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Brake Problem

09/01/2016 10:01 PM

I have a 1999 Saab 9-3 and suddenly when I braked, my brake pedal almost went to the floor. The foreign car garage replaced my master cylinder, and I paid about $750.00. Twenty minutes after driving my car away from the garage the same problem occurred. My brake pedal went almost to the floor. Pumping helped a little, and it seems that the problem is intermittent. Of course, I will take the car back to the garage, but does anyone out there have an idea of what the problem is if it's not the master cylinder?

Thank you

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#1

Re: Brake Problem

09/01/2016 10:15 PM

Assuming they were competent enough to bleed the whole system after they put the new master cylinder on the next primary component in line form the master cylinder would be the ABS control which has a pump and solenoids that depending on their design could conceivably hold enough fluid to allow your brake pedal to go nearly to the floor.

BTW at $750 they had better have a considerable amount of time into the replacement work (from what online pictures show any decent mechanic should have been able to do the swap out and system bleed in an hour or less) being the master cylinder new should only cost around $250 - $350 leaving some $400 - $500 in other expenses that need to be explained on your bill. (unless they gave you an all inclusive hooker to play with while you waited)

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Brake Problem

09/01/2016 10:21 PM

Maybe it was the booster they replaced...

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Brake Problem

09/01/2016 11:11 PM

That's possible. It would account for more of the total cost and a billable time increase.

But if the pedal went to the floor that's still more likely a master cylinder problem and not a booster problem A failed booster generally just makes the pedal dang hard when applying the brakes due to not providing the power assist.

I'm not sure but when I hear Saab I think of a good buddy of mine who's brother worked at one those high end vehicle repair shops then quit due the gross levels of dishonesty and price gouging they did.

He had some real wild stories about the crazy markups they did on the vehicle brands they serviced. $1000+ to put a $150 Napa battery that took all of 15 minutes to do. Multi $K charges for a $500 brake job. $250 oil changes with walmart grade filters and oil. $300 wiper blades they got for under $20 a set. Stuff like that.

Rich, pompous and stupid were their primary customers. As a honest guy born and raised in rural ND the show of shear wasteful greed fueled by pompous idiocy did not sit well with him. The pay was outrageous but at some point when you can't look your customers in the eyes because they make your stomach turn a guy has to walk away.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Brake Problem

09/01/2016 11:17 PM

That's why I don't own any foreign cars....special imported parts on special imported cars = outrageous prices....

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#25
In reply to #5

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 2:52 AM

Solar, I have to correct you on your statement.

1. Check the price of Toyota parts. I just bought a gas tank check valve for my 2000 MR-2. It was $30 or so. Toyota has some of the least expensive OEM parts. GM prices have skyrocketed since their bankruptcy.

2. I have a client who needs a sunroof drain pipe replaced on her 2011 Cadillac CTS. She was quoted $1,700 for the repair. I did some research and Cadillac used some cheap glue that stopped holding the part together after 3-4 years. I've had 20 year old BMW's, Mercedes and Jaguars that had sunroofs that didn't leak.

3. We have a Lexus RX 350 that's near 200,000 miles. We just had to change an ignition coil. My cost for the part was less than $20 and it took all of 15 minutes to change. My friend's Buick LeSabre has an ignition coil problem and the cost was over $300 in parts + labor.

4. I had a trade in on a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab that had 165K miles. The engine had bad lifters and it sounded like one cylinder was dead. I wholesaled it out.

5. I got my client a 2004 Toyota Tundra Double Cab with 115K miles and it drove like it had 20K miles on it.

Try driving a 15 year old Chevy Malibu with 200K miles and compare it to the same year Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Then look at the repair bills to date and tell me that foreign cars are more expensive to fix/own.

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#28
In reply to #25

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 5:28 AM

Privately, I have only driven Japanese cars except for one Renault many years ago.

I have never ever needed many parts for those Japanese cars over the last 43 years, but when I did, they were usually cheaper than European spares, sometimes far cheaper.

That Japanese cars need expensive parts is an "old wives tale" (that many believe!) probably put around by the opposition! I have never experienced it myself, but I expect that somewhere there is an over priced Jap part!! But who cares, as you need so few of them.....

My present car is a 10 year old Mitsubishi that was built using a VW TDI Diesel engine.

Everything is original Mitsubishi except for a "Pumpe Düse" on the VW engine!!

The car has 230,000 Kms..

Its a bit heavy on front disks, they need changing out every 18 months or so. The back disks have been changed once.

But the whole exhaust system is original.

It is on its second battery. Which implies that the charging system is set up well.....

It has two new Zenon bulbs in 10 years, easily changed as its the Japanese system, not the "other" system with the large magnifying lenses put on European cars generally.....

A few other bulbs have been changed.

It has an after market expensive Waeco Parking system, front and back, which in all 4 from 8 sensors are defective and Waeco wants almost $60 each here for replacements! Though a complete cheap system costs about the same as just one Waeco sensor!! I believe a US company.....but possibly made in China....?

Still has the original glass, but I must change out the front screen soon, no cracks, but a few scratches now....

Some years ago in Frankfurt, Germany, I saw a Mitsubishi with a big sign "Mitsubishi, nie wieder!" which means, "Never again Mitsubishi".

He parked where I was going and I being a Mitsubishi fan over many years, I asked why he had the sign. The answer was he was an amateur mechanic and the car never ever went wrong and he found that boring!!!

He was a very young man.......

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#33
In reply to #28

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 3:08 AM

Very interesting. I had no idea Mitsubishi used VW Diesel engines. Good to know.

Here in the US, Mitsubishi isn't a sought after car. The few clients I've help get a Mitsubishi have been very happy. In fact, the majority of clients who've bought Japanese cars have been happy. The European cars have problems and the repairs can be pricey. The domestic cars seem to have more problems and the electrical problems are much more common with them. Also there are a lot more repairs needed for them.

