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3/02/2015 4:44 pm  #1

Complaining about my car

I need to complain about my car.

Honestly, it's been a good car. It's a 2001 Buick Lesabre Limited that I bought in February of 2012 and, being a used car, my expectations were never that high. I don't recall having to put any money into repairs the first year...or the second. But last January I had to drop about $1,000 into it to pass inspection. It could have been worse, and once I paid the money it ran great. Just stupid little things...the passenger window assembly is broken, and the ceiling is starting to sag, and every now and then I'll lose some lights. I could live with all of that.

Then, toward the end of January, things started getting weird.

I drove it to work, and everything was fine. I drove it over to my daughter's school, and everything was fine. I picked her up and when I came out to go home, it wouldn't start. I had a guy try to jump it to no avail. It was like the lights and everything would work, but they were clicking on and off. I got AAA and had them come out and jump it. Nothing. They towed it to my garage where they said I needed a new battery. Actually, they said I didn't even have the right battery in it to begin with - my car's battery sits under the rear seat and requires some additional ventilation, and the battery in it was just a standard one. $270 down the drain for a new fancy battery and installation.

While they had it in the shop I asked them to look it over and let me know what else needed to be repaired to pass inspection. They said that there were a couple lights burnt out, and a socket was bad, and it needed brakes, rotors, and four tires. They wanted $1,100 to fix it all. I had them do the lights and socket, and I've got a buddy who can do the brakes/rotors/tires for less, so I picked the car up and made a plan to get the other work done.

So I'm driving home from work two Thursdays ago and the car felt sluggish. It seemed to lose power a couple times. I thought I might be low on gas (oh yeah, the gas gauge is broken) so I filled up and went home. The next evening I had to drive to York, and as I was driving it started getting sluggish and chugging a little bit. By the time I hit Leader Heights it was sputtering and when I parked at the McDonalds it stalled. I couldn't get it to start again, I would turn the key and it would fire up and then die right away so I knew it wasn't the battery. Had AAA come out again and the guy got it started by holding his foot down on the gas pedal until it started to idle a little better. I managed to get it home, but it was chugging a little bit. It snowed the next day, so I waited until Sunday to take it to Advanced Autoparts to get the code read (the Service Engine light was on). They said it was the MAP and MAF sensors. I started it up and couldn't even get home, I had to hold my foot down on the gas and it would just alternate between revving up and stalling out the whole way. I had to bail out at my parents' house and have it towed back to the garage. They replaced the sensors and cleared the dummy lights - $455.

I picked it up this past Thursday and it idled like a beauty, but when I was driving later on that day it started chugging when I was going up a hill. I found that when I tried to accelerate quickly or tried going uphill it would start misfiring. So I've just been driving it carefully ever since. I'm going to Wal Mart to get tires tonight ($240) and then having my buddy do the brakes and rotors tomorrow ($100?) and I might have him put in new plugs and wires to see if that helps with the misfiring.

But this car is quickly becoming a money pit...I'm not sure how much more I want to invest in it to keep it running for another year. I just made my last payment...I'd love to stretch the life of the vehicle out a bit more...but at some point it's not worth it. I'm not a car guy and I understand very little of what I'm told, so this whole process is incredibly frustrating and honestly it sucks to be driving around in fear all the time. I've already recouped my AAA membership rate and then some, having to call a tow truck three times. Why can't my car just work???


3/02/2015 5:50 pm  #2

Re: Complaining about my car

Here are the common complaints about your 2001 Buick Lesabre. Sounds like you hit a lot of them. 

Cars can be a pain for sure.

"Do not confuse motion and progress, A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress"

3/02/2015 10:02 pm  #3

Re: Complaining about my car

A 2001 General Motors product?  Are you crazy?  Your description of this car makes it sound like a real heap and you are going to continue dumping money into it?  Are you carzy?  Becoming a money pit?  That started back in 2001 even though you didn't own the car yet.


3/02/2015 10:11 pm  #4

Re: Complaining about my car

MAF--did they replace or at least clean the air filter?

Life is an Orthros.

3/02/2015 10:34 pm  #5

Re: Complaining about my car

flowergirl wrote:

Are you carzy?

Haha, I don't know if you intended to create a new word, but you did - I am CARZY! I'm car crazy!

Unfortunately, I bought it at a time in my life when it was really my only option. Living paycheck to paycheck, terrible was the only car I could finance, and of course I've paid about double what it was worth thanks to the high interest rate. Now I'm just trying to decide whether to keep sucking the last drops of life out of it, or call it quits.

Tarnation, the air filter is filthy. You can't see sunlight through it. I plan to replace it, but nobody has pointed to it as a possible culprit in these continued troubles.

The saga continued today...took it to Advanced Auto to get the latest code read. It showed as P0128 (Coolant temperature below thermostat regulating temperature). That kind of surprised me and the store employee because when I was driving the car earlier today the Service Engine Soon light started flashing, which indicates a misfire. So we were expecting to see a code related to that. I've Googled the code trying to find a connection between the thermostat and engine misfires and can't find any...I'm going to continue with my plan to replace brakes/rotors/tires and plugs/wires tomorrow to see if it brings the car back to life. If not, I might start planning a few test drives over the weekend...

     Thread Starter

3/03/2015 5:40 am  #6

Re: Complaining about my car

That was cool. A typo occurring in the setting of this thread created a new word. A pretty darn good one at that!

BTW, a Buick Lasabre? Was the dealership all out of Mercury Monarchs? 

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

3/03/2015 7:08 am  #7

Re: Complaining about my car

Air filters are cheap and a DIY install.

Get the coolant checked, might need some....again, cheap.   Might also need a thermostat replacement, cheap part, about 1 hour labor. 

When you have the $$$ a "flush and fill" of the cooling system might be a good idea.

Life is an Orthros.

3/03/2015 10:48 am  #8

Re: Complaining about my car

That typo was by accident I assure you and clever as it turns out.


3/03/2015 1:29 pm  #9

Re: Complaining about my car

Goose wrote:

BTW, a Buick Lasabre? Was the dealership all out of Mercury Monarchs? 

LOL Goose. How's this for an upgrade?

     Thread Starter

3/03/2015 2:49 pm  #10

Re: Complaining about my car

I used to have a Nissan NX1600. Total hunk of garbage, but i was young and it had T-tops so that's all that mattered in my world. It often failed to start(among a multitude of other issues). I'd crawl under the car, whack things with a broom stick, and it would eventually fire up. Granted, the broom stick probably didn't do a thing, but it made me feel like I was contributing to the cause. 

That story was random and pointless.

I bought a 2008 Ford Focus brand new. First new car of my life. Her name is Gracie and my only issues have ever been a dead battery due to my own bad smart phone charging habits and a losing battle between a tire and a nail. I always go back to Ford and don't regret it. When they die, they die in spectacular fashion, but they have done good by me until it's time to go to that junk heap in the sky. That's my official Ford endorsement for the month.


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