Man talking(l+r), Mechanic using tools on engine(c)

Audio und werbung/Shutterstock @car.wizard.us1/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Do not buy under any circumstances’: Mechanic says beware these 6 used cars—from Ford to Subaru

‘Don’t buy one of these.’


Ljeonida Mulabazi


Many consumers are choosing used cars over new ones due to their affordability and wide range of available models. 

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Although the used car market suffered low sales in the last three years owing to the pandemic, which had caused prices to skyrocket, prices are now dropping and the industry seems to be stabilizing, as reported by CapitalOne and CarEdge.

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In light of this recovery, auto mechanics are urging consumers to be wary of common mistakes when buying a used car. One auto mechanic recently revealed a trick to always look for when buying a used vehicle, while others shared the maximum mileage that should be acceptable in a used car.

However, according to experts, there are certain types of used cars that you should avoid at all costs. No matter their affordability or low mileage. 

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In a recent TikTok video reposted by user @car.wizard.us1, auto mechanic David Long (@realcarwizard), who calls himself “the car wizard,” shared six groups of used vehicles he urges his audience to “not buy under any circumstance.” 

Below, we’ve outlined the complete list mentioned by Long and his reasoning behind these opinions. 

Certain 2004-2010 Fords

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“Top of the list: 2004 to 2010 Ford F-150, Expedition, F-250,” Long begins. 

He goes on to clarify further which type he is talking about, saying: “The two valves aren’t so bad. We’re talking about three valves in this year range.”

As his reasoning for “hating” these cars, Long lists their numerous issues, saying, “They have cam phaser issues, timing chain issues, and more.”

“Don’t buy one of these,” Long advises. 

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General Motors 3.6L V6 models

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Next on Long’s list is any General Motors model with a 3.6L V6 engine. 

“Any and all years of Acadia, Enclave, Traverse, Outlook, Equinox, Terrain, and others,” he states. 

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According to Long, this “horrible” engine causes all kinds of problems, stating, “They have timing chain troubles and are rarely maintained well, killing the timing chain system.”

And changing the engine isn’t cheap either, Long adds.

“It’s an engine-out job. It’s always $3,000-$5,000, depending on how much damage is done,” he says. “Every person that’s bought any of these I just listed has told me later, ‘I should have listened to you, Car Wizard. I absolutely regret my decision.’”

High-mileage European cars

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Next, Long urges consumers to avoid any European brand or make with over 150,000 miles. 

“I don’t care if it’s a Mini Cooper, a Mercedes, a BMW, a Land Rover, a Jaguar,” he states. “Because it frequently drains people’s bank accounts.”

His reasoning for this group of used cars emptying consumers’ pockets is the repair cost. 

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“When they get this many miles on them, they will never be finished being fixed.” Long says. 

General Motors with 3.1 or 3.4 V6 engine

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The next recommendation for used cars to avoid in Long’s list is not a type of car, but a group of engines. 

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“I myself have repaired a lot of these,” he begins. “These 3.1s and 3.4s are the most abused engine I’ve ever seen in my life.”

According to Long, the engines get worn out by irresponsible owners. 

“They’re usually purchased by someone that has no interest in maintenance whatsoever,” he says. “And they drive it until the wheels fall off.”

Truck or SUV with AFM/MDF

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Following this, Long mentions another group of vehicles to avoid based on their specific engine package. 

“These would be the 5.7 or the 6.4 Hemi with MDS,” Long details. “Or it can also be the 5.3 or the 6.0 max Vortec that have active fuel management.”

Long’s reasoning for why these cars seem to fail is the engine operation. 

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“What these have is lifters that can turn themselves on and off to shut down cylinders, which is oil pressure operated,” he explains. “Regardless if it’s Chrysler Corporation or General Motors, these things fail like crazy.”

Early 2000s Subaru

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The final entry on Long’s list of used vehicle types to avoid is any of the early 2000s Subarus. 

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“We all know they have head gasket issues,” he states. 

Although Long states the car itself and the engine are decent, the head gasket problem can often be so costly to repair that it proves impractical.

“When it is time to get that done, it’s 2 to 4 grand,” he states. “It’s an engine out job and it’s very, very expensive.”


Beware of These 6 Used Cars – Advice from a 20+ Year Mechanic! p1

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In the comments, some users agreed with Long, while others stated they had a positive experience with the vehicles mentioned in the video. 

“Buy Toyota Lexus or Honda vehicles if you want reliability,” wrote one user.

“My Equinox lasted 16 1/2 yrs before I sold it,” stated another. 

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“I had the 2 valve f 250 that thing ran like no other engine ever,” shared a third. 

The Daily Dot team has reached out to @car.wizard.us1 via TikTok comment and David Long via Instagram direct message.

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