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If you want a problem-free vehicle that will last a few hundred thousand miles, you need a 1990s Honda with a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual trans.

It won't be as safe or comfortable as most modern vehicles, but it will be much more reliable (all else being equal).
...or a 1980s to 2000s Chevrolet/Oldsmobile/Buick/Pontiac with the 3800 V6 and 440-T4, 4L60-E, or 4L-65E transmission.

Everything else will have fallen off of or failed on these, but they'll still drive down the road. :)
 

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...or a 1980s to 2000s Chevrolet/Oldsmobile/Buick/Pontiac with the 3800 V6 and 440-T4, 4L60-E, or 4L-65E transmission.

Everything else will have fallen off of or failed on these, but they'll still drive down the road. :)
It seems the body side moulding was always the first thing to go on those 1980s GMs! I often wonder what issues we would read about vehicles in the 1970s and 1980s if we'd had widely-available enthusiast forums back then. The '70s were, for the most part, horrible performance-wise, but mfrs made up for that with marketing and imagination. The 1980s suffered a lot of growing pains, but people were always excited to see the latest greatest vehicles and what was just around the corner. Nowadays, everything just seems a little meh.

I suspect the majority of issues with new vehicles today is related to implementation of the latest technology along with mandated safety equipment, and the balance of the issues are probably a symptom of the QA/QC guys crushing candy instead of doing their jobs.

Aside from smartphone distractions, it seems many modern issues are caused by growing pains, much like in the past.
 

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I take a lot of the negative feedback with not a grain of salt but a whole cellar.

Complainants about a 2 week old vehicle being unreliable because it' doesn't have a volume knob or the window tint isn't dark enough are laughable.

Most of those issues have noting to do with long term "reliability" and further not having a sliding rear window on the base model was visible at the time of purchase.

It seems like a lot of peoples treat a truck like a toy and being a toy when they're not happy with it they cry to their parents for a new one.
 

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I had a brand new 1980 Mercury Capri Turbo RS with the 2.3 Turbo engine. I had waited a year so that they would fix the bugs from the 79 year to the 80 year. It was a great car actually ! And around that time they started making better cars than the ones from the 70's were. Cars like the Granada were very commonplace and you could buy them dirt cheap around 5,000. But they were terrible unreliable cars. My 1980 Capri had no initial quality problems off the lot. I put a total of 57,500 mi on it in two years. Bought it for $8,500 and sold it 2 years later for $4400 to a kid. It was in good condition and in the time I replaced the battery and alternator (under warranty i might add around 27,000mi). The TRX tire and wheel package (.80 skid pad rated suspension and tires) was great but weren't really great in the snow (but it did ok). And it did have rear wheel drive and had a 52 rear / 48 front weight ratio for great handling. The 2.3l engine was rated around 140hp with the turbo. I did not modify it at all as I wanted reliable. But there were SVO versions that came out after mine with 180hp and more. I loved the Turbo whine off it. Very fun car. And I met and married my wife with that car lol. Still have her but not the car.

Steve who had a 76' Mustang Cobra II with a 2.3 that rusted out in three years ! Junk at 88,000mi to the junkyard !
 

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If you want a problem-free vehicle that will last a few hundred thousand miles, you need a 1990s Honda with a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual trans.

It won't be as safe or comfortable as most modern vehicles, but it will be much more reliable (all else being equal).
 

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For years, I've been recommending Hondas to the family. BIL hated his CRV, gave it to his kid. My other BIL has a 12 Odyssey that last weekend had a check engine light and traction control light. Turned out to be misfire on on the third cylinder. Needs new rings. He's covered by a Honda warranty extension. Hope they put it back together properly. I think I made the mistake of assuming that our 02 and 09 CRV's flawless long term reliability and build quality would be the same for all Hondas. Doesn't seem to be the case. Feel kind of bad that I lobbied for these guys to get Hondas.
 

