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Colin Merrill is a good friend to have. He operates the On-Kaul Auto Salvage yard in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s purchased over 1,000 salvage cars to part out or scrap, and notes the models he sees so often, he would tell a friend not to buy them. Here are two of the cars that Merrill avoids.

Chevy Cruze (All Years)

Rows of cars in a salvage yard.
Salvage yard | Roibu via iStockPhoto

“It seems like regardless of whether they are the turbo models or not they are just basket cases.  We had one come in just last week and when it was towed in I was surprised because it didn’t have a dent on it.  Unfortunately like with most of them it had a bad head gasket and it was time to throw her away.  This is an example of a car I’d tell all my friends to stay away from no matter the price.”

Colin Merrill, On-Kaul Auto Salvage

It’s not shocking that the salvage yard sees a ton of Chevy Cruzes. It is a car Chevrolet began to build in 2009, and at one point it was making nearly a quarter million of them a year. It was also one of the most budget-friendly vehicles GM offers, so the automaker may have been forced to cut corners. But in addition, folks who might not be able to afford the best maintenance were among the Cruze’s buyers.

The Car Complaints website collects issues real owners have had with their cars. It reports that the most common Chevy Cruze complaint its filed is a cracked piston in a 2017 model (22 complaints). That’s an expensive repair! Almost as expensive is transmission failure in the 2011 model (35 complaints).

You can see the top problems with a Chevy Cruze–according to a mechanic, in the video below:

Ford Fusion (2006-2012)

 I think right now we have 6 or 7 of them and we buy at least one every week for various reasons. are power steering issues, weird interior issues, and the occasional transmission.

Colin Merrill, On-Kaul Auto Salvage

The Fusion wasn’t as much a competitor to the Cruze as a midsize sedan. At one point Ford was building over 300,000 of them a year. So again, its not shocking that the salvage yard sees a few. But it certainly had some unique issues that Merrill pointed out.

Car Complaints got 88 reports of power steering failure plaguing the 2011 model year Fusion, and 43 reports of it on the 2012 model year. Newer Ford Fusions suffer from throttle issues that can lead to stalling and hesitation.

See the top Ford Fusion problems for yourself in this final video: