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Mechanic Reveals Five Features You May Want to Avoid When Buying Your Next Car

May 19, 2023

When buying a new vehicle, it’s important to pay close attention to its list of equipment. While some features may promise to enhance your driving experience, they often cause more trouble in the long run. According to experienced mechanics, you might want to shy away from the following five features.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
In an effort to boost fuel economy, many of today’s automakers have switched to continuously variable transmissions. While these gearless transmissions can help save gas, there are some notable downsides to think about.

For starters, mechanics have found that CVTs are not as durable. They are designed with belts, which are prone to excessive stretching. Drivers may eventually begin to experience a bucking or shaking feel. Poor acceleration is another common issue that can stem from a failing CVT. When properly maintained, a traditional automatic transmission has the potential to last much longer.

All-Wheel Drive
If you happen to live in a snow-prone region, all-wheel drive could prove to be a necessity. Fortunately, the Raleigh area is not known for its harsh winter weather. Most people will do just fine with a two-wheel-drive vehicle.

All-wheel drive can definitely lower a car’s fuel economy rating. This could be a big concern for folks who do a lot of traveling or commute on an everyday basis. An AWD system is also more complex, which translates to higher repair costs. Furthermore, your mechanic will need to service the drivetrain more often.

Cylinder-Deactivation Technology
Cylinder-deactivation systems have become popular in recent years. The sole objective is to enhance a vehicle’s highway fuel economy, especially on models equipped with a big engine. When cruising along the open road, up to half of the engine's cylinders can be shut down.

Unfortunately, mechanics have encountered quite a few problems with cylinder-deactivation systems. Not only is excessive oil consumption quite common, but drivers should also watch out for fouled spark plugs. Even worse, premature engine failure becomes a concern when oil changes are neglected.

Adaptive Cruise Control
Adaptive cruise control can potentially lower your levels of driving fatigue. The system is designed to automatically regulate your car’s speed according to the flow of traffic. The bad news is that some drivers tend to relax a bit too much when the system is engaged

Motorists also make the mistake of using adaptive cruise control during bad weather. Because of the slippery road conditions, the system may have trouble adapting to increased braking distances. The fog can also hinder the effectiveness of adaptive cruise control.

Smaller Turbo Engines
To further curb fuel consumption, many of today’s cars come equipped with a downsized turbo engine. While these smaller engines do consume less gas, there are some compromises to consider. Turbocharged engines tend to create more internal pressure, thus exposing the motor oil to more heat. This is why mechanics stress the importance of routine servicing.

When owning a turbocharged vehicle, you absolutely must change the oil on time. Aside from protecting the engine, the motor oil helps cool and lubricate the turbocharger as well. You may also need to have the spark plugs replaced more frequently. Furthermore, always properly warm up the engine before going full throttle. If you own a turbocharged truck or SUV, never exceed the manufacturer's maximum towing capacity.