Audi Crossover

The 2016 Audi Q5 crossover SUV has the fewest check engine light issues of any vehicle according to CarMD.com.

Special to the Post and Courier

With a large number of two- and three-year old leased vehicles returning to dealerships, it’s never been a better time to shop for a late-model used car or crossover SUV. But as we all know, buying secondhand goods of any kind can be risky. That’s why car-buying experts always suggest taking a pre-owned vehicle to a trusted mechanic for examination before signing a bill of sale.

Even though a late-model used car may come with a portion of the automaker’s original warranty in effect and fully transferable, it’s still a hassle to drive or have it towed to a dealer’s service department or local repair shop every time the “check engine” light on the instrument panel illuminates.

That makes it imperative to choose a model that’s not only in excellent condition at the time of purchase, but one that’s inherently less prone to suffer mechanical difficulties than others.

To that end, the statisticians are the auto-service website CarMD.com in Irvine, Calif., compile an annual Vehicle Health Index that highlights the cars and trucks from recent model years that historically suffer the fewest check-engine-light-related problems. This year’s results are based upon reported repairs for more than 5.6 million new and used cars from 1996 through 2018.

We’re featuring the 10 vehicles from recent model years that are least likely to require check-engine-light repairs in the accompanying box.

Among vehicle brands, Mazda cars and crossovers had the lowest check-engine-related repair costs at an average $286 per visit. Next up is Kia ($320), Dodge ($326), Hyundai ($328), Chrysler ($329), Jeep ($339), Chevrolet ($341) and Volkswagen ($358).

The vehicle CarMD.com determined is the cheapest to repair with regard to check-engine-light-related issues is the 2017 Hyundai Tuscon crossover SUV, with an average cost per visit of just $67. Also populating the list of cheapest-to-fix vehicles is the 2017 Hyundai Accent ($69), 2016 Kia Rio ($70), 2014 Toyota Prius C ($83), 2017 Kia Soul ($88) and the 2016 Kia Forte ($89).

It should be noted, however, that check-engine repairs are generally related to a vehicle’s emissions system, with the most common symptom being a loose, damaged, or missing gas cap. Vehicles that have a high percentage of finicky gas caps, like the above models, often have lower average repair costs simply because the issue is so cheap to resolve.

On the other hand, the costliest check-engine-signified repairs can run as high as $7,050 if the engine needs replacing. Other related budget-busting fixes include replacing the electronic power steering control unit ($5,201), replacing the transmission assembly ($5,130), replacing the transmission and torque converter ($5,051), and replacing the audio/visual control unit ($4,293).

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10 Used Cars with the Fewest ‘Check Engine’ Problems

1. 2016 Audi Q5 crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Replace the O2 sensor(s).

2. 2017 Honda Civic sedan/coupe.

Most common issue: Replace the fuel filler tube.

3. 2017 Subaru Crosstrek crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Replace the EVAP vent filter.

4. 2017 Honda CR-V crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Replace the O2 sensor(s).

5. 2017 Honda HR-V crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Tighten or replace the gas cap.

6. 2017 GMC Acadia crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Tighten or replace the gas cap.

7. 2015 Subaru Forester crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Tighten or replace the gas cap.

8. 2017 Toyota Sienna minivan.

Most common issue: Tighten or replace the gas cap.

9. 2016 Honda Civic coupe/sedan.

Most common issue: Tighten or replace the gas cap.

10. 2016 Volvo XC90 crossover SUV.

Most common issue: Replace the mass air flow (MAF) sensor.

Source: CarMD.com

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