Cars that don’t make it past 100K miles

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7 min read

From the Kia Forte to the Audi A4, people prefer different cars for different reasons. Popular cars share common traits: They’re marketed well. They’re released by reputable companies. They have appeal and receive mass attention. Looks, price, and popularity certainly come into play, but how do those same cars fair in the reliability category?

Ahead, we compiled a list of eight popular car makes and models (pre-2017) that probably can’t make it past 100,000 miles without extensive repairs. You up for the ride? Unfortunately, longevity isn’t always on the list.

1980 chevrolet citation

The Chevy Citation was part of General Motors X-body cars, including the Buick Skylark and Pontiac Phoenix. The problems were that the transmission would give up at any time. The fuel lines would leak. Oh, and the brakes were faulty––this is the biggest issue of all. This car would lock its rear wheels when you hit the brakes, causing the car to skid into the path of whatever (or whomever) you were trying to avoid causing accidents and fatalities.

The Citation was crafted so poorly that the US Government filed a lawsuit against General Motors in response to numerous customer complaints. With the Chevrolet Citation, the chances of you making it to 100K miles were slim. The chances of you coming out unscathed? Just as unlikely.

1990 ford explorer

Under a reliable family name, the Ford Explorer came into the car scene in 1990 to replace the Ford Bronco II, taking on the same functionality of the Bronco, but as a family-oriented model suitable for everyday commuting. While the car has lived on since the 90s, there are problems that customers have consistently complained about. The problems were that the transmission lunged and jolted, or simply wouldn’t work at all. It would jerk (accelerate too quickly) or jump gears without warning, or not let you go into gear at all.

Firestone tires. This specific year of Ford Explorer contained Firestone tires that would explode while driving. The car was nicknamed “The Ford Exploder” for that very reason. The Ford Explorer was also prone to roll-over accidents. Yes, your car would overheat  and transmission could fail, but the car could also physically hurt you on the road. In this case, getting to the 100K mile club sounds pretty scary.

2003 saturn ion

What car is named after a planet and was recalled 12 times? The 2003 Saturn Ion, the first car with a defective ignition switch—a $1 part––which resulted in (at least) 13 deaths and over 500 complaints. Beyond that, it was known for being clunky, loud, and extremely uncomfortable. The Saturn Ion is often ranked as one of the worst made cars of all time.

2005 chevrolet cobalt

The Chevrolet Cobalt is a compact car that faced 11 recalls throughout its history and caused 13 deaths. This car contains significant issues that weren’t fixed throughout the span of its first generation (2005––2010).

The problems with the Chevrolet Cobalt included ignition coil failure, headlight and turn signal functions didn’t work, gas cap failure, timing chain tensioner failure, and it flushed brake fluid every 60,000 miles.

2011 chevrolet impala

The 2011 Impala was another car from Chevrolet subject to a recall (in this case, 3,000,000 cars) for an ignition that turned off on bumpy roads. So if you were to get in an accident and the key switches off, the car’s airbags would not deploy. Not fun.

Electronic stability control was a huge concern as well, which reduced engine power and didn’t allow drivers the ability to steer. This was such an issue that over one-third of Chevrolet Impala’s complaints were about ESC.

2004 dodge ram

The Ram was the third generation of the 2500/3000 models. It was also the third time the Ram was recalled, for problems such as defective airbag inflators, steering problems, and electrical issues.

The Dodge Ram had complaints of the “Death Wobble” that occurred when driving over 60 mph on a highway, causing the truck to shake with limited ability to control the steering wheel. The Dodge Ram also faced a lot of issues with the A/C Heating System, the dashboard cracking, and an automatic transmission not powerful enough for the vehicle’s demands. While smaller in significance in comparison to its recalls, these added continuous issues for drivers to deal with.

2015 chevrolet colorado

The Chevrolet Colorado is a truck made for adventure––and apparently, loss of power steering and engine misfires.

The problems with this car specifically between 2004 and 2009 include the engine stalling intermittently due to worn-out valve seals. There’s also the issue of contaminated power steering fluid, low fluid levels, and damaged belts and power steering pumps. Other issues include the key getting stuck in the ignition, braking problems, and a faulty fuel level sensor.

2014 and 2015 lincoln mkz

A midsize luxury sedan that was supposed to be a quick and comfortable cruiser. Instead, the Lincoln MKZ was known for quickly causing havoc for its drivers for issues like automatic transmission shifting problems, power steering fluid leak, and unintended acceleration (even when on the brake).

Most significantly noted is brake failure––affecting 15,046 vehicles. (This was from a faulty ABS hydraulic control unit that caused the brake to have a longer travel distance and result in a crash.) While this car was first released in 2006, the 2014 and 2015 version of the Lincoln MKZ are part of its second generation launch.

While these cars don’t survive the 100K mile test, Peddle would be happy to take one (or all eight!) off your hands and give you cash (more likely check) in exchange for your not-so-reliable junk car.

Regardless of the state, make, or model, don’t be afraid to reach out and let us help you with your sale. Unlike the cars above, we’re extremely reliable, and very speedy. Promise.

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