Factory rims no longer a problem. Need replacement bandwagon

Monkeybutt2000

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Subaru? The brand that needs head gaskets as a maintenance item, and needs a cherry picker or pole jack to do spark plugs?
Man,gotta stick up for my brand here,but I believe we make a very reliable car. Sure,had some issues in the past,just like everyone else. We have a 14' Outback,and I've put front brakes on it,that's it after more than 80k. My brothers 13' Legacy has been the same,save for a few wheel bearings. I'm a Toyota guy though, my Tacoma has required ZERO repairs. The best damn car we ever owned was a Mazda 5. Only went into the shop for a few recalls, besides the battery and regular maintenance no issues. Heck,my sister had an 05 Mazda 3,that went almost 300k with NO repairs. It rusted so bad in the rear suspension area it was unsafe to drive. Also a fan of the 3800 GM cars,yeah you'll replace wheel bearings,cv axles etc, but man they are hard to kill.
 
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MustangIIMatt

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Man,gotta stick up for my brand here,but I believe we make a very reliable car. Sure,had some issues in the past,just like everyone else. We have a 14' Outback,and I've put front brakes on it,that's it after more than 80k. My brothers 13' Legacy has been the same,save for a few wheel bearings. I'm a Toyota guy though, my Tacoma has required ZERO repairs. The best damn car we ever owned was a Mazda 5. Only went into the shop for a few recalls, besides the battery and regular maintenance no issues. Heck,my sister had an 05 Mazda 3,that went almost 300k with NO repairs. It rusted so bad in the rear suspension area it was unsafe to drive. Also a fan of the 3800 GM cars,yeah you'll replace wheel bearings,cv axles etc, but man they are hard to kill.
Mazdas are mostly good (but they break weird stuff when they do break), the less Ford you can get in one the better. Toyota is the best in quality, hands down. GM 3800s are one of the best engines ever, even with their flaws (plastic coolant elbows, for instance).

But Subarus... at least down here, blow head gaskets, and it's not an old issue.


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Here's the thing, out of all of the cars I've pointed out big flaws on, the only one I'd actually buy, IS a Subaru.

Why?

A manual transmission Subaru is just one of the single, most enjoyable, absolutely pleasant cars to drive. Even the underpowered naturally aspirated Imprezza and Crosstrek are sublime if you can get past how slow they are. They handle fantastic, they ride nice, they grip the road like supercars, and they're sure-footed even in the most unpredictable road conditions.
 
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7991LXnSHO

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We got close enough to fair replacement value on our babied 15 year old vehicle. I could start a new thread in this process after dealing with a normally good insurance company. Besides a stated value or agreed value with an appraiser’s written statement, here are things we all should have that I was not prepared with all of on a family vehicle.
- Pictures of the paint, interior, glass, engine bay, transmission, and fluids. Do this as soon as you detail your car and change the fluids.
- All service records and parts receipts. (I had these. But with 1,110 miles on the oil, the adjuster tried to claim the oil was darkened and was average private seller value, not dealer quality. He also did not take a pic of the transmission or fluid that was so fresh it was hard to see. So that defaulted to average private seller. A picture of the transmission or power steering fluid on the white road stripe at the scene fixed those ratings.)
Any little paint chip will give them an excuse to knock down the rating and value.

- A record of a vehicle inspection and results from another mechanic. A $40 inspection report was almost as good as being dealer certified.
- Keep the vehicle clean so if it is in an accident, they do not put down the road grime as fading of a recent repaint on, headlights faded, and the glass being fogged and water spotted.
There is more, like comparable sales, but these were our recent lessons.
 

7991LXnSHO

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I moved this out of Fox as it fits better under other auto tech. I hope the advisors who have helped are still going to get notices.
We found a Kia Sorento to drive in town. It has been used hard for many miles, so it was a good example to not only test for size, but also durability. It had a 3.8 in it, and that seems big for an import. It felt used, but still worth looking at a newer one.

We also drove a Grand Cherokee because of the recommendations here. With 137k miles, it felt and sounded like a new vehicle. 3.6l V-6, and would fit our needs well and I would not mind one in the driveway. But it is not much smaller than a van.

So - what makes the regular Cherokee less reliable, and what trouble are we looking at besides that Chrysler wired it?

Thanks for the help avoiding a lemon.
 

MustangIIMatt

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I moved this out of Fox as it fits better under other auto tech. I hope the advisors who have helped are still going to get notices.
We found a Kia Sorento to drive in town. It has been used hard for many miles, so it was a good example to not only test for size, but also durability. It had a 3.8 in it, and that seems big for an import. It felt used, but still worth looking at a newer one.
The old 3.8 Sorentos (old enough to be body on frame and RWD or RWD-based?) are tough, with their major issues being the accelerator pedal and throttle body (it eventually got fixed with a new kit that added a ground strap).

We also drove a Grand Cherokee because of the recommendations here. With 137k miles, it felt and sounded like a new vehicle. 3.6l V-6, and would fit our needs well and I would not mind one in the driveway. But it is not much smaller than a van.

