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’secodiesel ranks pretty high. That’s an engine failure problem though, so maybesome less intense issues are worth looking into. This is a list of some unfairissues that crop up with certain vehicles, problems that just plain shouldn’tbe happening for any number of reasons. These go beyond the run of the mill,mediocre annoyances that sometimes happen, like a brake light ground shortingon the frame of the car. Some of these drivers would pray for a problem likethat.

OK, this isn’t too severe but it’s certainly a fairlyannoying 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 wouldcease 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 alternatepieces of trim and a new dual exhaust system, is both hilarious and ripematerial for berating the car. The mighty Bullitt reduced to a sentence ofsitting in the shade for hours while the window’s motor cooled down. What’smore 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 NissanFrontier. Several drivers are reporting transmission problems with their 2005Nissan Frontiers, equipped with the 4.0-liter V6 engine. Some issues are prettysevere. In one instance, the radiator cracked and coolant found its way intothe transmission, shorting electronics and rendering the car useless. Nissanwanted almost $8,000 to replace the transmission, and wanted to replace theradiator 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 thatallows this kind of issue to occur deserves recalls.

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

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

Jettas have earned a rather negative reputation for being thekind of car where everything breaks except for the engine. Not to throw VWunder the bus, but after looking at recall history and user reports, it’ssomewhat warranted. In the way of the 2006 Jetta, looking at just one problemraises a red flag, and a big one at that. The 2006 Jetta had a problem whereone of the fuel hose clamps was in an awkward position where chaffing couldoccur. If it did, the fuel line could leak and cause a fire. What could itchafe 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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