By on May 27, 2020

In various places on the automobile Internets, one will often see the same misconceptions and myths repeated over and over, presented as strong opinion or perhaps even disguised as fact. There are an awful lot of car fans who are dead wrong about a lot of things on the Internet. Let’s talk about it.

Today’s question was inspired very directly by some comments on yesterday’s Junkyard Finds post on the Saab 900. So let’s have a little chat about Saab today.

Here’s the myth:

“Saab was in a perfectly fine financial position and made excellent cars before stupid GM got involved and ruined the whole thing. They killed the Saab brand because GM is bad and Saab was an innocent profitable angel.”

Now, I’ve omitted the typographical errors which usually accompany such text to make it easier for you to read. This persistent myth about Saab’s ruination by General Motors is simply not true.

The company was a niche player, and a struggling brand. Though it was true it had its die-hard fans (and still have some today, hello!), the company was in an untenable position. GM first bought into the Saab brand in 1989 when it invested $600 million for a 50 percent stake in the firm, the other half owned by giant Swedish holding company Investor AB. Saab split and became an independent car interest from Scania, the successful and profitable truck manufacturer. It’s the sort of thing businesses do when they need to raise capital, while simultaneously amputating a loser entity from the larger brand portfolio.

Speaking of portfolios, it’s worth noting that in 1989, as Lexus and other Japanese luxury brands approached, the near-lux Saab offered two products: the 900, which was from 1978, and the 9000, which hailed from 1984. While the 900 was all Saab, the 9000 was a money-saving collaboration with Italy that also spawned such unreliables as the Alfa Romeo 164, Fiat Croma, and Lancia Thema. The 900 and 9000 were quite a full product offering for a modern automaker, eh? They weren’t too luxurious, but they were very expensive. Especially the 9000, which asked a full $35,000 in 1991 ($66,600 adjusted).

Consider the consolidation and aggressive competition which occurred in the luxury and near-luxury space in the Nineties. Then think about the shift to SUVs. Saab had no money, no product, and could not afford to compete in any of these segments if left to its own devices. The only way it stayed alive as long as it did was with GM money, and eventually GM parts bin assets (and then Subaru). It’s simply a rose-tinted myth that quirky Saab would have endured as an independent — or found some capital savior willing to dump funds into the money pit with no return on investment. But it persists online that GM did a bad and killed off beloved Saab, when in reality the company extended the company’s life considerably.

One rant complete, one automotive myth busted. Have you any others on your mind?

[Image: Saab]

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164 Comments on “QOTD: Most Common Automotive Misconceptions and Myths?...”


  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    I wonder what will become of TTAC now that TorStar/VerticalScope has been sold to a strip and flip hedge fund? I hope it’s not the same fate that befell SAAB.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Well it couldn’t get much worse LOL so probably the next step is to cease publication….

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I’m with @indi500fan. Compared to a decade ago, we’ve hit a basement right now. I will say the pictures in the recent Lincoln review were absolutely stunning.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      All this Saab love gave me an idea.

      Type 4 Chassis executive cars…drive buy burn:

      Lancia Thema
      Saab 9000
      FIAT Croma

      I know the Alfa is in there too, but at least it got a different body.

      • 0 avatar
        bobbysirhan

        The Alfa Romeo 164 is the pick of the litter, only partially because it doesn’t look as generic as the other shopping trolleys. I also think the Busso V6 was the best engine, perhaps even when the cross-plane version of the Ferrari V8 used in a few Lancia Themas is included. Worst would be the Saab, lacking an Italian engine and shifter.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    -Americans would flock to small trucks if they were offered again.

    -Americans would flock to wagons if they were offered again.

    -A significant gas price rise is inevitable in the near term, and will lead to a resurgence of cars at the expense of CUVs and trucks.

    -Relatedly, the idea that cancelling sedans was a mistake.

    -Also relatedly, the idea that EVs will be a reasonable choice for most buyers on a time scale of years, not decades.

    -Switching to a Tesla-style direct sales method would lead to significant savings for consumers.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      1) As long as the trucks were small(er) and cheaper, I think there is a market.
      2) Agreed, wagons are dead.
      3) Cancelling sedans and compacts wasn’t a mistake in the short term, given the conditions of the time. Times have changed. But I think this segment may make something of a comeback in the CoronaEconomy – there are going to be plenty of people who aren’t comfortable with overpaying ten grand for something just because it has butch styling and rides higher.
      4) We’ll see…but the question really depends on batteries, and it appears Tesla has a new one that could be a game-changer.
      5) It wouldn’t make it cheaper for consumers, just better.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        @Mike,

        1) Priced after incentives, half tons are already not much more than the compact CUVs the new crop of small trucks are based on. I just don’t see any way the small trucks are significantly cheaper in the end.

        3)Possible, but I think unlikely. Those who lost work won’t be buying at all, and those who can work from home will not change their buying habits. The glut of late model used cars will also take a toll on the low end of the new market.

        4)And we can always trust Tesla to deliver exactly what they claim, when they claim it, right? Even if they have it, where is the road map from 2% of the market to 10%, let alone 50%? Decades away unless there’s extreme govt intervention.

        5)Probably, but I’ll take the lower price any day.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @Jack: what I’m talking about is a truck that’s smaller than something like a Colorado – maybe even FWD based. Sell it for $30,000 or so and aim it at first time buyers. Once upon a time, trucks like the original Ranger were common starter cars; if they were priced right and sized right, they could be again.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Honda Ridgeline. Base price $34K neighborhood. Seems that they are not a huge sales success.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            @Mike a small truck would have to be priced in the mid-20s with rebates to get it to the low 20s or high teens. A midsize could be 30s with rebates into mid to high 20s and probably be a decent buy (for the starting prices at least)

            Right now without even searching hard, I found a crew cab v6 eco whatever ram 4×4 for 32k. If a small truck was priced at 30k it would be a joke.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Honda Ridgeline.

            There is a myth right there.

            People tout it as a small alternative to a full sized pickup but it is the same width as a F150.

      • 0 avatar
        993cc

        2) The boundary between SUVs, CUVs and Wagons will blur until wagons are available again under a different label.

        4) In less than a decade EVs will reach purchase price parity with ICEVs and then will gain popularity due to simplified maintenance and lower total cost of ownership. Popularity among owners who tow, road warriors, or people with only on-street parking will take longer.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “In less than a decade EVs will reach purchase price parity with ICEVs”

          In some cases, they have reached parity with ICE. In the ICE world, powertrains that are smoother, quieter, and have more torque have always cost more. A 3 or 4 cylinder with a CVT is going to cost less than a V8 or V12 with a better transmission.

          That’s the way you have to compare EV prices with ICEs. You have to add the premium for the quicker acceleration, quiet, and smoothness. Compare the Model 3 standard plus with the Stinger 2WD. The Model 3 SP just dropped in price to $38k and the standard which can be ordered off of the website is $36k. That seems to compare to the Stinger, although I haven’t had time to wade through an option comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      That’s a right on man…you said it all.

      I’d only add the enduring myth on this site that any day now, something will happen to cause Americans to abandon pick up trucks. We’ve already endured 4-5 dollar gas and they didn’t. If you go higher than that, the Economy would have bigger issues and nobody is buying anything.

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        Nothing is going to cause Americans to abandon pickups in large numbers but for a massive hike in gas prices, over $5-6/gallon in my estimation.

        The rise of pickups reached a critical mass over the past decade and is responsible for the rise of crossovers. As pickups grew ever more comically huge (tall), and became so prevalent on American roads, the rest of the market adapted and demanded regular vehicles with elevated ride height just so commuting wouldn’t be totally miserable being stuck in a parade of farm equipment every time they got behind the wheel. The crossover was born and exploded in popularity thanks to the pickup truck.

        The pickup truck itself, fuels even more pickup truck sales. Every time some d’bag takes up multiple parking spots, tailgates other drivers to intimidate them, nearly kills other motorists with some a$$hat Dale Ernhart wannabe stunt….people think that “hey, why shouldn’t I be an inconsiderate a$$hat too?” “I don’t like other drivers pushing me around or endangering me with crazy stupid huge vehicles, I’m getting one too just so I don’t to worry about them”. Somehow, pickups have been so securely tied to masculinity through marketing that the arms race is literally guaranteed to continue forever. No man with any real or perceived insecurities can stomach the guy next to him having something bigger. It is the easiest play on human nature and a way to get a lot of men to line up screaming “take my money!….give me the big one!”.

