Why do Dodge Darts last forever?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jul 01, 1995

Dear Tom and Ray:

My wife thinks I'm crazy because I'm an "old Dodge Dart nut." I presently own two of them. One is a 1971 Dart slant six with 156,000 miles. The other is a "mint" 1973 Dart slant six with 45,000 miles, used only in good weather. My first question is why do these cars last forever? My second question has to do with my baby--the 1973 Dart. I have trouble with cold starts. When I get it going it stalls a lot until it really warms up. It also hesitates and sputters coming off red lights and stop signs. It will even stall out when you try to gun it. I've replaced the plugs, wires, rotor, cap, gas filter, oil filter, and air filter. What do you suggest I do next?

TOM: It stalls, hesitates, and sputters? So what's the problem, Gary?

RAY: Spoken like a true Dart afficionado. Gary, I would suggest a new carburetor. The accelerator pump in your old one probably stopped working just after Nixon resigned.

TOM: You might try replacing the choke, first. But when that doesn't fix it, you'll know you need a carburetor.

RAY: And to answer your other question, these cars don't last forever. It just SEEMS like forever...especially to long suffering partners of Dart owners like your wife....and my poor sister-in-law.

Get the Car Talk Newsletter

Got a question about your car?

Ask Someone Who Owns One