Home » It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Tell Us About A Car That Fought You Every Step Of The Way

It’s Wrenching Wednesday! Tell Us About A Car That Fought You Every Step Of The Way

Ww Hard Time Ts
ADVERTISEMENT

Howdy! This is exclusive member content. If you want to become a member please do so here.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
37 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
11 days ago

My 05 Ford Mondeo. No matter what I was replacing it was rusty and a bitch to the work with. Also, shortly after replacing one thing another fault would follow.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
12 days ago

The first car I bought was a ’71 Fiat 128. It had some problem with the transmission I don’t remember. But, while doing that work, the “mechanic” scratched the shift rod (probably handling it with a pair of pliers). The result was that when attempting to shift into reverse, the transmission would stick in second. It would luckily start in second, so I could get around in this condition, but travelling from UC Davis across the I80 causeway to Sacramento at 25MPH max was a challenge. After taking it back to the “mechanic” a couple of times, I asked what needed to happen to get the shift rod back into proper place. All that was needed was to physically push the shift rod. So, I took off the transmission cover plate, drilled a nail-sized hole in the cover in the right location and plugged it with a self-tapping screw. I kept a nail on the dashboard and carried a multi-tool so I could push the rod back and get back on the road. I sold it with the nail on the dashboard without explaining it (I still feel bad about that). I did get a call a week or so later, but it was about paperwork, not the transmission.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
12 days ago

Overheating in my ’67 VW squareback which I have owned since ’78. It has about 350k miles on it and several engines. It would overheat which vaporized fuel in the fuel line causing starvation and lean running and overheating. I fought the overheating for a very, very long time.

I needed a rebuilt engine a few years ago, so while that was happening I finally decided to dig into the dual carbs. I have had two extra pairs of carbs for decades, so dug into the factory specs and jet sizing etc. Turns out that the carbs in the car when I bought it were for a later VW bus and too large for the stock-sized 1600 dual port engine. Mixing and matching parts from the three pairs of carbs I managed to find the proper carbs, and the proper jets (different left and right). Installed them and it ran great! However just a months later I shut down the car and started a restoration (that has slowed to a snail-paced crawl).

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
13 days ago

My 2013 RAV4 doesn’t break often. But it’s a royal pain every time it does. Last issue was the water pump with a factory cross-threaded bolt in the spot with the least access. Not much room to run a tap into that hole. Still was able to properly torque it down to 20 ft/lbs. Rear shocks are a PITA, too. Thankfully a steady diet of Fluid Film helps keep that hardware intact.

Rick Garcia
Rick Garcia
13 days ago

My B5 S4. Everything was difficult. After a while it was amazing how quickly I could remove the front of the car, because you had to do that to do anything. If a part was cheap, it was buried. It you got lucky and it was easy to fix, the part was stupid expensive for what it was. I had to pull the motor and trans from that car 5 times. That being said, I sure did learn how to do a lot thanks to that car.

3WiperB
3WiperB
13 days ago

It’s still fighting me, but I hope to eventually win. I can’t get my stupid front brakes on my MGB to not scream like a Banshee after they heat up. They stop fine, but it’s pretty embarrassing to have squealing brakes like that (at least I think it’s embarrassing.). I have been fighting it for multiple years. I’ve changed rotors twice (it now has drilled and slotted rotors on a car with double digit HP), pads 3 times, many types of anti-squeal stuff, and now I just ordered new calipers. I did read last night that if the caliper pistons are not in the right orientation, that can cause this. They don’t squeal when they are cold. I’m to the point that I can change the pads on this car in about 30 minutes because I’ve done it so often. But since changing the piston orientation will likely require another complete disassembly and removal of the calipers (which are only about 2 years old), I just ordered a new set, since it was $100 for the pair. Figured I’ll put a set on the shelf.

Musicman27
Musicman27
12 days ago
Reply to  3WiperB

My dad is fixing my uncle-in-law’s MGB. He’s fixing it and putting in a DCOE carb (apparently no one has done this before, or they didn’t say anything about it) It’s been in our garage for 6 months.

3WiperB
3WiperB
12 days ago
Reply to  Musicman27

Nice. I’m surprised noone has done that before. There seem to be all kinds of carb swaps that have been done out there. I’m still running the original Zenith Stromburg, which is not great, but mine seems OK and I’m mostly scared to mess with it because I don’t understand carb adjustment and I don’t want to make things worse.

