Problem With DeLorean Cars (5 Common Problems)

Do you know the DeLorean automobile company no longer exists?

The company only produced one model popularly known as the DeLorean DMC 12 between 1981 and 1983.

Read along to find out common issues and some relatively cool features found on this model and if those issues were a part reason for the company’s failure.

Common Problems Associated With the DeLorean Car

The DeLorean DMC 12 was a popular car in its days, but in reality, it was a relatively horrible product. Below are some of its common problems:

1. It Was Underpowered

The DeLorean engine is a 2.8 liter V6 PRV Peugeot-Renault-Volvo. This engine produced 130 horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque.

However, before this engine type came out, they had the first prototype that was powered by the Ford Cologne V6 engine. It was later replaced by a Citroen-sourced four-cylinder engine.

But when Citroen realized that the company was planning to turbocharge its engine, they recalled it.

That was when the 2.8-liter engine was produced, but it could not pull enough power as its acceleration from 0 to 60 mph took a whole 8.8 seconds. This was comparably low to its other counterparts produced in the 80s.

2. Quality Control Problems

The DeLorean car had quality problems because it was produced by another manufacturer. These workers had little or no experience with producing automobiles.

This caused so many problems in the vehicle’s making. One problem with the vehicle was the engine overheating.

The electric system responsible for cooling down the engine frequently went bad or the belt-driven water pump got damaged.

The engine also had a high temperature when the driver went past its driving capability. It was just a total failure.

As if the engine problems were not enough, it came with a lot of other problems. Some of them included sudden dead batteries, bad throttles, misaligned wheels and leaking doors.

Anyone who has the heart to get a Delorean must have a new wave of energy to always repair the car or become a mechanic.

3. Safety Issues

DeLorean cars were produced in Ireland, and it is safe to say that their producers were largely inexperienced. A part of their design was the gull wing door.

A gull-wing door is designed in a way that the door hinges and connects to the roof instead of the sides. It can also be called a falcon-wing door or up-door.

The horrible issue with this door was that if it rolled on the roof, the passengers will be trapped in the car and unable to get out. What will then happen with an accident?

Other car brands like the Mercedes Benz came equipped with door ejectors if the car rolls on the roof. But the DeLorean company outrightly ignored this issue and still set the car out for sale because they were not financially flamboyant to install those features. 

4. Bad Handling

The DeLorean DMC had terrible handling for a sports car. It was nothing compared to the average performance of a sports car except if you consider its small cabin.

First, the engine’s power was massively underpowered as it reportedly takes a lethargic 10.5 seconds to reach 97km/hr. Very unimpressive!

Second, it had terrible handling because of the absurd placement of the engine. Originally, it was designed to be mid-engined but because of its new 2.8-liter V6 engine; it had to be switched to a rear engine.

Third, the stance of the model was just ridiculous. Many car owners had to put stiffer coils just to make the handling bearable.

5. It Was Overpriced

The DeLorean was one of the most expensive cars produced at that time.

Although initially it was supposed to cost $12,000 (that was where the DMC-12 was gotten) but because of the growing cost of shipping, exchange rates and so many adjustments made by the company, they had to double the price to meet these needs.

However, even with the outrageous price, the car was not worth it. It sold well during the first year because of the hype around it, but later on, people started realizing its many faults and its demand fell.

Make sure to also read our article about problems with lowered cars (9 Issues)

But Is the DeLorean DMC All Bad?

We would disagree. Regardless of its many defects, the vehicle still had some cool features that made car enthusiasts love it. Below are some of the coolest things about the DeLorean DMC.

It Was the Third Car Produced With the Falcon Wing Doors

The falcon or the gull-wing doors is still one attractive feature that car owners use today. For instance, the Tesla Model X has these doors and many love them.

When this feature appeared on the DeLorean car, it was a beauty to behold as just two other cars had the same at that time- the legendary Mercedes Benz 300SL and the Bricklin SV-1.

It Is a Hollywood Icon

One reason the DeLorean car remains in our memory is because it is still on our screens today. Its designs were futuristic, and that made it the perfect choice even for modern films.

The vehicle made appearances on the popular show “American Dad” and the iconic Spielberg’s Ready Player One movie.

It Had a Quality Stainless Steel Body

The DeLorean model was one of the first cars to be produced with a stainless steel body. This unpainted exterior gave the vehicle a distinct look.

The body was strong and rust-proof. It was also easy to maintain and people considered it a low-maintenance car because minor scratches could easily be removed with a metal scouring pad, reducing your expenses.

However, any major damage done to these panels can be expensive to rectify and fill in.

It Is Considered Valuable

Regardless of its many faults, the DeLorean vehicle is still highly sought by collectors, especially the ones who were aware of it and probably watched the 80s movies.

Its design still pulls the crowd today and some people do not mind buying them.

Approximately, about 6,000 of them still remain out of the 9,000 produced. However, anybody planning to buy the car should have that extra cash.

General Pros and Cons of DeLorean Cars

As every car comes with its glitches and benefits, the same goes for the DeLorean model. Below is a high list of the advantages abs disadvantages of owing a DeLorean 


  • Height adjustable handle 
  • Eco leather shockproof candle
  • Reliable and fast mounting system 
  • Durable aluminum frame


  • Failing electrical system
  • Poor suspension 
  • Batteries dying out 
  • Leaky doors and cabin
  • Sticking throttles

What Does The Review Say?

According to Hot Cars, people can not fully separate their personal impressions of DeLorean’s car from the fictional movie franchise in which it plays such a vital role. 

This means that regardless of the many faults of this sports car, as it barely can be referred to as one, it doesn’t change how special this car is.

Based on press reports, the DeLorean retained its pride even before it became the Hollywood famous as there was still some fascinating stuff about the vehicle.

What Is the Resale Value of the DeLorean Car?

The DeLorean model had an initial price of $12,000 and only 9000  DeLorean were produced before the company ran out of its luck.

This means the DeLorean model has become a collector’s item since only a few thousand are left, which leaves the current value thrice the initial price.

According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, the average price of the DeLorean these days is roughly $40,000.

Please also read our article about the problems with buying a classic car.

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