My GMC Sierra pick up has 35K miles and it has an electrical problem that the dealer can't fix. Also, the dash is just starting to crack and the driver's seat now has a crack too. I think it's disgusting that a relatively new, low mileage truck has that many problems.

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 9:42 AM

Although my car is 10 years old now, I still feel that the "marriage" of a Mitsubishi built car and a VW Diesel Engine is having the best of both worlds....

Sadly today, though I have no personal experience of them, they are building their own Diesel engines now I believe!

Mine will still run on the autobahn at around around 60MPH, with four people in and luggage and achieve less than 6 Liters per 100 Kilometers!!! Thats over 42MPG!!

Even towing our caravan (built like a brick!), doing the legal trailer max here of 80KMH (50MPH), still achieves around 27MPG......

That would be good for a new car even today......and mine weighs about 1.8 metric tons.....

If I had the money today for a new car, it would be a Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid, which are to my mind, spectacularly better better than all electric cars.

The Outlander PHV for example!

Outlander

Maybe I will win the Lottery!!

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#40
In reply to #38

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 10:45 AM

Re:the lottery:

The first thing I will buy when I win the lottery is a big thank you card to the lottery commission.

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#42
In reply to #38

Re: Brake Problem

09/16/2016 1:05 AM

I've owned a lot of cars, but I've never owned a Mitsubishi or Volkswagen. I've had clients who have had problems with their VW's. Here in the US, our Jetta's, Golf's and Beetle's come from Mexico. Passat's are built in the US. The SUV's are made somewhere in Europe.

For me, the best car (lowest cost to own and least repairs) was a 1994 Lexus ES 300. We put 216K miles on it and other than normal maintenance; oil changes, spark plugs, cap and rotor, brake pads, battery, filters, fluid changes, wiper blades and tires, nothing else broke. We did have a temp gauge go up at one time and the culprit was some caking just below the coolant fill cap. My mechanic cleaned up the blockage (in the line going to the reservoir) and that was it!

Personally, I didn't fit well in the car - I couldn't get comfortable in the seat. I gained a lot of appreciation for the engineering and build quality of that car. We currently have an RX 350 with 197K miles. Another stellar car, though it has needed on ignition coil (under $20 part). And the tires are much more expensive than the ES. I'm expecting 300k miles before we get rid of it. My better half absolutely loves the car.

The Lexus RX cars made in Japan are a cut above the ones made in Canada. I don't know about the new ES's built in Kentucky. The rest of the Lexus line is still made in Japan.

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#15
In reply to #4

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 8:08 AM

Is it really true that rich, pompous and stupid people primarily buy high end cars ?

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 11:29 AM

Seems to be the general trend in that groupset.

People who who manage their money and related resources well and don't act like they are the more than they actually are tend to not fit into the stupid and pompous category.

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#19
In reply to #15

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 1:12 PM

Its true here, which is why I have never bought a Merc, and only once had a BMW (company car!), I dislike the type of person often found behind the wheel of such cars!!

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 3:48 PM

Yep same here in the US.

You can tell what a person is like by the vehicle they drive and the clothes they wear and everything I have ever seen of the people that drive those brands of vehicles is that they are typically superficial pompous douchebags on a good day. (Standard issue narcissists.)

Now show me a guy who drives a second hand Ford, Chevy, Toyota, or other such 'common man's vehicle' that 5+ years old and I probably will have a new friend or associate!

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#27
In reply to #20

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 3:31 AM

That may be the case in ND, but here in So Cal. Why?

1. We put a lot of miles on our cars. A Ford or Chevy won't hold up as well as an import.

2. We are in our cars a long time and we want to be comfortable. The comfort of my import cars is a world of difference better than my GMC Sierrra.

3. When traffic is moving, we drive around 80 mph on the freeways - some of us are in the triple digits daily. European cars are designed for the Autobahn and not only handle better, but are also safer if they get in an accident. I feel very safe in my European cars.

4. We have gorgeous canyon roads that beg to be driven hard. The domestic cars just don't cut it (except for a Corvette, Viper or Camaro Z28 or something of that class). Drive an entry level BMW 3 series through the canyon and compare it to a Cadillac ATS.

5. Count the number of 10 year old BMW's, Mercedes and Lexus cars on the road - tons of them. Count the number of 10 year old Lincolns and Cadillacs. A big difference.

6. A Lexus RX 350 with 200,000 miles still is worth $8,000. A Cadillac SRX with 200,000 miles is worth $3,000 max and it would take a long time to sell it.

And isn't the goal of wearing clothes to look good in them. Higher quality clothes are typically made of better fabrics and tailored well, so they make you look better. When I worked long days at the office, I'd wear nice dress shirts and dress slacks. When I got home (after 15 hours at work), I'd was told that I still looked good. Not wrinkly, stretched or baggy/saggy clothes. And they lasted a long time too. And didn't go out of fashion either.

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#2

Re: Brake Problem

09/01/2016 10:18 PM

Sounds like air in the brake line....check the brake fluid level and for leaks....could be a collapsed brake line, check brake lines for integrity...

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#6

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 4:27 AM

What was the fluid level in the reservoir after this had happened?

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 9:00 AM
  1. The same problem occurred after they said they said they replaced the master cylinder. I checked the fluid level after the problem reoccurred, and the fluid level was fine. I called the shop, and they thought that maybe they installed a bad master cylinder even though they said it was new. They admitted that they don't know what is causing the problem, but they also said that they would get it fixed next week.

