In this uncertain age, everyone needs something to depend on. For many people that is their car. Who wants a car that runs inconsistently? There are at least seven different categories, or systems, that are tested to determine a car's reliability. These seven most common criteria are these: engine, transmission and driveline, steering and suspension, brakes, starting and charging, heating and air conditioning, and accessories. If one of these systems has earned a reputation for not being up to par, details are recorded as to what the problem is. Some companies, such as MSN.com, also offer information as to cost of repairs and description of replacement parts. Still other companies, like the very well known Consumer Reports, sends surveys to all of its subscribers, and they help by providing information about their car's history. Some other companies, like J.D. Power and Associates, receives information that is from the first 90 days of ownership.
There are several different resources that allow you to search for any make of car to determine the reliability of that car. For example, you can search for a Toyota Camry and find out what, if any, problems it had. The Reliability Chart, from Consumer Reports, looks at the particular car that you have in question, and it compares it to the average model. The chart will show how your car had fewer or more problems than the average model from the same year as yours. This comparison helps you see how reliable your car truly is.
J. D. Power and Associates has a well-established name in the business world. Its standard of excellence is shown by the fact that they actually use a set of seventeen criteria to compare vehicles - as opposed to the only seven needed by other companies.
There are many different categories to search through on this webpage. You may find the FAQ section helpful. You can look at the reliability ratings of cars from 2000-2009. The newest ratings from 2010 should hit stores soon, and with them come the predictions of the most and least reliable cars.
MSN auto uses a company called Identifix from which it gets its information. Most companies rely on surveys to get their information, but not MSN. Identifix is virtually a database within itself. It receives information from car owners, and it organizes that information in house. There is only a small margin of error because the testing and the rating all come from in house.
This website is helpful in that it lists seven common systems that must be tested in order to give information for a vehicle reliability report. These seven systems range from the engine to the steering.