Just found out that my current car will die any day now due to a known defect. It’s out of warranty and I have no money to replace it right now.

I’ve been cursed with car problems my whole life, no matter how well I take care of them, I keep getting screwed.

All of the cars have been Fords because I always heard they were generally dependable and cheap to repair/upkeep, but so far they have all failed me.

What cars do y’all recommend? What cars do you have that just won’t give up the ghost no matter how old/beat up they get? If your life depended on your car lasting as long as possible, what car would you drive?

I want whatever car I get next to last me 10-20 years. I want to be that person posting a picture of the odometer hitting 300k miles. I also don’t care much about features, reliability is key.

  • MxM111
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    848 months ago

    Don’t trust what people say from their individual stories. You need statistics of hundreds of cars, not single anecdotes. There must be sites that evaluate cars reliability, average spending on repairs and so on, model by model. Find those.

    • @theragu40@lemmy.world
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      428 months ago

      This is good advice in general.

      But the answer to this question is extremely well known across the internet and every thread that comes up will eventually boil down to the same two responses: Toyota and Honda as 1 and 1a.

      There isn’t some secret answer to find, those are just the answers. People will definitely come up with anecdotes supporting various other cars, but as these threads hit a certain mass of replies they invariably boil down to those two choices.

      They are not the flashiest cars, nor the most feature rich, nor the most efficient or most powerful. But if you want to buy a car that will just keep on running after years of minimal maintenance, often even after being abused during that time, a Toyota or Honda is what you should buy.

      • @Bye@lemmy.world
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        88 months ago

        And their daughter brands. Lexus = Toyota, Acura = Honda. For when you want something flashy.

        • @theragu40@lemmy.world
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          18 months ago

          No not perfect, certainly. And cars are definitely complex, and recalls are a normal and expected component of car ownership for most people. Watch for them, get them rectified.

          To be clear though, recalls are sort of outside what we are talking about when we are talking about reliable and long lasting cars. A recall is a known issue that the company addresses. It doesn’t mean the car won’t last.

          Toyota and Honda, while they have the normal minor issues any car might have, are absolutely head and shoulders over other makers when it comes to their cars simply lasting longer with less maintenance.

          Consumer reports is good for identifying which older models or vehicle have stood the test of time. I’m not sure it’s as useful for newer vehicles since it’s very hard to assess longevity of new models before there is data.

      • idunnololz
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        18 months ago

        Prius/Prius prime might not be the most efficient but it’s pretty damn good.

    • rhythmisaprancer
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      108 months ago

      If you really want a long lasting machine, listen to this person. So much nose in this thread. For example: Subarus, in fact, do not have reputation for being long lasting without major repairs. Most people do not keep a vehicle for 10+ years nor for 300k miles. I have a vehicle that is older than that with 30% more miles. As said above, an anecdote.

      Somebody keeps track of the cost of ownership over time. Perhaps a company, maybe a government agency.

      Good luck!

        • @theragu40@lemmy.world
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          98 months ago

          The average in the US is 12.5 years old.

          https://www.spglobal.com/mobility/en/research-analysis/average-age-of-light-vehicles-in-the-us-hits-record-high.html

          I think people’s impression of things is skewed because overall cars are much more reliable than they used to be. When I was a kid a car over 10 years old was something you expected to have issues, and certainly wanted to avoid buying. That’s not the case these days, and the huge numbers of functional older cars on the roads make us not realize just how many old vehicles are out there because they’re normalized.

          My car is 15 years old, my wife’s is 9. They’re both perfectly fine and they don’t feel old to us.

        • rhythmisaprancer
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          18 months ago

          I agree entirely with what you are saying, but that doesn’t change what I said about how long people keep the same car. I suspect we are in the midst of the length of ownership increasing, but not to 10-20 years on average.

      • @Ecology8622
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        8 months ago

        Spent 10k on a 2014 Subaru Outback with 120k miles, headgasket leak. First and only owner. Whats even worse is brake error light after spending that much. Carmaxed that junk. I will never ever buy a Subaru. Replaced it with a Honda.