Thanks for all the comments

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 9:47 AM

Mmm sounds odd. Is it the sort of garage you might expect to say they had replaced it but had done nothing, or maybe replaced it with one from a wreck? (and charged you $750) If so the proprietor should be locked up!

It does sound like master cylinder seals. At one time you could buy just the seals, now it's a new (or rebuilt) unit. I would make sure they do it right next time, see the thing before fitting, and the box it came in.

Let us know how you get on.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 12:15 PM

I think you could tell a new master cylinder from one that had been in there for 17 years.....

Link...

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 1:20 PM

Oh you may be surprised. From my buddies brothers tories most other people who one those types of vehicles don't even know how to open the hood let alone identify anything regardless of age.

Ally cared about is the more expensive the fix the better their vehicle must be compared to everyone else's.

Not saying the OP here is one of them being he actually is asking for help to identify whats wrong with his vehicle rather than just spend 410's of thousands more for the bragging right of how truly supremely great his vehicle must be to deserve such high dollar work.

I don't know the name of the place my buddies brother worked at but it was a high end repair shop in the Phoenix AZ area so lets hope the OP here isn't from that area. Although if he is and his vehicle was worked on there there is a very good chance all all they did was air up one tire and maybe wash the windshield with their special $85 dollar a gallon window wash that comes from a $1.99 jug available at K-mart.

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 2:44 PM

Yes I could and so could you, but the OP in #7 seems uncertain. That's if, following on from tcmtech, that he's looked under the hood.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Brake Problem

09/02/2016 4:07 PM

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#16
In reply to #7

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 8:23 AM

Too many " they's ".

How do you get a " bad ", New, master cylinder ? Sounds like " they " installed a rebuilt.

If, " they " don't know the problem,

How can " they " predict that " they " will fix it next week ?

The fact, that " they " gave you the car back, when it wasn't road ready, and had the brakes failed in an emergency situation,

Would " they " be attending your funeral ?

I would get a refund, give them the boot and take my car to a different repair shop.

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#22
In reply to #16

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 2:31 AM

Agreed! Good advice.

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#13

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 5:44 AM

Did you mark the parts to be 100% certain that they were in reality replaced?

That still sounds like a bad master cylinder.....

Have a look with a mirror underneath the MS and see if its dirty there!!

That sounds like a very expensive repair!! Master cylinders are reasonable in price and easy to replace......

Theoretically it could be a leak at a wheel cylinder or somewhere else on the system, park on a surface where drips can be quickly seen (if not windy, use newspaper!) and start the engine and try pressing hard on/off the brake pedal.....check for leaks....

If it goes away on its own, they probably did not bleed "both sides" of a dual circuit properly.....

In the long run, you need a better mechanic I feel.....

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#23
In reply to #13

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 2:33 AM

The OP found the fluid in the reservoir to be full, so no leaks. Sounds like a bad master cylinder to me.

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#14

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 5:51 AM

It sounds like air in the brake lines.Do brakes feel "spongy"?

They were not properly bled after,and IF, the master cylinder was replaced.

I never take a vehicle to any shop for repair,unless it is for body work or 4 wheel alignment,balance.

You took it to a "foreign car garage"---was that a dealership,or a privately owned shop?

Privates shops are notorious for rip offs."BOHICA" is their motto,and PT Barnum is their hero.

There are a few honest shops out there,but few and far between.

The dealerships are not much better,but at least you have several avenues of recourse for shoddy workmanship or parts at a dealership.

Have the mechanic show you the bad part, before they remove it, and make some type of identifying mark on it,even a scratch will do. Then take photos of the part if possible.

Have them give you the old part back,and take photos of it as well.

Keep the box the replacement part came in.

Check the replacement part for fresh paint or runs in the paint..sometimes they put in a used part with a fresh paint job.

Tell them ahead of time that you want the old part back,as well as the new part's box.

This will put them on guard,and may reduce the urge for them to defraud you.

If problems occur,compare photos and look for your mark.

I see lots of repeat visits to the foreign car repair shop ahead..they have a fish on the

line now,and they are reluctant to let it get away.

If they do not correct the problem,contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint.

(It won't do a lot of good,but it will make you feel a little better.)

Their incompetent actions could have resulted in a fatal accident, so remind them that they could be liable if an accident occurs because of a brake failure due to their shoddy work.

If you do have an accident due to the brakes failing,tell your auto insurance company,or leave documentation for your next-of-kin,so they can pursue it.

They will pursue it to the ends of the earth to prevent paying for a claim.

Good luck!

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 8:34 AM

Thanks for the detailed response. The place that serviced my car was a "foreign car garage" that specializes in Saabs. It was not a dealership. Next week I should have some answers.

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#48
In reply to #17

Re: Brake Problem

09/27/2016 12:34 AM

Saab is in Mr. Good Wrench territory as a GM vehicle.

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#24
In reply to #14

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 2:38 AM

Saab went out of business a few years ago, so there are no Saab dealerships left - I think they finally sold the last Saab new car in inventory, FINALLY! I no longer see brand new 2010 Saab's for sale.

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#21

Re: Brake Problem

09/03/2016 8:28 PM

Twenty minutes later same symptom, and you didn't take it right back? Did they even look at the rest of the system?

Find a better mechanic, if you don't want to do the work yourself.

I am not familiar with that model, but some 1999 9-5s have an electric brake booster.

saabnet.com has been a good source of information for me.

I miss the '91 9000 I had, it was a good combination of performance, comfort, durability, fuel economy, carrying capacity, and safety. It was neither expensive nor difficult to maintain.

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#26

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 3:07 AM

Here's something that will help you understand what's happening.

