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Motors What Was The Worst Car You Ever Owned?

Discussion in 'General' started by Mr_Mistoffelees, 8 Oct 2016.

  1. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Lunatic on the Grass.

    26 Aug 2014
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    For me, an A reg Opel Ascona 1.6 Diesel. Absolutely knackered but, needed cheap transport fast to get to work.

    No idea how many miles it had done but, presumably a LOT. Engine was hopeless, very smokey, noisy, woefully underpowered (struggled at even the sight of a hill) and difficult to start. Brakes needed the leg strength of a racing cyclist to stop it. Fortunately I was doing a lot of cycling and Time Trialing. Ride was very poor even though it had old-school high profile tyres. Steering was very low geared, very heavy (no PAS) and as vague a Tory MP in an interview. The steering wheel's softish plastic covering was loose on the metal frame underneath, which didn't help the steering. The windscreen was cracked and the white bodywork was rusty to the point of looking like a Dalmation with brown spots instead of black.
  2. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

    27 Dec 2002
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    Citroen C2 VTS. The car wasn't great, but the "Citroen Experience" is really what ruined it.

    Owned from new for just over three years and 35k miles.

    - Broken in to in its first week, passenger window. Never managed to clear the glass out of the door so that always sloshed about when changing speed or direction.
    - Preposterously expensive dealer service from Citroen, that'll teach me for not checking beforehand assuming that a 1 year service on a £12k car couldn't possibly be £450.
    - In the dealer numerous times from miscellaneous gremlins, rattles and squeaks. To add insult to injury, the dealer had a waiting area with a handful of hard interrogation chairs and a TV seemingly looping Jeremy Kyle.
    - Failed its first MOT due to excessive play in both front strut towers, where the rubber had entirely deteriorated. I didn't keep it long enough for it to fail its second.
    - Started whistling after 18 months, turns out that it's a common issue where the bolts on the intake manifold aren't the correct spec. They refused to resolve initially, and then wanted to charge me for it, despite being armed with dozens of pages from forums with individuals with the same issue. Eventually caved after lots of arguing and escalating and agreed to sort it - I checked afterwards and they did a botch job, but it sorted it temporarily until...
    - Intake manifold falls off whilst a mere 30 mins into a journey from Reading on my way home to Nottingham. Manage to get home (slowly). More arguing with them, they eventually agree to sort it, and do the same botch job.
    - I trade the car in a week later, but still get calls and leaflets from Citroen until I changed number and moved house, in spite of asking them to cease and desist (note, that's not the reason I changed number and address, that would be a bit extreme)

    I would have excused the lot if the car was old and decrepit, but literally falling apart in three years from new is ridiculous, and Citroen's responses were inexcusable.
    Last edited: 8 Oct 2016
  3. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Astra S-reg.
    Bought it around ~70k, was shown a receipt for a cambelt change at 53k, found it never had one at around ~77k so it sounded like it had smoked for 60 years. Left for a couple of days and the battery would flatten. Needed new front disks, tires wore through SO quick. Deteriorated within about 12 months from reasonable to shitheap.
    In contrast my prior Clio MK1 was fantastic. 25k miles on it and it was the most reliable car.
  4. 13eightyfour

    13eightyfour Formerly Titanium Angel

    9 Sep 2003
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    52 VW Bora V5 (20v) 1/2 cream leather interior

    The problems weren't frequent but when something did go wrong it was always crazy expensive to fix,

    Lovely to drive, sounded great, hated the running costs and the cream interior was a stupid idea!
  5. Yadda

    Yadda Well-Known Member

    25 Jul 2003
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    Subaru Impreza.

    Brought out my inner fastard which wasn't ideal when commuting 100+ miles each way.
  6. davvy76

    davvy76 Member

    18 Jul 2004
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    06 Saab 9-5 Aero, bought with 67k on the clock, currently got 88k on it. In this time it's had new discs all round due to warping, new turbo, the last blew up. Crank position sensor, new ignition cassette. exhaust from cat back. 4 new dampers. Exhaust manifold gasket. Transmission cooler pipe. Fuel pump. Corroded brake lines. Drop links twice! Rear trailing arm. Oil and filter change every 5k miles. Now it needs the alloys refurbing, only one holds air after getting new tyres and a new torque bar arm.
    Now with all that it sounds like I've been boy racer'ing it up but I assure you it's all standard parts, which incidently now add up to more than the car is worth! All in all an absolute dog of a car but strangely satisfying when it works :D
  7. dynamis_dk

    dynamis_dk Grr... Grumpy!!

