OK, Massive rant time "The unreliable" myth
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Default OK, Massive rant time "The unreliable" myth

    Why is it that everybody still seems to think that french cars are unreliable. Everytime you read a review they say "question over reliability" The NRMA think they are a generally frragile, and the average punters warn potential owners of "trouble" GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    My pug Has never left me stranded. Yet almost every car i see stuck on the side of the road seem to be new holdens, audi's and quite commonly, Mercs.
    I know there are various reasons why cars break down, but the simple observation is that I have not seen any freanch cars stopped for some time. The last froggy I saw stuck, was in fact on fire on the M2......it was a renault

    The reason for this rant? Well, I was late to work because of a shiny new Astra convertable that had stopped in the city bound lane on epping road!!!

    To make my day worse, I looked down to my wheels to notice some pr#*k has stolen my valve caps! This is the third time. This time they were nice little steel caps with the lion logo on top. Why do people doe such stupid things? Back to plastic ones for me.
    Valve caps are cheap, buy your own

    Now thats off my chest, back to work!
    Cheers
    Tristan

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    Fellow Frogger! Atan's Avatar
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    My froggies have never let me down. Only time years ago my 505 sti broke a fan belt on the way to Daylesford but *twilight zone tune* I decided to carry a spare at the last moment and it was fixed in no time...not reliabilty problems just normal wear n tear

    I have had valve caps stolen too...hey where did you get the metal Lion Logo caps?
    2007 VW Jetta 2.0 TDi 6sp manual

    2001 VW Bora 4-Motion - flooded away
    1998 Peugeot 406 SV manual - Gone to Hail Heaven
    1994 Silver S16 - Gone
    1983 505 Sti - Gone to good home

  3. #3
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    I actually think that French cars are less reliable. I used to make excuses, but no longer.
    - Lincoln

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    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atan

    I have had valve caps stolen too...hey where did you get the metal Lion Logo caps?

    From eBay. I think they cost about $20 AU inc shipping.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I actually think that French cars are less reliable. I used to make excuses, but no longer.
    Really, Like what?

    I'd have to say, the MOST reliable car I ever encountered was my my mum and dads KC laser. Never, ever stopped. Started faultlessly and did about 300,00klms. The gearbox even survived my P-plate years! pity it was beige, and leaked water through the firewall!!!!!!

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I actually think that French cars are less reliable. I used to make excuses, but no longer.
    Ahh... but you've gone over to the "dark" side.
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    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uga Boga
    Ahh... but you've gone over to the "dark" side.
    Oh No.



    Japanese.
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  8. #8
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Of the "current generation" cars I have owned or have close contact with, the French cars, the GTi6 and the my flat mate's 307 XSi have had the most number of what I would call concerning issues. My Golf GTI had a concerning problem, and my current Focus has been almost flawless in comparison.

    I've never been left at the side of the road with a problem with any car, either.

    I can list the problems if you like, but based on personal experience, that's my opinion. Whether French cars are worth the hassle is debatable, I do think they are, but there are more and more attractive reliable alternatives on the market. I do hope the French manufacturers can catch up.

    Yes, I've gone to the "dark" side, and I highly doubt I'm coming back any time soon.... except for maybe a C6 in a few years
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  9. #9
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma
    Oh No.



    Japanese.
    No, I think you'll fine that I dislike Japanese cars as much as the next AFer. Although, the Japanese influence on Renault can only be a great thing
    - Lincoln