Your Saab uses a hydraulic brake system - like nearly all other cars. The system uses brake fluid in the brake lines. It's a closed system, so no fluid is lost in normal braking. When you push the brake pedal, a piston in the master cylinder moves and pushes brake fluid into the brake lines. The brake fluid pushes the calipers closed on all four wheels. The calipers have brake pads on both sides of the brake rotor. When the caliper closes the brake pad is pushed into the rotor and the friction stops the rotor from turning.

How does a brake pedal go to the floor board? There are two ways this happens. One is if the fluid leaks out - the pressure from the master cylinder isn't getting to the calipers. You'd see brake fluid somewhere under the car and the reservoir would be low. The other way is if the master cylinder isn't pushing the fluid (pressuring the brake line). This is due to a bad seal in the master cylinder.

Failures in the brake proportioning valve, ABS system, brake booster and other electronic brake parts will cause a hard pedal and brakes that are difficult to modulate. It's a different problem than the brake pedal going to the floor.

I hope this helps.

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#29

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 8:38 AM

I once had a mystery leak in my brake system .

The fluid level was dropping,but no evidence of leaks anywhere in the system.

No fluid on ground,or inside of wheel well or inside of tire sidewall ,yet the level kept dropping.

All bleeder valves were dry.

The brakes worked fine, just losing fluid.

I resolved to find the problem,and it was a leak on the master cylinder shaft inside of the booster housing.

The vacuum chamber was slowly filling with fluid.

It was not losing vacuum,as there was no leak in the diaphragm.

Only time I have ever seen this occur.

Murphy never rests.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 9:06 AM

I had a similar issue on my 2004 Mondeo (UK). No sign of leaks so I assumed the problem was as you describe and got hold of a master cylinder from a breaker - £20. When I got the car over a pit I found there was a leak, but going into the rear subframe member so not reaching the ground. Steel brake line rusted through. I smear my brake pipes with grease but this bit was in a very inaccessible spot and I'd missed it. Replaced it with copper alloy pipe which I was well impressed with, much more flexible than steel, and it had to be quite an intricate shape. Maybe it's common nowadays, last one I did was 45 years ago.

The rusty pipe hadn't been picked up on annual test, but they had the cheek to note "brake pipes couldn't be examined as covered in grease", seeming to imply the grease was there to hide rust, not prevent it! But testers do like to make advisory notes to show they're doing their job.

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#32
In reply to #29

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 1:26 PM

I saw it once on a friends car, but huge clouds of white smoke as it was burning the hydraulic fluid!!

Changing the booster fixed the problem....

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#35
In reply to #29

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 3:15 AM

It does happen, but not as often as other brake problems. I've never had it happen to me, but I've heard it happen to others. The key to diagnosing it is that the brake fluid disappears with no sign of it leaking.

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#30

Re: Brake Problem

09/07/2016 8:56 AM

IMHO: Government Motors(aka:GM) is just a pile of junk on wheels.

When they realized they could make more money financing the cars than by building

them,(GMAC) their focus changed,and quality went downhill.

And it is still at the bottom,IMHO.

I bought 2 GM cars,and was totally disappointed in both of them.

"Nevermore!" Quote the Raven.

They should have been allowed to go bankrupt.

The only American company not bailed out was Ford.

I have not bought a new Ford, in many years,but my experience with the older LTD's

and Town Cars was excellent insofar as comfort,finish and reliability.

The only issue with the big cars was gas mileage.

I have driven only Hondas for the last 20 years or so,and I have no complaints.

I sell them at 250000 miles,and I still see them on the roads around town, with smiling drivers.

It is ironic that after the war,we taught the Japanese how to build cars,do quality

control the right way,and take the long view on quality and repeat sales.

Now they are kicking our butt using the principles that we taught them.

Modern accountants are taught to get quarterly returns, and the annual returns will

take care of themselves.

I think that is the root of the problem.

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#34
In reply to #30

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 3:14 AM

I believe it was Deming that brought quality manufacturing techniques to Japan, wasn't it. I also heard that he tried to do the same in the US and we turned him away.

I also own a GM product (GMC Sierra) and it only has 35K miles, but it's had it's share of problems. I should've bought a Tundra!

Honda's are amazing cars. Our daughter is tough on cars and she's killed some pretty good ones. We finally got her into a Honda about 10 years ago and she can't kill it. We got her a second one three years ago and it's been perfect. Prior to the Honda, she killed a Ford, Volvo, Mazda, Civic (not her fault, because her EX cut the coils to "lower" it) and a Chevy. None lasted more than a year.

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#36

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 8:50 AM

I have my car back, and I drove it for 30 miles with quite a lot of braking. The brakes appear to be working fine, but can I trust them?

The owner of the garage said " yes the system was bled when it was installed, but some times a pocket will stay in the system and you have to bleed the system again to take it out."

The mechanic who did the work said the problem had to do with the rotors and the master cylinder, but I could not make sense of what he was talking about.

Anyway, here I am driving my car again, and if anything new develops, I'll let the forum know.

Some of you posted very thoughtful explanations, and to you I am deeply grateful.

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 9:23 AM

OK thx for letting us know. Good luck!

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#39
In reply to #36

Re: Brake Problem

09/10/2016 9:48 AM

Everyone here tried to help. Its kept me fascinated since I joined....

We all wish each other that as well!!

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#41
In reply to #36

Re: Brake Problem

09/16/2016 12:47 AM

Good to hear it.

If the pedal feels solid and not mushy, you should be in good shape. When brake parts go, you typically get some sort of warning.

Pads = squealing noise when stopping

Rotor = vibration in the steering wheel or pulsation in the pedal when braking.

Master Cylinder = pedal slowly moves to the floor (you can usually pump the brakes if the MC is going bad)

Brake Booster = pedal hard to push

Brake lines = you're in trouble if these break.

ABS = light on the dash tells you ABS has a malfunction

Proportioning Valve = stopping distance increases, but car still stops

Don't be too worried. Most times you have adequate warning that something isn't right.