    • @spider@lemmy.nz
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      78 months ago

      There must be sites that evaluate cars reliability, average spending on repairs and so on, model by model. Find those.

      In the U.S., that would be Consumer Reports magazine, available at most public libraries.

      • @Wrayth@lemmy.world
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        38 months ago

        This one is my favorite and was super helpful last time I was looking for a car. You can see trends year over year in the same generation, so like if the first 2 years of a 4 year run had some chronic issue that was fixed for the last 2, that sticks out.

        • Jay
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          18 months ago

          Yup, the only real gripe I have is a small percentage of the complaints seem to be more user error than design flaw, but that’s to be expected from any review site.

      • @CmdrShepard@lemmy.one
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        08 months ago

        This whole comment reads like an advertisement for a porn site to someone who doesn’t speak German.

    • @bulletshurtmenot@lemmy.world
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      218 months ago

      A Corolla or Camry’s lifespan is measured in decades, not years. I occasionally just whisper “oil change” to my Corolla while driving and it makes happy engine noises and just keeps going. They might not be flashy and there’s certainly cars out there with more features but if you’re looking for a car that “just works” and you (almost) can’t kill, get a Toyota.

      Honda too I guess although I can’t speak to them specifically.

    • Jay
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      98 months ago

      Pretty much the only thing that will stop them is rust. They’ll disintegrate long before the motors give up if taken care of properly.

    • @PerogiBoi@lemmy.ca
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      68 months ago

      Fully agree with Toyota and Honda with the exception of the 2019 and other same gen versions of the Honda Civic. There is a known defect with the air conditioning system that causes leaks even after repairs and results in a failed AC system. My brother has been plagued with this issue and unofficially Honda acknowledges it but will fight like hell to pretend it doesn’t exist.

        • @PerogiBoi@lemmy.ca
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          28 months ago

          Ya that’s the only issue he’s had but in 40+ degrees it’s rather unbearable and pretty bad considering the issue arose within the first year of ownership and regular use.

      • @QuarterSwede@lemmy.world
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        38 months ago

        Honda is known for crap AC systems unfortunately. No one wants to really acknowledge it but it’s true. I had mine replaced 3x and it still stopped working. Sold it just because you can’t drive an oven and live.

        • @PerogiBoi@lemmy.ca
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          28 months ago

          Ouch ya checks out with my brothers car. Had to get it fixed 3 times now. He’s looking to offload it to another unfortunate soul.

    • @QuarterSwede@lemmy.world
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      48 months ago

      Just remember, Toyota and Honda may be gold tier for reliability but they still issue recalls too. They’re also overpriced by $5K-$10K because of their reputations.

      • @MrsDoyle@lemmy.world
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        48 months ago

        I don’t see recalls as a problem - they find an issue, they fix it for everyone, for free. The three times my Toyota hybrid was recalled it was back to me the next day, not only washed, but with the interior cleaned as well. They were mainly software fixes I think. The car’s now 12 years old and still bowling along just fine.

      • @Death_Equity@lemmy.world
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        48 months ago

        2014 and newer Mazdas are good but the infotainment may need replacing or repair on 2014-2018s due to the screen delamination usually from being parked outside. Prior to that, you need to be specific about what model. The engines and transmissions have always been bulletproof so long as they are kept wet, except for the Mazdaspeed and CX-7 turbo needing an oil restrictor.

        Suzuki are cheap cars that need cheap fixes and will keep running as long as you keep fluids in them. I’d never buy one unless I couldn’t buy a Honda, Toyota, Mazda, or American V8.

      • @QuarterSwede@lemmy.world
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        28 months ago

        Mazda’s are very reliable, especially ones built in Japan. The newer ones have excellent designs, equaling luxury brands on the newest and are still fun to drive. More importantly they’re still inexpensive to fix.

  • Pons_Aelius
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    8 months ago

    I have had mazadas and toyotas run for decades with zero problems but they are also decades old and may not be reflective of the current quality of the cars. See: BMW and Mercedes. they used to be quality in the 20th century, now they are a bit shit.

