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What is the worst car you’ve ever owned?

Let us know what is the worst car you ever owned in the comments section

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Maybe it was a lemon that you bought brand new. Or you got it used and the seller wasn’t honest about the vehicle. No matter how you got it, we’ve all had that one car that sticks out for its bad traits.

Worst Car, What is the worst car you’ve ever owned?, ClassicCars.com Journal

With so many choices, what is the worst car you’ve ever owned?

Let us know in the comments section below what is the worst car you’ve ever owned. Like my high school history teacher always told me, “There are no wrong answers.”

My choice? 1994 Ford Thunderbird, it had perpetual electrical issues that led to engine surges. The dealership could never it fixed. I haven’t owned a Ford since.

David P. Castro
David P. Castro is an experienced automotive and motorsports writer with a passion for American muscle cars. He is a credentialed automotive, NASCAR, and IndyCar reporter that graduated from the University of Nevada. The Santa Rosa, California native resides in Phoenix with his wife, son, Siberian Husky, Mini Cooper, and 1977 Chevrolet C10.

34 COMMENTS

  1. A mid-90s Mercedes 400S. Bought it off lease with about high 40,000 miles for $29,000. Price new I was told was $85,000. Kept it for another 60,000 miles. Never ran right, every window motor broke at least twice, numerous engine/steering/leakage issues. Finally needed a $7000 engine repair, so I traded it for a Buick Regal, which I had for 10 years and 160,000 miles without any significant repair. Lesson learned.

    • 1953 (used Cadillac in 1956) You know you made a mistake when your mechanic
      says “Sell, un-load, get rid of this piece of s**t !)

  2. A Mercedes A190 (not sold in the States). Nothing went wrong with it – it was just awful to drive. A good lesson never to buy an attempt by a luxury car maker at making a “compact” runabout.

  3. 1995 neon
    no power poor gas mileage no room
    Traded it in for a mustang convertible!

    80s or 90s toyota tercel 20 miles/quart of oil

  4. 1985 Windstar. Traded in a 1990 Aerostar with 200,000 miles of reliable service for the Windstar. What I got was a soft ride and very squishy steering, which should have steered me away because even for a minivan it was sloppy on the road. The Windstar had a 3.8L V6 with aluminum heads that warped so I couldn’t keep coolant in it. The transmission failed after 75,000 miles. What a complete disaster of a vehicle.

    If that had been the first Ford I owned, there never would have been another.

  5. 1979 Cadillac Seville, wonderful to drive when it ran. Spent more time in shop than on road–constant electrical issues–replaced entire wiring harness and everything else electrical–to no avail.

    • Had a 1979 B210 with 150,000 miles when I wrecked it. Bought a 1978 B210 with no engine from my friend and dropped in the engine from 79. Drove it another 60K before the head gasket gave up and my oil was frothy.

  6. I have been in love with all of my motor cars since I got my first at about the age of ten. They have all been my source for adventure. Some nicer than others but mostly just the sheer freedom they afforded me…I do not care what kind of car it is as long as it goes, stops,and has AC and a stereo with that I am set!.Thankfully i have been able to fix my own cars, so when I’m not driving them, I’m fixing them. I think i will dread the day when I am no longer able to drive…My favorite would be my 1990 Toyota Camry wagon!

  7. 2 for me. 1974 Chev Vega (it was college car during oil crisis).

    Second: new 2001 Mercedes G-Wagon. The entire transmission was rebuild under warranty-twice Spent first six months in the shop.

  8. 1997 Mercury Sable and 1989 Ford Tempo
    Both cost a fortune to keep on the road and lived up to the phrase “Fix Or Repair Daily”

  9. Actually two. 1974 Chevy Monza 2+2 V8. Based on the Vega, concept seemed good, execution not so much Took good care of it, but poor quality car just fell apart. So I thought I’d give my then favorite manufacturer, Chevy, another chance. Bought a Citation X-11 2 door coupe. OMG. Turned me off American made cars for a long time. Next car was a Honda CRX-Si. That car was a lot of fun.

  10. 1990 Hyundai Excel. Electric issues from day 1. Poor quality interior, transmission troubles. Complete junk at 60,000 miles.

  11. 1972 Chevrolet VEGA!!!!

    Had to rebuild the engine 3 times in 9 months. The all aluminum block wharped & the cast iron heads never ever sealed properly.

    Chevy rushed to market with this & created the biggest POS.
    As a 17 year old, with no internet (1979), there was no way to know what a problem it had become.

    Chiltons was my guide to rebuilding. After 3 rebuilds, a kind neighbor recommended selling- best advice ever!

  12. 1984 Pontiac bonneville. I bought new because it was MADE IN AMERICA. Pure crap it was in the dealership every month I never bought an American car since. That’s too bad !!!

