Editorial

5 Car Issues Too Severe To Ignore

Beware of these problems when purchasing these vehicles.

By now everyone’s heard of some fairly ridiculous problem that can happen to cars. Among them, the cam gear slippage of Chrysler’s ecodiesel ranks pretty high. That’s an engine failure problem though, so maybe some less intense issues are worth looking into. This is a list of some unfair issues that crop up with certain vehicles, problems that just plain shouldn’t be happening for any number of reasons. These go beyond the run of the mill, mediocre annoyances that sometimes happen, like a brake light ground shorting on the frame of the car. Some of these drivers would pray for a problem like that.

OK, this isn’t too severe but it’s certainly a fairly annoying problem to deal with. The early 2000s Mustangs faced an issue where, if you drove in the sun too long with the driver’s side window down, it would cease to rise. Experiencing this problem first hand with the owner of a 2001 Mustang Bullitt, a special version of the GT that came with various alternate pieces of trim and a new dual exhaust system, is both hilarious and ripe material for berating the car. The mighty Bullitt reduced to a sentence of sitting in the shade for hours while the window’s motor cooled down. What’s more funny is, this was a known problem and other people experienced the same window problem, and even for different reasons.

Back to a more light-hearted issue, we come to the Nissan Frontier. Several drivers are reporting transmission problems with their 2005 Nissan Frontiers, equipped with the 4.0-liter V6 engine. Some issues are pretty severe. In one instance, the radiator cracked and coolant found its way into the transmission, shorting electronics and rendering the car useless. Nissan wanted almost $8,000 to replace the transmission, and wanted to replace the radiator as well. That might be a ludicrous amount of money to fix something, but what’s more insane is the fact that it happened at all. A platform that allows this kind of issue to occur deserves recalls.

This problem is less funny. It happened when the owner of a Cayman was driving on the highway, and when he went to use the brakes they suddenly weren’t there. Imagine driving 80-90 miles per hour in a beautiful mid-2000s Cayman and suddenly there are no more brakes. This particular driver deduced, after several visits to various mechanics, that it was a brake sensor that had failed. Electronics are good for efficiency and weight saving, but when something like this is possible it calls the confidence of the technology heavily into question. Upon further investigation, other people have experienced various braking issues when it comes to the Cayman.

This problem only had one driver report it, at least to the Carcomplaints website. As a mediocre problem, it’s somewhere in the middle, but as a nerve wracking problem it sits pretty high. The problem is with a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, and the owner of the Cobalt described the experience as a “poltergeist.” They would be driving, and suddenly, as they described, the passenger side airbag would engage and disengage at random. Occasionally the light would come on, sending the driver into a brief panic. Only after having the ECU flashed and replaced, the turbo system overhauled, and the seats ripped out, tht the problem was traced back to some loose wires which were duly mended.

Jettas have earned a rather negative reputation for being the kind of car where everything breaks except for the engine. Not to throw VW under the bus, but after looking at recall history and user reports, it’s somewhat warranted. In the way of the 2006 Jetta, looking at just one problem raises a red flag, and a big one at that. The 2006 Jetta had a problem where one of the fuel hose clamps was in an awkward position where chaffing could occur. If it did, the fuel line could leak and cause a fire. What could it chafe against? A small plastic tab on the windshield wiper fluid reservoir. This problem affected over 220,000 vehicles, according to Carcomplaints.com.

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