Don’t get caught buying a car you will regret.
On average, unreliable secondhand cars cost Australian car owners $5k extra per annum than those vehicles deemed to be reliable.
There is a level of chance involved when buying a secondhand car but there are a few things you can do to avoid buying yourself a jalopy. With almost any vehicle in the world the maintenance and history of the vehicle is the greatest factor. The most reliable car in the world will be a money pit if it has not had regular upkeep. The number one thing we advise when looking at any second hand car is get a mechanic to look over it first. Make sure this is done at a workshop on a hoist. Kicking tyres and jumping on the bonnet in a carpark will not reveal the flaws in a secondhand car that will cost the big coin. Always get a mechanic to look over the car at the workshop before purchasing.
Not buying a complete dung box is always a desired outcome with buying a used car and there are many ways to ensure you don’t find yourself driving a vehicle that has forced you to spend your children’s university savings fund just to keep it going. The first of these ways is to out right avoid buying the cars of ultimate trash. These are those cars.
1. Holden TS Astra
Easily the single greatest bucket of utter rubbish on the market. Not a single mechanic likes these cars. They are poorly made, have a list of common problems as long as your arm, they smell funny and look ugly. About as disappointing as breaking your phone screen the day you buy it, TS Astra is the epitome of mechanical crap. We have previously done a video review of these cars which you can view here. When it comes to the Astra, the statement “it beats walking” is not entirely accurate. In a TS Astra you will find yourself walking most of the way anyway.
2. Ford Mondeo
Unless you have your heart set on a vehicle that as the sex appeal of a soap dish, avoid this car. Apart from the fact that your will arrive at your destination in what appears to be an oversized tampon you will own a mechanical disaster.
Aside form engine mounts failing and another European car thats made entirely of plastic that falls apart the key fault with these fine machines lies with the automatic transmission.
Basically; several internal components of the transmission are made of plastic which become brittle, break and run havoc throughout the gear box. Its near impossible to get all of the plastic out when repairing this. Which means a replacement new or used transmission is required.
The exceptional news with these is that whilst its so common almost every second hand box in the world is now sold, Ford have done nothing to rectify it. There is no known fix and when buying a new transmission from Ford, you’re still buying a box full of plastic made parts. The definition of insanity- doing the same actions expecting a different outcome. Buying a Ford Mondeo is far from a sane decision.
3. Great Wall
Anything made from this company is made by people educated at the same school as those running Malaysian airlines (remember them? they lost a few aeroplanes) . The encyclopaedic book of what not to do when building a car must have been used to hold the classroom door open because the result is a real life example of all the content covered in that book.
4. VW Golf
It is believed that the marketing campaign “Just like a Golf” started when someone in the VW marketing department witnessed his infant wet her pants in public. The Golf, best known for dropping copious amounts of coolant on the street at the first sign of any real work is not all that its cracked up to be. If you’re the first owner of a Golf take a bow as you have probably avoided the awesomeness that is “engineering with plastic”. The Golf is made of plastic (and probably play doh) and once the European driving machine has reached 2018 goal of being the global number one car company, they will have to go into production of tupperware because they are halfway there already.
5. Holden Captiva
Nicknamed the CRAPtiva, this “Holden” represents all that is vile in the world. The Captiva runs a few options of engines, all known to be problematic. If the Diesel engines aren’t chewing out bearings and spitting them out the petrol ones are snapping timing belts, or if you’re lucky enough to own a V6 they are costing you about $3.5K when the timing chains fail. All models are known for leaking coolant out of every orifice it has. The Petrol engines are too small for the weight of the car and the result is usually transmission trouble. The whole thing is just a very bad idea. Anyone who owns these cars don’t own them for long, there is a reason for that.
Voted at many international voting-like meetings as the car most likely to catch fire. The Cruze is riddled with problems much like everything else Holden has released in recent years. Holden seems to have gone around the back alley of the fine restaurant that is the car manufacturing industry and dragged all the crap out of the skip bin, with the help of sticky tape, blue tac and velcro, released the hodgepodge of cars that consumers are buying under the guise that they are supporting the Australian market. The Cruze has an automatic transmission that is from a European vehicle running a bigger engine. The result, the automatic transmission does not know what gear it should be in and jumps and flares all over the place. If its not indecisively selecting gears at random, its dropping vital transmission components onto the street. The Cruze is known for transmission problems, ECU problems, oil coolers failing, ignition coil faults, overheating and generally behaving like Alphonse Gangitano on the sauce.
7. Ford Focus
Basically the upsides are if you’re planning to give your kids a number of siblings likely to rival Ivan Millat’s (don’t google him if you reading this late at night and are home alone) and then crash it with them in it, then the Ford scores high in regards to safety rating. In mechanical reliability it scores very averagely, a car that has been on the market for over ten years yet has had very few upgrades in that time. The Territory is made of mostly plastic trim that has the same feel as a highschool students unused condom jammed in his wallet for six years. The poor plastic quality designs coupled with some very ordinary mechanical designs sees interior parts breaking very often. These things include, power window motors and regulators, door lock mechanisms, bonnet release cables and interior door handles. However the killer for these cars, like the Mondeo is Fords inability to get transmissions designed so that they actually work.
The power shift transmission is another fine piece of engineering that Ford has simply thrown its hands in the air over. In this case there is a Class action against Ford in the USA over this issue but there is yet to be any action ion Australia. Again, there is currently no known fix for this fault in the country.
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