Hooniverse Asks: What Fit and Finish Issue Annoys You the Most?

Panel Gap
According to the 2016 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study there has been a 6% jump in average new vehicle quality over the ratings of the previous year. That’s the biggest increase since 2009. And yet despite that, you still see new and newish cars and trucks with build quality issues.
Now, it’s not that common any more, and to be honest back in the ’70s and early ’80s it seemed like every other car coming off the assembly line had something crooked on it, or some panel gap as uneven as NBC’s Olympics coverage. My personal bugbear happens to be crooked badges. Seriously, it makes me so annoyed that if I’m following a car with a wonky badge for any distance I almost always have to change lanes.
What about you, do you have a pet peeve when it comes to car fit and finish? Is it squeaks? Or maybe panel gaps you can fit a hand through? What is the quality control issue that annoys you the most?
Image: autobody-review

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  1. 0A5599 Avatar

    I saw a Grand Am with a trunk emblem that said “GRAND MA” I thought it might have been done deliberately, but a man aged about 40 was driving with two boys as his only passengers.

    1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
      dead_elvis, inc.

      I’m “about 40” (and a bit), and I’d probably do something along those lines if a Grand Am was inflicted upon me.

    2. Vairship Avatar

      I saw the same on a Grand Marquis.

  2. Kiefmo Avatar

    After just 35 years, the wood trim on the dash of my Merc is starting to come apart. Come on, Mercedes, get that quality control under… control.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Not jokingly, I’d love to see a table of every automakers internal life expectancy memos. Drive trains supposed to work fine for 150k kms only? Wood trim not made to survive more than 30 summers? Let’s have a talk…and do these distant-horizon-engineering-deadlines correlate directly with car prices?

    2. Maymar Avatar

      I mean, those slackers were only expecting them to be on the road for 20 years. I don’t know how you’d expect to build a reputation on that sort of laziness.

  3. JayP Avatar

    Oil and coolant leaks.
    I won’t stand for it.

    1. Lokki Avatar

      Sigh…. While I agree, years of living with old Alfa Romeos has tempered my zealousness with resignation. I still fight the good fight but not with the vigor and optimism I used to have.

      1. Alff Avatar

        On the bright side, oil leaks offer additional rust protection.

        1. Lokki Avatar

          True, and on an old Alfa you can never have enough rust protection….never

      2. JayP Avatar

        I learned to live with leaks while owning an MGB.
        But it was the Audi and its $1000/litre liquids really made me hate them.

        1. Alff Avatar

          Let me guess – special mineral oil for clutch hydraulics.

    2. Cool_Cadillac_Cat Avatar

      Yeah, I hate that, myself…though in the garage at this very moment is an old office chair plastic carpet protector under the ’98 Jeep ZJ 5.9L. I have to wipe it down every month or so from the oil drip I can’t find and a (thankfully) small transmission oil drip.
      Yay, Mopar/AMC hybrid.
      (actually, I do really like it)

  4. Ross Ballot Avatar
    Ross Ballot

    Squeaks and rattles bug the hell out of me. As do misaligned panels or pieces of car. My Challenger’s (and most other Challengers’) trunk never sat perfectly right, so the taillights were misaligned. Bothered me every time I looked at it.

    1. Lokki Avatar

      My wife has learned to just shut up when I make her drive while I slide around the interior looking for the source of squeaks and rattles. You could offer me a free new Corvette, but if it had a bunch of squeaks and rattles, I’d think for a while before saying yes….

  5. nanoop Avatar

    I asked in three different forums, and nobody could reply if the rear bushing of the unmounted front control arm of a 944/1 can be lose or should be pressed in. Effectively, a very loose bushing would allow the control arm to rotate more freely, but it would be steel on steel without lubrication – whereas a tight fit would allow suspension movement only by twisting the bushing. What’s correct?
    (The front bushings are all tight fits. Not 2-ton-press brutal, but a-vice-helped tight.)

    1. desmo Avatar

      WTF ?¿?¿?¿?¿?¿
      There is no such thing as a “lose” (or non-hydraulic-bonded) bushing on a german car.
      Certainly not on a Porsche. Your wishbones are ruined now.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        Thing is, all components are new, that is what makes me wonder.
        (The original wishbones are still on the car, and I don’t want to remove them before I am sure about the new ones.)

        1. desmo Avatar

          Which part of crap didn´t you understand? You bought crap.ok? C.R.A.P.

  6. Gregg Collins Avatar
    Gregg Collins

    A steering wheel that is slightly turned while you are driving straight.

  7. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Tail light/panel fit on W210 Mercedes Benzes. If Honda can do it on the Accord how did MB get it so wrong?

  8. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    I purchased a 2013 Mustang GT Convert last year. I made use of the CarMax “return in 7 days no questions asked” deal because it sounded as though a cricket lived under the middle of the dashboard somewhere. I could not live with that constant reminder of shoddy design and/or build quality.

  9. herrweedaking Avatar

    Porsche 996, I could fill a page here but a quick summary includes dash rattles, sunroof rattles, roof lining rattles, rear side window rattles, RMS leaks, Inter shaft bearing failures, radio knob delamination including the replacements but there was a change, they got sticky. Coolant cap failures, sway bar drop links. All this and the car has only done 50000 miles, no track work. Almost sorted after 17 years, only reason I still have it is resale value but that is off topic.

  10. Surfer Sandman Avatar
    Surfer Sandman

    The paint on my ’09 Civic is garbage.

  11. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Don’t get some of us started on VW Phaeton ashtray opening speed.

    1. CraigSu Avatar

      I thought it was the synchronicity, not the speed itself. Hard to tell from the original post:
      Related side note: A Bing search on “VW Phaeton ashtray” has this post as the first hit.