        So…..since we are on the topic of misconceptions. I will throw my hat into the ring with the misconception that pickup truck sales are driven by their usefulness. Today’s pickup is nothing more than an oversized and underworked phallus extender.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Today’s pickup is nothing more than an oversized and underworked phallus extender.”

          The ultimate pickup truck myth…

          Almost every auto class has a douche bag segment.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          My 2019 Super Duty is no taller than a 50 year old “Highboy” F250, but please, continue to show your @ss by claiming trucks are “growing ever more comically tall” and serve no purpose other than phallus extenders.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            I feel like hood height has grown in the last 20-30 years, or at least there are many more vehicles with high hood lines than there used to be.

            As a car person, I’m not quite so concerned about the overall height (in traffic, looking through the cab windows doesn’t help much so instead I look around the side of the truck in front of me, look ahead at the shadows of the vehicles in front of him as they bunch up or spread out, get used to the pickup truck’s cadence and figure out if the driver is a nervous brake tapper or if they’re paying attention and driving smoothly).

            But as I car person, the hood height affects me a lot when I’m pulling out of a parking spot. Same thing making a right turn on a red light and the vehicle next to me in the straight lane is a clumsy, inconsiderate driver who stops with their beak sticking out in the crosswalk (cars, pickups, motorcycles, lots of people commit this sin).

            So yeah, I feel like pickup trucks have gotten a lot taller, even if I can’t put my finger on the exact numbers and data to support that statement.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The step-up height for the HD trucks, at least, seems to have increased in the last decade or so, to the point where it seems that running boards are almost a necessity for access to the cabin!

            If not a small stepladder!

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          I own an F150 and daily a Fiesta ST and the last time some a$$hat tried to Dale Earnhardt me and sideswiped said truck they were driving a Hyundai Velocter (not even the N). I never feel unsafe in the Fiesta and I live in Alafreakingbama so it isn’t like trucks aren’t plentiful.

          Anyway, yeah, your stereotype is just that. One could type Tesla driver’s, BMW driver’s, Prius Driver’s, pretty much any on their worst elements. I mean typically when someone hates on a group like you are hating on pickup driver’s, another stereotype would hold that it is because they caught their ex wife with someone in one…but that’s just a stereotype.

          Anyway, sorry about your stereotype.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      Regarding the wagon comment. The CUVs of today are actually wagons. So yes Americans are flocking too them.

      • 0 avatar
        Imagefont

        Exactly – Europe and Scandinavia has favored wagons / hatchbacks for a long time for their efficiency and practicality. And now Americans do too, they just prefer them with a higher seating position and easier ingress / egress.
        The Honda CRV is an Accord wagon.
        The Toyota RAV4 is a Camry wagon.
        Chevy Equinox = Malibu wagon.

        Pickup trucks are driven by short people with low self esteem.

    • 0 avatar
      Adder

      1. Ya nailed it.
      2. Ya nailed it.
      3. Ya nailed it.
      4. The jury’s still out. Canceling some sedans was definitely smart, but all of them? Hmm… People forget that the Ford Fusion consistently outsold all but the Camry, Accord, and Altima. Just raise the price a bit and make a good product. You don’t want to lose that much market share, especially with the H/K twins breathing down your throat.
      5. Ya nailed it.
      6. Amen!

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’m interested to see how H/K’s bet on compacts and sedans goes. I think they’ll actually succeed, if for no other reason than there being fewer players in the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Yes, male Americans will flock to small trucks again, if they were car-based, like the old El Camino/Ranchero. It doesn’t even have to be RWD, though struts/coils will have to be modified for a decent truck bed.

      Most of the Japanese trucks of the 1970s hauled mostly light stuff, less than 200-300 lbs. when they hauled anything. Like the E-C and Ranchero, the big benefit for a guy running errands was there was no room for the kids and/or mother-in-law to tag along.

      That meant a guy could be alone with his thoughts for awhile, except when he had a helper to move a stove or washer. He could smoke, or pop in somewhere for a beer, or make a side trip somewhere without having to stick to an itinerary.

      Guys NEED a vehicle like that today!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Yes, Saab was a niche company in bad financial shape before GM took over. But the product was unique and interesting. GM definitely fixed that problem!

    The GM ownership might have worked if they hadn’t insisted on pumping out a bunch of stuff that was still ridiculously expensive, all based on Euro-market GM family cars. I mean, seriously…the 9=5 and Saturn L2000 rode on the same platform. WT actual F?

    But I’ll move on…

    My biggest misconception is “VWs are unreliable garbage.” Were they at one point? Yes. Are VWs a bit more maintenance-intensive than, say, a Corolla? Again, yes. Is their dealership experience bad? Definitely. But they aren’t unreliable anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      For comparison sake, when Saab was offering the 900 in 1989, the only thing on the market today that “long in the tooth” is the Frontier.

      Interesting cars don’t pay the rent unless you move a ton of something mainstream to subsidize them (See Porsche Cayenne and Macann).

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        @Art:

        If Porsche was stupid enough to sell Cayennes or Macans that directly shared a platform and running gear with a $25,000 family sedan, I think your point would be perfect. The problem was that GM was trying to sell $50,000 Saabs that had the same basic platform and engines as a $25,000 family schlepper. It was the same gameplan they used to run Cadillac into the ground in the ’70s, the only difference being they were trying to upsell Opels instead of Chevys. Genius!

        And on a side note…GM did a variant on this game plan with Cadillac in the 2000s – they dropped billions of dollars designing bespoke platforms for the brand, and making them ride and handle like a BMW or Benz. And then they put engines in them that came straight out of a Malibu or Impala. (Shakes head.)

        But they really upped their game with the CT4 – this time, it’s not just a four-banger Chevy engine, it’s a four-banger Chevy TRUCK engine. (Shakes head again.)

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          So @FreedMike, before GM took over and “ruined” Saab, one could purchase either a 12 year old design (900), or a really expensive version of a FIAT Croma (9000). But I guess using an Italian family sedan versus a US one made all the difference assuming you didn’t want a car with a platform that debuted with the Fox Body Mustang.

          • 0 avatar
            bobbysirhan

            The 12 year old 900 did an excellent impersonation of a 21 year old Saab 99. The dashboard was more contemporary looking in the 900, but peak Saab was in the mid-70s, when the 99 EMS performed well compared to its competitors and didn’t break down leaving the new car lot. The 900 was always old, and for some reason the 1981 Saab 900 Turbos were no faster than the 1976 Saab 99 EMS.

    • 0 avatar
      ScarecrowRepair

      If GM hadn’t fixed that problem, Saab would have fixed it sooner by going out of business altogether.

    • 0 avatar
      bobbysirhan

      The unique and interesting Saab in the photo above is a rebadged Fiat. It was also sold in the US as an Alfa Romeo, so regional ignorance is no excuse.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        In fairness, they sold like 6 of those Alfas in the US. I see one every morning driving to work. Hasn’t moved in at least 2 years.

        Still I’d drive the Alfa over the Saab any day of the week.

        • 0 avatar
          Runfromcheney

          To take it a step further, not only would unprofitable, independent Saab with an overpriced uncompetitive lineup have to fend off the Japanese and develop a competitive lineup of SUVs while surviving the early 90s recession, the Great Recession and the European Debt crisis that tanked the economies of countries like Greece, Ireland and Spain…..they would then have deal with Hyundai entering the luxury market with Genesis and the arrival of Tesla, the latter being a particularly serious threat given how popular they have become among Saab’s demographic. Competition from Tesla and Europe’s post-Dieselgate hardening of emissions standards means that independent Saab would then have to just pull billions of dollars out of hat to electrify their lineup and eventually transition to building electric cars entirely just to continue to sell cars in Europe, including their native Sweden. Then while doing that, have to then survive the severe recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

          At no point during all of that would independent Saab had gone under or said “screw it” and sold themselves to a bigger automaker. No they would have kept on building cars just like the 900 Turbo the whole time all the way up to today if GM hadn’t gotten involved.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Changing transmission fluid is bad because it releases the crud that keeps the unit working.”

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      aaahh yes. I forgot about this one. So much misinformation in the statement.

