Mini #1: Nothing
Fiat #2: Nothing
Nissan #1: Battery and wheel bearing.

From experience, it's been the 2 german cars I've owned that have caused me the most trouble. That, in both faults, and after sales support from my local dealer. (Both cars had BMW warranty)

exelero

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

55 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Mr Peel said:
Anyone know what percentage of breakdowns are due to running out of fuel or inability to deal with a puncture? Always imagined these explain a lot.
I would say around 80%. Most of the new cars don’t even have a spare wheel

exelero

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

55 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
nickfrog said:
LamedonM said:
_Hoppers said:
Driver101 said:
It's extremely rare to see a modern car breaking down on the motorway. To manage to establish which brands breakdown more is an amazing feat.
Confirmation bias by the OP?
Definitely Yes
+1
I admitted it right after the first time the question showed up smile

Magnum 475

2,367 posts

98 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Over the last 18 years, my 'new' car history has been:

2003 320i - had one coil pack failure in 3 years & 45k miles
2006 320d - no problems in 75k miles / 3 years
2009 120d - no problems in 45k miles / 2 years
2011 320d ED - no problems in 95k miles / 3 years
2014 E220 - no problems in 120k miles / 6 years

The E220 was so good at everything it did that I couldn't be bothered to change it. Sold last year due to lack of use. I'll think of something to replace it with when I start doing more mileage. Maybe another E-Class, maybe a Lexus....






exelero

Original Poster:

1,344 posts

55 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Magnum 475 said:
Over the last 18 years, my 'new' car history has been:

2003 320i - had one coil pack failure in 3 years & 45k miles
2006 320d - no problems in 75k miles / 3 years
2009 120d - no problems in 45k miles / 2 years
2011 320d ED - no problems in 95k miles / 3 years
2014 E220 - no problems in 120k miles / 6 years

The E220 was so good at everything it did that I couldn't be bothered to change it. Sold last year due to lack of use. I'll think of something to replace it with when I start doing more mileage. Maybe another E-Class, maybe a Lexus....
Get the Lexus smile

hyphen

20,205 posts

56 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
exelero said:
Get the Lexus smile
But they look so dull on the exterior.

If Lexus stole some European designers they would outsell the Germans.

hyphen

20,205 posts

56 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
exelero said:
Mr Peel said:
Anyone know what percentage of breakdowns are due to running out of fuel or inability to deal with a puncture? Always imagined these explain a lot.
I would say around 80%. Most of the new cars don’t even have a spare wheel
Add in lack of scheduled maintenance/inspections and that will go up to 95%?

Sensei Rob

239 posts

45 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Interestingly, driving4answers on YouTube did an excellent video on this matter recently.

Basically, car manufacturers engineer cars using CAD to survive the warranty period. Plastics are used extensively to cut costs. This is done to ensure profitability.

Rewind back to the '90's, and CAD was not as advanced, so engineers used more robust thicknesses to be on the safe side. Also, there were fewer critical electrics to go wrong,

I would actually pay good money for an overbuilt car. It wouldn't be the fastest or the most efficient, due to the weight, but it would last a long time. Iron block, iron head, beefy transmission, metal components instead of plastic, non-interference valve design, etc. But alas, cars just aren't built like that and no one but myself would buy one!

Max_Torque

16,769 posts

183 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
I see a lot of punctures on Mways. Well not actually punctures, mostly it is the result of a tyre failing after being driven at high speed when partially inflated. It is suggested that one should check one's tyre pressure every two weeks, but i bet that the majority of motorists have actually NEVER checked. I see alot of cars driving on very soft looking tyres, due to slow leaks or minor punctures, and at low speed, other than the car handling a bit weird which most drivers dont' even notice, that's that. But get on the motorway, and that halfway flat tyre will overheat and then explode with a bang, and at that point, when you are on the rim, even the dozyist driver tends to notice and stop!


The other day i followed a car around MK, and every time it went round a roundabout (which is a lot in MK...), the left rear rim touched the road, leaving a trail of alluminium flakes and making a grinding noise that i could hear from my car following them! They eventually stopped at some lights, and i pulled up next to them, wound down my window, and gesticulated at the back of ther car. After about 20 seconds of looking stupid, they finally wound down their window and i said "do you know your rear tyre is flat" to which i got a blank look, and at that moment the lights changed and they drove off.