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Along similar lines, Honda made me feel kind of stupid. I truly believed in the quality of their products. I felt they were the smartest choice due to their safety, reliability, and resale value. I praised and recommended them to friends, family and co-workers for well over a decade. I finally convinced my brother to buy his first new Honda - a '15 Civic and almost had my parents convinced to buy a new CR-V, but they ended up with another new Equinox. For years, I proudly boasted about Honda reliability and resale value. Unfortunately, Honda and their products have really disappointed me the last few years. I hate that because Honda was a daily part of the majority of my life since I was 10 years old. My two Mazdas (MX-5 and CX-5) have been a joy to own and drive. I have no plans to part with the MX-5 and have truly enjoyed driving the CX-5.
 

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It's funny, I've felt pretty strongly about the reliability of GM vehicles. They aren't always reliable of course but I've found that long term they actually have been pretty good overall. I've had quite of few along the years of ownership of course. With the latest one being the 12' SRX. It hasn't been perfect of course but like most vehicles if you pay attention to things you can assist in the reliability portion of a vehicle with regular maint of just minor items like brakes, fluids (oil and transmission) changes. And while every manufacturer has it's lemons I've been fortunate to find good ones along the way that I've been happy with. And I do love driving the SRX. It's actually quite a nice driving experience overall with the 305hp VVT V6 and the Haldex AWD system on it. It's big and heavy and it feels like a GM vehicle lol. I like that.

Steve
 

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Every car company makes a turd now and then. The issues you see with cars tend to fall into two categories. Build quality and engineering/parts quality. Just about every vehicle I've ever owned (and I've owned dozens) has had to make a trip back to the dealer to fix something that wasn't right from the factory. So far, knock wood, my Ridgeline has been flawless. These problems typically manifest themselves during the warranty period which is why you have a warranty.

Then there are poorly engineered components, or cheaply made parts. When I buy a vehicle I typically comb internet forums like this one looking for the weak spots. For example, I wanted a Jeep Liberty diesel years back. Found out the torque converter was never designed for a diesel application and the lock up was set way too high causing it to overheat. After going through two torque converters under warranty, I was nearing the end of my warranty and I purchased a Suncoast converter designed for a diesel engine. I worked out a deal with the service manager to cover the labor if I supplied the part. He agreed and I never had another issue. It was simply a poor engineering choice by Chrysler to put that part behind that beastly little turbo diesel.

From what I've seen on this forum it doesn't appear many Ridgelines are catastrophically failing. Yeah, some had fuel injector issues, and some have had some tranny issues....but Honda isn't known for reliable automatic transmissions.

If you get past all the initial quality issues, and do your maintenance, most any vehicle will last a good long time. People talk about "they don't make them like they used to" and thank goodness for that. Old cars were piles of crap in most cases. I remember my dad trading a car before it hit 100,000 miles because after that it was junk. He drove about 30,000 miles a year, so he got a new car every three years.

The kicker for me is the cost and availability of parts, and how difficult the vehicle is to work on as I typically do my own work unless it involves removing the engine or transmission. Hondas have always been pretty friendly in that respect. Parts aren't too awfully expensive (as they are in, say, a BMW or Mercedes) and they aren't hard to get. There Ridgeline shares many parts with the Pilot and Passport and it's been made for several years.

I had a 90's era Accord when I was in college and I remember having to do a valve adjustment on it. A friend of mine called it a "piece of jap crap" as you didn't have to do valve adjustments on a big American V8. But it really wasn't a difficult job and didn't take me much time. I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder.

Now...timing belt changes suck. I hate doing them and probably won't do another on especially on an interference engine. Get things out of time and BANG!
 

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Found out the torque converter was never designed for a diesel application and the lock up was set way too high causing it to overheat. After going through two torque converters under warranty, I was nearing the end of my warranty and I purchased a Suncoast converter designed for a diesel engine. I worked out a deal with the service manager to cover the labor if I supplied the part. He agreed and I never had another issue. It was simply a poor engineering choice by Chrysler to put that part behind that beastly little turbo diesel.
You must mean "stall speed" instead of "lock up" since the latter is determined by software - not the torque converter.