      Only true if the fluid is grey or black because most of the clutch material now resides in the fluid as burnt clutch particles.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Now, with CVT, DCT being many, you better specify, the type of transmission you’re talking about

    • 0 avatar
      bobbysirhan

      Changing transmission fluid with the proper lubricant at the directed interval is a great thing. Waiting until you smell burning fluid or feel weird shifts and then running a fluid ‘flush’ machine with some goop that comes in a 55 gallon drum with acronyms for every OEM’s requirements printed on the label is going to cost you the last useful life of your transmission a majority of the time.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        If all of the clutch material resides in your fluid versus the clutch packs you will be getting new transmission fluid anyway…all wrapped in a new transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      This. I have a car with the unfortunate DQ200 DSG box.

      Everyone has a different opinion on servicing
      – Sealed for life, don’t touch it until it goes wrong
      – Service it every 40k miles, in case it goes wrong
      – Sell/burn your car

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Your take on Saab is more accurate to what I remember from the day. Another, similar, Internet myth is that Ford did a similar “disservice” to Jaguar. My memories were that Jags were horribly unreliable and very expensive and were starting to get their clocks cleaned by Acura and soon to be Lexus and Infiniti. Without Ford’s investment the company may have very likely ceased to exist. Sure, like Saab, the products became a bit more generic by sharing some parts and controls from their parent companies, but these economies of scale were important to making them competitive. They also got far more reliable.

  • avatar
    993cc

    It is possible to believe both that Saab needed to be rescued and that GM ruined Saab.
    Volvo has fared better under Geely that Saab did under GM, or indeed under their current Chinese backers.

    • 0 avatar
      Nedmundo

      Exactly. GM saved Saab in the short-term, but destroyed it for the long-term. I had always loved Saab, and when GM took full ownership, I knew the brand’s days were numbered. I decided to buy one when they were still good, and got a fantastic deal on a 2001 9-5 Aero (5MT). It showcased the highs and lows of the brand, with excellent performance, practicality, and ergonomics, but seriously poor reliability. I loved it, but after that experience wasn’t willing to replace it with another Saab.

      Indeed, I think weak reliability was a large factor in the brand’s downfall. On that front, Saab couldn’t even compete with the Germans, much less the Japanese.

      By the way, the writing was on the wall before Lexus arrived in 1989, courtesy of Acura, which showed up earlier with cars that competed more directly against Saab. Acura offered a similar blend as Saab, with great handling, all-weather drivability courtesy of FWD, and some luxury– but with Honda reliability, at much lower prices. The first generation Integra four-door was like a discounted 900, with great reliability. And the 9000 was a tough sell against the Legend, especially the 2G. It’s no coincidence that Saab’s best sales year was 1986, the same year Acura arrived.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Two classics

    “Miata is always the answer”

    and

    The ultimate car is a brown, diesel, stick-shift, Volvo wagon

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      If you’re having a really crappy day, stressed out, or just need a break, and it’s a beautiful 70 degree day outside and sun as far as the eye can see, yes, Miata is always the answer! In the end, it might be cheaper than $200/hour therapy!

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I live in the midwest, that “beautiful 70 degree day” is 2 days a year :(

        • 0 avatar

          The Miata is too uncomfortable and unrefined to be the answer for all things.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I went from a Fiata test drive back to my Fiesta ST yesterday and instantly felt my car was large and roomy. Furthermore at 5’11” I am just barely able to comfortably fit in the FIAT. Simple logistics will make it not the answer for many. If you are just looking for top down sun therapy, there are certainly other answers that are equally good. If you want to carve canyons you may be right though.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          A Cobra or Cobra replica will keep you warm on the cold mid-west days and the sound will make you forget how miserable hot it is the other days. Push it a bit and you will forget everything else for a while.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Another one that won’t die: “American made, or I should really say, American-branded vehicles are automatically lower quality and unreliable with the exception of a few trucks”

    Talk about the Volkswagen meme being out of date…

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      On the flip side of that, Japanese cars are infallible

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      Maybe just a fluke, but the two Japan-assembled Japanese vehicles that we’ve had have been better than the two American-assembled ones (early wear and tear on suspension parts specifically).

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @golden2husky – I’ve found that the most ardent “American Made” types on pickup blogs are Ram owners. Kinda ironic since they are owned by an Italian company with a head office in the Netherlands and a tax base in England. They also score low on the “American Made” Index.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      In general blanket statement about a nation are myths. You can pretend to like Honda and Toyota (who have also had their issues), but let’s not pretend that Nissan is the symbol of quality.

      Also, if perceived quality is important, why are European vehicles praised? Never met a BMW that wasn’t a money pit. Every VW owner I’ve ever known, gets rid of them as soon as the warranty expires.

  • avatar
    3SpeedAutomatic

    Until yesterday’s Junkyard review, was under the impression that all SAABs of the 80’s thru the end were turbo only!!

    Guess its time for me to eat my humble pie!

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Another favorite

    “No one needs 4WD or a pick-up”

    I got 6 sheets of plywood home in 2 feet of snow in my Versa

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      I reside in Phoenix (its 104 today and 110 by Friday!) so maaaaybe my ignorance is showing buuut… who the hell needs 6 sheets of plywood during a blizard!?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Blizzard? Two feet of snow in the upper midwest is called, “A chance of snow flurries on Tuesday”

      • 0 avatar
        Adder

        I gotta second the two feet of snow being common assertion. People forget that before the Great Lakes states were call the rust belt they were called the snow belt.

        I would like to add on:

        “No one needs all wheel drive unless you are going off road. Any good driver can make do with slapping snow tires on their RWD sports car.”

        My mother sold her FWD minivan as soon as we realized that it couldn’t make it up our steep driveway in the winter AFTER it was plowed. She jumped in an Armada SUV and hasn’t looked back.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          Two feet of snow doesn’t mean uniformly two feet deep or two feet deep on every road (the plows come through regularly, more often on some streets than others though).

          If someone hasn’t lived around snow like that then I can see how they wouldn’t have any idea that that’s how the reality is.

          Snow in flatland is admittedly easier to deal with than snow in hill country. A single person can jam an entire thoroughfare, and screw over thousands of other motorists for hours or days, by getting stuck going up a steep hill. There’s a bit of a myth that people in snow country know how to drive in the snow- sure, most do (which includes many snow slowpokes who simply know their own limitations, thank you Dirty Harry for your concise life lessons), but a small and, uhhhhhh “disproportionately influential” minority definitely do not. They can be found in the ditches, etc. People down south definitely don’t know how to drive in the snow (this one is not a myth). They tend to stay home en masse for a day or two (day off work, schools closed for snow day), while mother nature runs her course. They do that out of irrational fear of a snowfall that wouldn’t be worth plowing up north. I don’t belittle this approach because I gotta say, it works out better for everyone. (And they’d otherwise have millions in capital tied up in idle snowplows 360+ days of the year.)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @JimC2 – 2 feet of snow definitely depends on the snow. A fresh snowfall with a firm road underneath is relatively easy to navigate.

            2 feet of old snow in the spring on an unplowed road will get you stuck even in a 4×4 truck.

            I bought my truck because it fits my lifestyle. I don’t need it for work. It is the Swiss Army Knife of vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        The year when I finally have an AWD vehicle for the first time… 1 snow day whole winter. I remember, I delivered pizza in 1983 Civic S on a day when 2 feet of snow landed in our area.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Don’t forget that if you actually do dare to buy a 4×4 truck larger than a Ranger, the only possible explanation is that your anatomy is lacking.

  • avatar
    JMII

    You need to change your oil at 3,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      This! For years, my girlfriend got all bent out of shape whenever she went over 3,000 miles between oil changes. I got the owners’ manual out of her glovebox and showed her the manufacturer recommended 5,000 mile intervals. Her response? “Well, damn.”

      The quick-lube joints really hit it out of the park with that whole “you gotta change the oil every 3,000 miles” bit. Lots of college tuition bills paid with that one.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        @FreedMike

        you’re not entirely correct. Owners manuals have 2 or even 3 schedules. It says something like this:
        if you drive in sandy, dusty conditions, stop and go traffic, in extreme hot or extreme cold weather, if towing; use schedule #2.

        And in schedule #2 you have what? – exactly – shortened oil intervals. Besides, it also says, “N” miles or 1 year. So, even if you drove 2K in a year, manufacturer still wants you to change oil.