Clark B
Clark B
13 days ago

My fiancees previous car, a 2009 Ford Fusion V6. He had it before we met, and literally the first time I got behind the wheel the check engine light came on. Misfires. Went to replace a coil pack and the spark plugs (whole damn intake has to come off for that), and somehow broke the bolt that held one of the coil packs on. And some brittle plastic coolant pipe broke so I had to rig up a fix for that. Didn’t solve the problem. Replaced the throttle body twice, finally ran right again.

Every year or so after that the same thing would happen. Misfires, CEL, limp mode. Tried multiple throttle bodies and that didn’t fix it. Turns out the throttle body connector was broken, some ford-specific type I hadn’t seen before. I had used a hose clamp to hold the connector in place, something I’ve done multiple times on German cars, rather than replace the connector. Never had any issues, but that’s what the problem was. Got that fixed.

Other ways that car made me miserable: the sunroof broke and the glass was completely loose. The radio aerial started leaking into the car and filled up the rear dome light with water. The rear defroster stopped working. It leaked power steering fluid. Then, everything all at once. It needed both axles, control arm bushings, tie rods, tires, valve cover gaskets, was burning and leaking oil, and was misfiring AGAIN. And compression was all over the place, with one cylinder only reading 70psi. I think he must have ran it low on oil at some point. All of this before 160k miles.

We finally gave up and he got himself a 2018 Mazda3 hatch, which has required nothing but oil/filter changes since he got it three years ago.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
13 days ago

My 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS. I bought the car out of south Texas, but it spent the first 10 years in the rust belt, and it made me suffer because of it. Literally every bolt required copious amounts of penetrating oil and the torch to get loose. It wouldn’t have been too bad of a problem had things not been constantly breaking. I ended up having enough of it and selling it to the son of a family friend who wanted a project car. Six months later he told me I could have the car back, because it is was just too much of a chore to keep on the road. I declined to let the Stockholm syndrome take hold and told him to keep the car, and I remember that each time I get wistful and feel a bit of regret for selling the car.

Richard Truett
Richard Truett
13 days ago

1973 Triumph Stag.
Such a beautiful car, but holy cow what a mechanical mess.
And yet, once the stars aligned and I got it running well, the engine sounded beautiful.
Until it didn’t.
See, something went wrong and metal filings or improper machining at rebuild time, chewed up the crank and main bearings after 700 miles.
It is an incredible amount of work to remove and install a Stag engine. Essentially it goes in the engine bay vertically and then you maneuver it into place, slowly, painfully, frustratingly.
I had six Stags. The last one got a TR6 engine and was a very nice car. But I’d never do another Stag.

Huja Shaw
Huja Shaw
13 days ago

My buddy and I were wrenching his 1984 VW Rabbit that had been passed down from his mother, sister, brother and then finally to him. We were working on the suspension and we had to pull out the spring and shock as a unit. We discovered that we needed a special tool to compress the spring to gain access to the shock – the part that needed to be replace. My buddy’s brother had some cheapo threaded clamps that we used to compress the spring. It looked like two metal eagle talons facing each other, threaded on a long bolt. We cranked that thing until the bolt started to bend under the force of the springs. At that point we decided to take it to the local parts shop. We put it in my trunk and started to drive off. I made a hard turn and heard and my friend shouted, “Hey, EASY! If the clamp gives, that thing will punch a hole in your car! We get to the parts shop, put this thing on the counter top and the guy working there looked at saw the bent bolt, shook his head and said, I’m not touching that thing. I think in the end, he paid a mechanic to sort it out.

Huja Shaw
Huja Shaw
13 days ago
Reply to  Huja Shaw

We later had to replace a brake line. Then learn to drive it without a third gear because another friend who was learning to drive a stick fucked that up. At some point the windshield got cracked and had to do the Ace Ventura to drive it. Right before we headed off to college he called to get the car hauled away. The guy who came said if it started, he’d give him $100. If it didn’t, he’d charge him $50. The Rabbit turned over and went out a champ.

Abe Froman
Abe Froman
13 days ago

About a decade ago my wife and I were expecting our second child. In a momentary lapse of reason, I turned in my leased Kia and bought a 1st gen CR-V from a BHPH lot, cash. My thought process was sound- reduce monthly expenditures (car payment) with the bay on the way. I was driving 100 miles daily round trip for work and I thought this would be a great commuter vehicle.

My first mistake was doing this transaction while my wife was at work. She was displeased to say the least.

A month later, I had to replace the tires.

