Jump to content

Cars that don't want to be fixed


Recommended Posts

I've only been beaten three times where I had to sell the car broken as I had given up, the first was this:

Mitsubishi Starion - bought for £250 with problem cutting out:


Spent loads on it, and over the space of about six months, I never got it running properly. New engine, filters, gaskets, fuel lines, etc etc. Painful and endless diagnosis, with the only info on the net at the time was on an American forum for a completely different engine (2.6). Desperate times. I believe the fault was originally the ECU, but developed more faults along the way. Parts bought from American, Japan, fitting parts and no difference. It was endless.

I bought another one many years later, and it had the same problem - I nearly cried, but bought a new fuel pump and it ran fine, so maybe it was that.

The next was my Suzuki Justy 4wd - bought with slight hesitation problems. I chucked some of that fuel treatment stuff in it, and it promptly never ran properly again. Could not get it running right and it used to keep running when turning off the key ending with an abrupt and very loud explosion from the exhaust. Neighbours got sick of it every night so I put it on ebay.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had an 82 Passat 1.6D back in 1994. Every so often it would do a maximum rev up on its own. Then the head gasket blew. Once that was repaired it started drinking oil and smoking badly. So I bought a good engine which ran fine for a few months. Then the head gasket blew. That was fixed. Then it started drinking oil and smoking badly. Then the head gasket blew again. At that stage I sold it off in bits.

Later, by coincidence I happened to meet the previous owner, a local funfair owner, who'd had it from nearly new. He informed me that by the time he'd traded it in at 166k miles, it was already on its third engine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll nominate the original engine in my old Corsa B.

It started stuttering and one day in early 2016, eventually developing a misfire a few weeks later. I eventually cured that but then shortly after it cut out altogether. When I restarted it, it was tapping really loudly so I drove it home in anger. The tapping under light load did get a bit quieter but was always there. I tried new cams, lifters, chain, nothing worked. I eventually bought a new engine for £50, a crane and changed it over a winter with some help. It ran great ever since and is still going with its current owner (although he's now looking for body panels so I think he crashed it).

I took the old engine apart earlier in the year and found absolutely no play in anything, shells were fine, no swarf and the bores looked good too.

It just wanted to die!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, catsinthewelder said:

MK1 Renault Mégane

Mk2 Renault Mégane. Ungrateful sod. Bought under pressure and only because ***** in NCAP. The think was just falling apart at 220 kkm. Neverending problems with electric system, disintegrating plastic interior parts and other dirty deeds. Last drop was when the bugger refused to start once loaded up to its roof with camping equipment, which then had to be unloaded etc. etc. Possibly connecting unit in the engine bay, or fuel pump, or... I just hated the piece of shit.

Scrapped the very next day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

97 proton persona bought in 2000, fukin door locks, there was a shiteey wee spring that rusted and broke meaning the front door concerned would not open, we tried thicker  springs, galvanised springs but fuk all worked, then it shat a rad and took the head gasket, despite a skin it ran like shit, new coil, plugs etc but when cold it was 3 cylinders or 2, ran fine on the rollers cold but not on the road.... traded it in for a 9 moth old almera in 2006

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This Metro. The one car I've owned that I wish I hadn't sold. Absolutely immaculate, 20000 miles from new, spotless interior, perfect new paint job, faultless hydragas, and above all, absolutely no rust. The first tank of fuel I put through it, it ran like a dream. Then, it decided to be a prick. It started misfiring horribly. Checked and changed every ignition component, made no difference. Stripped and cleaned and re-jetted and re-tuned the carb, made no difference. Compression test came back perfect, of course. Eventually I got it running right from a jerry can of fresh fuel. Figured it must have been a bad batch of fuel. Drained the fuel tank, filled it with new stuff. Drove off, a few miles later, same problem came back. It turned out that, due to spending most of its life not being driven, the inside of the fuel tank was an utter mess, and it was essentially contaminating any fuel put into it. To get the tank out, you have to drop the entire rear subframe. I should have done it, but I was utterly sick of it after several months, so I moved it on to a Mini enthusiast who did eventually fix it. It's now in an indoor car collection I think.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You bought the worst one so thats your own fault (I jest)  I've never seen a tidy one, they all look and sound like yours. The small multivalve chain driven Ecotecs aren't the most refined and as I can attest, you can get a bad one. Clatter is caused by the chain due to insufficient oil changes. 

Astra G and you would have been fine (if a bit bored)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Almost every car I've ever owned!

Just a few examples in no particular order:

Cyprus X1/9: after being laid up for some time (which tbf might be the key phrase) it wanted a bit of bodywork; done.  Clutch slave cylinder, which is a legendary bitch; done.  Stutter under load; no idea.  Carb?  Sold it because I needed the money anyway, it was 10 years ago and we all know what was happening then!

Cyprus Metro van: another one laid up for years.  Head gasket, brake servo, radiator fan switch, Hydragas... the last straw being the vandal attack.  Sold because I needed the money, hmm, I see a pattern already!

Chevy Blazer: faltering under load, massive thirst.  Back and forth to the garage, never the slightest improvement.  Traded it in after 8 weeks for the Tacuma, which we had over five years.

Mercury Sable: sensor failure putting it in limp mode most of the time.  Sensors replaced, no improvement.  Sold to @Bobthebeard who replaced the drive to one of the sensors, which cured it.

Rover 213, Hyacinth: Terminal rust.

1978 Daimler Sovereign: carb issues, never resolved.

I could go on and on, but I won't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This bastard thing.



Had a persistent - and completely intermittent - overheating issue from the day I got it.

It would run perfectly then suddenly the coolant would stop circulating.  Switching the engine off for 30 seconds then restarting would sort it about 90% of the time.  Some days it would do it, some days it wouldn't.  Wasn't related to ambient temperature either.

Water pump, head gasket, virtually every coolant pipe, radiator, fan switch, another water pump, expansion tank cap, distributor and probably a box full of parts I've forgotten were changed.  Every time I changed something it would behave for about a week before doing it again.

It also burst the hydraulic line to the clutch while reversing off the brake testing rollers at an MOT which was exceptionally embarrassing.

I just ended up having absolutely zero confidence in the car completing any journey and got sick of the sight of it.  Especially as getting parts had become an absolute pain as I kept getting sent parts for Felicias instead of Estelles.

I eventually passed it on to a friend, making them very aware of the issues I'd had.  As far as I'm aware it never misbehaved the whole time they had it!

Pretty sure this all dated back to the previous previous owner who had "recommissioned" it following a long layup.  As far as we've been able to tell that consisted of replacing one wheel brake cylinder and putting a new battery in.  Pretty much every rubber component on that car was knackered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...