If you have a problem with your sat nav, parking sensors or exhaust system, you’re not alone.
These are among the most common car faults you’re likely to experience, according to the annual Which? survey.
While it’s unlikely your car will develop a fault on the way home from the showroom, even cars in their first few years of life can suffer from faults that will have you trudging back to the garage for a fix.
You would expect a young car in the prime of its life under three years old to be fairly immune to all faults, but sadly it’s not the case. Which? found that the top-five faults largely focus around the car’s electrics:
- The sat nav
- Factory-supplied in-car entertainment
- Lights/light units
- The exhaust or emission control system
- Tyre pressure sensors
Most common problem in newer cars is the sat nav when its fitted. Having a dodgy sat nav is a problem shared by many different cars on our roads. However, the survey shows the most likely to suffer from it are the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, Hyundai i40 Tourer and Ford Mondeo Estate.
Most common faults in older cars reflect how they have been looked after but the top five areas where cars between three and eight years old will suffer faults:
- Exhaust or emission control system
- Lights/light units
- Brake pads and discs
- Air conditioning
- Suspension components
Batteries and brake pads naturally have to be replaced with common wear and tear, so we’ve included the sixth most frequent fault in our list – problems with the suspension.
One of the most potentially serious problems listed above is a problem with the exhaust or emission control system. 30% of owners that suffered from these faults told us their cars were off the road for two days or more as a result.
Again, as it is a common problem, many older cars share this fault. But when we ran through our data, we found that owners of the diesel versions of the Honda Accord (2008-2015) and Ford C-Max (2003-2010), and petrol versions of the BMW 1 Series hatchback (2004-2011) were most commonly affected by these problems.
It’s worth noting that diesel particulate filters (DPFs) are prone to being clogged if you only use a diesel car primarily for short journeys, and it can be an expensive fix.
The better fuel economies offered by diesel-powered cars can make them look tempting over petrol equivalents. But given the premium for diesel engines, the current scrutiny over emissions and problems that can occur with diesel-powered cars, you might want to think again.