    23 Nov 2005
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    Rover 25 - cant remember year.

    Bought cheap from a friend who in 5 years of ownership didn't have any grumbles about it. after around 9 months head gasket blows, take it in for a cheap skim and replacement gasket to find it blows again around 6 months later. Turns out first garage didn't even try to find out why it blew just pegging it up to usual rover issues - the radiator had around 5% of its fins still in place, the rest had just turned to dust so overheating blew everything.

    Repaired it at great cost :(

    Around another 6-9 months down the line gearbox blew, 1 & 2nd just wouldn't work so went in for a repair and reconditioned box. About 2 months later, gearbox goes again as a main shaft in the box sheers. Garage tried to argue it was my fault and I must have a 'boy racer' driving style - I remind them its a standard petrol 1.4l and tell them to stop being daft, eventually they repair it.

    Eventually I move up in the world, new job etc so move to a Focus estate petrol and never looked back!
  8. MadGinga

    MadGinga oooh whats this do?

    19 Mar 2009
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    Mazda 121 mk1, 1.1l, sunroof!

    Horrid ride, always misted up, sun-roof leaked = permanently wet drivers seat, bits kept falling off, headlights bulbs would fail every fortnight, battery would go flat if not driven every day for at least 30miles, drivers window didnt work, radio locked to radio 2 (i coudnt turn it off with physcially removing it), cassette player, glove box would randomly fall open whilst driving emptying its contents, sounded like it had a baked bean tin for an exhaust.
    Nicknamed "the tin box".

    Only plus side was that it drove like a go-kart, shame it maxed out at ~45mph
  9. David

    David RIP Tel

    7 Apr 2009
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    I don't think I've had a really bad car - plenty of budget runabouts mostly a bit sparse on features, but they all worked reasonably well.

    If I had to pick one...

    Hyundai X2 GSI

    It wasn't a really bad car - but it would get hot and "sing" steam out of the expansion tank, necessitating the need to turn the heater on full blast to aid cooling. Also, the fuel tank was tiny and it would only manage about 260 miles on a fill up.

    The 1.5i engine was pretty nippy though.
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

    30 Aug 2015
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    My Ford Taurus. I think it was a '92. It originally belonged to my ex wife and she handed over the keys and pink slip to me when she bought a new Focus. I should have left it alone, but it all seemed to work and run well. Sadly it was three years before I sorted my green card and license, by which stage the rust had set in. The roof was completely covered as the sun had baked the paint so badly it all cracked and lifted. So I stripped the entire roof down to bare metal, treated it and then skimmed it with metal glaze.


    Then it was into primer. Now given I had put so much work in I decided I wanted a custom finish, so I bought an entire HOK set up. Primer.



    I then painted it with Raspberry pearls.




    And was all set to buy a set of Foose Spank rims for it. I figured as the car was free I could dump a bit into making it look nice, because the paint was incredible. Sadly though that was the point where I could actually drive it and that's when it all went wrong.

    First thing, exhaust back box blew and I had a hole in it. Get it up on the ramp, change the back box. Then I took it out one day and it broke down dead at the petrol garage. Turns out the starter motor had gone bad. So I put in a refurb starter motor, three weeks later it too decided to die. In the end after a lot of head scratching I realised there was a wire on the starter motor that had perished. I replaced it, and got about another month out of it.

    I was driving to work one day when I felt this odd rumbling. Turns out both the front wheel bearings had died and the anti roll bar bushes were shot too.

    I sold it to my father in law (who had the press to do the bearings) and bought a Hyundai Tiburon.

    My father in law then fixed the wheel bearings and two months later the auto trans died.