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: Brake Problem

09/16/2016 12:00 PM

I had a good one on a brand new VW Sharan in 2002 I believe. The problem was:-

Brake Booster = pedal hard to push - when driving fast only.

But VW changed the booster 4 times and it still went hard but only when I drove fast, about 120MPH!!

I finally refused to drive the car until they changed the master cylinder as well, problem immediately solved!! Never ever came back.

That took 6 weeks to get them to change the master cylinder....

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: Brake Problem

09/21/2016 12:00 AM

I had to look up what a VW Sharan is. They didn't bring these into the US.

120 mph? That's pretty fast for that type of car. Did it have a VR6? Couldn't have been a diesel, could it?

It's interesting that the master cylinder caused a hard brake pedal at high speeds. I'm thinking about why that would happen and I'm stumped. I can see a brake booster, since at 120 mph, the engine is working hard and the vacuum would be low. At lower speed, the engine would be producing more vacuum and the brake booster would be working normal.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Brake Problem

09/21/2016 6:50 AM

You have never had a Turbo diesel car obviously!! 140BHP, can get moving really well....and no need to use the gearbox excessively for good acceleration!!

Even 210KMH is something over 130MPH.......and a VW diesel demonstrates an extraordinary low fuel consumption even then....

My Navi is accurate to +- 1KMH!! Showed just over 210KMH......my present Mitsubishi with a VW Diesel engine car demonstrates far better road holding than either of the Sharans at high speed....My Touran I had it lowered, it was also very stable.....

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Brake Problem

09/24/2016 1:15 AM

No turbo diesels. I've driven Chevy trucks with Isuzu's Duramax turbo diesel, Ford's Harvester turbo diesel, Dodge's Cummins turbo diesel and a VW Touareg with a V-6 turbo diesel. Oh yeah, I also drove an old Mercedes with a straight 6 turbo diesel too.

Here's what I remember about the trucks: The torque is phenomenal and it's at low rpm. The pull up a hill is impressive, however they don't have the punch of a gas engine. Great for large, heavy vehicles and gets reasonable fuel economy.

The VW diesel was the closest I felt to a gas engine, except it seemed to run out of power as it got up in rpm. Fuel economy was silly for such a heavy vehicle. Though I heard that the Touareg has the "emissions cheat" installed and that's why the power and range are so good. I was very impressed with this motor.

The old Merc diesel seemed like it had a mind of it's own. Sometimes it would rev, while other times it felt like I was towing 10,000 lbs. I didn't like the feel of that motor.

There's another problem with owning a diesel here in the US. It's hard to find diesel fuel at service stations. If you're on a truck route, there's no problem. If you're in a suburb or in the middle of downtown! Luckily they get great fuel economy, because you may be driving for a while before you fine a place to fill up.

As an aside, I've been driving my 2004 Merc C230 Kompressor coupe lately. It's a 1.8L 4 cyl supercharged motor. NHV is very impressive - this motor is smooth and quiet. It like revving, but as you near redline, it loses some of the silkiness. At idle, it's hard to tell the motor is running. The cool thing about this car is that I only have 100K miles on it and it's a 6 speed manual! The supercharged 4 cylinder needs the manual - I've driven a sedan with an automatic and it's not the same. The new BMW 2.0 turbo is noisy and rough when cold. Even when it's warm, the engine is rough at idle. I like their straight six much more.

In the late 80's, I had a hot rod 1980 Camaro with a 5.0L V-8 that was built to around 225 hp or so - I never dyno'd it, so I don't know exactly. I had a three speed GM Turbo Hydromatic 350 transmission and a rear axle ratio of 3.31:1 Positraction. It would get up to 135 mph and that was about the max. It wasn't redline, it just didn't want to push harder. My friend told me that I should've gone with a 4.11:1 Posi axle, but I drove a lot of highway miles and I didn't want the motor running so fast. It was a lot of fun to drive with the 3.31 axle. It came stock with a 2.56:1 open rear end. With the pathetic smog choking 305, 4 barrel smog era Quadrajet and "small valve" heads, I think it had around 155 hp stock. It didn't like revving above 5,000 rpm. After the performance mods, it revved strong through redline! It was a very fun, inefficient, loud and raucous car. I loved it!

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#47
In reply to #46

Re: Brake Problem

09/24/2016 9:47 AM

Don't even try to compare car diesel engines with Truck diesel engines. Thats simply a waste of time as they are designed for different purposes....

The USA appears generally speaking to be far behind the rest of the world with regard to the percentage of diesel cars, though there is a fervent small community, a friend of mine had a diesel golf about 20 odd years ago that he loved.....and he even drove it on cheap salad oil if he was not near a filling station.....

The diesel driver's last resort!! The exhaust smells like a restaurant selling fries!!!Though to start well, you need some mods like a fuel heater, though I am no expert!!

You will find this well down in the article about VW and their lies to purchasers of their more recent diesel models:-

What are TDI owners actually doing?

As Greenpeace and other environmental groups lambaste VW, the obligatory news articles profiling angry TDI drivers have popped up. Granted, there are some people genuinely upset with VW for misleading them about their car’s emissions levels. But as we see it, the majority of TDI buyers are knowledgeable enthusiasts in love with sky-high fuel economy, torque, durability, and low running costs. Some really frugal types convert their TDIs to run on refined vegetable oil or biodiesel. These people are die-hards.

Everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-vw-diesel-emissions-scandal

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#49
In reply to #47

Re: Brake Problem

10/08/2016 6:16 PM

My sister had a VW Rabbit Diesel back in the early 90's. She didn't like the car - it was noisy, messy to fill up, was gutless and had trouble going up hill at freeway speed. Her next car was a Honda Civic hatchback, which she really liked (gas engine car) and next was an Acura Integra, which she still owns.