        • 0 avatar
          Kendahl

          The shortened oil change interval for severe service is often 3,750 miles. Forty years ago, I had access to free oil analysis. Even that far back, with a carbureted engine in typical suburban service, the oil was fine at 6,000 miles.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @slavuta:

          The GF just trolls around the ‘burbs and commutes back and forth to work, mainly on a freeway. A 5,000 miles interval is just fine.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            @FreedMike

            If you drive on the highway, there is little wear. Think about cycles. Especially in the winter. You heated your engine and then cooled off. again and again. This is what destroys it and oil. The junk from cold startup. But if you just drive, if you drive on the highway on the highest gear at optimal RPM, wear is little.

      • 0 avatar
        1500cc

        @ FreedMike

        Similar to the 2 months salary thing for engagement rings (or did they increase it to 3 months?). Never take purchasing advice from those that stand to benefit from it the most.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      A related myth is that oil can go 5000+ miles between LOF intervals. The truth about oil change intervals (TTAOCI) is that they dont really depend on mileage, but depend on many other factors. A correctly calculated LOF interval relies heavily on oil temperature and molecular shear which depend on; engine load, RPM, external temperature, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        This is why most vehicles have moved to OLM (oil life monitor) type systems. There is a time and temperature component to oil life. The blanket statements about it lasting X miles is the myth that needs to die. Most underestimate it, but some list 10,000 mile extended use which seems too far on the other end of the spectrum.

        I’ve read (more rumors?) that you should change your oil yearly regardless of mileage because oxidation occurs due to all the additives modern synthetic oil have. Basically oil goes bad even while just sitting at the bottom of the pan.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Another common misconception is thinking the OLMs are doing anything other than counting miles in many cases.

          Certainly some are measuring engine conditions, some fancy ones may even directly sample the oil, but I own three vehicles with OLMs and at least two of them are straight mileage counters.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Which reminds me of yet another misconception: digital gauges *must* be accurate because… they’re digital. Just look at the number, it says 27.6, that’s just gotta be accurate!!

            :)

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Jack,

            How did you find out how they calculate oil life? Ive been looking for publications that detail stated information.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Jon, most modern oil life monitors are just algorithms that calculate life based on usage patterns. Accrued mileage is but one factor, and my guess not the most important one either. Trip length, ambient temps, engine operating time, engine temps, and RPMs are likely to be far more critical to oil life for the way most use their vehicles. Sure, if you run 150 miles a day the overall miles driven may carry a bigger sway, but not for most drivers. My C7 has an oil life monitor and I get a full year out of the Mobil 1 oil. Interesting to note that for newer GM cars, the oil life will go to zero in a year, even when the car is not used. I do think some MB cars do actually sample the oil…

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            G2H,

            I understand that OLM’s are algorithm based. What i want, is to see the algorithm, numbers, variables and data behind it. I want to understand the correlation between oil life % and lubricant chemical composition and breakdown.

            I think that the biggest problem with the OLM, is how people interpret it. Most folks equate 100% with good and 0-20% with “time to change the oil” and think nothing of the numbers in between. So they run the OLM down to 20% or lower and guess that OLM<20% is a good time to change the oil. Without the data behind the calculations, an accurate interpretation cannot obtained.

            I want the data. But ill never have it because OEM's dont release that information.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @Jon,

            I don’t have any detailed information on how the non-mileage based ones calculate the remaining life.

            I do know that my wife’s van tells me it’s time to change at exactly 5,000 miles, and my truck has a percentage based system that is just 100% – (miles driven/7500).

        • 0 avatar
          pwrwrench

          A simple experiment can be done to find out if this is true.
          Get a cheap baking pan, made from whatever your oil pan is, aluminum or steel.
          Pour some oil in and cover with plastic food wrap. Poke a few holes for air to circulate as oil systems are not completely sealed.
          Leave this to sit wherever your vehicle stays.
          Check it every few months.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I rate the 3000-mile oil changes as true if one owns a 1.5L Honda. Necessary to maintain the fuel concentration in the oil pan below damage-causing levels.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    “Lifetime Sealed Transmission”

    Also related, car manufacturers are your friend. Same with new car dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      “lifetime transmission fluid”
      +1000
      This is one of the most prominent automotive scams ever – popularized by Toyota. Lifetime = lifetime of the transmission. NOT lifetime of the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        stuart

        I had the Haynes manual for my FIAT 128. On the subject of transaxle oil, it said:

        “Some manufacturers claim there is no need to change the oil, as it will last the life of the transmission. That may be true, but that life can be longer if you change the oil.”

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    “Don’t ever run out of fuel in your car/truck. You’ll suck all the dirt out of the fuel tank and ruin your engine.”

    Actual: All fuel systems get fuel at, or near, the bottom of the tank. So if there are contaminants that stuff is already in the outlet screen or beyond.

    • 0 avatar
      1500cc

      Although I have heard (so I’m willing to entertain it being a myth as well) that fuel pumps cool themselves with fuel, so if you run the tank low, the lower volume of fuel won’t cool as well, and you risk shortening your fuel pump’s life.

      • 0 avatar
        pwrwrench

        Yes ‘all’ vehicle fuel pumps, for FI (and what is not FI? in the last 30 yrs) are cooled and lubed by the fuel. If a driver is into running the tank very low, air can get pulled into the pump when extra G maneuvers are done, braking, cornering, up and down steep hills, hard acceleration.
        Do this enough and the pump will stop, along with the engine. Sometimes after some time to dissipate heat, the pump will run again. Eventually it will not and require replacement.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Well, my experience was not like that. My old K car had a tiny 13 gallon tank and I was traveling a lot for work back then. I would jam the tank full and burn it way low – I got to the point I could tell when the gas pump would shut off (+/- 1/8 gallon) if I used the same gas station pump. Anyway, that fuel pump lasted 192,000 miles. I actually was able to nurse the car to my normal repair shop. YMMV

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          A friend of mine had a GM pickup truck with an in tank fuel pump. She had a habit of running out of fuel. (Like several times a year.) Killed the fuel pump pretty quickly.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I’ll bet we get to 150+ comments on this one!!

    Speed kills

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      No, of course speed itself does not kill.

      The way I think about it is this: the faster you drive, the higher your overall risk profile is. Something going wrong (blowout, emergency maneuver, collision) at 100mph is going to carry more severe consequences than if the same thing were to happen at 50mph.

    • 0 avatar
      cgjeep

      Speed doesn’t kill. Stopping (suddenly) does.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Kinetic energy is KE = 0.5 x mv2 . Kinetic energy increases as a square root of velocity. That is why an increase in “speed” increases the lethality of an impact.

        Our bodies were designed to survive a short fall or accidentally running into an object. That’s why school zones have 30 kph (20 mph) limits.

        I don’t have a problem with exceeding posted speed limits if done at the right time and place with a firm understanding of vehicle dynamics.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Speed itself does not kill. Disparity in speeds on heavily traveled roads can kill, as does going fast where it is not prudent.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This one isn’t common, but I see it a lot in my circle: the current Jaguar/Land Rover 5.0-liter AJV8 is *not* the same as the Ford 5.0-liter “Coyote” Mod V8. They are also not related.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      Yes, hearing that my 2002 Jaguar XKR is “just a Ford”, and there are car guys that are convinced that the 4.0 is a Ford engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Vaggo

      Although ironically the 5.0 aj133 v8 is basically the same engine as the 3.0 aj126 v6…the v6 is still at 90 degrees and the block has acoustic stuffers in the two “empty” cylinders…and the head has an awkward flat section where the two extra cylinders should be…and the crankshaft had an “empty” section that’s rather funny. I am convinced however that this silly design is why the v6 sounds epic…an f-type at full chat sounds like god gargling hammers

  • avatar
    bobbysirhan

    “All cars are good enough now.” People have been conditioned to say it for about twenty years, and the beauty of ‘good enough now’ is that they can dismiss the nineteen years that they were provably wrong. The truth is that most cars are now good enough to lease, but keepers are scarcer than they have been since the advent of rustproofing.

  • avatar
    Billuminati

    Luxury CUV buyers: Don’t care about performance and handling/Don’t know or care about platform or drivetrain layout.

    This ongoing myth goes back to a study of BMW 1-Series owners that led to the first FWD BMWs, but took on a life of its own whenever GM or whoever else cuts corners on their luxury lineup.

    If that’s the case, why do RWD/AWD CUVs command higher prices than their FWD/AWD counterparts?

