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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would not recommend it. The car is an 03 with less than 85,000 miles, which should tell you something. The list of broken or repaired items so far:


Blown head gasket; engine now burns oil and smokes like the cat is missing when cold. Probably needs a motor. Blew due to broken water pump. Now putting in about 1 quart per tank of fuel.

All plastic in the cooling system.

Compressor, receiver/drier, TXV, orifice tube and condenser.

3 of 4 window regulators.

Driver's mirror.

Leaking top due to windows not going up all the way; carpet soaked and molded.

3 batteries.

All vinyl door trim; had to clean all the nasty glue "asbestos" off the door panels to keep it from blowing all over the car.

Leather is completely destroyed; had to use black duct tape to hold it together.

Rear marker light.

Driver's door tension rod broke inside the door and swings shut on your leg. Referring to the metal bar that connects the check rod in the pillar to the inside of the door skin.

Console disintegrated.

Front speakers.

Driver's side door panel; 2 of the bottom screw holes broke and speaker grille came unglued and fell off.

Dash material top coat is disintegrating and forming a nasty glue like residue over every piece of black trim on the dash.

All gray plastic trim disintegrating.

Broken HVAC vent grates.

We've only put about 15,000 on this car in about 4 years, and all this happened, or got worse, since purchase.
 

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I am an original owner of a 2003 GLX 1.8t.

Your experience is not typical. Some of the problems could have been avoided, some not.

My list is very different and I have done a LOT of DIY work in past 15k miles, but so far the car wand and is a daily driver.

Wet carpet is not likely from the window but from a combination of leaking door seals from the window regulators being replaced and water entering the cabin due to the cowl area being clogged with leaves and other debris.

3 batteries is normal IF this is over a 9+ year period. But also 15k miles in 4 years, you need a Battery Tender for $25.

Leather being destroyed is lack of car and environmental issues, top down in the sun too often.

Trim and interior problems may be due to the fact the car is not a GLX?? The only thing is the dash paint is a bit tacky on my car but not bad. Not sure about the

""glue "asbestos" off the door panels to keep it from blowing all over the car""

Again this may be due to the model, my door panels are all hard plastic without sticky/gooey paint.

The door check problem has happened to some cars, not sure why, maybe lack of lubrication or letting the wind catch the door and swing it open?

Good luck moving forward. If the car has an automatic transmission, get ready for problem with that. I have already addressed mine.
 

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1999 GLS 2.0 m/t
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189 Posts
I would not recommend it. The car is an 03 with less than 85,000 miles, which should tell you something. The list of broken or repaired items so far:


Blown head gasket; engine now burns oil and smokes like the cat is missing when cold. Probably needs a motor. Blew due to broken water pump. Now putting in about 1 quart per tank of fuel.


All plastic in the cooling system.

Compressor, receiver/drier, TXV, orifice tube and condenser.

3 of 4 window regulators.

Driver's mirror.

Leaking top due to windows not going up all the way; carpet soaked and molded.

3 batteries.

All vinyl door trim; had to clean all the nasty glue "asbestos" off the door panels to keep it from blowing all over the car.

Leather is completely destroyed; had to use black duct tape to hold it together.

Rear marker light.

Driver's door tension rod broke inside the door and swings shut on your leg. Referring to the metal bar that connects the check rod in the pillar to the inside of the door skin.

Console disintegrated.

Front speakers.

Driver's side door panel; 2 of the bottom screw holes broke and speaker grille came unglued and fell off.

Dash material top coat is disintegrating and forming a nasty glue like residue over every piece of black trim on the dash.

All gray plastic trim disintegrating.

Broken HVAC vent grates.

We've only put about 15,000 on this car in about 4 years, and all this happened, or got worse, since purchase.
Where at, how much?
 

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The failed water pump that likely resulted in the ruined engine is a known issue if the timing belt/water pump is not replaced as "routine maintenance". In your case, I'm guessing it had an original water pump with the plastic impeller which is known to degrade with miles and/or time. When we bought our '05 used, this is the first "routine maintenance" that I did to our car (about 55k miles when we got ours, and luckily our plastic impellers on the original pump were all intact).

The window regulators are also a known issue. I've replaced both of the front regulators on our '05 for about $120 in parts (each) and a half a day of my time on each. This is a repair where it pays to do it yourself (if you have the time, tools, and patience to learn how).

Windows not going up all the way could be anything from not doing the window reset procedure after replacing a battery or window regulator to other issues with the door latch sensors/switches to the electronics. Performing the window reset procedure has always worked on our '05.

Also, if you've only put 15k miles on the car in 4 years, age related problems and problems caused by repeated short trips will hit you hard, especially if the car is always parked outside in the weather. If this is how you're using your "primary" vehicle, I'd recommend getting a car with as few things to go wrong as possible, which would mean staying away from any convertible vehicle and any vehicle with a timing belt that needs replaced as routine maintenance.

Our primary vehicle is an '04 Pontiac Vibe with 120k on the odometer and it has been good, except for the broken A/C, which isn't unexpected on a car so old (years).
 
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