4 resources for researching if your car has a defect. [Examiner] (Photo: nixter)

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  1. HarcourtArmstrong says:

    I’ve found that popular cars typically have forums dedicated to them. Problems with the cars tend to appear on these forums long before they get documented by the government.

    I had trouble with my RSX’s 3rd gear. I went on a forum and discovered other people were having the same problem. We all complained and Honda revised the 3rd gear. I just had mine fixed last week and it’s much better now.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2008/05/01/honda-issues-tsb-for-third-gear-issue-fix-is-free/

  2. sir_eccles says:

    There are a number of code letters affixed to the front of the car that will indicate if you have a problem.

    GM, FORD…

    • Anonymous says:

      @sir_eccles: Weird, cause I find cars with the code letters “Honda, Toyota…” to have just as many problems. I have yet to visit a dealership that is void of a service center. Let me know when you find one! :-)

  3. ScottRose says:

    I’m with ol’ Harcourt up there.

    And the first link in that article ( [www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov] ) is just a database of people whining or asking questions.

    I don’t mean to be harsh here, but this is one of the “complaints”:

    HAVE YOU HAD ANY INVESTIGATIONS OR EXPERIENCES WITH FIRES IN THESE NEW 2008 JEEP WRANGLER UNLIMITED MODELS? THESE ARE THE POPULAR NEW 4-DOOR MODELS. THERE ARE A SLEW OF VIDEOS AND REPORTS ON THE INTERNET, BUT I’M HAVING TROUBLE IDENTIFYING A COMMON THREAD BETWEEN THEM. THANKS, JAY FROM NHTSA WEB SITE. *TR UPDATED 01/30/09. *JB

    That “complaint” is actually posted twice, in two different categories.

    I found a few other bizarre ones out of a sample space of only 32 for my vehicle.

    • Grive says:

      @ScottRose: Remember that the “sample size” is “sample of people compelled enough to go to the NHTSA forums regarding their issues”.

  4. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    All I can say is that if there is a recall on the Airbag controller, get it fixed. I helped my nephew buy an ’95 Miata and we didn’t do it promptly, and the vehicle was totaled when the airbags deployed (breaking entire dashboard, windows, etc) The hole in the oil pan from the rock didn’t help, but it shouldn’t have deployed airbags.

  5. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    If any of you guys own Hyundai Elantras and want more info, [www.elantraclub.com] and [www.elantraxd.com] have been really helpful getting more info on mods and repair in general. Granted, they’re sort of more about souping them up, but there are nifty tutorials for do-it-yourself maintenance which are very cool.

  6. asplodzor says:

    I know this is off topic, but I have got to say that the xB’s gauge ‘pod’ is hideous. It would not be so bad if it were in front of the driver’s seat, but the fact that there is just empty space in front of the driver and this pod is in the middle of the car is infuriating from both an aesthetic and usability standpoint.

  7. RogWilco says:

    While we’re on the subject, a handy resource for Audis is [www.audiwiki.net] which is a growing wiki for all Audi models/years.