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      RWD proportions are burned into consumer psyche as being more premium than sensible FWD proportions (along with those FWD-based vehicles traditionally being badge engineered instead of purpose-built)?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    1) The legendary quality of Subaru

    2) Replacing ignition coils on VWs every 30K miles is standard maintenance

    3) Not running the AC compressor in a modern car creates a notable increase in fuel economy

    4) DRLs reduce fuel economy

    5) You can pump the brakes faster than an ABS system, don’t put the pedal to the floor and don’t “trust” ABS

    6) Always turn against a skid to regain control

    7) How amazingly fantastic late 70s and early 80s Japanese cars were

    8) The Pontiac G8 was a flop because no one liked it

    9) GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to die – there was no economic benefit

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      1) +1
      2) +1
      3) I live in phoenix and my Tahoe MPG drops by 1-2 mpg from may to october.
      4) huh? that a thing?
      5) +1
      6) whats a wet road?
      7) idk – never owned or experienced one.
      8) +1 I liked the G8.
      9) +1 and let ford be the sole player? No way!

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @Jon

        3) Is the impact of the AC compressor or is the impact of the air being thinner due to high temperature? I know this has been tested by many sources. Where this was true decades ago, modern systems use far less power. I have a GMT900 truck (Avalanche) with the 5.3 and can’t say I see a huge difference in MPG any time of the year. It may be possible that in soggy Seattle, the AC compressor is running almost year-round (to remove moisture in the air during the winter) and so I see less difference.

        4) Ya – you can do a search and you’ll find that was a real argument against DRLs.

        • 0 avatar
          bobbysirhan

          DRLs using fuel is physics. Where do you think the energy comes from? Virtue signaling? If they don’t use fuel, why are they defeated for the EPA emissions tests? And again, where do you think the energy comes from? Are you a ‘science believer’ when it suits you?

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Of course they do, but how much depends on the system and the vehicle.

            Just to keep it in perspective, a 60W DRL system is making the engine work about 1/10 of a horsepower harder than if those lights were off. An average car, getting about 30mpg and loping down the road at about 60mph, is producing about 30hp.

            Some DRLs use more power than that, others use hardly any at all. Some cars suck more gas than others too.

            YMMV.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            I guess i gotta spell it out: The amount of energy used by a DRL is probably negligible compared to the energy used by all other automotive systems on a single vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            bobbysirhan

            Back in the days when Car and Driver published coast-down numbers, a common result was 15 hp consumed at 55 mph. If you’re suggesting that an extra tenth of a horsepower multiplied by thirty million or more cars covering 12,000 miles a year in daylight doesn’t add up to a meaningful waste of resources, then I really don’t want to hear your other ideas about resource allocation.

            When motorcycles first had DRLs, there was a significant reduction in motorcycle fatalities due to their increased conspicuity. When cars got DRLs in Canada, motorcycle fatalities reverted to normal and cars quickly saw their own accident rates return to normal. Is it possible that no cars with DRLs would have saved motorcyclists lives? We’ll never know. CHMSLs reduced rear-end accidents for the first several hundred thousand cars that had them, before reverting to the norm as they became less conspicuous. The rest is just wasted energy.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            DRLs are pretty much all LEDs these days on new cars, and use more like 5-10W (1/100 of a horsepower).

            You could improve your mileage more by turning off the radio or losing 10 lb.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            I did the math years ago and it came out to be about one extra tank of gas per 100K miles, but that was the incandescent headlight DRL days.
            LED’s DRL efficiency pretty much makes additional fuel use a moot point.
            Really, to make a far, far bigger difference the nation’s fleet for reduction of CO2 emission would be having AWD only on those vehicles that actually need it.
            Funny thing, when I visit Canada, the rare vehicle that does not have his lights on in the daytime catches my eye. In their own way, they are the standout.

          • 0 avatar
            bobbysirhan

            All those wasted bulbs that burned out as an idiot tax were paid for by the planet too. Are you factoring them in as well?

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      Well number 1 is wrong. I’ve owned 2 and they are bulletproof.
      I’m guessing you’ve never actually owned one and have a dislike for their commercials.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        MeJ,

        all you have to add is that you put 120K on them

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Actually I have owned more than one.

        Our ’93 Legacy we got rid of at 44K miles. Brake failure, entire HVAC system had to be redone (dashboard torn out, everything). Subaru almost bought the car back because the work was so extensive. Then at 44K miles puddles of oil in the garage. DONE.

        I’ve posted all the issue we have with the ’06 Forester, that now includes leaving puddles of oil in the driveway. Steering rack failure, carpet worn through on driver side even with a floor mat, ridiculous cost for 100K service.

        My stepson has a 2011 Impreza. Ate it’s headgasket because Subaru, electrical gremlins, and leaving puddles of oil now.

        No thanks – never again. Done.

        Oh, and I am very much an ally. My cousin Ronnie was one of the first to die of AIDS, I have many friends who live different lifestyles and I am very comfortable with my own preferences.

        • 0 avatar
          ktm

          @APaGttH YMMV. I got 125k out of my 2007 WRX Limited wagon without having to perform any repairs, just brakes, tires, oil change, timing belt, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            ktm,

            again, 125K. Not 225K. My Highlander was also nearly good till 130K. Then… thousands of repair needed. “Lemon” (relatively speaking)

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      1.5 The legendary quality of Honda

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The G8 was a flop not because no one liked it in the abstract, but because nobody liked it enough to pay for production of an expensive platform in an expensive (and even more so at the time) country. The only G8 that sold for a profit was the GXP.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        dal’s point about the G8 brings up why the Caprice/Chevy SS didn’t become the new Impala like Bob Lutz wanted. It was too expensive to build to have it become a full line vehicle. (A base V6, maybe a 5.3 V8 variant, then a 6 ltr V8 high performance model.)

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    How about “you need to idle your vehicle for several minutes to fully warm it up in cold weather before you drive it” ?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Here is another myth about pickups….. Unless it has a big V8, it isn’t going to sell!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Isn’t the 2.7 TT the F150’s volume motor?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Art Vandelay – I recall seeing this site break down Ford F150 engines. This was 2 years ago:

        “Heading into 2018, Ford’s truck marketing manager Todd Eckert tells Automotive News that the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be the most popular F-150 engine followed by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost. Together, they’ll claim 65 percent of all F-150 sales, leaving 10 percent for the new entry-level 3.3-liter, and roughly 25 percent for the five-point-oh.”

        I do believe that the only reason the 5.0 is still in the F150 is because there will always be the “loud pipes annoy lives” buyer that will only drive a V8.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Out of curiosity, did a comparison of my
    – 1995 GMC Sierra 1/2 ton 2WD to a
    – 2020 Sierra 2WD Regular Cab Long Box

    As close to ‘apples-apples’ as we can get. [Note that the 2020 Regular Cab Long Box is shorter than the more popular 2020 Crew Cab Short Box.] Width ignores mirrors (silly, but we’re going with it).

    The newer truck is 8% longer [+17 inches], 6% wider [+4.4 inches] and 7% taller [+5.2 inches]. If you draw a ‘box’ to contain each vehicle, the newer box has 23% more volume [+150 cu. ft.].

    The newer truck weighs 11% more (+440 pounds).

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    People who still believe that BMWs are somehow worth the money as “ultimate driving machines” – they are living under serious misconceptions.

    The true “M” models might be track monsters but those driving a 4cyl turbo automatic base 3-series might as well have an Accord.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    MISCONCEPTIONS: ELECTRIC POWER EDITION

    1) Electric cars need the same range as gas cars. If you can’t drive your electric car as far on a charge as your gas car travels on a tank, you’ll have range anxiety. (People really haven’t internalized how home charging changes the driver’s experience.)

    2) Electric cars are penalty boxes that are uncomfortable and not fun to drive. (You’d think Tesla would have put paid to this idea, but it’s surprisingly durable, even in places where Teslas are ubiquitous. A distressing number of people don’t understand that Teslas are fully electric.)

    3) The only reason to drive a hybrid car is if gas savings more than make up for the purchase price. (Hybrids have other advantages too.)

    4) You can’t charge a plug-in electric car unless your home has a garage with a built-in car charger. (Chargers can go outside in a driveway, and are cheap and easy to install inside or out.)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “and are cheap and easy to install inside or out.”

      Still looks like a big hassle to me. YMMV.
      youtube.com/watch?v=2FA4LYc89VE
      youtube.com/watch?v=UwdjWEV8tWA

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    MISCONCEPTIONS: 2020 NASA EDITION

    1) Tesla Model X does not have the necessary range to reach Pad 39A.