    He ended up scrapping it.
  11. liratheal

    liratheal Sharing is Caring

    20 Nov 2005
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    The Mk4 Mondeo.

    I love it, it's super useful to have a low roofed van, but holy Jesus is it boring. It's not no guts, no go, no pop, nothing. It's every single bit as boring as mechanically possible.

    It's a super functional car, and that's the worst part.
  12. smc8788

    smc8788 ...at least I have chicken

    23 Apr 2009
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    2004 Renault Clio 1.2 - only owned it for 4 months as a stop gap after my '97 Corsa got written off, but it put me off buying another French car again. Water was its worst enemy, it leaked in the rain, and whenever it went through a puddle more than a few cm deep it would cause the engine to cut out. Aside from that, the clutch was devoid of any feel whatsoever with a very high bite point which meant it was just annoying to drive.
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    13 May 2007
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    An 85 Mercury Marquis. -Note it wasn't a 'Grand' Marquis. It was a horrible attempt at luxury-compact that was the width of a compact, but the length of a full-sized car, and tail-heavy. This caused it to tail spin at the least provocation. I once found an oily patch in the middle of an intersection while turning and did a slow motion 360. It was bought back before the 'certified pre-owned' bullsh*t, and you could pick up a former rental car for cheap. Anyone in the back got carsick as the heater activated some kind of formaldehyde stink from under the seat. Also, the seat was excruciating. It made you curl up in a ball. It really put the 'bucket' in bucket seats.
    Mechanically it was sound, though. It just flopped around like a fish.
  14. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

    26 Apr 2006
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    So, a normal 80-90's american car :D

    My Mechanical the worst was an early eighties Series1 Citroen CX, as it actually broke it's engine.
    It slowly blew a headgasket, first compression got into the cooling system, then finally water leaked into the cylinders.
    The car couldn't really help it though, I brought it into three different garages, two Citroen and one coolant specialist, and none identified the obvious. :eyebrow:

    Such a beautiful, comfortable car though.

    Second worst was a Mitsubishi Galant E10 (mid eighties)
    It was well over ten years old, but hab a very low milage and was in good condition.
    It probably had too little miles, spent 10 years beeing driven <1000miles a year, and when I started moving it, it fell apart.
    All kinds of bearings going, and the belt pulley overtook me on the motorway :D It had sheered clean off.
  15. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

    26 Jun 2008
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    I am torn here.. i disliked several things about several cars I owned.

    My 2006 VW Polo 1.4 was just plain boring.
    My 2005 VW Mk5 GTI was less boring (not supre fun, though), but had various squeaks and rattles that made me mad (with 40.000km on the clock, this shouldn't be the case).
    Then there's the gem that my wife drives now, a 2008 Fiat Bravo Sport, and I think this takes the cake.

    Firstly, it's Italian. That means that some things are stupid, just because. Somehow, though, this adds to the charm a bit.
    The Fiat ownership experience was terrible though. Terrible service from the dealers/workshops means it went through two turbos since I got it (the second one was because the oil feeds were never cleaned or replaced when they replaced the first one. The second Turbo I installed myself, so I KNOW things were don right). Dealer pricing on parts is TERRIBLE (>10.000NAD - roughly 700 pounds for brakes that take 5 WEEKS and several fights with the dealership to get installed, 25K for the turbo, ex installation, etc).
    I am STILL (15 months later) waiting for them to get me a new air filter for the aircon, the various "computers" need resetting regularly, etc... Just over all, a RUBBISH, if fun car, which is made worse by the TERRIBLE dealers.
  16. legoman

    legoman breaker of things

    28 Feb 2010
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    Tough one between these two

    Escort 1.4 Encore. Had it about six weeks, in which time I learnt
    - Previous owner must have wet themselves a lot as every time you sat down it smelt of piss for the next five minutes.
    - Horrendous fuel economy
    - Brakes were spongy
    - Steering was leisurely
    - car aqua planes like a jetski which is incidentally how it was written off

    2004 Corsa 1.2 Design
    - Car hated its droplinks and CV boots, new set every MOT
    - When turning on the aircon there was a very noticeable dip in power to the point you had to turn it off with more than three people in it.
    - Battery is exposed to the elements all the time so the terminals corrode
    - Vauxhall offered a non mandatory recall for an issue where the ABS module could catch fire in the rain.
    - Unlocked itself when bored
    - Stem seals were garbage, handbook said that loosing 1L of oil per 1000 miles was perfectly normal...
  17. Tichinde

    Tichinde Active Member

    1 Sep 2010
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    Considering my less than stellar vehicle history I can honestly say I've never hated or even disliked any of them.