  13. This is tough, I had a 1978 Plymouth Volare; automatic transmission failed the first week, alternator rebuilt 3x, both front fenders recalled and replaced due to premature rusting (Lee was heard to have said “Who Expected It To Rain!),the A/C never worked and a number of recalls that I can’t remember. Owned 3 years
    1985 Mitsubishi Galant; three automatic transmissions replaced, three radios replaced and constantly overheated. Company car, owned 3 years.
    1989 Ford SHO; 3 clutches (I was told the torque was too high for the factory clutch), blown head gasket, replaced catalytic converter, replaced tie rod, burned oil (dealer claimed he replaced the engine but never did, nonetheless he charged Ford for a new engine). Regardless, I loved the car. Also a company car leased for 3 years.

  14. 1981 Dodge Mirada with a slant six. After finishing medical school and residency we bought our first (and last) new car. It was cheaper with the all the rebates than a used Mirada. I even bought $1000 in Chrysler stock because there was a $1000 rebated for stock holders. (Free money I thought). It was in various Michigan dealerships literally one week of every month. First year never went over 50 MPH. The following year we moved across the country like that with 4 kids. We tried three more dealerships “out West” before we found an independent mechanic that finally got it running (out of warranty) with different carb.

  15. I had MB 1996 S500. 3 years old off leasing.
    Suspension, over heading, fuel tank….
    I spent 20 k in 4 years. Plus…

  16. 66 Plymouth Fury. Ate starters right up, put 6 in it. No dwell window in distributor.
    Right and left threads on wheels, poor idea. But it did run good.

  17. My 197? 2-door Chevy Vega. Climbing hills with air-conditioning was a non-starter. Ride was,being polite, very uncomfortable. Being honest: just plain awful. Then it would just stall for no reason. always fun on an Interstate… esp with your young family onboard. But I didn’t learn my lesson.Next i bought a Pontiac Fiero..

  18. I had a good string of cars, trucks and vans mostly all Fords. Found a really nice 78 Chevy Silverado one day for a great price. Turned out to be the worst running vehicle I ever owned. Being a mechanic I thought I had a runner, boy was I wrong. Thought I could fix it, but it had other ideas. Sold it to a father/son but told them what they bought beforehand and they were ok with that. Just got lucky I guess.

  19. Worst car? A 2005 Volvo V50. Owned many 544s,and 122s. Bought the 2005 V50 new . Great car till every thing fell apart. i have owned British car since the mid 1960s. This is the worst car I have ever had!

  20. A 1992 Chrysler LeBaron convertible. It had numerous factory recalls and other problems that the dealer would admit was a defect.

  21. 1993 mercury Sable, aluminum heads on that motor were notorious for failure. Light bar went through bulbs like crazy. Electril switches from windows to moonroof failed. 2nd lemon car was 2001 Volvo s60. Numerous electrical issues 2 shops and myself couldnt figure out. Pretty car, but would never run right.

  22. 1988 camaro. Rusted and rattle-canned, tires would randomly go flat, would shut off at operating temp, had a tendency to overheat, the T5 would whine, t-tops leaked, but it was a cheap fun car. Similar issues with my 1990 Z32, but with electrical woes galore. If you neglect a car, it will show it later in life.

  23. I’ve noticed that 80% of the vehicles you meet on the road that have a light out is a Chevy/GMC product and those from the 1980’s-2010’s are the worst. I am on the road a lot all over the country and noticed what surely must be a problem area for Chevy products.

  24. 1981 Pontiac Bonneville Diesel…😱
    Beautiful car bought new…
    Great fuel mileage for a large car but many issues from oil leaks,injection pump failure,bad injectors,blown head gaskets,transmission converter problem, and many electric gremlins. Got rid of it with less than 38,000 miles.
    Never bought a G.M. car after that pig.

  25. 1974 Ford Pinto station wagon. The exhaust leaked inside the car. The breaks were horrible, the four-cylinder sounded like it was brewing tea and it wouldn’t start when the engine was hot. The steering was so nondescript that you could turn almost from 12 to 3 before the wheels responded.

  26. 1973 Chrysler Imperial. Iffy “save gas/control emissions” systems caused so much misery for the original elderly owner I got it with less than 50k miles. Ripped all that crap out, turned the weak ’73 440 into a replica ’69, with ’73’s lower compression. Then the headlight doors got weird. The power locks and windows became possessed by the “Demons of Malfunction”. The dash cluster became a random disco. All intermittent electrical/vacuum gremlins, never could get everything right at once. The huge backfire, which blew the open air cleaner clear off and caused an underhood fire, I determined was the result of a slipped timing chain- car was sold that weekend, to a lowrider club at a huge loss. 2 years later, it was winning show awards… but was a trailer queen. All my other Mopars have been fine, this thing was cursed.

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