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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! ajpolden's Avatar
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    Actually, when I first began looking for a first car, the two people i had asked about peugeots both said they are very reliable, with a tough engine, so I guess I was pretty much immunised against the prejudice most people have for french cars.
    For what it's worth, I agree with the BX motto "Loves Driving, Hates Garages". My car has only left me stuck twice in nearly two years of owning it, not including tyre punctures, of which I have had two in the last couple of months.
    Once for the carby, must have been blocked jets or something, but I eventully got it started, and another time when the battery well was on it's way out.
    I keep the car well serviced, maintained by myself and the same mechanic it has had since new, almost 20 years ago.
    After an accident last week, I took the car to a repair place to get a quote for the repairs.
    "Well I'm lucky he didn't smash the tailgate, it's plastic, and pretty much irreplaceable."
    (Reply from repairer)"Yeah I know, I used to work on these. Tell me, why do you young fellas buy such unusual cars? Wouldn't you be better off with a commodore or something?"
    "No thanks, I wanted something reliable, and a bit different from the rest."
    "(Cough...) I don't know about reliable"
    "Well it's certainly proven to be the most reliable car I've known in my family, hardly ever left me stuck."
    "Yeah?... well i suppose it just depends on who you get to look after it."

    My car has only a few kilometres shy of 300 000km on the clock, and its still going very smoothly, granted not as good as new, but smoothly all the same, and provided it doesn't get written off after an accident, I reckon will go for many more yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmm...CORNERS
    My pug Has never left me stranded. Yet almost every car i see stuck on the side of the road seem to be new holdens, audi's and quite commonly, Mercs.
    I don't define reliability just by whether the car gets me there without stranding me - I take that as a given in a basically any modern car. Very few modern cars actually will break down and leave you stranded.

    Bear in mind, people may be at the side of the road sometimes, because they have a flat tyre and are too lazy/don't know how to change it sometimes.

    Bringing your car in to the dealer to fix bits that have broken, bits that rattle like hell, replacing components because they set of various alarms when driving, radios that lose their memory, electronics that don't work correctly all the time - they're in the notion of quality and reliability. Sure I can still drive the car, but I expect more than mere transport.

    There is a reason why French cars often sit at the bottom of reliability statistics in Europe. There's no worldwide conspiracy. Stop and think about that for a moment.

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  12. #12
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Well, I've owned French cars for 21 almost 22 years.
    I have towed boats, heavy trailers, caravans, driven through flooded floodways,used then for farm trucks, driven in mud, dust, heat and cold and the only time I was ever stuck up was with a CX that shed a tie rod one day when my wife was collecting kids from school.
    Why did it do that? Wear? No; Hit a big pothole? No; Faulty design? No; Weak manufacture? No.......I had a wheel alignment done a couple of weeks earlier and the guy hadn't bothered to tighten the lock nut up on the tie rod end, that was the problem.
    I have had CXs that have done over 500K klms and were still going strong when I have replaced them with ones that were cosmetically better looking, a BX 1.6 litre that had done 250K klms when I sold it and went on last I'd heard to do another 80K klms and still going, have amongst our current cars a BX16V that was written off in an underbonnet engine bay fire that we did an engine on (after it was damaged in a time trial and it had done 130K miles) that is used as a commercial vehicle, a weekend runabout and an occasional hillclimb and sprint car, that has around 180K miles on it now and is a picture of reliability. A Xantia with 220K+ klms that I would happily jump into and drive to Perth and back without even looking under the bonnet before I left.
    The truth of the matter is (although they won't admit to it; I'll ge get my fireproof suit on) that the ones who condemn French cars are usually those who have to rely on others to do their servicing. It's not the fact that they use the pros, it's the so called pros they use.
    How good is a "pro" when he spends over $10K on a car in less than 18 months and when the owner sells the car and the new owner finds it isn't capable of driving a few miles to get him home without overheating and causing all kinds of dramas, then has the gall to tell one of his mates (who proceeds to post on an open forum) that the previous owner was "tight" when it came to repairs. When the records were posted, the things done were like a chapter from Alice in Wonderland.
    To save face, it seems the incompetant/dishonest or slack ones in the service business blame the cars not their ability.
    There's a couple here who take delight in slagging me off for pointing this out and I must emphasise it's not ALL professionals who are responsible, but it's the 'quid first, service last' types who get the reputation entrenched in the minds of owners and other tradesmen.
    As a tradesman myself who had to work at the pointy end of advancing technology, I know that all trades have this problem to a point, some worse than others, but I'm afraid it comes down to insufficient factory training for dealer staff, "better" mechanics on the whole inclined to be enticed to go for more mainstream breeds leaving the French car owners with an imbalance of a few good ones but too large a percentage of lesser competant ones or non trades people doing the work, the public being convinced that they are unreliable (based on the word spread by dodgy repairers or owners who were too gullible to see a con when they saw one) are easy pickings for those inclined at making a fast buck out of them.
    Take a look at the responses you'll get on this thread and ask yourself ywo things: Why is it that those with no or practically no ability to do their own repairs, seem to be the ones who will scream this "unreliability" story the most?
    If they are fundametally flawed, then why is it they have consistently won every tough Rally worldwide for the past 50 years or more? What have the Japs done in recent times? They were doing well until the French came back into it. Holden? Right Brocky won the Mobil Rally back in the early 80s...ripper; talk to anyne who was on that Rally to find out how; reliability wasn't a factor. Ford?? How much money have they poured into it in recent times and for what result? Blame the drivers? Running out of drivers to blame.
    It seems strange, that the really complicated and mystical problems people get with cars are always pro diagnosis yet us that DIY never seem to get these weird problems; coincidence? Yet when simple solutions to major problems are discovered, there's a reluctance to accept that these things can be so simple. Refer to the Auto transmission debacle for proof of that one.
    I think the final word should go to the businessman I had visiting me a few years back, who I had taken somewhere in my CX and as we got back, he commented "Ahh yes, very nice, but what will it be like when it's done almost 200K klms like mine? That poor old bugger is falling to pieces around me but what do you expect? It's done close to 200,000 klms." He almsot fell out of the car when I showed him the service records; the car he was in had pulled over 500K klms.
    I think new car dealers have let themselves and thge marque down over the years by acting in a non professional manner as regards their attitude towards new car niggles and the way they've handled them, but as far as reliability goes, in 99% of cases it's self inflicted wounds. Sorry if that upsets too many, but that's the truth.


