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Consumer reports, JD Power, and others like to come out with reports on reliability. Fine. But what about a list of what ACTUALLY is considered a problem.

Vehicles like ST Corndogs Tacoma, which by any measure may be one of the most reliable vehicles made, do have a low number of problems reported. BUT...they honestly don't have near as many tech items or options that might be a issue to start with either.

For instance, bring your new car back to the dealer because your phone won't sync up with the cars hands free system? Well, that is a reported problem and goes on the reliability report for these research firms. Even when it is most often user error. I have seen cars brought in for lights on the dash being on. For low tire pressure, door ajar, low windshield washer fluid. On and on and on. Are these problems? Of course I have seen them come in on a flatbed wrecker due to quit running too!

There has to be a way to break down WHAT is failing on these vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Paint, we don't need no stinking paint. Mine was grey, but most of the clear coat on the hood and roof is gone now. It never was garaged, rarely washed, and never waxed. It was my work truck, but I retired it and switched to a lower mileage Camry I picked up cheap.
That sounds like my last Grand Marquis (long story). The clearcoat started abandoning ship after only about 10 years, which was a little disappointing!

Amazingly, I still have clearcoat where I still have the color layer, on the '98 GMQ. The issue is that the color layer has elected to detach from the primer, in places.

If it were a "work" vehicle I wouldn't care, as long as it didn't start rusting.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
User error can certainly impact JD Power rankings, which is one reason I don't put much stock on them.

Consumer Reports used to run long-term reliability studies and get into the nitty gritty of what actually went wrong. I don't know whether they're doing that still, and it looks like I'll have to subscribe (if only temporarily) to find out. I suppose it's a cost of doing biz, like pulling a Carfax.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
FWIW, there are salvage titles and there are salvage titles. Was discussing this with a co-worker who has a bit of a fleet at home (2 pickups plus daily driver, a sporty car).

If it's "salvage" due to purely cosmetic damage, such as hail, that's one thing.

Then again you have cars that have been run into something, sometimes more for once.

Getting a discount due to "salvage" title without there actually being anything wrong with the car (it was repaired properly or it was only hail damage) can be done, but it's a dangerous game and I'm not so eager to play it at this time.
 

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Anyone care to talk me out of buying a 2014 Ford Fusion?

Old car is old and past its usefulness. Too many old-car-problems. Paint falling off, etc.

Got to have something. It's not really practical to get groceries on the Vstrom.
We have owned 3 Ford Fusions, my favorite of the 3 was the 2012 Ford Fusion SEL AWD. Was fully loaded, awesome car ! If you can get a good deal on the older generation with the AWD and the V6 its' one awesome car! We traded it in around 160k on it and 0 issues beyond wear and tear items,the interior door latch breaking and one of the heated seats stopped working. . The other 2 we own are both 2018's. My wifes has around 30k and mine has around 19k. we bought them both on the same day and they are equiped the same, both SE model 4 cylinders with tech package as the only option. We have had 0 issues with either car but I should hope so with the mileage on them :) If I could do it over again, i'd have kept the 2012 but they had huge rebates and promos on them at the time so we wound up replacing both at the same time.
 

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My dream used car if anyone sees one is a low mileage, severely hail damaged, pre 2012 (Hydraulic steering) Porsche Cayman S with good glass. I'd love to drive that as is and wouldn't worry about any JD power ratings.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Waitaminute, are you saying you do or don't want hydraulic steering?

The Mercury has recirculating ball hydraulic (aka "power") steering, like a bus or heavy truck, which amuses me greatly. As a result, it kinda feels like the steering wheel isn't connected to anything, or at least has little relation to what's happening outside the car.

The Focus I looked at has electric power steering.

I haven't done much reading on the pros vs. cons, but I was looking forward to not having to fool with yet another system requiring a pump and oil (and having its own lines and oil cooler, even). At least with the Mercury it's the same stuff (Mercon V) in the transmission and power steering system, but it doesn't taste as good as say gear oil (which is in the diff).
 

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Waitaminute, are you saying you do or don't want hydraulic steering?

The Mercury has recirculating ball hydraulic (aka "power") steering, like a bus or heavy truck, which amuses me greatly. As a result, it kinda feels like the steering wheel isn't connected to anything, or at least has little relation to what's happening outside the car.

The Focus I looked at has electric power steering.

I haven't done much reading on the pros vs. cons, but I was looking forward to not having to fool with yet another system requiring a pump and oil (and having its own lines and oil cooler, even). At least with the Mercury it's the same stuff (Mercon V) in the transmission and power steering system, but it doesn't taste as good as say gear oil (which is in the diff).
The new Caymans have electric power steering, the pre 2012 have hydraulic. I'd take the minute increase in fuel consumption in exchange for the more natural feel and simplicity of hydraulic.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Gotcha. I suppose I've never driven anything with really good hydraulic steering.

I have to say that although the system is somewhat complicated, the one in my Mercury has been almost completely trouble free for over 200000 miles. Needed a new Pitman arm about 100k ago but that's been it. I replaced the oil about 30k ago for good measure.
 

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The new Caymans have electric power steering, the pre 2012 have hydraulic. I'd take the minute increase in fuel consumption in exchange for the more natural feel and simplicity of hydraulic.
When we first got 911's (991 generation) with electric steering the press had commented about the electric steering losing feel.

When clients came in they would ask about it and my response was to see for themselves. We would go for a test drive. I would drive first and they would drive back. They would drive about 30 minutes. Usually just before getting back to the dealership I would ask them about the steering. No one ever commented about the steering before I asked them and the usual comments when I asked were "didn't notice any difference". Most were existing 911 clients. Usually 997 generation cars.

