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Car Brands Mechanics Avoid Buying for Themselves

We all want a car we can rely on every day and one that won't have us at the mechanic regularly. Here are cars auto professionals avoid buying—and four that they love to own for themselves.

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The ultimate experts

The last thing many mechanics want to do in their spare time is repair their own vehicle. So it makes sense then that an auto mechanic would avoid buying a car that has a high propensity for breaking down, is tedious to repair, or has a high cost of ownership for any number of reasons. Here are the cars and brands mechanics and automotive pros would avoid buying for themselves…and why. You’ll also want to know the 15 things that you’re doing to your car that mechanics wouldn’t.

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Cadillac

The answer to the question of which car to avoid buying is pretty clear for Ben Mirecki of CarPages: Cadillac. “In the most recent list of the most reliable cars by Consumer ReportsCadillac was dead last and it consistently ranks in the bottom two or three, year after year,” Mirecki says. He claims Cadillacs are prettier in the driveway than they are reliable on the road thanks to “massive chronic problems coupled with various suspension issues, limited and expensive spare parts, and the turning circle of a boat.” Find out 13 things your car mechanic won’t tell you.

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Ford Fiesta

“The number one vehicle I would not purchase is the Ford Fiesta,” says Sean Pour, the co-founder of SellMax, a nationwide car buying service. This is because his company has taken in hundreds of Ford Fiestas with bad transmissions, some with only 40,000 miles on the odometer.

“Some of our customers have replaced the transmission [on their Ford Fiesta] more than once before it hit 100,000 miles!” says Pour. The Fiesta may not cost a lot initially, but there are better car deals under $18,000 to be had.

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Audi R8

The Audi R8 is one car to avoid buying namely because of its shockingly high annual insurance premium. Now, with an MSRP of $138,700, maybe the buyer of an R8 can afford the average annual premium of $4,102, but according to the Zebra, “the average insurance cost for an Audi R8 increased by almost 150 percent from 2017 to 2018.” These are the 13 car problems you’ll regret ignoring.

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Chevrolet CamaroDmitriy_Belyaev/Getty Images

Chevrolet Camaro

“In the race between American muscle cars, the Camaro has lost out to all other rivals in a big way,” says Deepesh Chauhan of Car Indigo. “Things have gotten so bad for the Camaro that GM will be pulling the plug on the vehicle by 2022.” Chauhan cites various reasons he would avoid buying a Camaro for himself, namely that the sports car loses nearly 45 percent of its value in the first two years. “Faulty steering column wiring, early coolant leaks, engine blowing off, and plenty of other severe issues are being reported by owners,” Chauhan says. Likewise, these 30 other cars are depreciating in value shockingly fast.

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Range Rover

While it has its admirers, the Range Rover “is notorious for having frequent mechanical problems and above-average repair costs,” says Jake McKenzie of Auto Accessories Garage. Owners take to online forums to complain and to actively warn prospective buyers to expect the unexpected, including check-engine lights and strange noises. McKenzie says that another reason he’d avoid buying a Range Rover for himself is the cost to insure the car. “Insurance rates higher than the national average make this vehicle one of the biggest money pits in the automotive world,” he says. Find out the best and worst car brands for customer satisfaction.

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BMW X3BMW

Deepesh Chauhan of Car Indigo would avoid buying this BMW SUV for himself. “The value depreciates as much as 70 percent of the MSRP in just 5 years,” he says. “Due to the sophisticated electronics on-board, the X3 can’t be easily repaired by your mechanic in your neighborhood, either.” Getting the necessary repairs may be tricky since sourcing replacement parts can be costly. Like these cars people end up selling within a year, you may end up wanting to sell your BMW quickly but expect the value to have dropped considerably.

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fiat vesilvio/Getty Images

Fiat 500

But it is so cute! That’s what many Fiat 500 buyers and admirers would exclaim, but you cannot judge a book, or a car, by its cute cover. “The current generation of the Fiat 500’s are built either in Mexico or Poland, which translates to a low quality of parts that go into building the cars, be it the cheap quality of the alloys that break down easily, engine and transmission blowing up, and a lot more,” says Chauhan. He would avoid the Fiat 500 because of the recalls. “The most severe being the faulty electronic power steering wiring that could have lead to short-circuits,” he adds. Find out 10 things that will kill your car’s resale value.

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honda car logo sfe-co2/Getty Images

Do buy: Honda Civic and Honda Accord

The Car Talk guys rank the Civic and Accord as two cars they hate the most because as mechanics who only make money when cars need repairs, there’s not enough money to be made servicing these trusty Hondas! They say these are “two of the most reliable cars available today. The Civic and Accord rarely seems to break, and when they do, its problems are easy to diagnose.” Plus, original Honda parts are both affordable and easy to source when repairs actually are needed. Used Hondas make great investments, as do these cars you should buy used.

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Do buy: Subarus

According to U.S. News & World Report, Subarus are an auto mechanics dream to own because “performing inspections of fluids and other serviceable parts on many Subarus is an easier process than on other cars.” This is because Subaru cleverly “highlights inspection points under the hood in bright yellow for easy identification and many of its horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines have an easily-accessible oil filter.” These are the car brands that cost the least to repair.

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Jeep Wrangler tomeng/Getty Images

Do buy: Jeep Wrangler

Mechanics and auto professionals love that this is one of the easiest cars to maintain and repair. U.S. News & World Report says there are, “stories abound of Jeep Wrangler owners who have had something break miles from civilization, and they’ve repaired by the light of a campfire.” This indicates how simple and low-stress a Wrangler repair truly is. Additionally, “there’s a massive ecosystem of parts suppliers behind the Jeep. In addition to Mopar, Jeep’s internal customization supplier, there are hundreds of other companies that make components to maintain, upgrade, and fix the Wrangler. You can even order several types of doors for the Jeep, and install them in minutes.” Read on to find out the 12 worst tips car mechanics have ever heard.

Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is an Iris Award-winning photographer, avid traveler, and English football fanatic who regularly covers travel, culture, cars, health, business, the environment, and more for Reader's Digest. Jeff has also written for Parents Magazine, Esquire, PBS, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. He is the proud dad of teen daughters. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and Twitter @OWTK.

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