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  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    There is a reason why French cars often sit at the bottom of reliability statistics in Europe. There's no worldwide conspiracy. Stop and think about that for a moment.
    Yes, it's the small things that seem to let down the new breed of French cars...

    Rattles galore etc..
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    Fellow Frogger! mmm...CORNERS's Avatar
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    SLightly OT, but.....Linc, I have to admit, you STI170 is appealing. The new Focus ST/RS whatever they call it looks interesting too. Apparently the new ST lapped the 'Ring 8 seconds faster than the old RS......

    I mainly wish people would accept that most cars have problems, mostly electrical and that its not just french cars.

    I would have to agree with linc, that the Handling advantages that pugs had are not so abvious anymore and other manufacturers have it over them in quality. The Gti180 feels cheap to me (i'd still have one), but then, so does a 3 series BMW.

    The best car I have ever been in, in terms of cabin feel was by far an Audi A4 RS4 (last generation) perfection........apart from steering

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmm...CORNERS
    SLightly OT, but.....Linc, I have to admit, you STI170 is appealing. The new Focus ST/RS whatever they call it looks interesting too. Apparently the new ST lapped the 'Ring 8 seconds faster than the old RS......

    I mainly wish people would accept that most cars have problems, mostly electrical and that its not just french cars.

    I would have to agree with linc, that the Handling advantages that pugs had are not so abvious anymore and other manufacturers have it over them in quality. The Gti180 feels cheap to me (i'd still have one), but then, so does a 3 series BMW.

    The best car I have ever been in, in terms of cabin feel was by far an Audi A4 RS4 (last generation) perfection........apart from steering
    Each to there own, I saw the piccie in the for sale secton for the ford er.. escort ??? and thought it was just you average little girly car clone .... ie: dapooe, hyundi, datsun/nissan etc.... lookalike.