Same thing with Boxster and Cayman.

..Tom
 

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Gotcha. I suppose I've never driven anything with really good hydraulic steering.

I have to say that although the system is somewhat complicated, the one in my Mercury has been almost completely trouble free for over 200000 miles. Needed a new Pitman arm about 100k ago but that's been it. I replaced the oil about 30k ago for good measure.
If a mercury marquis is your benchmark them you have never driven a modern car. There will be a lot of things that are new to you.
 

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Like anything else, it takes a while to get new tech working its best. I would take electric steering over ANY hydraulic steering, having had both and in some pretty good cars. The latest generation of electric has better feel. Don't ask me how they do it, but it works and is less complicated than hydraulic steering with less to go wrong.
 

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Good news that electric steering is now good, but on every car I have driven... That was not a Porsche, it sucked.(never driven a Porsche other than a 928 and that was like driving a clapped out Camaro) It is Lousy on our 2013 mdx. My 99 Miata has steering I like. My brother dislikes the steering in his new Audi A4, but loved the steering box on his 1992 Mercedes 300 Coupe. I do not want the cost of a newish Porsche. I'd love a cosmetically challenged but mechanically excellent one, so glad I can expand the search criteria. A little off topic, but VTom, how do you contrast the older Cayman with the new 4 cylinder turbo?
 

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... A little off topic, but VTom, how do you contrast the older Cayman with the new 4 cylinder turbo?
I love the sound of a 6 cylinder but if you compare the turbo 4's to the previous Normally aspirated 6's the turbos totally kick ass. They sound more like a muscle car, have so much more bottom end torque and also top end horsepower. Much quicker, much more responsive.

Having said that Porsche has announced the new 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS models which have the 4 liter 6 cylinder (normally aspirated) from the GT4/Spyder slightly detuned. I think they will be amazing! (But out of what I'm willing to pay for a car.)

..Tom
 

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I love the sound of a 6 cylinder but if you compare the turbo 4's to the previous Normally aspirated 6's the turbos totally kick ass. They sound more like a muscle car, have so much more bottom end torque and also top end horsepower. Much quicker, much more responsive.

Having said that Porsche has announced the new 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS models which have the 4 liter 6 cylinder (normally aspirated) from the GT4/Spyder slightly detuned. I think they will be amazing! (But out of what I'm willing to pay for a car.)

..Tom
I've been a Porschephile since I started breathing. I never was much of a purist until the Cayenne. My track toy was a nicely modified 914, so I wasn't in the NARP crowd. I just didn't like the idea of Porsche making SUVs. But then I recognized how it was keeping the company in the black and eventually bought one CPO. It is really nice. We've about 110k on it now and plan to drive it until it turns back into dust. I mention this because I heard so much moaning about the 4cyl turbos in the Boxster/Cayman lineup. Yes, they sound different, but they can really rip. There were screams of agony when the 996 was released. IMS reputation aside, they are good cars, and good Porsches. I haven't noticed a big difference between electric and hydraulic steering on the newer cars, my experience with both being on track. Because of purists, the 4cyl cars will have a depreciation not commensurate with other models, so those of us who care more about fun will get some good deals. Side note -- the 996 turbo was unfairly saddled with the IMS reputation even though the engine was totally different, so you can get these at relative bargain prices too. If you don't mind having a Tiptronic, you can save even more. Early Cayenne Turbos are undervalued too, IMO. Make sure that stupid coolant pipe has been upgraded, stay on top of oil changes, and fly fly fly. If you want manual transmission, the early Cayenne GTS came with a six speed manual.

Back to your regular scheduled programming.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I did it, the 2014 Fusion is now mine.

Tint job isn't quite as bad as I initially thought. There's no aftermarket tint on the front set of side windows, and the rear side windows are passable. The rear window however is a disaster, so I have an appointment to get it fixed Monday. Going to get all of it removed, and have a professional tint job installed later on.

I'm still getting used to driving a 21st century starship. Took about 5 minutes of fiddling about to get my phone synced to the Sync system, already made a call with it on the go.

So far, so good.
 

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I did it, the 2014 Fusion is now mine.

Tint job isn't quite as bad as I initially thought. There's no aftermarket tint on the front set of side windows, and the rear side windows are passable. The rear window however is a disaster, so I have an appointment to get it fixed Monday. Going to get all of it removed, and have a professional tint job installed later on.

I'm still getting used to driving a 21st century starship. Took about 5 minutes of fiddling about to get my phone synced to the Sync system, already made a call with it on the go.

So far, so good.
Congrats. Did you find the gas cap, yet? I rented one a few years ago and that's the weird thing I remember about it. I thought it was a great car.

Cheers,
Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Correct. It has some sort of, um, orifice, rather than a conventional gas cap.

Drove it home last night. It's nice to actually have some space left in the garage. With the Mercury I had to choose between being able to get around the front or rear of the car. Couldn't do both and also close the garage door.

This morning I scraped off some window stickers left by PO. Getting the paperwork (title and boring stuff like that) done this afternoon.
 

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Congrats. Did you find the gas cap, yet? I rented one a few years ago and that's the weird thing I remember about it. I thought it was a great car.

Cheers,
Glenn
LOL. Reminds me of my wife an I trying to figure out where the release was for the fuel door on her Audi. Oh, there isn't one.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Reading up, I learned that there is no transmission oil dipstick, and the fuel filter is deemed "lifetime" and therefore built into the fuel tank. Gee that'll be fun to work around, when the time comes.

It's a certainty that the enthusiast/DIY community has already found workarounds for these lazy/cheap engineering choices, just as with our Vstroms (Exhibit A being the inline fuel filter mod).
 
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