These i'm afraid are the same sort of mouth breathers who need a national telivision advert campaign to remind them to "keep left" if they have a problem on the motorway..........

Max_Torque

16,769 posts

183 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
BTW, cars have never been so reliable, and need to so little attention in normal use (which causes the tyre problems i just mentioned)

You see "more" breakdowns simply because there are more cars on our busier roads.


An old Split screen van a friend of mine owns actually needs its' front trunions greased, wait for it, "every 60 miles" as determined by a little stamped metal plate in the bulkhead! 60 miles! WTF, seriously, that means you'd have to stop twice on the way to my folks.......

I'd bet that if you asked 100 modern drivers what a front trunion was, 100 would have no idea, let alone know how often they should be lubricated :-)

Baldchap

4,300 posts

58 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Sensei Rob said:
Interestingly, driving4answers on YouTube did an excellent video on this matter recently.

Basically, car manufacturers engineer cars using CAD to survive the warranty period. Plastics are used extensively to cut costs. This is done to ensure profitability.

Rewind back to the '90's, and CAD was not as advanced, so engineers used more robust thicknesses to be on the safe side. Also, there were fewer critical electrics to go wrong,

I would actually pay good money for an overbuilt car. It wouldn't be the fastest or the most efficient, due to the weight, but it would last a long time. Iron block, iron head, beefy transmission, metal components instead of plastic, non-interference valve design, etc. But alas, cars just aren't built like that and no one but myself would buy one!
Given that Toyota have extended their warranty to ten years (if you service with them), surely this implies they have decided the majority of their vehicles and components will last this length of time?

Pica-Pica

8,216 posts

50 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
Sensei Rob said:
Interestingly, driving4answers on YouTube did an excellent video on this matter recently.

Basically, car manufacturers engineer cars using CAD to survive the warranty period. Plastics are used extensively to cut costs. This is done to ensure profitability.

Rewind back to the '90's, and CAD was not as advanced, so engineers used more robust thicknesses to be on the safe side. Also, there were fewer critical electrics to go wrong,

I would actually pay good money for an overbuilt car. It wouldn't be the fastest or the most efficient, due to the weight, but it would last a long time. Iron block, iron head, beefy transmission, metal components instead of plastic, non-interference valve design, etc. But alas, cars just aren't built like that and no one but myself would buy one!
Not so sure about that at all - with the exception of the electrics/electronics bit.

Burgerbob

371 posts

43 months

Tuesday 8th June
quotequote all
I've had my new to me, 3 year old, BMW for about a month now.

One morning it refused to open, just set the alarm off at 7am. 30 mins later it was fine.

Two days later the windscreen washer stopped working. Fixed under warranty but needed to take a wheel off, inner wheel arch etc just to clean a filter.

So far in 28 years of driving, this is my only 'german' car and it's shaping up to be the most unreliable car I've had.

BMW and other prestige brands probably to the unreliability charts for a reason!

(I do quite like my car, faults aside)


Mr Tidy

14,108 posts

93 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
That isn't a good start to your first BMW!

Shame about the washer issue - on older models the reservoir with pumps and filters was in the engine bay, but on later models it is in the front wing behind the wheel-arch liner. - progress? rolleyes

My first BMW was a 2004 E46 I bought in 2005 and I had no issues at all before I P/Exd it for a 2007 123d that I kept for over 6 years.

Only problems with that were a dying battery after 4 years and a starter motor after 6 years, but I think stop/start played a major part - and older models didn't have that!

Since then I've only had older BMWs (52, 56, 06, 56, 55 and 56 plates) and had minimal issues with them - so far anyway.

Given what I have read here and elsewhere I'll stick to my oldies - at least if there is a problem it's mechanical so easily spotted and fixed, without needing a geek with a laptop.




Sensei Rob

239 posts

45 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
Baldchap said:
Sensei Rob said:
Interestingly, driving4answers on YouTube did an excellent video on this matter recently.

Basically, car manufacturers engineer cars using CAD to survive the warranty period. Plastics are used extensively to cut costs. This is done to ensure profitability.