    Even the 206 looks 'cute' for a girly car. Besides, isn't he comparing a brand new car to a 5+year old poogoe

    At least Citroen is finally making some interesting looking cars with the C4 coupe, C3, C2 etc... (not to say there my sort of car, but at least they don't look like Dapooe clones).

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    Please put spaces in between your paragraphs, it's easier for us to read

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Take a look at the responses you'll get on this thread and ask yourself ywo things: Why is it that those with no or practically no ability to do their own repairs, seem to be the ones who will scream this "unreliability" story the most?
    I don't think it would make any real difference who took care of my car, given the problems it's had. The only one time I'd really complain about the dealer was when I needed three odd visits to fix up a transmission fault.

    Actually, last time we had a DIY Cit on a drive in Melbourne, it was the only car that broke down. Actually, come to think about it, it was the only car that has ever broken down on an AF drive in Melbourne.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    If they are fundametally flawed, then why is it they have consistently won every tough Rally worldwide for the past 50 years or more? What have the Japs done in recent times?
    Erm, how relevant are souped up works rally cars to the ones that people buy from the showroom these days?

    In certain respects, road cars are more complex, in that there are more systems that can go wrong. Rally drivers aren't concerned with the functioning of their climate control, electric windows/mirrors, remote control locking, audio systems, etc, etc, etc. Sure you belittle users of such features as being soft, but it's annoying when things don't quite work.

    Isn't it funny how CitroŽn asked for Mazda's assistance when designing the Xantia in respect to quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    It seems strange, that the really complicated and mystical problems people get with cars are always pro diagnosis yet us that DIY never seem to get these weird problems; coincidence?
    Can't DIY on a lot of these new cars.

    Look at the bloody COM2000 debacle. That unit was first introduced back in 2001, I just met a PCCV member last week that had another one replaced. How can one piece of equipment be so fundamentally flawed - after 4 years? It's a disgrace. I'm sorry, this isn't a problem with bad dealers, lousy mechanics - it's a problem straight from France. It's probably a combination of sub standard engineering and a bunch of monkeys in assembly.

    New 307s catching fire in Europe. Is that the owners fault? The dealer must have done a bloody disastrous PDI on the car. It's due to corrosion of the servo pump - this is either a design fault or simply poor manufacture.

    Tailgate lock mechanisms failing - Peugeot Sweden tells France they need to redesign the electronic lock switch mechanism, because salted roads and the unit's poor sealing cause the unit to fail. Sweden says France doesn't listen. Typical - if you look at how long the COM2000 saga dragged on for, is anyone surprised?

    Squeaky drive belts in the TU5 JP4. Peugeot France says there's no problem, thousands of owners says yes. Australia gives up and recommends dealers to use a non Peugeot drive belt. Owners' fault, dealers' fault? You've got head office that simply isn't responsive to customer concerns - this probably is an engineering issue to some degree.

    Carpets that fall out of the door sill surrounds. Sure, blame the customer. Doesn't seem to happen in many other cars - some tight arsed accountant in France probably decided to cut off an extra cm or two of carpet to save a few cents. Sure, the car will still drive, but it doesn't look very nice, and what kind of message does it send to other that go in your car?

    BTW, these problems are not specific to my car - they're problems that have been in many PSA vehicles around the world.

    Reliability is not just being able to drive your car. It's about having a car, whose functions all work as they were designed to - in full working order.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    I think new car dealers have let themselves and thge marque down over the years by acting in a non professional manner as regards their attitude towards new car niggles and the way they've handled them, but as far as reliability goes, in 99% of cases it's self inflicted wounds. Sorry if that upsets too many, but that's the truth.
    Dealers certainly play their part, but if the French manufacturers behave as if their own design and quality control aren't to blame, well I don't see much hope. A lot of these issues should not even pop up in the first place - if they don't pop up, the dealer doesn't have to worry about it. French cars have many great traits, but quality and reliability is not one of them. I would suspect head office attitudes in France would be part of that. If attitudes don't change, a lot else won't.