So - what makes the regular Cherokee less reliable, and what trouble are we looking at besides that Chrysler wired it?
If we're talking 2014 or newer Cherokee... well, they're Fiats.

No, I'm not bashing Chrysler over the "merger", I mean they're actually freaking Fiats under the skin. With the exception of the 3.2L variant of the Pentastar, all of the engines are Fiat Multi-Air 4-cylinders. The transmission is a ZF 9-speed that has had serious reliability issues. The electronics are Alfa Romeo and Fiat pieces that are incredibly glitchy. The rear brake calipers even say "Alfa Romeo" on them.

In comparison, the last two generations of Grand Cherokee are built on a Mercedes platform, and a good one at that. None of the engine choices are Mercedes, but some of the transmissions are (the rest are ZF, but don't worry, ZF actually knows how to build RWD transmissions, there's a reason nearly every automaker uses their 6 or 8 speed automatics in RWD applications). The Grand Cherokee is prone to about five issues. Front struts, blower motors, fuel pumps, alternators, and drive shaft center support bearings (the last one I've seen once, and that one was rode hard and put up wet). The struts are a little prone to leaking, but most drivers won't notice a performance drop off until that gets really bad. The fuel pump issue seems to be totally random, with some owners never seeing the issue, and others having it recur. Alternators were an issue with the generation before the current one, not so much the current generation. Blower motors are randomly going to be noisy or burn up in some of these things, they're a little "light duty" for the application.
 
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7991LXnSHO

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With the holidays and the weather, we have yet to do a lot of car shopping. But for the amount insurance finally stepped up to, this is what most everything on the lots looks like. ;-)
At least the insurance deposit will help with the price of something newer. I started to type “put a dent in something newer”, but the bandwagon’s one big dent was enough.
 

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7991LXnSHO

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So we looked at lightly used or well cared for versions of the vehicles y’all recommended. Fortunately, the General had already bought the well ventilated wagon :lol: because the Mrs. is still offended Dodge put the name of her first car on a station wagon. She would not have been amused if I bought that derby car candidate. (Aren’t crossovers just hatch back wagons or mini mini vans with some curb appeal and clearance? Don’t tell her if I am right.)

The Mazda CRV was nice. So were the same basic size and shape Toyota, Fords and Kia’s. The Kia Seltos, Sorento and Sportage were built from a lot of the same parts, and it looks like all the above, (and Hyundai) had the same designers that did not care about a big blind spot while looking cool. :cool:

The Soul was fun and roomy, but she decided AWD and some clearance was a good idea, and there was not enough room in the back for a kennel crate or agility equipment with the rear seats up. Snd I found several people willing to sell ther beloved Souls because they needed more cargo room.
The 4-Runner and Grand Cherokee are darn nice, but bigger than she wants to run around town in. And they are in a higher price bracket.
So-
We are taking a chance on a furrin car, a metallic red with black interior Sportage, first titled in Dec 2018 with less than 15K miles on it now. It has a direct gas injected NA 4 cylinder engine, six speed auto, a locking center diff, and an infotainment system that is hopefully more useful than a distraction. AND, there is room to get to the engine, and battery. It was a rental, so with the rental company maintenance and rest of the warranty, she should be set without new car payments.
I went to save pictures and send the vin to the insurance agents, and they had the site updated. I’ll take a pic when it is the wind is not blowing at 65+ mph.
 

MustangIIMatt

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So we looked at lightly used or well cared for versions of the vehicles y’all recommended. Fortunately, the General had already bought the well ventilated wagon :lol: because the Mrs. is still offended Dodge put the name of her first car on a station wagon. She would not have been amused if I bought that derby car candidate. (Aren’t crossovers just hatch back wagons or mini mini vans with some curb appeal and clearance? Don’t tell her if I am right.)

The Mazda CRV was nice. So were the same basic size and shape Toyota, Fords and Kia’s. The Kia Seltos, Sorento and Sportage were built from a lot of the same parts, and it looks like all the above, (and Hyundai) had the same designers that did not care about a big blind spot while looking cool. :cool:

The Soul was fun and roomy, but she decided AWD and some clearance was a good idea, and there was not enough room in the back for a kennel crate or agility equipment with the rear seats up. Snd I found several people willing to sell ther beloved Souls because they needed more cargo room.
The 4-Runner and Grand Cherokee are darn nice, but bigger than she wants to run around town in. And they are in a higher price bracket.
So-
We are taking a chance on a furrin car, a metallic red with black interior Sportage, first titled in Dec 2018 with less than 15K miles on it now. It has a direct gas injected NA 4 cylinder engine, six speed auto, a locking center diff, and an infotainment system that is hopefully more useful than a distraction. AND, there is room to get to the engine, and battery. It was a rental, so with the rental company maintenance and rest of the warranty, she should be set without new car payments.
I went to save pictures and send the vin to the insurance agents, and they had the site updated. I’ll take a pic when it is the wind is not blowing at 65+ mph.
Sportage is a damn good choice.
 
