Avoiding major costs when it comes to repairs on certain vehicles

Problem Solvers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People love SUVs, but they might not love how much time those hulking hunks of metal are spending in the repair shop.

A CARFAX study shows full size SUVS are more likely to face problems than any other type of vehicle – there’s about a 25% chance you’ll be paying for a mechanic within a year’s time.

“These are repairs that are above and beyond the typical maintenance, steering system, braking , even the electrical system,” said Chris Basso of CARFAX.

CARFAX tracked repairs on a variety of mass market vehicles over the last 10 years. The vehicle least likely to need repairs was a midsize pickup. There’s on average about an 11% chance it will end up in the shop within a 12-month period.

Small cars had a 12.8% chance of needing repairs and small SUVs were at 14%.

The CARFAX study showed the most expensive cars were the cars that kept mechanics the busiest.

Sports cars had a 20% chance of ending up in the shop, so did luxury SUVS and minivans.

Overland Automotive Repair Shop owner Matt Pugh wasn’t surprised by the CARFAX findings. He said the vehicles most likely to be repaired all also the ones with the most bells and whistles.

“We’re talking about temperature controls, sun roof, the more luxury things you put into it the more chances are you’ll be bringing it in for repair,” Pugh said.

By contrast, small trucks (the best performer on the CARFAX repair study) tend not to come packed with a lot of extras.

“Just take the Ranger, for example, simple up- and- down windows and turn dials instead of automatic temperature controls,” Pugh said.

If you are in the market for a car and want to get the down low on how much time it could be spending in the shop, you can do that for free here.

Click on research, then type in the make, model and year of the car, then click on reliability and repair. You’ll find the results of most mass marketed cars sold in the last 10 years.

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