Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Is this a reliable car from what you've encountered? Common repairs?

asked by on

Common issues with car?

My car has 97000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis...

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, www.nhtsa.gov) maintains a database of consumer complaints, official recalls and factory service bulletins for all makes and models. I encourage you to go to that website and enter your vehicle's year, make and model and review the existing reports which will give you an excellent idea of what has been experienced by other owners insofar as faults in your particular vehicle. I would post the text of the reports here, but they are detailed so it will be more practical for you to view them online (it is free). Briefly, though, based on data in the NHTSA database, no recalls are reported for your vehicle which is a pleasant surprise. Very few consumer complaints are reported, 26 reports to be exact, however that very low number is undoubtedly partly due to the uniqueness (i.e., low production run) of the vehicle. A typical search we might do on a common production vehicle, where you might have upwards of 250,000 units produced per year, will typically generate 100's if not close to a 1,000 complaints in exceptional cases. Were your vehicle a common production vehicle, I can tell you that 26 complaints would essentially, in practical terms, mean the vehicle is perfect.

But, again, we are talking about a relatively unique vehicle so 26 reports cannot be interpreted as "zero". And, of "some" concern, a few of the complaints involve fire damage (not typical in my experience looking at vehicle complaint histories) and others involve malfunctions of some of the rather complex engine management systems in the vehicle (again, inasmuch as you own the vehicle, if you read the complaint text on-line, you will be able to appreciate the substance), a category of complaint which I would consider typical of modern vehicles. At this time we cannot provide you with specific statistical data as to the "incidence" (frequency) of any of the complaint issues in the vehicle population (i.e., your model year). However, if after reviewing the NHTSA database (those 26 entries) you need further information, by all means don't hesitate to re-contact us and we will research this issue further.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Dynamic Interactive light on and steering stiff

If all of your concerns began after the battery was replaced then it sounds like the battery may not have been installed correctly. The battery is the main power source that powers the entire vehicle on startup. If the battery...

Q: Brown sludge in my water

This suggests that you may have a blown head gasket. This can happen when the car overheats which compromises the cylinder head gaskets. When this happens, oil can leak into the coolant passages which eventually end up in the radiator....

Q: Should I purchase.

Hi there: As the owner of a 2008 BMW 128i convertible with 100,000 miles, I understand some of the benefits of having that type of 'weekend cruiser' in the garage. In general, BMW's have a few common issues that tend...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.