    2) Gullwing doors offer no clearance advantages for spacesuits.

    [Both disproven]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjb9FdVdX5I
    .

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    “This old car is going to be worth money someday!” Aka “Barrett Jackson syndrome.”

    Thanks to muscle cars skyrocketing in value around Y2K everyone is now convinced that all old cars will be worth significant amounts of money in enough time. The truth is that old cars are intrinsically worthless; even the ones that are appreciating in value, if you look up their MSRP and adjust it for inflation you’ll notice they are still selling well below what they cost brand new. Per basic economics prices go up when demand exceeds supply. Thus, the only old cars that ever surpass the MSRP + inflation threshold I outlined are low production speciality cars that everyone dreamed of owning but couldn’t afford even when new, or cars that sold poorly but exploded in popularity after they were discontinued (Challenger, DeLorean, Third-gen Supra).

    People seem to forget the unique circumstances that saw muscle car prices shoot the moon around Y2K. The Baby Boomers were turning 50/60 and in the midst of their midlife crisis’ decided they all wanted to have hot rods, creating a giant surge of demand. The fastest muscle cars they most wanted were low production, most of the actual sales volume were lower level trims and engines. Muscle cars in general were poorly built, abused by their owners and by the late 1970s became about as fashionable to drive as a Hummer H2 during the Obama presidency, so not many survived. The muscle cars got hyped by the big three’s marketers over the previous 20 years to the point of reaching near-mythical status as they appealed to nostalgia to sell their newer, uncompetitive products. There was nothing you could find in a new car showroom that delivered the same power and experience, since most of Detroit’s cars were now front wheel drive with styling copied from the Japanese. Seeking out a classic was the only way to get what they wanted and the demand reached a point where even the consolation prizes became too expensive for many to afford. For example, guys who wanted a GTO but couldn’t afford one then snapped up V8 LeMans’, then as those got too expensive it became open season for any V8 Pancho with a body that remotely resembled a GTO. Mopar guys who couldn’t get a Charger/Road Runner/Super Bee began snapping up any V8 car with a two door Coronet/Belvedere/Satellite body they could find. It got to the point where even cars that weren’t really considered muscle cars like V8 Skylarks and Cutlass Supremes became “I want a muscle car” consolation prizes. The bubble burst in the Great Recession and while the old muscle cars are still very valuable, prices are still significantly below the peak as more than a decade of Detroit building retro Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers and Chargers with 3-400 HP V8s has put a big dent in demand. I think it’s funny/ironic to watch all the people with retro Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers who are garage queening them, as that alone guarantees they will never be as valuable as the originals.

    Over the past 4-5 years I’ve noticed how Pontiac Fieros, Buick Reattas, Cadillac Allantes, european roadsters, smogged 70s land barges, old Mercedes-Benz/Jaguars, 80s Camaros/Firebirds and even low-level Fox body Mustangs have flooded into the scrapyard while C4/C5 Corvettes, 94-04 speciality Mustangs, Catfish Camaros and Plymouth Prowlers have poured into the used market. All these cars were widely believed to be the next ones whose prices would skyrocket in the near future back in the 2000s. It seems now that they are reaching that age without the promised massive surge in value, lots of people who were holding onto these cars are dumping them.

    Meanwhile, my dad continues to hang onto his 2009 Mercury Sable that he’s convinced is going to be worth money someday because only about 6,000 were built and it is “the last of the full size Mercurys”.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I think the baby boomers were trying to buy some of their youth back by getting the muscle car they couldn’t afford or had to get rid of. I’d like to have my 67 Mustang with the pony interior back, but my high school days are long gone. Same thing with my Saab 900 turbo. A 9-3 convertible in great shape? Not really. An age appropriate former sorority woman? That’s entirely different story.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Oh man, @Runfromcheney, you’re right, but your post is gonna make a lot of people cry (cry over the painful truth).

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I would agree, but some of Gen X’s chosen rides have started to get solid cash at Barrett Jackson and on places like Bring a Trailer.

      The Integra Type R and clean FD RX-7’s come to mind. Mk IV Supras seem to be Gen X’s Hemi Mopars and the last time I shopped, seem to be dragging Lexus SCs up since the real Supra is unobtanium to many. Look at a clean Fox Body. Heck Clean Third Gen Camaros are going up. Golden Era BMWs are climbing

      No, I don’t think you’ll put your kids through college like if you had a Shelby or a Daytona through school and I do agree that most old cars aren’t going to be hugely valuable, but you look at some of those 90s sport compacts and others and they are climbing. Many people that are now at the disposable income stage of their life see that as the golden era but I do agree that car culture is smaller.

      • 0 avatar
        Runfromcheney

        @Art Vandelay you’re right about how the 90s Japanese sports cars have really appreciated in value over the past decade with the Holy Grails like the Supra, Skyline and Integra Type R reaching Unobtainium prices. However, they fit into the criteria I outlined – The Supra and Type R didn’t make much of a splash when new and exploded in popularity years after they were discontinued while the Skyline was always the forbidden fruit that everybody wanted but few had the means to obtain. The rest of them generally fail the MSRP + Inflation test. Golden era BMWs also fit in because BMW’s sales growth over the past 20 years shows the market for their cars over here is much larger than when those cars were new, so they’re also more popular in hindsight. Fox bodies and Camaros/Firebirds, the right model in cherry mint condition will fetch a decent price but as I mentioned, I’ve seen an influx of them into the scrapyard over the past few years because I imagine people hung onto them in anticipation for a day when ANY example would be worth money but then found that not to be the case – beat up examples are still crusher feed and the commuter models are only worth anything if they have a clean shell to strip down.

        Overall I just don’t see the Gen X classics ever repeating what we saw during the 2000s muscle car boom, where even the consolation prizes shot up to near-unobtainium prices. I don’t think there will ever be a day when Eagle Talon ESis with the Neon engine and two-door Dodge Avengers become valuable because they’re being snapped up by all the people who wanted a turbo Eclipse but couldn’t afford one, or Ford Probes become valuable thanks to people who wanted an RX7 but couldn’t afford one or Pontiac Fieros become valuable thanks to the people who wanted MR2s but couldn’t afford one.

        I just want to give a particular shoutout to the Pontiac Fiero. I remember in the 2000s, everyone was convinced that it was going to be the next big classic car, as soon as they got old enough they’d be worth real money. Even aftermarket parts suppliers and restoration shops began popping up. Then a couple years ago they began getting scrapped at a prolific rate as everyone who had a “someday” example they were holding onto realized they were never going to be worth anything and began offing them. It reminded me of how the old European sports cars/roadsters started getting prolifically scrapped starting in the mid-2000s as everyone holding onto broken examples realized the Miata had permanently killed the market for them.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          At the point they were killed off, it was a popular belief among Fiero owners/fans that the GT would be worth $50K by 2000.

          The good news is they’re undervalued, along with the MR2, since “mid-engine” is meaningless if you’ve never experienced it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Runfromcheney – I agree and that is the same reason why Harley Davidson is a corpse with a pulse. I go out on my little supermotard and virtually every guy on a Harley is my age or older. I rarely ever see a young guy on one. It is the same when I go to the local father’s day “Cruisin’ classics” car show. It’s a sea of old dudes staring at chrome valve covers.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    One more, it’s getting to be dinner time. The B&B sometimes goes on “burlap briefs with steel shavings in the cloth and cheap ill-fitting shoes” tangents stating they’d never, ever buy a vehicle because it costs way too much. I don’t see any of them offering to make car payments for someone. Whilst rubbing their briefs: “oh no, those fall apart in your driveway one mile after the warranty is gone!” Oh really, show me these cars that are trashed at 36,000 miles. Corollary: expensive cars are expensive to fix, don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time. Throw in the ” I don’t see why people buy them” portion of the B&B. Well, guess what? You’re not them. Finally, the “this is best brand in the history of recorded mankind” commenters on here and their polar opposites “everything made by this brand is complete junk, easily the worst brand in all of mankind.” They’re consistent and easy to find on here.

