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    Thread: Cars with hidden 'time bombs'

    1. Senior Member
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      03-23-2011 05:25 PM #1
      Perhaps it's the pessimist in me, but I often see certain nice, desirable cars and the first thing I think of is the hidden time bomb I know lurks within.

      For instance: I saw a 944S2 en route to work. First thing I thought of: "I wonder if the owner has replaced the timing chain tensioner guide ramp." If that fails, catastrophic head failure is a WHEN, not an IF.

      Similarly: Volvo XC90 T6...a neighbor just bought one used and is very proud of it. I didn't have the heart to say it, but my first thought: "Hope the gearbox has already been replaced..." The GM-sourced AT in those cars is a known failure point that many XC90 T6's encounter.

      A friend bought a high-mileage W124 E320 wagon that "is in really good shape, but I think it needs a tune up" because the check engine light was on and it was missing intermittently. I poked around underhood a bit, and sure enough--the engine wiring harness was disintegrating.

      What other cars have these hidden time bombs that you know of?

    2. Member adrew's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:31 PM #2
      Lumina alternators
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    3. Member trigtm's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:32 PM #3
      VR6 cooling system
      Quote Originally Posted by lago_b View Post
      You don't own a Sawzall? I suppose you don't own a wet/dry vac either, and Friday nights consist of a Sex and the City marathon, Cherry Garcia, and a good douching before bed? You must go get a Sawzall, son.

    4. Member
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      03-23-2011 05:34 PM #4
      90-93 Infiniti Q45: Timing Chain Guide

      Any LT1: Optispark

      90-91(some) Miata: Shortnose Crankshaft failure

      Any V6 Honda/Acura with auto trans: Eventual trans failure, particularly RL1 Odysseys
      http://sixsylinder.blogspot.com

      Quote Originally Posted by stacman View Post
      Top gear recommended it, so I bought it.

    5. 03-23-2011 05:35 PM #5
      Any Chrysler product older than 5 years; Transmission

    6. Senior Member JustinCSVT's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:36 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by Wanganrunner View Post

      Any V6 Honda/Acura with auto trans: Eventual trans failure, particularly RL1 Odysseys
      What a coincidence, my friend's '10 Accord V6 just blew a transmission last night.

    7. 03-23-2011 05:36 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by trigtm View Post
      VR6 cooling system
      possibly, but in 140k of hard driving my 2001 JettaVR6 has one rad hose burst, and a thermostat go bad. I dont think thats too bad.


      my contribution: B5 chassis cars (passat, A4, A6) front control arms. They will fail.

      older VW coil packs. They WILL fail

    8. Member CodeMan's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:37 PM #8
      Mk2 VW heater cores.

      I can still hear mine ticking.
      Quote Originally Posted by seadoo2006 View Post
      I think Scirocco owners are just a little dense in the head...
      I, uhh... well, ok.

    9. 03-23-2011 05:39 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by realpower View Post
      Any Chrysler product older than 5 years; Transmission
      Oh so true, so lets add ANY Chrysler 4spd automatic transmission, with an emphasis on the ones named "Ultradrive"

      What is somewhat amusing is that while my parents had their 94 Town and Country it went through 5 transmissions, however when it was working correctly it did drive really well for 4spd auto with very little shift reluctancy like many 4spd autos do.

    10. Banned
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      03-23-2011 05:41 PM #10
      Isn't this a standard option for all VWs?

    11. Member yeayeayea's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:43 PM #11
      vw diff rivets.

      thats an easy one though.

      Quote Originally Posted by CodeMan View Post
      Mk2 VW heater cores.

      I can still hear mine ticking.


      sad part is they used the same ****ty heatercore in the mk3. I have done 6 vw heater cores in my short lifetime. Im not a mechanic either, just every mk3 I have owned or my brothers have owned has needed a heatercore, except for my first 97 jetta gt. every single other mk3 has needed a heatercore.
      Last edited by yeayeayea; 03-23-2011 at 05:45 PM.
      Feel free to follow me on instagram @wesmurphy for pictures of bikes, bimmers, vws, etc

    12. 03-23-2011 05:43 PM #12
      Auto trans for 99.5 to 03 TDI Mk4. They will fail at around 90k miles regardless of maintenance.

    13. Member diflow's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:43 PM #13
      1.8t water pump will fail at 50k.

    14. Member trigtm's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:46 PM #14
      Also, Volvo 850/X70 heater cores. They were made with holes on purpose, I swear.
      Quote Originally Posted by lago_b View Post
      You don't own a Sawzall? I suppose you don't own a wet/dry vac either, and Friday nights consist of a Sex and the City marathon, Cherry Garcia, and a good douching before bed? You must go get a Sawzall, son.

    15. Member Tucci's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:49 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Eg2Driver View Post
      Auto trans for 99.5 to 03 TDI Mk4. They will fail at around 90k miles regardless of maintenance.
      I know a guy in the Atlanta area that has 180k on his 02 with the stock Auto Trans. I told him that has to be a record.