Shortly thereafter, during a panic stop, I rear ended the car in front of me. The nose was punched in and the exhaust pipe broke so it sounded like a straight pipe while driving- but it was driveable! I took it to my mechanic who pulled the nose out as best he could and put a new exhaust on it.

Another month went by and I was driving on a two lane road at about 55mph. I went over an expansion joint for a bridge and the driver side ball joint broke. The force pulled the wheel from my hands and took me into the ditch on the other side of the road. Called my wife (who was pissed) and had it towed to my mechanic.

The next morning my Wife and I went to the Mazda dealer and got a new 3. I didn’t have the CR-V there for trade, but they agreed to buy it for 2K provided I drove it to the lot within 24 hours. My mechanic “fixed” the ball joint issue and I drove with the hazards on at 20mph for 10 miles to the dealer. They drove it around the lot and cut me a check for 2K.

I never looked back.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
13 days ago
Reply to  Abe Froman

Your wife being pissed that you got into a crash is not a good sign.

Abe Froman
Abe Froman
13 days ago

Thankfully we have moved on, but for years when she needed to make a point: “remember that time you bought a pile of trash car while I was at work, and then it fell apart while you were driving it? Or do you want to talk about how much money that decision cost us?”

Musicman27
Musicman27
12 days ago
Reply to  Abe Froman

It sucks to be cheap. You get the cheap option because it’s cheaper, but while either maintaining or replacing it, you pay more than the expensive option was in the first place!

Hamish48
Hamish48
13 days ago

1969 Fiat 850 Spyder – those who make snide remarks about the legendarily bad Lucas electrics on British cars have never had to contemplate what happens when a group of Italian engineers wires up a car. A total nightmare, much frustrating down time crawling around the car with flashlights. Loved he car but dumped it fast.

Jim Stock
Jim Stock
13 days ago

back in the mid to late 1990s I had a 70 jeepster commando. It leaked everything. I pulled the gas tank like 7 times for patches. eventually (poor at the time) had it professionally fixed. The radiator leaked from the upper hose connection. The damn 2 part front driveshaft was messed up and I had to rig a bearing carrier for it. Had to have the distributor repaired. It tried to kill me on the highway once when all the front driver’s lug nuts were 1/4 turn from off. The headlights would just stop working when driving at night. It had typical jeep heat and defrost so when I drove it at -30 oF to work I would icescrape the inside of the window as I drove and dressed like on an arctic expedition. It was my 3rd 4wd and my 1st jeep and I loved it off road. It was terrifying on the highway.

DaChicken
DaChicken
13 days ago

Of the cars I still have, the top spot for the biggest PITA is the 86 Corvette. It used to be my Dad’s. He bought it as a fixer upper that had been significantly modified by various “tooner” shops (SuperRam, 383, headers, etc). When it’s running it’s nice but, man, all those aftermarket engine parts are borderline garbage quality and the people that did the work don’t belong in that business. The intake is a PITA to keep sealed, the big-name shop that did the cam/head work spec’ed the wrong valve springs so it used to break springs fairly often, the headers are POSs that make normal maintenance ridiculously difficult, etc.

My Dad and I had to research and redo so much stuff on there over the years it’s crazy. When my Dad passed away, I got the car and have been continuing the tradition of trying to keep it running well. This car made me swear to never buy a modded car, even if it was done by some big name shop.

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
13 days ago

None.

Because cars are inanimate objects with no will or agency of their own.

Project problems do not originate from the project but from bad troubleshooting, a lack of planning, patience, or experience, which creates a situation in which things depart from the original plan.

And when that happens you adjust the plan.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
13 days ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

You never had a car that just went south regardless of well maintained it was and ended being series of failures? Lucky you 🙂

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
13 days ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

I have never had a CAR do anything.

I have had projects where I did not plan things well or underestimated the task at hand.

Musicman27
Musicman27
12 days ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

So you never owned a Ford eh?

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
12 days ago
Reply to  Musicman27

Several.
A cars brand has ZERO effect on how difficult it is to repair.

Musicman27
Musicman27
12 days ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

It affects the frequency though… Ford basically personifies Arrest-me-reds comment.

notoriousDUG
notoriousDUG
12 days ago
Reply to  Musicman27

Maybe your Ford does but that is not my experience.
All cats are basically the same.

