Five Used Vehicles to Stay Away From

July 12th, 2023
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Five Used Vehicles to Stay Away From

If you’re looking to save some serious money, a pre-owned ride could prove to be a great investment. However, be sure to do your homework ahead of time. While some models will last you for years to come, others have the potential to become a financial nightmare. Here are five used vehicles that you should avoid.

2019 Toyota RAV4
Historically, the Toyota RAV4 has a reputation for being an extremely reliable vehicle. This isn’t the case for the 2019 model. Far too many owners have reported issues related to the transmission’s performance.

Even at a relatively low mileage, it’s not uncommon for drivers to experience a delayed response when accelerating. Rough shifting and jerking are also common complaints. The good news is that the transmission probably does not need to be replaced. According to Toyota, reprogramming the SUV’s ECU should solve the problem.

2013-2015 Nissan Altima
When searching for an affordable used vehicle, you may run across a 2013-2015 Nissan Altima. While this midsize sedan gets top marks in comfort, it tends to be plagued by a major issue. Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission may fail sooner than expected.

If you happen to hear a grinding or whining noise during your test drive, this could stem from a bad bearing inside the transmission. Because of the unit’s complicated design, repair is more difficult than usual. In the eyes of most experts, replacing the transmission is the best course of action.

2013-2021 Maserati Ghibli
Maserati is known for producing sleek and powerful luxury cars. Unfortunately, the Maserati Ghibli is one of the least reliable models in the class. This is a key reason why its resale value tends to be so low. Owners can also expect to spend a fortune on annual maintenance.

You should avoid the Ghibli’s Ferrari-built V6 engine at all costs. Its timing chain tensioner has a tendency to prematurely fail, which could lead to major engine damage. A poorly engineered electrical system makes this vehicle an even bigger headache. From faulty wiring to alternator problems, there are quite a few issues that may occur.

2019 Subaru Ascent
While the Subaru Ascent is a good three-row family vehicle, your best bet is to steer clear of the 2019 model. For starters, this vehicle’s windshield has a tendency to crack easily. The cost of replacement could be quite expensive.

Another issue is the Ascent’s battery, which can experience premature drain. Drivers may ultimately be left in need of a jump-start. Most mechanics recommend swapping out the stock battery for an upgraded one. An even bigger concern is the 2019 model’s defective fuel pump. Engine stalling is a tell-tale of imminent failure.

2009-2017 Ram 1500
The Ram 1500 is arguably the smoothest-riding pickup truck. However, there are some problems to watch out for. Before buying a pre-owned Ram 1500, be sure to get a pre-purchase inspection. This pickup’s available Hemi V8 engine is prone to experiencing cam and lifter failure. Once these issues occur, you’ll need to have the engine rebuilt.

You need to closely examine the truck’s integrated power module, which is located in a plastic box under the hood. If this box isn’t properly sealed, moisture can creep inside. Many of the electrical components inside will then be damaged due to corrosion. Coolant leaks are also common to the 2009-2017 Ram 1500. While some leaks can be remedied by simply installing a new radiator cap, others can be very expensive to repair

About the Author
Chris Whitfield