Here in the US, there is a negative backlash against owning a diesel car.

1. People don't like to get their hands dirty filling up their tank with diesel.

2. The Hybrid cars are trendy and "green". You can pull up to a $50M mansion in a Prius and be treated like one of the boys.

3. GM screwed up our impression of diesel engines. They took a gas engine and modified it for diesel - terrible engines that had high failure rates. The worst part is that they put these "modified gas engines" in their premium cars; Cadillacs, Buick Park Avenues, Old 98's, etc.

4. The GM diesel engines were noisy and made loud knocking noises. People think they're not working right.

5. In the cold Chicago-like weather, the GM diesels wouldn't start.

6. The GM diesels lacked power.

7. The GM diesels were rough running.

8. GM also made a 4.3L V-8 diesel and a 4.3L V-6 diesel. Both were around 85 hp and no turbo.

9. The GM 5.7L V-8 diesel put out a whopping 105hp in early versions.

Converting a gas engine into a diesel makes no sense if you're looking to make a quality product. On the other hand, if you're GM and you make cars that you want to and you know that the public will buy whatever garbage you produce, then you do crazy things like this.

In that same era, GM also made a V-8 engine that had cylinder deactivation Here's an excerpt from a Time magazine article (50 Worst Cars of All Time). "GM deserves credit for trying, but the V-8-6-4 was the Titanic of engine programs. The cars jerked, bucked, stalled, made rude noises and generally misbehaved until wild-eyed owners took the cars to have the system disconnected. For some it was the last time they ever saw the inside of a Cadillac dealership."

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#50
In reply to #49

Re: Brake Problem

10/09/2016 3:23 AM

I know that the USA is far behind with modern diesels, I did not know why, till now!

I bought a Second Hand Mitsubishi Galant, 2.3 L Diesel in 1986 (2 or 3 years old) with 91,000 Kms on the clock. We had that car till 1990, I believe and we put a further 360,000 Kms on the clock till it had the best part of half a million Kms!

It ran smoothly, quietly and very economically, it needed very few parts, except for a new cylinder head that I fitted (the reason for buying was that it was cheap because the cylinder head was damaged, a design failure of early Mitsubishi diesels.)

A mechanic who took it for its emissions test once said it was the best starting diesel he had ever driven!!

But, it had a Turbo!! The one your sister had most likely didn't. It makes a HUGE difference!!

You could drive at around 47 MPG at a steady 60 MPH (through east Germany with a 60 MPH/100KMH limit on autobahns!)

It all depended upon good research and no impulse buying!! Doesn't every single car need the same? I never do it any other way!!!

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Brake Problem

10/09/2016 5:31 PM

Generally Americans don't know how to drive a diesel powered automobile and the vehicles moreover aren't configured with equipment to overcome that. So you'd often see non or turbocharged diesels driven in to high of gears and burning black with dismal performance.

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Brake Problem

10/17/2016 3:02 AM

I have two clients who own a VW TDI. Both have opted for the buyout - they're both giving the car back to VW and getting the buyout. The reason both clients gave me is that they're disappointed that VW did something dishonest and they want nothing to do with the company.

When I asked if they like the car, both said yes. Though now they're concerned that the car won't pass the smog test, which makes their car undriveable.

One is buying a BMW 328d sedan (coming out of a Passat TDI) (his second choice was a Subaru Outback 3.6 Limited) and the other is buying a Subaru Outback 2.5i Touring.

I find it interesting that one decided to stay with a diesel, while the other is going with a gas engine. Also both had the Outback as an option.

In regard to my sister's old VW Rabbit Diesel, you are correct - it was not a turbo diesel. I remember telling someone at work (I worked as an engineer at a Navy facility) telling me that EVERY diesel engine had to have a turbo or it wouldn't work. I rattled off a whole bunch of non-turbo diesels, but he wouldn't believe me.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Brake Problem

10/17/2016 8:01 AM

Those VW-TDI owners I know are keeping their vehicles because of the belief if less fuel goes in then less pollution is produced from a given number of miles when compared to vehicles having the approved equipment. After all the rub is that VW didn't buy a part not so much that the vehicles were ineffective, I'd not known the TDI to be inefficient and they'd pass the emissions hurdle but fail due not having specific equipment installed; objectivity of that argument is lost IMHO.

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#55
In reply to #53

Re: Brake Problem

10/18/2016 4:15 AM

VW is in trouble, because they tried to cheat the system. Here's an excerpt from a Car and Driver article: "In the test mode, the cars are fully compliant with all federal emissions levels. But when driving normally, the computer switches to a separate mode—significantly changing the fuel pressure, injection timing, exhaust-gas recirculation, and, in models with AdBlue, the amount of urea fluid sprayed into the exhaust. While this mode likely delivers higher mileage and power, it also permits heavier nitrogen-oxide emissions (NOx)—a smog-forming pollutant linked to lung cancer—up to 40 times higher than the federal limit. That doesn’t mean every TDI is pumping 40 times as much NOx as it should. Some cars may emit just a few times over the limit, depending on driving style and load."

Will the cars drive the same with the new software? Will they get the same fuel economy? Will they have the same power? Will they pass a smog test?

These are unknowns. Some people feel that the VW cars won't pass the CA smog test. If they can't pass, the state can refuse to renew the registration. The cars will be undriveable.

I also believe that people don't like it when a company cheats to get ahead. Cheating on emissions is considered worse, because it hurts our environment.

Here's the article I referenced, in case you want to read it. http://blog.caranddriver.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-vw-diesel-emissions-scandal/

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Brake Problem

10/18/2016 8:56 AM

What has been apparently forgotten is that VW is only one of many companies doing exactly the same.