From what I've seen on this forum it doesn't appear many Ridgelines are catastrophically failing. Yeah, some had fuel injector issues, and some have had some tranny issues....but Honda isn't known for reliable automatic transmissions.
It seems to me that "many" Ridgelines and Pilots have had fuel injector issues, but agree that only "some" have had transmission and torque converter issues. Honda can make a good transmission with "hardly any" failures such as the 5-speed in the 1G Ridgeline that had fewer reports of failures over 14 years than the 2G Ridgeline in 4 years. :)
 

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You must mean "stall speed" instead of "lock up" since the latter is determined by software - not the torque converter.



I'd say "many" Ridgelines (and Pilots) had fuel injector issues, but agree that only "some" have had transmission and torque converter issues. Honda can make a good transmission with "hardly any" failures such as the 5-speed in the 1G Ridgeline that had fewer reports of failures over 14 years than the 2G Ridgeline in 4 years. :)
They can also make one of the best five-speed manual transmissions in the industry, but hardly anybody buys them.
:unsure:
 

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Honda wants to remain independent and do things their own way, but these same principles are limiting their growth, stifling innovation, cutting profits, and lowering quality. It's past time for a change.
Be careful what you wish for, huh? :)


I used to watch him regularly but realized a while back that a lot of what he is pushing is akin to old wives tales. It's like he is living in the past, regurgitating "common knowledge" which is increasingly wrong (obsolete information).

Like his recent spate of pro Honda videos.

What's particularly crude is where he insinuates that by moving production from the US a few years ago, somehow Honda's got more reliable. Reality : just the opposite.

For any who care, the trend here is quite clear, and Scotty is pretty much wrong (again) :

Honda Ridgeline
View attachment 405457
Honda Accord
View attachment 405458

Honda Passport
View attachment 405459
Honda Civic

View attachment 405460
The trend is similar for the CR-V, Odyssey, RDX, MDX, and TL/TLX as well - Honda's quality stinks for the last ~4 years which aligns with my experience. My 2006-2016 Hondas were outstanding. My 2017-2019 Hondas were a frustrating embarrassment. The most reliable Honda overall seems to be the Mexican-made Fit which has been discontinued for the US. You would expect a more problems to show up as a vehicle ages, but just the opposite is happening at Honda. Spot-checking a few key competitors from Toyota (RAV4, Camry, Corolla, Sienna, Highlander), I see a sea of green with no orange or red. This data is alarming. If I were an exec at Honda, I'd be in full-on panic mode.

CR-V

405463


Fit

405464


Pilot

405465


Odyssey

405466


RDX

405467


MDX

405468
 

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Honda uses their own internal database for monitoring product quality and number of defects and warranty items per model year. The data you've gathered is likely skewed compared to the real thing. Yes, there is a quality issue but not to the degree that you believe. I've owned a 2017 civic 1.5 turbo and tuned it to push more boost than factory (22 PSI vs 16.5). Sure there was people on the civic forums reporting issues but 95% of people had zero issues whether tuned or not. The fact that there were people running E85 with loads of bolt on modifications on a CVT and had no issues is a testament that the quality isn't so bad as we think it is.
 

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Honda uses their own internal database for monitoring product quality and number of defects and warranty items per model year. The data you've gathered is likely skewed compared to the real thing. Yes, there is a quality issue but not to the degree that you believe.
Real-world data speaks for itself.

I've owned a 2017 civic 1.5 turbo and tuned it to push more boost than factory (22 PSI vs 16.5). Sure there was people on the civic forums reporting issues but 95% of people had zero issues whether tuned or not. The fact that there were people running E85 with loads of bolt on modifications on a CVT and had no issues is a testament that the quality isn't so bad as we think it is.
Be careful not to confuse durability or capability with quality, dependability, or reliability. The same 1.5T engine that holds 500 HP on the drag strip can seize when driven gently to church on Sundays by Mrs. Smith due to oil dilution. A properly-assembled 2.0L engine in a Civic that lasts 500,000 miles may throw a rod at 5,000 miles because the wrist pin circlip wasn't installed correctly.
 

