All cars have issues, from grinding brakes to gasket leaks, but some cars have been observed by experts to stand out as the most problematic of the rest.
Probably you’re in the market for a used car and need some help deciding which cars are a good choice. You can ask your friends or family, research some popular models, and find lots of different choices for great cars to buy.
In addition to knowing which cars are good to buy, it would be great to know which ones to avoid. Some cars just simply have more problems than others on average, and you shouldn’t expect that your experience will be any different if you buy one.
With that in mind, here are the top 5 most problematic vehicles:
1.) Ford Explorer
The popular Ford SUV has had its ups and downs. When it was first introduced in the 90s, the Explorer made a name for itself because it was smaller than its big brother, the full-size Bronco. It achieved better fuel mileage and had some of the luxuries that weren’t introduced in the larger truck-like SUVs.
After several years, the Ford Explorer became plagued with problems that tarnished its name. It was nicknamed the “Exploder” after Firestone tire issues caused accidents. Then, the 2002 Explorer became the most troublesome vehicle on record after transmission issues became evident. Thousands of Ford Explorers required transmission replacements because they simply degraded internally.
If there’s one vehicle to avoid over all others, it’s the 2002 to 2004 Ford Explorer.
2.) Honda Accord
If you’re a gambler, you may want to place bets on how long your Honda Accord’s brakes will last. In particular, the rear brakes on the mid-size sedan wear out at various intervals. One of the most reported problems of any car, Honda Accord rear brakes have been documented to last from as low as 11,000 miles before requiring brake pad and rotor replacement.
The normal symptoms include a significant brake pulsation that can cause you nearly to lose control of your car. Squealing and grinding when you press the brake pedal is common, so don’t be surprised when you’re informed at every oil change that you’ll need new brakes soon.
The culprit cars are the eighth-generation Honda Accords, from 2008 to 2012.
3.) Honda Civic
The world’s best-selling car also has a reputation as one of the most problematic. The Honda Civic has developed notoriety for throwing on the Check Engine Light right before the transmission fails. Just to be clear, the problem is the transmission.
Many transmission failures have been noted right around 60,000 miles. It starts out as with a hesitation to accelerate that quickly becomes a hesitation to move at all, where the engine is revving up like the transmission is in neutral.
The offending cars are Honda Civics from 2001 to 2005, though other years may still exhibit transmission problems to a lesser extent.
Known as the best-selling truck in North America is also known as one of the most problematic vehicles. You may think that your F-150’s 5.4-liter engine with broken spark plugs is the reason, but you’d be mistaken.
Ford’s popular pickup is here because of frequent, recurring window problems. In most cases, the window rolls down easily enough but won’t roll back up. It could be any of the windows, although the most frequent complaint is the driver’s front window, also the most used window in any vehicle. The correction is simply a replacement window regulator, but your guess is as good as the next guy’s about when you’ll experience it again. It’s like window roulette.
You can expect window problems in your eleventh-generation Ford F-150, from 2004 to 2008.
5.) Hyundai Elantra
Take your pick of problems with the Hyundai Elantra. There are a handful of common complaints across a wide range of years, but most commonly noted are tire blowouts, grinding brakes, and rough-running engines.
Specifically, grinding brakes are the most common issues the Elantra experiences. Brake pads and rotors have to be replaced frequently – way more often than should be necessary.
2013 Hyundai Elantras are by far the most problematic.
Please feel free to add other cars you have also observed to be problematic for the benefit of others.