    16. 03-23-2011 05:54 PM #16
      GM pushrod 60-degree V6 (2.8, 3.1, etc) intake manifold gaskets.
      Ford 3.8 V6 (Windstar, Taurus) head gaskets.

    17. Member IsraelGT's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:54 PM #17
      1996-2000 Subaru 2.5 head gasket.

    18. Member Ben.Reilly's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 05:55 PM #18
      Jeep Cherokee (XJ): Rotted floors.
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    19. 03-23-2011 05:57 PM #19
      Google image search for time bombs on cars is interesting to say the least.

    20. Member Pool Runner's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:07 PM #20
      Nissan VQ40- May eat it's timing chain tensioner before 90K miles

      Dodge Ram with 5.9L Cummins- The tank mounted lift pump will take a crap at some point between 80-120K. The trucks front end will be completey shot before 80K needing a rebiuild, same for all U-Joints thanks to no factory zerk fittings.

    21. Member
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      03-23-2011 06:09 PM #21


    22. Member palakaman's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:20 PM #22
      I totally agree with the G60 supercha......wait.....INB4G60SUPERCHARGERS??

    23. Member Geechie_Suede's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:23 PM #23
      cams

      Previously Owned: 96 LR Disco SD/65 Corvair Monza/93 Corolla Wagon DX/89 LeSabre Limited/96 Camry LE/99 Regal GS/95 Accord EX/98 CSVT/90 LS400/89 Supra N/A/91 Legacy SS/01 CVPI
      Current: 1987 Nissan 200SX SEV6

    24. 03-23-2011 06:24 PM #24
      BMW engines with electric water pumps.

      When it happens it is sudden and you most likely left stranded .... with a 1K$ bill.
      2007 E90 AW 323i Step | Lowered 1.25"/1" | BMW Performance Exhaust | PBX | Debadged | Scangauge II | Style 162 18" & 161 17" wheels & rear 15mm spacers

    25. Member yeayeayea's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:24 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Pool Runner View Post
      Nissan VQ40- May eat it's timing chain tensioner before 90K miles

      Dodge Ram with 5.9L Cummins- The tank mounted lift pump will take a crap at some point between 80-120K. The trucks front end will be completey shot before 80K needing a rebiuild, same for all U-Joints thanks to no factory zerk fittings.
      i just noticed sunday that my 1981 ford f100 has grease fittings on the drive shaft. seeing as i got the truck for 1 dollar, from what i believe to be the original owner, i can almost guarantee they have never been greased. Probably why the dodges brake ujoints, most onwers likely have no idea they are serviceable.
      Feel free to follow me on instagram @wesmurphy for pictures of bikes, bimmers, vws, etc

    26. Member
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      03-23-2011 06:27 PM #26
      automatic transmissions in most cars i'm interested in

    27. Member jettagli1991's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:27 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by GoFaster View Post
      GM pushrod 60-degree V6 (2.8, 3.1, etc) intake manifold gaskets.
      Ford 3.8 V6 (Windstar, Taurus) head gaskets.
      If it's the Windstar, the whole thing is one giant time bomb, it's just a matter of what will fail first

      Saab DI cassettes.


    28. Member choochoo's Avatar
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      nothing to see here
      03-23-2011 06:30 PM #28
      turbo seals & direct ignition cassette

    29. Member 302W's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:31 PM #29
      Ford Mustang AOD transmission

    30. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:33 PM #30
      Vanagon fuel lines



      Actually, the WBX as a whole...
      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to the VW Cabriolets
      Old Blue's Blog -- The adventures of a 1990 Westfalia
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    31. Member Rabbit5GTI's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:34 PM #31
      I knew the first post would have something to do with a 944 before I even clicked.

    32. Member Aguilar's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:36 PM #32
      2.0t FSI cam follower.

      I feel sorry for whomever buys a used MKV GTI/GLI/Passat/etc out of warranty and is not aware of this issue. Such a shame, because otherwise is an excellent car.

    33. Member lojasmo's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:37 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by Wanganrunner View Post

      Any V6 Honda/Acura with auto trans: Eventual trans failure, particularly RL1 Odysseys
      Whe will my wife's vue go south? It has 140k. Hoping to get to 225k

    34. Member BattleRabbit's Avatar
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      03-23-2011 06:46 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by Wanganrunner View Post

      Any V6 Honda/Acura with auto trans: Eventual trans failure, particularly RL1 Odysseys
      My friend's wife hit 450k with a first gen Odyssey on what I believe to be the original transmission.
      1998 VW Golf Mk.III 5dr/1989 Saab 900 Sedan/1960 Porsche 356B T5/1980 Honda CM400E

    35. 03-23-2011 06:47 PM #35
      Can you say "IMS" in 986/987 series Porsches?

      I'm shopping Caymans at the moment, and am in full-pucker mode knowing that the delicate digit of destiny may reach down and tap me on the shoulder, leaving a big hole in my wallet.

      insert your favorite expitive here___________________.

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