Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

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Avoid These Five Used Car Features

There are a number of benefits that accompany the pursuit of used cars. Besides the obvious monetary incentive, the extra savings will also allow drivers to opt for special features that were usually unattainable.

For instance, it could cost you thousands of dollars to have your new vehicle equipped with a climate control system. However, used-car-sellers are unlikely to adjust the price of their vehicle just because this expensive amenity is included. Therefore, you can acquire this technology without breaking your budget!

However, just because you can logically afford these amenities when they’re included in a used car, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be rushing to sign the papers. There are many features and amenities that are better left avoided.

Below, we’ve detailed the major used car features that you shouldn’t be opting for. That way, when you’re shopping around for your used vehicle, you’ll have a bit more clarity on what features could ultimately lead to costly repairs or major inconveniences.



We’ve been touting a used-car-buyer’s ability to pursue luxury features that will often be too pricey when purchasing a new car. Usually, these amenities will force customers to extend their budgets. By opting for a used vehicle, these features will be much more affordable.

Sunroofs or convertibles are often atop the lists of targeted amenities, and for good reason. These inclusions aren’t always worth their money, but they’re certainly appreciated by anyone who will be traveling in your recently-purchased vehicle. Instead of having to rely on the windows or the interior climate control, you can instead enjoy the fresh air flowing in through the top of your car. Does it get much better than that?

Well, while this all sounds well and good, you may end up be putting yourself into a financial predicament by opting for a used car with a sunroof. There’s a good chance your targeted used vehicle won’t be accompanied by a warranty, and this means you’ll have to rely on a private mechanic if the sunroof is faulty. These repairs can often cost a pretty penny, and they’re a feature that usually shouldn’t go unfixed. After all, who wants rainwater leaking into their interior? Certainly not you, but you’ll need to dig into your bank account if you want to get the sunroof fixed.

If you do end up opting for a used car with a sunroof, make sure you consider the monetary risks. If you’re content with the condition of the system (and the car as a whole), then feel free to splurge. However, if you’re skeptical of the car’s condition and your budget, it’s in your best interest to be wary.

View from inside car looking up at sunroof

Adaptive Features

Nowadays, you’ll see car brands touting their new “adaptive” features: adaptive cruise control, adaptive suspension, adaptive headlights, blah blah blah. Seriously… the list goes on and on.

While these features sound enticing, they’re usually too pricey for those on a set budget… unless you’re considering opting for a used car. In that case, you may easily be able to find these features included in any used vehicle that’s currently sitting on a dealership lot. Plus, sellers will fail to account for these features’ extra charge, meaning you can get them thrown in for free.

However, similar to the previously-mentioned sunroofs, you’ll have to consider the monetary risks of having these features repaired. While these various amenities are a bit too new to entirely gauge their reliability and dependability, we do know that repairs can cost thousands of dollars (yes, even for the swiveling headlights). If these adaptive amenities aren’t working properly, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to get them repaired.

Ultimately, these features aren’t necessarily essential, so many car owners will fail to ever have them fixed. Don’t be this person. If you can’t afford the impending repairs, you shouldn’t be opting for this particular feature in the first place.


Motorized Doors

You may not think a whole lot about this pretty standard convenience feature, but you should definitely be on alert if your targeted used vehicle is equipped with motorized sliding doors. Sure, this feature is greatly appreciated by both the driver and passenger… when they’re working properly. However, when they’re broken, they can prove to be a big ol’ pain in the butt.

Generally, these motors tend to fail after only a few years on the road. Therefore, unless the system has already been replaced by the previous owner, there’s a good chance you’ll be forced to dish out the extra money for repairs in the upcoming years. Furthermore, if you fail to get these motorized doors fixed, you’re probably going to be dealing with a glitchy system that causes more headaches than convenience.

As we mentioned, we understand the convenience benefits of this particular feature. However, considering the potential downfalls of such a system, it’s better if you just stay clear.


Entertainment Systems

While this feature is rarely appreciated by the car owner, passengers tend to love this inclusion. After all, a rear-seat entertainment system allows them to watch movies or tv shows throughout the duration of their journey. The system may even be compatible with their favorite gaming system, providing them with hours of entertainment during any commute.

Unfortunately, the systems are not worth the hassle. Sure, the technology isn’t all that pricey to repair, but few car owners will actually deal with the inconveniences of getting them fixed. If you’re really dying for an entertainment system to be included in your used car, you could simply opt for an iPad. You could also find a removable, aftermarket entertainment system that can be appreciated inside and outside of the car.

Furthermore, a rear entertainment system puts a huge target on your car for potential thieves. While the actual screens are relatively hard to remove, these individuals may recognize that your vehicle is stocked with even more technology. It’s better off to just avoid the risk.


Roof Rack

If you’re into off-roading and random excursions, then go crazy with roof racks. However, if you’re going to only be using this amenity occasionally (if at all), it’s probably in your best interest to avoid it entirely.

While many brands’ roof racks are plenty reliable, there’s still the risk that they’ll compromise due to age. If you’re pursuing a used car that’s pushing 10 years on the road, there’s a chance that you’ll soon need to have the feature replaced. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that the roof rack will be compatible with your preferred gear (whether it be a bike, kayak, or something else).

From a practical standpoint, this feature also plays a role in reducing a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. The extra weight proves to be taxing on your vehicle, and you’ll find that your fuel lasts a whole lot longer when this amenity isn’t included atop your car.

If you’re truly desperate for a roof rack, you don’t have to limit your search to vehicles that already include this amenity. There’s a number of aftermarket roof racks that you could opt for, and these alternatives will prove to be plenty inexpensive. Either way, unless you’re going to consistently be taking trips to the country, we’d suggest just shoving those bikes into the rear of your car.