    B reg Renault 5 1.1 (back in '98)
    M reg Renault 5 1.4 Campus (remote central locking!!)
    54 plate Rover 25 1.4 113
    52 plate Honda Civic 1.6

    The Renault 5's were quite good fun to drive, even the 1.1, mostly due to the fact they were both roller-skates that weighed virtually nothing, and perhaps I didn't know any better and have rose tinted googles regarding them.
    None of them ever gave me any major problems that weren't my fault (slid the 1.1 sideways into a kerb, bending the subframe, ran the 25 into the back of a transit).

    I consider myself quite lucky so far to be honest, so I can only award "Worst Car You Ever Owned" to the 1.1 5 on account of it being the weakest and oldest car I owned :)
  18. BigAde2072

    BigAde2072 New Member

    12 Oct 2013
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    I think I'll win this one.

    Old S reg Morris Marina. Green with brown faux leather (i.e. vinyl) interior that was either freezing or so hot it burned. I once made the mistake of wearing shorts, I had a red welt on my legs for days after.
    The steering was comical, everyone has seen the old movies where the driver is constantly turning the wheel but the car is going in a straight line? This was like that there, was so much play in the column. The gear linkages were so worn that changing gear was a lottery. I had to constantly clean the distributor as it corroded and you would loose a cylinder (bear in mind it was a 1.3l so was low down on power anyway). If you drove up too steep a high it would cut out.

    My car after that? A G reg Austin Maestro. Almost as bad.
  19. veato

    veato I should be working

    15 Jan 2010
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    I had a banger Fiesta 1.8D that was a rusty wreck but I bought it to cheaply run hundreds of miles up and down the motorway every week. On that basis it wasn't the worst. It did what it was bought to do.

    I had a Citroen AX that was in decent condition but was plastic all-over and laughably slow. It was bought very cheaply after uni to get me mobile again and it did what it was bought to do. On that basis it was not the worst.

    Mix in a B-reg VW Golf (first car), R-reg Peugeot 106, 05-reg Rover 25 and 60-reg Peugeot 308 and that's my car history pretty much.

    Apart from the Renault Megane Coupe. Nice enough looking car. Fun enough for what I needed. But my absolute worst car ever. The thing brought me and my bank account/credit card (delete as appropriate) to my knees. The thing just would not stop breaking down. Everything in the engine bay - including the engine at one point - expired during my ownership. I still get cold sweats thinking about it now!
  20. jrduquemin

    jrduquemin Member

    20 Oct 2009
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    The worst car I've ever owned was a Ford Escort 1.3 Estate POS back in 2001, it must have been about 10 years old by this point. I bought it for £325 from a friend of mine though he was kind enough to warn me that the ventilation didn't work because the fuse box was dead in the car. The lights etc did work luckily. It would mist up constantly in all weathers and the windows would need constant wiping down with a sponge so I could see where I was going.

    One night whilst at home, I heard a car alarm going off and it was only after a few minutes that I realised it was my car alarm: I didn't even know it had one.

    When it went in for the MOT test, I wasn't expecting much to be honest. The garage owner rang me after the test and advised me to come in so he could show me what it had failed on. The 2 main support beams under the car had both rusted through and there was an 18 inch wide hole under the rear bumper which should have been steel. Not to mention CV joint boots etc had died. Total cost to repair was over £600 so I asked the mechanic to lower it off the ramps so I could get into the car. When he asked why, I told him I was getting the paperwork out so I could sign the car over to the garage so they could scrap it or repair it.

    I saw it out on the local roads a few weeks later and they'd done a pretty good job of getting it fixed by all accounts.

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