Car quality going down the tubes?

XYZ

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A little off topic, but also on somewhat.

In the late summer of 2020 I bought a 2020 F250 (Diesel 4WD) and a 2021 Keystone Cougar travel trailer. Intentions were to enjoy some time traveling.

The F250 has been almost perfect. Lone exception being the GPS module turding out at 33K miles (covered by warranty). So very happy with it.

The Keystone Cougar travel trailer was not so great. It was built fairly early after they opened the assembly line back up. It turned out to be a complete pain in the azz. We took 8 trips with it and something failed on all 8 trips. Pretty sure they were using anything they could find to sling them together including failed QC parts.

Anyway I unloaded it during the ‘Go Fulltime RVing and Work From Home’ craze. I told the people about our experience and everything I had to fix or the dealership fixed. Still ended up getting more than we paid for it as there was a bidding war between three couples.

Funny that my F250 has gone up in value too but I’ve kept it.
 

TANSTAAFL

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I would agree with you to a degree. Car quality has declined, also much more technology so their is much, much more that can go wrong, however some of the tech makes it easier to diagnose issues. As far as modern cars though there are many benefits over what was produced in the 50's through 1970's:

1) Many engines and transmissions can get over 100K miles, some even with good maintenance 200K miles for Modern engines and Transmissions
2) Much Better Gas Mileage
3) Fewer maintenance items such as points, distributer, condenser and spark plugs, less tuning needed
4) Oil burning was very common on 1950's and 1960's engines with few miles
5) Cars handle way better and are much faster. As a matter of fact a stock V6 camry is faster in the 1/4 mile than a stock Dual Quad 4 speed Positraction 409 (however the 409 is much classier). A Stock 2019 Mustang GT 5.0 with a 10 speed auto can do the 1/4 mile in under 12 seconds.

The downside to modern cars:

1) The engines are much more difficult to rebuild and way more expensive
2) Problem Diagnosis takes very special equipment in many cases.
3) Many computer and electrical systems to break do
4) Build quality has gone down, a car has become a conveyance and is not a symbol of independence, wealth or masculinity as much as they used to, also in many instances the workers take much less pride in building them.
5) Modern cars in general lack style, panache and emotional appeal.

My point? Better engineering in many cases, poorer build quality and execution.
 

GC7

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Passenger cars are disposable appliances, even if you've heard stories of million mile Volvos, Toyotas, and Hondas.

The market simply does not exist for consumers who want over-engineered vehicles that will last decades.

The average person loves novelty and keeping up with the Joneses. This is why manufacturers would rather sell you something flashy that only lasts a few years.

Just chalk it up to you being an oddball in today's modern world.
 

AtomicTango

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Passenger cars are disposable appliances, even if you've heard stories of million mile Volvos, Toyotas, and Hondas.

The market simply does not exist for consumers who want over-engineered vehicles that will last decades.

The average person loves novelty and keeping up with the Joneses. This is why manufacturers would rather sell you something flashy that only lasts a few years.

Just chalk it up to you being an oddball in today's modern world.
I do not think this is universally true. The makes that are known for reliability have a strong incentive to remain reliable. Classic examples are Toyota and Honda which are legacy Japanese companies. They have a much higher emphasis on long term longevity as a company than the more western business models who focus purely on profit and growth.

Ford could be a good American example, maybe BMW for Europe. Don’t know what to say about the Italians though…
 

AtomicTango

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It is also important to remember survivorship bias with any “they don’t make them like they used to” argument. Lots and lots of crappy stuff has been made throughout history but we only remember the ones that were able to last because they are literally the only things left.
The current sample of X products from any market sector have not been filtered through the passing of time or long term use. Therefore it always seems like there is a higher percentage of junk products “these days.”
 

Snattlerake

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Good on you and your Datsun 280Z I absolutely loved mine but had to give her up because I was the father of two and needed a four door. Traded her for an 82 Buick. THe guy that bought my Z gave it to his girlfriend and in a week she wrapped it around a tree.

:scream:
 

Chard

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The new Turbo V6 Tundras are junk too, the turbos give out in under 15K miles, you need to remove the cab to get to them as well. Not a shade tree mechanic job.
Late model F150 cabs are designed to be removed from frame. It’s a 45 minutes to do the job per my service tech.

Soy based wire insulation is being used on a lot of different brands. Had mice eat up my 15 Tundra a few years ago. Very expensive $$$
 

leemozoid

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Can't complain about mine. Other than maintenance (battery, brakes, tires) my 146k 2015 Silverado with the 5.3L FFV w/AFM had only need a new A/C compressor. I don't use any ethanol blends and haven't done the AFM delete. Wife's 2011 Impala is even better. All she's needed is maintenance (battery, brakes, tires) and she's at 106k. Guess we're lucky.
 

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