Known issues based on our experience

We have nearly 2 decades of experience working on, repairing, selecting, and generally being around and exposed to thousands and thousands of cars. Over that time, we have learned a few things. The most significant of which is outlined below. This list below is not meant to be all encompassing, but merely a cheat sheet to cars that we know have known issues and it is our duty to inform our buyers of what theyre getting into. 99% of dealers wont tell you any of this, and there is NO SUCH THING has a perfectly reliable used car. They ALL have issues, some worse than others, but those with charcter flaws are what this list is all about. 

 

Known Issues

Acura

1998-2004 Transmission Failures on ALL V6 models. Well documented by now, and around $1000-1500 to fix if it happens to you. 

Audi

Not the most reliable cars. Multiple issues with oil leaks/ oil burning, air leaks, sensors, random check engine lights, transmission jerking/kicking etc. Do your homework, know what you're buying. 

BMW

Not the most reliable cars. Multiple issues with oil leaks, electrical issues, sensors, random check engine lights, etc. Do your homework, know what you're buying. 

Buick

We don’t sell the terrible 3.1 and 3.4L engines. We only sell the 3.8L engine. The 3.8L is awesome, but can have intake manifold failures. ~$400 to fix. ABS modules go bad, resulting in the car having "regular" brakes and not ABS brakes.  

Chevy/GM

Pre-2003 4 Cylinder can have head gasket issues. 1.4L Turbo engine known for turbo failures. Almost all V8 engines have a seeping/leaking rear main seal

Chrysler/Dodge

Cam position sensors and engine computers go bad. Relatively cheap to fix but the car would need to be towed because it wont start

Ford

Oil and coolant leaks on older engines. MOST fords we see have a leaking/seeping rear main oil seal. Fiesta and 2012+ Focus KNOWN for multiple transmission issues including shuddering, module failures, clutch issues. Older trans also not the best (but way better than 2011+), but cheap to fix or rebuild entirely ($1000-1500). The 2001-2010 Ford products are some of the best bangs for the bucks for the overall reliability/safety/features execution.

Honda

1998-2004 Transmission Failures on ALL V6 models and ALL 1998-2003 Accords. Well documented by now, and around $1000-1500 to fix if it happens to you. ABS module almost always bad on pre 2002 cars, resulting in the car having "regular" brakes and not ABS brakes. 

Hyundai

2001-2006 Speedometers stop working intermittantly, causing the odometer and speedo to be inop. Most 2011+ models known for engine defect causing failure, sometimes fixed with new engine via warranty from Hyundai.

Infiniti

Oil leaks and timing chain issues with stretching or making noise. 

Jeep

We have never seen a Jeep not leak oil. Expect multiple leaks. Transmissions arnt the best and overall they are clunky, non-refined vehicles intended for off roading. 3.7L engine known to have issues with engine valves. 

Kia

Speedometers stop working intermittantly, causing the odometer and speedo to be inop. Most 2011+ models known for engine defect causing failure, sometimes fixed with new engine via warranty from Hyundai.

Lexus

Older models known to have issues with check engine lights due to EVAP/Emissions hoses degrading. Will not cause drivability issues, but check engine light common for this. Oil leaks on V6 models are VERY common. Power steering racks seep oil as well. 

Mazda

Not the best transmissions, but cheap to fix if they break. Total rebuilds are around $1000-1500

Benz

Timing chain issues spanning 2005-2010 effecting multiple models. Overall we feel they are the best German cars, but certainly not exactly a Toyota for reliability either. Strongly recommend buying a powertrain warranty for your protection.

If it has air suspension, expect that to fail eventually.

Mini

Do not buy a Mini unless you know what you are getting into. Oil leaks, fuel issues, electrical issues, transmission issues, timing chain issues, turbo issues, you name it, they have it. Buy accordingly. 

Nissan

Oil leaks are common. ANY model that has a CVT transmission *will* fail someday. We try not to have many CVT Nissans. 2000-2006 Sentras CAN have some leaks from the headgasket, though not super common. Extended engine cranking and/or cam position sensor issues are SUPER common on 2000-2007 cars but generally inexpensive to fix.

Porsche

Random and catastrophic failures on ALL NON-TURBO engines from 1998-2008. This is Porsche life. The IMS bearing can fail, even if replaced before, at any time. Warranty companies wont even sell warranties for those 11 years of Porsche. It is what it is. 

Subaru

We don’t sell too many Subarus due to their known issues with head gasket failures, multiple oil leaks, and generally being a pain to work on versus regular cars. If you need AWD, theyre great. But reliable, they are not. 

Tesla

The car is a giant computer. Computers glitch and fail and are expensive to fix. Screen issues, door handle issues, random glitches and hickups are to be expected when buying a car like this. The forums are your friend with this car. 

Toyota

Older models known to have issues with check engine lights due to EVAP/Emissions hoses degrading. Will not cause drivability issues, but check engine light common for this.

Oil leaks on V6 models are VERY common. Power steering racks seep oil as well. 

1998-2004 1.8L (Corolla/Celica/MR2/Vibe/Matrix etc) All have excessive oil consumption issues. Check your oil often. 

~2003-2008 Corollas/Matrix/Vibe known to have transmission error codes which slightly reduce gas mileage on the highway but the car will generally otherwise drive fine. The only real fix is to rebuild the transmission but we know multiple clients who drove it like that for YEARS (and still going).

VW

Not the most reliable cars. Multiple issues with oil leaks/ oil burning, air leaks, sensors, random check engine lights, transmission jerking/kicking etc. Do your homework, know what you're buying. 

Volvo

Not the most reliable cars. Turbos can fail, transmissions develop a kick, and electrical modules can fail and are dealer only ($$$) repairs. Theyre safe and drive very well, but don’t expect it to be a Honda or Toyota for upkeep.