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Is it Worth Fixing? A Look at the Car Problems That May Not Be Worth the Effort

» Posted July 18, 2016Resources | Share This Post

No one likes to experience problems with a car.  Breakdowns are a hassle and repairs can result in significant expense.  Unfortunately, any car can have problems and some issues that vehicles have are much more serious than others. Car owners need to know which repairs are so expensive and cumbersome that they are simply not worth making.

If your car has serious or ongoing issues and is regularly in need of repair, California motor vehicle lemon law could potentially provide you with a remedy. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney to determine what, if any, options could allow you to get help dealing with serious car issues.

Serious Car Problems Not Worth Fixing

For car owners, it can be hard to know when to give up on your car and when you should make an effort to save the vehicle. Autos Cheat Sheet provides some advice on when it is not worth the effort or expense to try to solve your car problems. The serious car problems that it lists as reasons to walk away from the vehicle include:

  • Rust: If your car starts to rust, it may be time to say goodbye to the vehicle.  This is especially true if the rust covers frame rails or if a rear quarter panel has a large section that is rusted. Fixes for rust are always costly, especially when a large area is affected by surface corrosion.
  • Rod knock: Rod knock occurs if any of the crankshafts that connect rod bearings fail. The repairs will require complete disassembly and removal of the engine, which usually has an astronomical price tag.  
  • Blown head gaskets: If a head gasket blows, engine oil and antifreeze are exposed to each other and the car can start smoking.  While it is possible to replace the head gasket, the exposure of the fluids could mean other components of the vehicle were badly damaged.
  • Hybrid battery failure: When the battery fails on a hybrid, the process of replacing it usually involves removing substantial portions of the interior of the car and recalibrating vital electric components of the vehicle. Many owners of hybrid cars don't want the expense or hassle.
  • Transmission problems: If a transmission locks up, the process of replacing the transmission is very labor intensive. This can be a very costly expense.
  • Power Control Module (PCM) failure: The PCM is a vehicle's onboard computer, which controls the transmission and engine control units.  A PCM failure can lead to problems with the car's transmission, emission controls, charging system and other parts.
  • Main wiring harness problems: A car's main wiring harness often consists of many tightly-bound wires that are routed throughout the vehicle. If any wire goes bad, the whole harness could need to be replaced at significant cost.

These are just a few of many serious problems that vehicle owners can encounter. If you're having any of these issues or are facing other repeated problems with a car that can’t be repaired to its warranty after repeated visits, consider speaking with an attorney about whether California’s lemon law can provide you with a remedy.


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