Musicman27
Musicman27
12 days ago
Reply to  notoriousDUG

Either you have access to dark magic, or you buy a new car every couple of years. after the warranty expires is when cars shine (or don’t)

Jatkat
Jatkat
13 days ago

I had a 90 F250 that would randomly cut out. I had done some reasearch, apparently the symptoms were close to the distributor ignition control module. I worked at a parts store at the time, so I replaced it with one of theirs. Same problem. Replaced the entire ignition system, including distributor (which also had a new module) same problem. Did a warranty replacement on the distributor, SAME PROBLEM. I was running out of ideas. On a whim, grabbed a module from a wrecked junkyard truck, boom. Immediate fix. LESSON LEARNED: Don’t bother with parts store stuff, especially electrical.

Jatkat
Jatkat
13 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

I could fill a book with my own personal experience with bad out of box parts, not even counting the countless customer returns I dealt with.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
13 days ago
Reply to  Jatkat

Yep, I replaced my old, broken Alternator with a new/rebuilt broken alternator!!!!
I was so pissed off!!! ┗(`o ´)┓

Staffma
Staffma
13 days ago

1970 Buick Skylark- bought as a running/driving car that supposedly only needed a fuel pump.
Turns out it needed one of everything, cooling system, engine, transmission, rear end, brakes, suspension, wiring, fuel lines, brake lines. Every bolt had to be heated or cut off/replaced. Not to mention the functional rust repair to the still very crusty body. Currently the last 3 remaining original parts are the steering box, rag joint and headlight wiring. And I’m having issues with all of them. Only 25 days until I’m supposed to leave for Hot Rod Power Tour and still have to break in the new rear end. Yay…

10001010
10001010
13 days ago

I had my Tacoma for 13 years and 327K miles and over that time had to do plenty of work but it always cooperated. Over that time I replaced the front brakes a dozen times, had the head off twice for valve jobs, did the rear main seal, alternator, AC compressor, fuel pump, other such with no trouble. All bolts and such just came right off and back on.

Then I bought another car and decided to sell the Tacoma. It had the CEL illuminated with P0420 like it always did. This was the 4th or 5th time I’d gone through this so I would just drop the exhaust from the manifold and take it to the muffler shop for them to replace the cat (again). Done this plenty of times with no drama but now the Taco knew it was being replaced and decided to make it difficult. The exhaust was connected to the manifold with a collar and 3 bolts. I’d loosened these bolts plenty of times before but this time I put the wrench on the first bolt, gave it a little twist, and <<PING>> it broke right off. So, I remove the other two and take the exhaust off and try to extract the broken bolt from the manifold and <<PING>> the extractor broke off in the broken bolt. I spent the next couple of weeks under there chipping that damn thing out so I could put the exhaust back on and sell it.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
13 days ago

My 1990 Taurus SHO. On paper it ticked all the boxes, 5 spd, 3.0 Mitsubishi Engine, fully loaded.

Then I learned it has ABS and used custom drive shafts that didn’t exist, constant rebuilds. Then the engine starting acting up, blowing stream, catching on fire. Then the radiator exploded. No rebuilds existed so had to get the OEM.

Every trip to the mechanic as 3000+ for a car I paid 4500 for.

The final straw was when an honest mechanic pointed the car had been in a serious front end collision bending the frame/body.

He fixed it up enough to make it to a dealer to get a good, if not boring car.

When it was running it was fun to drive, but that was rare.

Jsloden
Jsloden
13 days ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Man, that really sucks for you. I also had a 90 taurus sho and it never had a problem the entire time I had it other than a couple of oil leaks. It sounds like you really had a bad mechanic. A couple of corrections to your statements. The engine was built by yamaha, not mitsubishi. It doesn’t have driveshafts, it has axles being fwd and you can get them for as liittle as $35. Sounds like you ignored a low coolant or leaking coolant situation. Radiators can be purchased for as little as $100.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
13 days ago
Reply to  Jsloden

I had no warning on the coolant, driving to work and white smoke everywhere.

I owned it over 20 years ago so some detail slipped. At the time parts were hard to come by. The accident was the true issue I believe.

Well before Carfax and fixed under the table. The title search was clean.

If I find one in good shape and I have the money…. 🙂

Jsloden
Jsloden
13 days ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Gotcha, I always liked the 89-91 better than the later ones, 92-95. I had one about 5 years ago. Had 65k miles on it. Fortunately, like I said, I only had to fix a couple of oil leaks. I went ahead and did the timing belt job as well. Fortunately I didn’t have to replace the clutch, which I heard they like to go through.

37
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x