Cars are complicated machines made out of thousands of parts that, even when their owners take great care of them and follow the user and service manuals religiously, sometimes go wrong. After all, that’s what warranties are for.
Of course, warranties at some point expire, and while a light bulb or something equally minor may be of little concern, the engine is a completely different, much more scary and costly issue.
“Engine failures are the biggest fear for any motorist as they’re the ones that can lead to the most astronomical costs because of their parts and hours of labor required to fix them”, said UK’s Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher.
“The number of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage, but engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching in the thousands for motorists who aren’t covered by a warranty”, he added.
Warranty Direct’s study of 50,000 live consumer policies shows some interesting facts. Perhaps chief amongst them is that German manufacturers’ engine reliability isn’t exactly what it’s supposed to be - even for premium manufacturers…
Audi, for example, was the second worst “offender”, with 1 in 27 owners reporting an engine problem; the only manufacturer who did worse was the, now defunct, MG Rover with 1 in 13 – but then again, the British carmaker never had a reputation for reliability…
BMW’s MINI is third, with 1 in 40 vehicles having engine issues, while BMW itself is seventh and VW is ninth.
Warranty Direct also studied the cost of engine repairs. A Range Rover Vogue with an engine failure recently led to the insurer’s highest claim ever: £12,998.46 (US $20,642), while a dealer quoted £14,853.60 (US$23,588) to repair a destroyed engine on a Range Rover Sport.
On the other side of the spectrum, Honda was the clear winner with only 1 in 344 owners reporting engine troubles, followed by Toyota with 1 in 171, and surprisingly, Mercedes-Benz with 1 in 119.
You can read the 10 least and most reliable engine manufacturers in the UK market after the break. Meanwhile, bear in mind about the following figures: the second-hand car you spotted at the classified ads may have a price that makes you want to reach for your wallet; the question is, can you cope with such an issue?
By Andrew Tsaousis