  • @Ilovethebomb
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    198 months ago

    I’m currently driving a company owned Toyota corolla Fielder, with a cool quarter million KMs on the clock, 260-something thousand to be exact.

    Toyota have a legendary reputation for reliability, for good reason.

  • @Azal@pawb.social
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    198 months ago

    My mechanic buddies all swear by Toyota, the Prius is rated the kind of car least likely to seen in a shop and pretty much any other Toyota is bullet proof.

    Flipside, I will never own a Nissan. Worked at an auto auction for 6 months as an inspector. One thing that was hammered on us is check engine oil even before it went to the auctions mechanic for sludge. The reason it was hammered so hard is because it was a problem. Only with Nissans. In 6 months, hundreds of cars a day, Nissans were the only ones with the engine sludge issue.

    • @Acters@lemmy.world
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      48 months ago

      The new prius body style is better than before. I hated how their previous models look.

      I would recommend electric vehicles too. Even a used electric car will likely need the 12v lead acid battery changed. But the whole car is super sound and reliable from less moving parts. The bolt ev is fast, and the range is long enough for most people. I would only suggest an ev if you can keep it plugged in at home, and since most people live in apartments, the prius is the better choice.

      • @bradorsomething@ttrpg.network
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        28 months ago

        Oh good point, I have a hybrid and just did a road trip this weekend because I wanted to cycle the gas tank after 3 months driving around town.

  • Random_Character_A
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    198 months ago

    +1 for Toyota Corolla

    I’ve got -06 model with 225000km (140000mi) on the meter. Outside basic maintenance the only problem it has had was that the ABS timing ring snapped. It cost about 80€ at the local shop to clean the spot and weld it whole again.

    • @Neil
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      28 months ago

      deleted by creator

    • Semi-Hemi-Demigod
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      48 months ago

      2WD cars can do some amazing stuff, especially because the Prius is heavy because of the batteries and has more traction as a result

    • @mjsaber@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      38 months ago

      I agree completely. I have a 2009 that I got second hand, just passed 7 years and I’ve only had minor repairs in addition to regular maintenance.

      One caveat - if you have to park on the street, invest in a cage for your catalytic converter. Mine and literally everyone else I know who has a Prius had theirs stolen. That’s the biggest expense I’ve had with mine.

  • @braiseit420@lemmy.ca
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    8 months ago

    You know what “Ford” stands for, eh?

    Fix It Again, Tony.

    But to add something to the conversation, my vote goes to Toyota and Honda.

    Anecdotally: Had a 1999 Corolla that I drove into the ground, ignored oil changes, was a stupid teen, and it ran fine until I wanted automatic windows. Currently riding in a Nissan Altima, which seems to be pretty great (as long as the transmission doesn’t fail, which they can do sometimes).

    Parents had a Ford Eacort that was a lemon, and a Ford Escape that was a money-pit.

    • @dingus@lemmy.world
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      8 months ago

      Idk… I’ve had my Escape since 2015 and it hasn’t been a money pit. There was one massive issue it had with a cable for the transmission snapping, but it ended up being a recall so I was completely refunded the money it cost to fix it. I’m not saying they are necessarily the best, but it’s been fine for me is all.

      I think with any of these questions, picking a specific brand seems silly. Hell, even a specific model isn’t always a good idea because some of the models made in a specific year might be shit and the next year they might be great. You have to do a lot more research in depth rather than just blindly picking a brand imo.

  • @DogMuffins@discuss.tchncs.de
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    168 months ago

    Flawed premise.

    You don’t care about brands generally, you only care about the car you buy specifically.

    Every brand / model has good and bad cars. If you’re unlucky enough to get a shit one, it doesn’t really help you if people swear by that brand.

    Just figure out the format (SUV, hatch, etc), then your budget, then buy the lowest kms you can.

  • Travalaaaaaaanche!
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    158 months ago

    Don’t get a jeep! Ours developed a heart defect 2 weeks before we paid it off. Turns out, it’s a known issue that Jeep just doesn’t care about addressing because “loyal” owners will just replace it (meaning the whole engine), and often do.