    If you're saying the dealers can't train their techs probably, well maybe they can teach their service staff to make better lattes. Won't help me though, I don't drink coffee.

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
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  17. #17
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uga Boga
    Yes, it's the small things that seem to let down the new breed of French cars...
    It's not just the small things anymore, its things that matter. To me the French have built a reputation on cars that were practical enough for day to day life, but were also delightful to drive in all circumstances.

    Now, they look all fancy but I reckon they are exceedingly dull to drive. They're only attractive on the surface. Underneath they are not just gobsmackingly boring, some of them actually drive pretty poorly.

    I never thought I'd see the day that Peugeots and Citroens are berated in motoring magazines for having a poor ride and dull steering.

    I'm not sure I could call our old 307 reliable. Sure it got us to work everyday, but frequent 'anti pollution' faults would cripple the power. It was already crippled to start with! The amount of recurring faults it had were just amazing. The experiences with the dealer was woeful, and the length of time we had to wait for parts was excrutiating.

    Someone last week asked me last week what they should look at in the $30K small car bracket. Not only could I not recommend anything French, I found myself discouraging even looking at them.

    I have to admit though, the 306's I had were a pinnacle of solidity. They never failed me, they were fun, and they were practical. I wish they'd bring something like this back.

  18. #18
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    I hardly see how Motorsport is relevant to passenger cars. Rally or F1, I don't see how you can relate much back to passenger cars. WRC suspension components between each manufacturer are all probably made by the same company, for example.

    French cars are very reliable when it comes to the main bits... gearboxes and engines. But, nowadays, I doubt there is much between a French car and any other car in that regard.

    I'm talking about numerous electronic issues, exhausts which rattle and then crack, suspension that crashes and smashes, ECUs that shut your down (why does PSA do this when other manufacturers don't?), cars that leak (a lot!), stereos that fail, electric windows that fail, suspension parts that break, stepper motors that fail, throttle bodies that continually need cleaning to maintain performance, dodgy cable clutches and clutches in general, need I go on?

    After driving my old GTi6 last week, I realised I forgave most of the above because of the driving experience. But the driving thrills and reliability of my current car really do put it to shame. I then look at the latest PSA 307 and am left bewildered at the things that go wrong with it. Sure the engine and 'box are still fine, but so they should be in a 2 year old car.

    Tristan, the new ST looks pretty hot, but I'm still concerned that engine (5 cylinder turbo) is a bit too much for the car. Will have to wait and see how they've tuned the set up. Thank goodness the ST hasn't spent much time at the 'ring as what makes the ST170 so special is it's ride and compliancy on rough roads. It is quicker around the ring than the RS, but has been engineered out of the UK on UK backroads. That's what we like to see and why many of the current generation Fords handle more like French cars then the cars coming out of Peugeot at the moment. Citroens are still as excellent as ever in this regard, IMO.

    Then there's a new RS, AWD and 190+ kw. Out at the end of the year.

    If you're keen to meet up and look over the car, let me know

    Just thought I'd also clarify that my opinion on the above is based mostly on Peugeots.
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    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    Actually, last time we had a DIY Cit on a drive in Melbourne, it was the only car that broke down. Actually, come to think about it, it was the only car that has ever broken down on an AF drive in Melbourne.
    This would be me ?? If you mean stopping on the side of the road to fit a hose clamp to the hydraulic pump feed line .... That I'd been carrying in the glovebox for over a month (that had been purchased just for that pump line, but I hadn't had time to fit).... Yep that's certainly breaking down It's called the 'mechanic' that works on the car not having time to work on his car ..... What an deadhead ... If you going to try making bullsh!t up ... at least try examples we don't know about

    Erm, how relevant are souped up works rally cars to the ones that people buy fro big SNIP of [email protected] ......
    You can find all these niggly problems with any new cars .... I'm sure if I went and looked up the ford escort, or mr2 or whatever it is you guys are talking about I could list as many problems if not more .... But I really don't care about those cars, and certainly aren't going to spend hours searching for [email protected] as listed above (all of which should be fixed under warranty, just like the competition).