  • avatar
    Vaggo

    Although ironically the 5.0 aj133 v8 is basically the same engine as the 3.0 aj126 v6…the v6 is still at 90 degrees and the block has acoustic stuffers in the two “empty” cylinders…and the head has an awkward flat section where the two extra cylinders should be…and the crankshaft had an “empty” section that’s rather funny. I am convinced however that this silly design is why the v6 sounds epic…an f-type at full chat sounds like god gargling hammers

  • avatar
    Vaggo

    “The Chrysler LX platform is based on an old e-class mercedes”

    …its patently not true and even fans of the cars think it’s true. Theres some great interviews with the engineering heads on allpar explaining…

    The cars shared some parts, namely the rear suspension setup, the gearboxes when it was the MB 5-speed auto and the early AWD system shared a fair bit with the MB 4matic system…

    BUT…this was an evolution of the old LH platform which was an odd longitudinal FWD platform, which in theory could be made RWD…but wasnt until the engineers got access to the daimler parts bin to make it happen and chrysler didnt have and didnt want to invest in rwd transmissions, suspension and drive line that would fit.

    So basically the lx platform is an updated LH with a bunch of major parts raided from the MB parts bin (and a few co-invested as daimler couldn’t afford them either without chrysler volumes added in).

    Also, the idea that the cars are unchanged since 2004 is incorrect…that’s like saying the toyota Camry’a last gen was the same car as the 1992 model as technically they were on the same platform…ship of theseus…when you change all the parts over time is it still the same ship?

    Granted the cars are still very old now…they arent “the same cars from 2004″…

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Ralph Nader killed the Corvair – Unsafe At Any Speed was published after GM signed off on halting any future Corvair development, and the book was largely ignored by the public until GM tried to discredit him underhandedly.

    Plus, he also called out the original Mustang for bad handling, and we all know how influential he was in killing the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      bobbysirhan

      The success of the coal-kart Falcon and Mustang killed the Corvair, but Ralph Nader killed the US auto industry by making marketing a better place to spend money than unorthodox engineering.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        I think the success of the Falcon and Mustang over the Corvair was more than enough to kill unorthodox engineering. For that matter, the bean counters who eliminate vital features regardless of side effects kill unorthodox engineering.

        • 0 avatar
          bobbysirhan

          Chrysler was burned for using advanced engineering in the Airflow, but GM threw everything against the wall from 1949-1965 to see what would stick. It took “Unsafe at Any Speed” to keep GM from trying new things in volume products.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Like the aluminum engine in the Vega that was garbage? Less mainstream, but they stuck with FWD well after the Toronado and Eldorado burned them. They also got to FWD relatively early with the X-cars which they botched, although at least they got it right with the A-bodies a couple years later. The real problem is GM.

          • 0 avatar
            bobbysirhan

            I’m sold on your argument. I also think the extraordinary success of the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental MK III showed that there wasn’t much point spending money on engineering advancements for the American market. Before the Mustang, American cars were often the best cars in the world. It is fascinating to read British reviews of cars like the 1960 Valiant or 1964 Cadillac, as they were unrivaled by European cars at many of the things we think European cars were good at while also having features that European cars merely tried to bodge together for export models. They were the best cars in the world and most Americans could afford them. On the other side of the pond, a car with almost as much space and comfort as a Dodge Polara, or almost as much speed as a Dodge Polara was reserved for titled aristocracy, and they couldn’t have a car with the space and pace for any price. After the Mustang; platforms, engines and transmissions were just retrimmed year after year.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    Before this thread dies I want to add one more, in the same vein of the Saab example in the original post: “Chrysler was a thriving, prosperous company in the late 1990s that the predatory jerks at Daimler bought out just to raid for their cash and then ran into the ground. If Chrysler had stayed independent they would still be a major independent force in the auto business today!”

    You don’t have to spend much time on Allpar to see that many Mopar guys take this to heart and have a severe case of nostalgia filter for the 1990s. Note that this isn’t coming from a hater, I’m a millennial who grew up in Detroit in the 1990s, I owe much of my passion for cars to 1990s Chrysler and I am still very fond and nostalgic for those cars today. I used to own a 1998 Caravan that to this day is one of the two best vehicles I have ever owned. But the truth has to be said: 1990s Chrysler was more hype than substance and if they stayed independent they’d still be a niche manufacturer built around Jeep that needs to merge to survive.

    Chrysler’s success in the 1990s seemed too good to be true and in a way, it was. Despite all the hype they generated, Chrysler in the 1990s was still an also-ran except for trucks, minivans and SUVS (thanks to Jeep). The first-gen cab-forward cars were impressive when they first came out but the hype didn’t translate to sales or dollars: The Intrepid mainly existed in the same niche the Charger exists in today, the Stratus sold only to rental fleets and the Neon was cheaply made and undermined by quality problems. Many of Chrysler’s amazing 1990s models were really just skin jobs hiding old technology. The 1994 Ram was just a new body slapped on the same mechanicals of the previous generation, it still used a live front axle while GM and Ford had moved to an independent front suspension in their trucks and Dodge’s line of Magnum engines were dinosaurs compared to the brand new V8s Ford and GM were using. The ZJ and WJ Grand Cherokees were new bodies built on the bones of the XJ Cherokee, powered by old AMC engines. The 1996 Caravan was just a rebody of the previous generation. The Intrepid was a reengineered Eagle Premier and it’s 3.5L engine was an Iacocca-era pushrod mill that had been reengineered into an overhead cam engine. Many still used ancient three speed transmissions when the competition had all moved onto 4 speeds. Then there’s the matter of all the reliability problems. Neon head gaskets, rubber band transmissions, peeling paint and the infamous 2.7. Many of the new customers that had been wooed by these flashy new cars grew to hate them as they discovered how cheaply engineered they were. I think of how frequently these cars got stolen because even a retarded 5 year old could steal one. You could start a first-gen Neon by shoving a screwdriver into the ignition, no hotwiring necessary.

    As Y2K approached the magic had run out, snowballing warranty costs was dragging down Chrysler’s balance sheet and they found they didn’t have the money or resources to maintain their growth, thus why Eaton was so eager to merge and get out before the company crashed. Lutz and Gale drew up more creative concepts like the Dodge Copperhead, a hybrid Durango (Not the one that arrived in 2008) and a Ram-based Suburban fighter, but Chrysler didn’t have enough money to put them into production. The redesigned Neon, Stratus and Intrepid were widely considered inferior to the models they replaced and were no longer competitive in a changing market, sales dropped considerably. The Intrepid was marred by all of the 2.7L reliability problems and was reduced to a rental car. The Neon was buried by the Ford Focus. The Stratus was too small to compete as the Camry, Accord and eventually Malibu all grew significantly in size. All three would need to be completely redesigned on new platforms to still compete, something Chrysler didn’t have the money and resources to do. They only managed pull off replacing the Intrepid with the 300/Charger because the LH platform could be adapted to RWD, allowing them to raid Daimler’s parts bin to reengineer it yet again. The redesigned 2002 Ram only managed to equal what Ford and GM were already offering, it didn’t bring anything new to the table and it’s four-door cab was significantly smaller than the competition. The arrival of the Hemi in 2003 helped bolster sales but the Ram nonetheless found itself swamped by the redesigned 2004 F-150. Despite merging with Daimler in 1998 Chrysler was still running autonomously with all of its pre-merger management still in place and under THEIR watch Chrysler began losing money in 2000. That’s when the German executives arrived from Stuttgart, barged in and took over

    As for Daimler, I go back to the old saying “never attribute to malice what you can attribute to incompetence”. While they weren’t completely honest about their intentions going in, Daimler didn’t merge with Chrysler specifically to destroy it. That’s just what the Chrysler people say because they don’t want to admit that Chrysler collapsed under its own weight in 2000. Jurgen Schrempp was simply a bad CEO, period. Any Mercedes-Benz enthusiast will tell you that he mismanaged Mercedes just as bad as he mismanaged Chrysler. It was under his watch that Mercedes was reduced to building generic, low quality blobs that only sold because of their three-pointed star hood ornaments. By the mid-2000s the whole company was in bad shape top to bottom and management decided that rescuing Mercedes was more important than rescuing Chrysler. Schrempp was forced out, Dieter Zetsche was brought back in from Auburn Hills to clean up the mess and he ultimately decided that it would be the best for everyone if they and Chrysler went separate ways. Chrysler was sold to Cerberus and found themselves in the same position they were in before the merger: With a outdated and uncompetitive product line and not enough cash to develop adequate replacements. Only this time their products were even more uncompetitive than the aging cab-forwards and they had been bleeding money for years, so they had less of a chance than if they had tried to stay independent.