Furthermore, the US agency that tests/checks cars for their exhaust emissions was at fault, for incorrect testing that a piece of software could be made that they did not test for, because if they had tested "on the road", just as the magazines did for "Diesel-Gate", nobody would be the wiser even today!!!

They even found that many large truck manufacturers were doing the same in 1998 (certainly in the 90's!), so why did they not think that the car manufacturers, some of which were caught doing it with their trucks, would not "expand" the program? See here:-

In 1998, the EPA announced fines totaling $83.4 million against seven heavy truck manufacturers, the largest fine to date, which evaded testing by shutting down emissions controls during highway driving while appearing to be in compliance during lab testing.[12] The seven, Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Mack Trucks, Navistar International,Renault Trucks, and Volvo Trucks, also agreed to spend more than $1 billion to correct the problem.

Taken from here:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defeat_device

And over the years, it has mostly been US car and truck manufacturers, and some Japanese car makers who have used "Defeat devices", since the 1970s.

So why is it that everyone is jumping on VW, when they are the last in a VERY LONG line of such criminals.....??????

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#57
In reply to #56

Re: Brake Problem

10/18/2016 11:10 AM

Although the second mouse may get the cheese there's a penalty.

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: Brake Problem

10/19/2016 3:03 AM

I just read the Wiki article and I see the problem as such:

1. The 1970's were a disaster when talking about emissions controls. It was a new field and the smog systems choked the engines. Though compared to the pre-catalytic converter cars, these were clean burning.

2. The truck cheat didn't have much effect on the general public. They typically don't buy big diesel trucks, so it's mostly a professional user and they're thinking of how it effects their business.

3. The VW cheat was done on purpose to "trick" the current smog test system. The general public was involved, because they own these cars or friends of theirs do. It now becomes personal - they cheated me, my friend or someone in my family. Since VW did it with software, the average person feels it was done to intentionally trick our smog test system.

I think you have to look at it with the understanding of how our culture is. It's analogous to manslaughter vs murder. Both have the outcome of someone dying at the hands of another. The difference is that murder is seen as much worse and first degree murder is done with the intent to kill. So in the case of VW, they committed a crime on the level of first degree murder vs the Cadillac cheat of the 90's and the older ones you mentioned can be seen more like manslaughter.

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Brake Problem

10/19/2016 12:22 PM

Can't agree with your obviously biased opinions.

VW sold in the USA 500,000 cars with the defeat device.

"In 1995, General Motors was ordered to recall 470,000 model year 1991 through 1995 Cadillacs and pay an $11 million fine for programming the car's electronic control unit (ECU) to enrich the fuel mixture any time the car's air conditioning or cabin heat was operating, since the EPA tests are conducted with those systems turned off.["

The largest civil penalty under the Clean Air Act was $11.1 million paid by Louisiana-Pacificlumber and paper company.

In 1996, Honda reached an agreement with the EPA to extend the warranties and offer free services for 1.6 million 1995 Civics and 1996–1997 model year Acuras, Accords, Civics, Preludes, and Odysseys, because Honda had disabled an engine misfire warning light that would have otherwise directed drivers to seek repairs for the misfires. Honda was required to spend a total of $267 million on the warranties, service, pollution reduction projects, and $12.6 million in civil penalties.

Also in 1996, Ford reached a consent decree to spend $7.9 million to address a defeat device on 60,000 1997 model year Econoline vans which used a "sophisticated electronic control strategy designed to enhance fuel economy", disabling NOx emissions controls while the vans were driven at highway speeds, a circumstance not occurring during lab testing to verify emissions control compliance.

In 1998, the EPA announced fines totaling $83.4 million against seven heavy truck manufacturers, the largest fine to date, which evaded testing by shutting down emissions controls during highway driving while appearing to be in compliance during lab testing.

The seven, Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Mack Trucks, Navistar International,Renault Trucks, and Volvo Trucks, also agreed to spend more than $1 billion to correct the problem. The trucks used engine ECU software to engage pollution controls during the 20-minute lab tests to verify compliance with the Clean Air Act, but then disable the emissions controls during normal highway cruising, emitting up to three times the maximum allowed NOx pollution.

In 2000 the German motorcycle magazine Motorrad reported about a defeat device delivered with the BMW F 650 GS. BMW responded in issuing an improved injection as of 2001 and calling back the models from the previous year.

So the 500,000 VWs are in your opinion worse than the 470,000 GM cars, or the 1.6 Million Honda models, 60,000 US made Fords, an unknown number of trucks mainly made by US truck companies, also an unknown number of BMW motorbikes......

You have an unfair bias against VW.......try to be broadminded about what has happened and remember that the EPA set the standards, standards that were apparently very easily got around by many diferent companies......

Also, trucks send a far larger amount of pollution out per truck, many times more than any car affected, from any manufacturer....and as we don't have numbers, difficult to know exactly how much pollution in total, but the various fines were HUGE!! So probably reflecting a large number of trucks!!

"Don't do what I do, just do what I say" maybe???

A further link detailing the total number of VWs affected was taken from here:-

Volkswagen_emissions_scandal

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: Brake Problem

10/19/2016 4:39 PM

Well said, and to be fair the elephant (trains) of polluters should be mentioned too. I recall my sister having a house repainted and finding out that it wouldn't pass the white glove test two weeks after for the soot accumulated under the eaves; house sits one quarter mile from a train yard in California. Do you know if CA still requires automobiles to have a fresh air pump to infuse air downstream of the combustion chamber and pushing the fresh air into the exhaust system upstream from emissions control analysis equipment?

