Don’t Buy These Used Cars With Air Conditioning Issues, Consumer Reports Warns

Most people try to avoid cars with air conditioning issues for obvious reasons. As cars age, the air conditioning units tend to work harder and produce fewer results. Consumer Reports gathered some of the used cars with air conditioning units that owners complained about the most. These problems can include a refrigerant leak, blower motor issue, or even a defective condenser. The cars on this list are still fairly new but required costly repairs out of warranty.

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 is one of the cars with air conditioning issues

Consumer Reports says the 2016 Mazda CX-3 has air conditioning issues
Consumer Reports says the 2016 Mazda CX-3 has air conditioning issues | Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 was, and still is, a popular SUV for drivers. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports says it is one of the cars with air conditioning issues. This usually occurs fairly early on, between 23,000 and 59,000 miles in. The issue presented itself in the 2016-2017 model years.

When rated by Consumer Reports, the air conditioning issues were just one of the many reported problems. It received two out of five for reliability and three out of five for owner satisfaction. It also has two recalls.

Another SUV on the list is the 2013 Buick Enclave. The air conditioning issues tended to show up later into ownership, around 61,000 – 102,000 miles. Owners reported the issue in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 years for the Enclave.

An unexpected car with air conditioning issues is the 2016 Honda Civic

Consumer Reports noted that the 2016 Honda Civic started having issues between 30,000 and 53,000 miles. This usually occurred with the 2016-2017 Civics. When reviewed by Consumer Reports, the Civic has fairly average scores. It received a two out of five for both reliability and owner satisfaction. It also has three open recalls for various issues.

The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe suffered a similar fate. The air conditioning issues presented themselves between 59,000 and 92,000 miles.

The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse and 2015 GMC Acadia made the list


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The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse had a similar fate when rated by Consumer Reports. It received underwhelming reliability and owner satisfaction coupled with five recalls. The air conditioning issues presented themselves in the 2014-2015 model years. Between 57,000 and 87,000 miles, owners noted the air conditioning started acting up. Requiring a repair at 57,000 miles is far too soon.

One of the earlier cars on the list to have issues was the 2015 GMC Acadia. Acadia owners reported needing an air conditioning repair between 44,000 and 79,000 miles. This also impacted a range of years, from 2013 to 2016 models. The SUV has a low reliability score and a low owner satisfaction score, which sounds about right for this issue.

While buyers might find a good deal on some of these used cars, some vehicles might be more trouble than necessary. As always, when buying a used car, getting a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle or a pre-purchase inspection is a good idea. Don’t get stuck with one of these cars with air conditioning issues, especially during the summer.