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nickyb

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I was always told to stay away from rentals,but who in heck beats on a 4 banger kia? And it's only 2 years old.She'll be happy and that's how you'll be happy.
 

MustangIIMatt

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I was always told to stay away from rentals,but who in heck beats on a 4 banger kia? And it's only 2 years old.She'll be happy and that's how you'll be happy.
Here's the thing about ex-rentals:

They're maintained, with Hertz and Enterprise in particular having fully-equipped service facilities that can even handle minor body work. Yes they get driven hard by some renters, but with all modern cars having 50,000+ mile warranties, they're built to take a beating for awhile, with only BMW, Mitsubishi, and Nissan being highly likely to need major repair under warranty, and Chrysler, GM, and Ford only being somewhat likely.

One of the two Sonatas and a Mercury Sable my family has owned were ex-rentals, and both were trouble-free.

Ex-lease cars, on the other hand, bother me. I've seen some of those that were put through the wringer for the full 3 years or 36k miles and were not maintained at all.
 
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nickyb

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I agree as long as the rental company took care of any tsb and recalls, I'd check on them before purchasing. With the low 15,000 miles and kia's 100k warrantee should be no brainer.
 

7991LXnSHO

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We checked for recalls while I was crawling over under and through it.

I found that my Merc “program car” had been a rental car with one of the major chains. The first time I detailed it, I found a carbonless copy of a body shop receipt under the trunk liner. Finally, neat the end of 2020, the clear coat from the repair (to the driver’s rear fender, probably a minor parking lot incident) started to blush and peel. I had it area redone instead of waiting for someone to back into it again. Not a big deal since I’ve had it since about 2007.

So that’s pretty minor. With fewer smokers and electronic shifters that make throwing it into reverse or park while driving forward almost impossible, it’s a more attractive option than it used to be.
 
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JmP6889928

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Wow. I just noticed this thread. Subaru? Turbos? I've been heavily involved in Subarus and Subaru track cars for about 14 years now and counting. I build a LOT of Subaru turbos and I've identified the IHI oiling issues with the journal bearing turbos (and also the MHI) and I do modifications that virtually eliminate the journal bearing/thrust plate turbo failure problems. I have more than 350 running out there now with no failures (of course, I had 2 failures of my own when I first started out, but that's how I learned what the issues were). You can check me out on www.legacygt.com (same username of jmp6889928) and see what the opinions are on my turbos. Many of those 350+ turbos are high AWHP applications (300+AWHP) too with one of them being 589 AWHP/591AWTQ and many in the 500AWHP range.

Of course, like all vehicles, owner maintenance is the key and OCI and checking the oil every other fuel fill and adding as necessary is critically important. For turbo cars, you NEVER EVER EVER use Mobil 1 as it has almost no zinc additive and that's one of the keys to bronze journal bearing life. Many, and probably most, run Shell Rotella T6 full synthetic as it's formulated for turbos, and the best part, it's reasonably priced (at least for the moment until some moron ruins the US oil industry and he's already working hard at it as is evidenced by yesterday) along with using the OE Subaru blue or ROKI black filters because they have a specific check valve that is necessary to keep oil flow going to the turbo. Removal of the stupid banjo bolt filters is also a key to making turbos live and NO inline filter is definitely the only way to go.

As far as head gaskets go, it's still an issue although not nearly as much as it used to be. If Subaru would switch to studs instead of head bolts along with the new OE gaskets, (I've built a LOT of Subaru engines, both N/A low HP and fully forged, high HP and I would NEVER use head bolts on any of them) they're bulletproof after the initial about 120K gasket replacement. Generally, once the head gaskets are done, the cars will run 250-300K longer and I've seen a lot of 2000 and up various models with 300K on them for sale and they hold their value well.

OK, off my Subaru soapbox but here's a couple photos of my own build-fully forged with STi forged and nitrided crank, CP 100mm pistons with teflon skirts and ceramic domes, Manley H-beam rods, King race bearings, all ARP fasteners (including head studs), Brian Crower 272 cams, Busted Finger AVCS cam gears, and too much more for too much $$$...LOL. The engine is easily capable of supporting 500AWHP but I like smaller turbos because I like spool, so I'm running of my own Custom VF40's with 585cc injectors and am currently tuned at 292AWHP/318AWTQ. I built for reliability and fun rather than razor edge AWHP.
 

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JmP6889928

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By the way, the Custom 20G is the one putting down 589 AWHP/591AWTQ in 2005 Legacy GT on pump gas with water/meth injection and fully built and sleeved and forged 2.5L EJ257. I drove it and it's absolutely incredible as to how quick and fast it is. At 70 mph, drop a gear, and hit it and within a second the speedo is buried at 140+ mph. It literally LEAPS and we ate up a couple of Corvettes easily as well as any BMW we came across. I also hate to say it, but we ate a 2013 GT500 with almost no effort...LOL.