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11 Most Common Repairs Required of Newer Vehicles

By: Jeff Youngs, 2/24/2014
Some consumers buy a new vehicle to enjoy a trouble-free ownership experience and the benefits of a factory warranty. However, just because a vehicle is new and covered by a warranty doesn't mean that components are impervious to wear or will not require repair.

As a part of its annual Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), J.D. Power asks original owners of three-year-old vehicles about the vehicle components they needed to replace or repair in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. According to the 2014 VDS, the following 11 components most frequently required repair or replacement during that period of time, when the vehicles were between two and three years old. They are listed below in order of the rate of failure, starting with the one that most frequently required replacement.

1. Battery
According to the 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study, 5.9% of vehicle owners needed to replace a battery on their vehicle during the specified period of time, representing a slight improvement from the previous year.

2. Exterior Lighting
Not including headlight components, 3.4% of vehicle owners indicated they needed to change a taillight, brake light, or a turn signal lamp. This represents the largest year-over-year improvement among any of the most commonly replaced components.

3. Windshield
A total of 2.7% of vehicle owners replaced a windshield during the 12 months prior to completing the survey, which is a slight improvement from the previous year.

4. Brake Rotors
The second-largest improvement in component replacement pertains to brake rotors, with 2.4% of vehicle owners reporting that they needed to replace them. This is a 1.2% improvement from the previous year.

5. Headlight Components (tie)
A total of 1.8% of vehicle owners indicated they needed to replace headlight components during the 12 months prior to completing the survey, which is the same percentage as in 2013.

5. Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (tie)
The third-largest component improvement found in the 2014 VDS pertains to the tire-pressure monitoring system. This component required replacement in 1.8% of the surveyed vehicles, which is down 1% from last year.

7. Fuses (tie)
According to 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study findings, 1% of vehicle owners indicated they replaced a fuse in their vehicle. That rate represents a slight increase in fuse-replacement frequency from the previous year.

7. Remote Keyless Entry (tie)
In the 2014 study, the percentage of vehicle owners indicating they replaced their remote keyless entry system is the same as in the 2013 VDS (1%).

7. Spark Plugs (tie)
In 2014, fewer vehicle owners needed to replace spark plugs year over year (1% vs. 1.5%, respectively).

10. Climate Control System (tie)
In the 2014 Vehicle Dependability Study, slightly more vehicle owners needed to repair an under-hood component of their climate control systems. According to the study, slightly less than 1% of all vehicle owners indicated they had to replace components related to the air conditioning and heating systems.

10. Door Handles and Locks (tie)
Slightly less than 1% of vehicle owners indicated they had replaced the door handles or door locks on their vehicle in the 2014 VDS.

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