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Brake Problem

10/20/2016 2:20 AM

Air pumps haven't been used in CA cars in years. Back when I was a kid, I bought a used 1967 Olds 98 with an air pump. In the cylinder heads (may have been the exhaust manifold), a hole was drilled and a pipe installed that connected it to the air pump. The pump didn't work anymore, so I removed the system and put bolts in the holes. I lived in IL at the time, so the air pump wasn't necessary.

The oldest CA emissions car I've owned was a 1978 Volvo and it didn't have an air pump. My guess is that CA stopped using the air pumps in the early 70's

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#64
In reply to #61

Re: Brake Problem

10/20/2016 8:20 AM

Ca required air pumps into the 1990's on most vehicles. I by chance had dinner with a Sierra Club president and discussed the various requirements for emission control devices and I suggested for credibility to stop kicking the can.

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#62
In reply to #59

Re: Brake Problem

10/20/2016 2:43 AM

I don't see my answer as being biased. Here's why:

1. What I've read about the VW TDI problem is that VW is unsure if they can make their cars CARB approved - pass the CA smog test. If a car can't pass the smog test, you can't get your registration renewed. No tags = a ticket and potentially your car will be impounded.

2. The Cadillac problem was fixable. The cars were recalled and the new software installed.

3. The Honda problem was fixable and the intent wasn't to cheat the smog system. The cars were recalled and repaired.

I do have a bias, but it's not toward Cadillac. I am not a fan of their vehicles. Here in the US, VW doesn't have a great reputation, due to problems with the Jetta, Beetle and Passat cars. The Jetta and Beetle cars were made in Mexico and they had a lot of electrical problems. My bias is pro Honda, but their problem was due to reducing the number of CEL's turned on.

Here's some facts:

1. People don't care about the Cadillac rich fuel issue. Very few mid 90's Caddies are still on the road and if you mention this to someone, most will have no clue what you're talking about. Until you brought it up to me, I didn't know about it.

2. People still buy Honda cars and the mid 90's Honda cars are still on the road and when they are up for sale, there are buyers. Honda has a good name in the US.

3. People don't like VW cars now. A week ago, I gave a brief presentation and the issue of the VW TDI cheat was brought up. Nobody in the room would buy a VW and they were upset that VW cheated the system.

You have to remember that VW's build in Europe are much better quality vs the ones built in Mexico. In the mid 00's, I would get VW Jetta sedans for my clients. Junk made in Mexico. I would also get VW Jetta wagons, which came from Germany. The difference in quality was noticeable and the owners had very little trouble.

I understand your preference for VW, however the VW vehicles here in the US are not the same quality that you get in Europe.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: Brake Problem

10/20/2016 7:11 AM

You ought to think before writing, if we were back in 1992 with the VW problem, then I am POSITIVE it would be fixable!! Totally!!

We are now in 2016!

The emission regulations are (correctly) getting more and more stringent each year, its getting harder and harder to achieve the newer requirements laid down!!!

But evading them now is simply no worse than evading them then!! Except in the eyes of some heavily biased people here it would seem.....

As I said before, you are just wanting to "down" VW, nothing more, nothing less.

Try to be fair and broader minded and do think longer before typing anything, to make sure your "bias" is not so obvious!!

I do not like what the Japs did to OUR men in WW2,for example! Also I have been there too, but generally speaking, I don't like them as a nation, but I have driven their cars for many years now privately, as I try not to let my anti Japanese bias affect my car choices...I have nothing against Mazda, Toyota or Mitsubishi cars for example....well made.

If you want to know more/why I am biased, watch "the Railway Man" film or read Eric Lomax's book, from which the film was made.....I knew many men after WW2, broken in the same way, who managed to return, our Vicar was also one, even as a man of God, he never forgave the Japanese for their inhuman attitude to POWs.

I have met and know many REAL Nazis over the years, I even bought my house from one (who is now well over 90!), but I still do not like them either, but the Germans as a nation have made full reparations!

But most are now dead anyway!!!

Also, Germany is VERY anti Nazi since WW2, they do not have shrines (as in Japan) a shrine containing amongst many other WW2 memorabilia, the well preserved first locomotive that ran along the "Death Railway" for example. Or restored Kamikaze planes, all in a religious shrine/Museum, where people pray even today.....Glorifying war.

I find that dreadful.....I am not alone either it would seem....

See here:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/01/stop-talking-about-yasukuni-the-real-problem-is-y-sh-kan/282757/

Eric_Lomax

The Death Railway first steam engine, retrieved by the Japanese from Thailand, is kept in pristine condition at this shrine:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C5%ABsh%C5%ABkan

"Javanese, Malayan Tamils of Indian origin, Burmese, Chinese, Thai and other Southeast Asians, forcibly drafted by the Imperial Japanese Army to work on the railway, died in its construction — including 100,000 Tamils alone.

12,621 Allied POWs died during the construction. The dead POWs included 6,904 British personnel, 2,802 Australians, 2,782 Dutch, and 133 Americans."

By the way, I hope that you have never owned anything made in Japan or Germany, now that would be REALLY awful of you......No TVs or cameras and of course cars!!!

By the way, you are totally wrong with this comment "I understand your preference for VW," I had to drive company cars MADE IN GERMANY. No choice in the matter.....

Its an accident, that I did not know before the purchase, that my present Mitsubishi has a VW Diesel engine.....

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#65
In reply to #63

Re: Brake Problem

10/20/2016 11:54 AM

Andy I agree, and the op's point of Americans view of VW is in part a phenomenon amongst Americans described by the idiom "VW People" and "non VW people". Some folks recognize the intrinsic value but others don't naturally acknowledge the engineering values.

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: Brake Problem

10/17/2016 11:54 AM

To make the diesel "drive able" he was right. Even today, some vehicle diesels have no Turbo.....appalling!!

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