    • @QuarterSwede@lemmy.world
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      8 months ago

      It’s not just Jeep, it’s any FCA/Stellantis vehicle with the 3.6L Pentastar engine. If you know it’ll develop a head gasket leak after 100K and replace it ($5K) before it does, you won’t have another problem with it. If you don’t, it’ll total the engine ($15K). Happened to me. I hope there’s a class action law suit honestly.

    • donuts
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      38 months ago

      As someone who kind of likes the idea of owning a Wrangler, this disappoints me to no end. :(

      • @redcalcium@lemmy.institute
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        28 months ago

        You can always swap the engine with a honda vtec engine, but in doing so you’ll trigger the ire of other jeep owners who’ll complain about the lack of torque at low rpm on honda engines.

  • @djmarcone@lemm.ee
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    148 months ago

    Toyota or lexus are most reliable, Honda (Acura) is a close 2nd. After that it isn’t even close.

    Yes ford’s aren’t all bad, especially their international designs are not bad.

    After Toyota and Honda the reliable cars to buy are going to be specific models and specific years, you’re going to have to find the many youtube mechanic commentary videos “buy this not that” and do your research.

    It may be that rather than buying the most reliable vehicle you avoid buying one of the known worst vehicles. I’ve been there and now I own 2 Toyotas and a Honda.

    And it goes without saying, before you buy anything have it inspected by an impartial mechanic you trust.

    You will see that Toyotas cost a lot more than other cars. It’s because the cheaper cars end up costing thousands more in the long run because of the many repairs you’re going to have to do. Pay now or pay later.

  • @Pantherina@feddit.de
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    138 months ago

    I am not native and wanted to say I always swear on SUVs, Pickups and unnecessarily loud or stupid cars.

    Dont get one of those, please.

  • @callouscomic@lemm.ee
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    8 months ago

    Honda, Toyota, Subaru. Specific models with high sales and as such high parts availability. I’d avoid new models or low sales. It’ll be harder to pick-n-pull parts. The prius claims to be low maintenance and I believe it based on experience. Most issues I’ve had with those brands have been fixable and not too soul crushing. Even the worst prius issue i ever had with a stuck coolant valve I was able to fix myself wigh youtube vids.

    Of course this comes with the caveat that you take care of your vehicle. Don’t drive like a moron being harsh on it, perform regular maintenance at proper intervals, do your fluid and filter checks and changes, don’t swing for only cheap products, use full synthetic oil when you can. Use higher quality oil, air, cabin, etc filters within reason. Follow the manual. Set maintenance reminders for yourself. Don’t add unnecessary performance mods. Don’t go to jiffy lube. Be skeptical of mechanics that will screw up your car. Check their work when you can, or do it all yourself. If your car allows it, use better fuels.

    Reliable doesn’t equal zero maintenance or zero cost.

    On that note. Michelin tires are worth it. Cheap tires are cheap and get replaced more. Tire performance under braking is perhaps the most important safety feature. I’ve never been disappointed by Michelin for performance, safety, or life. Worth every penny every time.

    By the way, if you want some fun, go to the car dealer area of your town on random days and check out their service departments. I laugh every time I see places like Hyundai packed in the waiting room.

    • @Hazzia@discuss.tchncs.de
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      8 months ago

      I second Subaru. On top of them generally lasting really long if you maintain them well, their ads about safety aren’t lying.

      An anecdotal story: One of my coworkers has a Subaru family, and at one point his son was driving and got T-boned by a semi on the drivers side. He walked away with just a few scrapes and bruises. The only person who wasn’t shocked by the story was the Subaru dealer when they went to find a replacement car. Apparently that surviving that kind of incident is pretty normal for people in Subarus.

      ETA: If long-term reliability is the only concern, Toyota is def the one you should go with. If you’re at all concerned about a catastrophic accident though, Subaru is still the king of safety, from what I’ve seen on the interwebs. Looks like Toyota’s doing its best to catch up though, so maybe they’ll be the best choice for that, too, in a couple of years.

      • @MaungaHikoi@lemmy.nz
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        28 months ago

        My mum swears by Subaru cars as well for the same reason - she walked away from what should have been a fatal accident without hospitalisation.