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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    heh, i slightly agree with GTI and Macquered..

    I mean, i couldn't believe it, when i seen that the electronic mirrors that open/close on my car was scratching the paint. Don't they check these things in the factory? Where is the qaulity control?

    http://users.bigpond.net.au/ugaboga/...RSCRATCHES.JPG

    Heaps of rattles from all over the place are starting to pop up now.

    I mean the interior is simply superb, everyone loves the interior, however, it would be great if it didn't rattle.
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    Fellow Frogger! 206 RC's Avatar
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    Having travelled in BMW's, Mercs, Alfas, Toyotas, Suburus, Fords, Holdens, Peugeots... I am yet to be in a car without niggles, creaks, squeaks and complaints. I think this forum has the potential to be biased in both ways.

    My experience: My 180 has had squeaks (metal squeaks) creaks (hard plastic creaks) (all fixed by the dealer without any discussion) but other than that has been a beautiful car to drive. The 180 is all about driving pleasure and in my opinion it has it in spades.

    It hasn't happened that often in my short stay at AF but I 100% agree with Shane on this one.

    I would never buy a Ford, Holden, Toyota thing. I am very happy with my Frenchy.


    Quote Originally Posted by macquered
    The experiences with the dealer was woeful, and the length of time we had to wait for parts was excrutiating.
    Yes this can be a pain, but what do you expect? We live on the wrong side of planet.
    Last edited by 206 RC; 9th August 2005 at 01:31 PM.
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  22. #22
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    Each to there own, I saw the piccie in the for sale secton for the ford er.. escort ??? and thought it was just you average little girly car clone .... ie: dapooe, hyundi, datsun/nissan etc.... lookalike.

    Even the 206 looks 'cute' for a girly car. Besides, isn't he comparing a brand new car to a 5+year old poogoe

    At least Citroen is finally making some interesting looking cars with the C4 coupe, C3, C2 etc... (not to say there my sort of car, but at least they don't look like Dapooe clones).

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    I think you'll find that I was comparing the 307 to my Focus, which are in the same generation. They're probably on half cycles of each other.

    If you're only comment is a disparaging comment on my car, then that's pretty impressive. I've been around French cars for a while and still had no trouble recommending my parent buy a C5 HDI. However, I still don't think they're on the same par as their competitors in the CURRENT generation, as my first post said.
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts brenno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashvsaod
    Yes this can be a pain, but what do you expect? We live on the wrong side of planet.
    I pretty much expect parts to be in the country and available within 24 hours, as they should be.

    Fair enough for a 30 year old Citroen, I can wait. For a mass produced run-of-the-mill hatch it's just not acceptable.

  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! pugpete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTI124
    I actually think that French cars are less reliable. I used to make excuses, but no longer.
    I'm sure that like computer hard drives, they are all as bad as each other. people just like calling french cars unreliable because it makes there cars sound better, most cheap cars are unreliable these days, and last time i looked frenchys were not that cheap so what you got to say to that Ford Lord?

    I have done all the work on my cars (504's,505's,205 and an escort) and have never found a design issue like i did on my first and last ford i owned, thats my personal experience and i totally agree with alan, its the people who cant fix cars themself that confuse everybody with what they think is good or bad service, and really how would they know?

    If the ST170 is such a great car, and i mean i cant see why its not good price, good handling, good size, good power. (basically a cheaper version of a Gti180 or a Clio Sport or even a 306GTi6) why are you selling it? and second how come you still like talking about aussiefrogs? seems you need to come out of the closet with your love for frenchys..
    Last edited by pugpete; 9th August 2005 at 01:49 PM.
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  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Uga Boga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugpete
    most cheap cars are unreliable these days, and last time i looked frenchys were not that cheap so what you got to say to that Ford Lord?


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