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Just to add, a lot of folks assume that the issues with vehicles comes down to how good a job the workers at the manufacturing plant are doing their jobs and the quality of components.

I used to believe that too, and there is an element of truth to it - I used to think (back in the 80s and early 90s) that unions and lazy workers were largely to blame.

While in college, I did a paper for one of my classes where I researched the decline of US auto manufacturing. What I found was entirely different.

Most people seem completely unaware of a major design engineering factor. I'm not really talking about the quality of the components so much here, I'm talking about how they're assembled.

Consider, when a car (or anything ) is made, part of the design consideration is how quickly it can be manufactured. So if you are attaching a body component, and you use 12 fasteners vs say 6, it might take 50% longer to attach said component. If you do that throughout, a plant that could make 100 cars/day suddenly can make 150 cars / day.

The biggest sin of US auto makers in the 70s and 80s was learning to cut costs by reducing the number of fasteners, weld points, seals, and various attachments on their vehicles. This is why those old vehicles became 'rattle cans' with loose and ill fitting parts, leaks. This was the result 'bean counter engineering' much more so than poor QA/QC and workmanship. The manufacturers largely laid the blame on workers, but that in my view was at best a half truth and and worst pure propaganda - very successful propaganda.

I think Honda has much deeper issues than poor workmanship. In fact, since they started "acknowledging" their issues and then moved production back to Japan, they went from good (not class leading) reliability 3 or 4 years ago to being in the dump - and across their entire lineup now not just a few models and sporadic years. I think they have serious engineering and manufacturing design issues. Now they've targeted the manufacturing process instead of the design, and probably lost a lot of experience, and gotten worse as a result.

It's like someone saying they've got a problem of not waking up and getting to work on time and trying to address that directly, but not realizing the actual issue is drinking a 6-pack every night after work. I think they are in real trouble.
 

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Complexity, modern vehicles are getting more complex every year, and THAT is the problem. Do you want the reliability of vehicles of the past, then get rid of all of the electronics and comforts of modern vehicles, making them "simple" once again, and quality will automatically improve. This is our, the consumers, fault for demanding these comforts, the manufacturers can only do so much and keep a vehicle cheap enough so to compete. Just think of how much more manufacturers could put into a vehicle if they used the same money now used for :niceties" and build it into the quality?

Bill
 

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Complexity, modern vehicles are getting more complex every year, and THAT is the problem. Do you want the reliability of vehicles of the past, then get rid of all of the electronics and comforts of modern vehicles, making them "simple" once again, and quality will automatically improve. This is our, the consumers, fault for demanding these comforts, the manufacturers can only do so much and keep a vehicle cheap enough so to compete. Just think of how much more manufacturers could put into a vehicle if they used the same money now used for :niceties" and build it into the quality?

Bill
I'd gladly trade all the sensing/driver assistance nonsense for more robust drive train.
 

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Complexity, modern vehicles are getting more complex every year, and THAT is the problem. Do you want the reliability of vehicles of the past, then get rid of all of the electronics and comforts of modern vehicles, making them "simple" once again, and quality will automatically improve. This is our, the consumers, fault for demanding these comforts, the manufacturers can only do so much and keep a vehicle cheap enough so to compete. Just think of how much more manufacturers could put into a vehicle if they used the same money now used for :niceties" and build it into the quality?

Bill
Again, the vast majority of problems with the Ridgeline, for example, are simple, mechanical or electrical issues that affect even base models...

Transmission failure
Injector failure
Water leaks
Hood flutter
Rearview camera harness

If you look at both initial quality and dependability studies, automobiles in general have far fewer problems these days than they did 20 years ago when they were much simpler which is counter to your claim that newer vehicles with more electronics and creature comforts are less reliable. See this post.
 

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If you look at both initial quality and dependability studies, automobiles in general have far fewer problems these days than they did 20 years ago when they were much simpler which is counter to your claim that newer vehicles with more electronics and creature comforts are less reliable. See this post.
We still own two vehicles that are over 50 years old, and there are many others out there even older. How many "modern" vehicles will still be around 50 years plus after their manufacture?

Bill
 
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