Rewind back to the '90's, and CAD was not as advanced, so engineers used more robust thicknesses to be on the safe side. Also, there were fewer critical electrics to go wrong,

I would actually pay good money for an overbuilt car. It wouldn't be the fastest or the most efficient, due to the weight, but it would last a long time. Iron block, iron head, beefy transmission, metal components instead of plastic, non-interference valve design, etc. But alas, cars just aren't built like that and no one but myself would buy one!
Given that Toyota have extended their warranty to ten years (if you service with them), surely this implies they have decided the majority of their vehicles and components will last this length of time?
Toyota have a reputation of reliability, so yes, it's reasonable to assume they've been engineered to last long past their warranty period.

I need to make a but of a correction with my previous statement. I said they've been engineered to survive their warranty period - what I meant to write was that they've been engineered to last what the manufacturers think is the life of the vehicle. With lease programmes and such, fewer vehicles are owned for the long term.

I'm sure someone has actual evidence on this, but compare a modern diesel to a late '90's diesel. No way can someone convince me that the newer stuff is more durable.

croyde

18,109 posts

196 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
I bought my e36 back in 1998 and sold it at the beginning of the year (Thanks to ULEZ expansion in London).

In 23 years I had a couple of punctures fixed by myself on the road and there's been the usual stuff that needed doing once booked into a garage ie new springs, bearings, brakes etc.

Let me down twice due to dead battery. Once after the first 9 years and the second at 22 years old.

Don't build them like that anymore smile

DMZ

143 posts

126 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
I’m sure the point was made already but given how complex cars are these days it’s amazing how reliable they are, particularly the electronics that need to withstand sitting outside in warm, cold, or damp conditions. On the drivetrain side of things, the emissions control is complex and then most things have turbos these days which is an additional massive complexity. Mind you, Toyota has managed to implement complex hybrid systems without much difficulty so there is clearly a way.

We’ll see how the switch to EVs alters things. Supposedly they have a fraction of the number of parts and this will surely improve reliability.

Jaguar steve

7,370 posts

176 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
croyde said:
Of all the cars I've ever owned, my most expensive one was the most unreliable. Twice it even broke down on a family holiday and had to be towed home.

Land Rover Discovery 3.

Of all my watches, mainly costing £50 or so, my most expensive one kept breaking down.

A Tag Heuer.

I now drive a Dacia Duster, £10.5k new, and wear an automatic watch from Argos, £20, which has been going strong for 10 years.

So the answer, keep it simple.
Absolutely.

Unnecessarily complex products and branded fashion accessories don't have to be good value or well made or reliable in the way that more utilitarian mainstream products do because they are marketed to appeal to those who are solely interested in the endless parade of trivia and style that lies within what's new rather than the proven practicality of what's best.

The further away you move from everyday products the more exposed you become to having your pants pulled down and given that today's fads and fashions are invariably nothing more than tomorrows landfill regarding your purchases in an objective manner and taking the view you have nothing to prove and therefore nothing to loose is the way forwards.

nickfrog

14,406 posts

183 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
Jaguar steve said:
Absolutely.

Unnecessarily complex products and branded fashion accessories don't have to be good value or well made or reliable in the way that more utilitarian mainstream products do because they are marketed to appeal to those who are solely interested in the endless parade of trivia and style that lies within what's new rather than the proven practicality of what's best.

The further away you move from everyday products the more exposed you become to having your pants pulled down and given that today's fads and fashions are invariably nothing more than tomorrows landfill regarding your purchases in an objective manner and taking the view you have nothing to prove and therefore nothing to loose is the way forwards.
Given how often you need to tell everyone that they're wrong in not following your lead, I could easily conclude that going for utilitarian tends to make people quite miserable.

But I won't as this is no more conclusive than Croyde's tiny sample size. My sample size is not much bigger but I have found that more expensive cars and watches have been utterly reliable so far, not that they have ever been anything other than mass produced "every day" products too anyway. And to be fair, even if they weren't, the extra cost of a warranty pales into insignificance in light of the benefits I get. And it really has nothing to do with fashion, fads, anything to prove or any of your perceived justification for going for cheap stuff. There is nothing wrong with going for cheapness. Conversely, you will have to eventually accept that, bizarre as it may sound on a driving enthusiast forum, different people have different budgets and preferences when it comes to cars or watches and not everyone is happy with just a Duster, Aygo or Casio (nothing wrong with those per se).

It's still not a binary world Steve.




Edited by nickfrog on Wednesday 9th June 08:50

jamei303

2,644 posts

122 months

Wednesday 9th June
quotequote all
BMWs get lots of punctures on motorways from driving over the hatched areas on slip roads which are usually full of debris.