    Either way, there was no way for Chrysler to survive as an independent, entirely American-owned manufacturer. They would have needed to merge with another company at some point before now.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    Before this thread dies I want to add one more, in the same vein of the Saab example in the original post: “Chrysler was a thriving, prosperous company in the late 1990s that the predatory jerks at Daimler bought out just to raid for their cash and then ran into the ground. If Chrysler had stayed independent they would still be a major independent force in the auto business today!”

    You don’t have to spend much time on Allpar to see that many Mopar guys take this to heart and have a severe case of nostalgia filter for the 1990s. Note that this isn’t coming from a hater, I’m a millennial who grew up in Detroit in the 1990s, I owe much of my passion for cars to 1990s Chrysler and I am still very fond and nostalgic for those cars today. I used to own a 1998 Caravan that to this day is one of the two best vehicles I have ever owned. But the truth has to be said: 1990s Chrysler was more hype than substance and if they stayed independent they’d still be a niche manufacturer built around Jeep that needs to merge to survive.

    Chrysler’s success in the 1990s seemed too good to be true and in a way, it was. Despite all the hype they generated, Chrysler in the 1990s was still an also-ran except for trucks, minivans and SUVS (thanks to Jeep). The first-gen cab-forward cars were impressive when they first came out but the hype didn’t translate to sales or dollars: The Intrepid mainly existed in the same niche the Charger exists in today, the Stratus sold only to rental fleets and the Neon was cheaply made and undermined by quality problems. Many of Chrysler’s amazing 1990s models were really just skin jobs hiding old technology. The 1994 Ram was just a new body slapped on the same mechanicals of the previous generation, it still used a live front axle while GM and Ford had moved to an independent front suspension in their trucks and Dodge’s line of Magnum engines were dinosaurs compared to the brand new V8s Ford and GM were using. The ZJ and WJ Grand Cherokees were new bodies built on the bones of the XJ Cherokee, powered by old AMC engines. The 1996 Caravan was just a rebody of the previous generation. The Intrepid was a reengineered Eagle Premier and it’s 3.5L engine was an Iacocca-era pushrod mill that had been reengineered into an overhead cam engine. Many still used ancient three speed transmissions when the competition had all moved onto 4 speeds. Then there’s the matter of all the reliability problems. Neon head gaskets, rubber band transmissions, peeling paint and the infamous 2.7. Many of the new customers that had been wooed by these flashy new cars grew to hate them as they discovered how cheaply engineered they were. I think of how frequently these cars got stolen because even a retarded 5 year old could steal one. You could start a first-gen Neon by shoving a screwdriver into the ignition, no hotwiring necessary.

    As Y2K approached the magic had run out, snowballing warranty costs was dragging down Chrysler’s balance sheet and they found they didn’t have the money or resources to maintain their growth, thus why Eaton was so eager to merge and get out before the company crashed. Lutz and Gale drew up more creative concepts like the Dodge Copperhead, a hybrid Durango (Not the one that arrived in 2008) and a Ram-based Suburban fighter, but Chrysler didn’t have enough money to put them into production. The redesigned Neon, Stratus and Intrepid were widely considered inferior to the models they replaced and were no longer competitive in a changing market, sales dropped considerably. The Intrepid was marred by all of the 2.7L reliability problems and was reduced to a rental car. The Neon was buried by the Ford Focus. The Stratus was too small to compete as the Camry, Accord and eventually Malibu all grew significantly in size. All three would need to be completely redesigned on new platforms to still compete, something Chrysler didn’t have the money and resources to do. They only managed pull off replacing the Intrepid with the 300/Charger because the LH platform could be adapted to RWD, allowing them to raid Daimler’s parts bin to reengineer it yet again. The redesigned 2002 Ram only managed to equal what Ford and GM were already offering, it didn’t bring anything new to the table and it’s four-door cab was significantly smaller than the competition. The arrival of the Hemi in 2003 helped bolster sales but the Ram nonetheless found itself swamped by the redesigned 2004 F-150. Despite merging with Daimler in 1998 Chrysler was still running autonomously with all of its pre-merger management still in place and under THEIR watch Chrysler began losing money in 2000. That’s when the German executives arrived from Stuttgart, barged in and took over

    As for Daimler, I go back to the old saying “never attribute to malice what you can attribute to incompetence”. While they weren’t completely honest about their intentions going in, Daimler didn’t merge with Chrysler specifically to destroy it. That’s just what the Chrysler people say because they don’t want to admit that Chrysler collapsed under its own weight in 2000. Jurgen Schrempp was simply a bad CEO, period. Any Mercedes-Benz enthusiast will tell you that he mismanaged Mercedes just as bad as he mismanaged Chrysler. It was under his watch that Mercedes was reduced to building generic, low quality blobs that only sold because of their three-pointed star hood ornaments. By the mid-2000s the whole company was in bad shape top to bottom and management decided that rescuing Mercedes was more important than rescuing Chrysler. Schrempp was forced out, Dieter Zetsche was brought back in from Auburn Hills to clean up the mess and he ultimately decided that it would be the best for everyone if they and Chrysler went separate ways. Chrysler was sold to Cerberus and found themselves in the same position they were in before the merger: With a outdated and uncompetitive product line and not enough cash to develop adequate replacements. Only this time their products were even more uncompetitive than the aging cab-forwards and they had been bleeding money for years, so they had less of a chance than if they had tried to stay independent.

    Either way, there was no way for Chrysler to survive as an independent, entirely American-owned manufacturer. They would have needed to merge with another company at some point before now.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    That the Rover 75 platform was based on the E34 5 Series.

    The reasons are thus:
    – The tooling was being dismantled in South Africa
    – The 75 had similar rear suspension
    – Large central tunnel for a FWD car

    It was an idea explored briefly, but not acted upon. It would’ve been pointless adapting it to a FWD car. The rear suspension did use off the shelf BMW parts bin componentry, and the central tunnel was used for body stiffness (as per the MINI)

    When they were converting the car to RWD for the Mustang engined V8 75/MG ZT models, the tunnel was useful but they had to re-engineer the chassis to fit the rear differential.

    • 0 avatar

      3 Series is the myth.

    • 0 avatar
      Runfromcheney

      Similarly, “Jaguar/Land Rover/Volvo are all Ford under the hood and can be serviced at any Ford dealer.” When I was a Ford mechanic I had to deal with budget ballers bringing in their B-lot purchased examples, thinking they’re going to be clever and save money. The only one of these vehicles a Ford dealer could truly service is the Jaguar S-Type because the Retro T-Bird and Lincoln LS shared all the same mechanicals (Given to Ford by Jaguar, not the other way around). Thus they were unreliable nightmares that we hated working on. Otherwise all the other cars shared nothing in common with each other or Ford’s volume models, thus why the Premier Auto Group was an unprofitable mess until Mulally dismantled it and sold off everything.

      Also, “The Duratec V6 is a Jaguar engine”. Wrong. It was a Ford engine that they stuck in a couple of Jags, just like how the Explorer V6 powertrain found its way into the Land Rover Discovery for a couple years.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Many moons ago there was a discussion here that at a certain point Jaguar would have been better off if Ford had forced them to use variants of the Modular V8 motors instead of the Jag 4.0/4.2 V8.

        At least the cars would have been more reliable mechanically.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          I understand the hope behind that kind of corporate thinking, and I’m sure they discussed it at HQ, but I think it’s also the kind of fallacy that put GM corporate drivetrains into the small Cadillacs in the early 1980s and watered down the brand.

          It’s a tough choice though- pick between the brand being unviable if it continues as it is or water it down, which makes the brand not really a brand anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            Runfromcheney

            Or in the case of Saab, they straight-up refused to share components and platforms with more pedestrian models. They could never turn a profit because everything had to be different or upgraded to meet their “standards”, even in cases where wouldn’t matter like window regulators or wiring. By the time they got done upgrading the 9000 to meet their standards it was different enough from its Fiat counterparts that all the potential cost savings were gone, they might as well have developed the car themselves from the ground up. Similarly, they bit GM’s hand at every turn and constantly refused every attempt to integrate Saab into their parts bin. Bob Lutz recounted a time when the Saab managers scoffed at the suggestion that they use an Opel wiring harness in a new model, at which he responded, “I don’t believe the average Saab customer is going to crawl under their dashboard with a lighter, inspect the wiring harness and say ‘This is an Opel wiring harness! I want my money back!\'”

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