What Are the Most Difficult Mechanical Issues to Diagnose on a Car?

cash for scrap cars vancouver

For anyone who drives a used vehicle, or even one that is simply starting to age, you are probably more than aware that older vehicles come with their fair share of “quirks”. Things that weren’t present suddenly are, and things that once worked well have slowly started not to. That’s because like almost anything in this world, a vehicle only has a certain shelf life.

However, unless you are a mechanic, or have money in your pocket to burn, repeatedly taking your car into the shop can not only be expensive, but it can also be frustrating.

That’s why it’s a good idea to Google the symptoms of your vehicle beforehand and make a list of what you notice to show your mechanic. Although this will help them narrow it down, many mechanical issues can elude even the most seasoned mechanic.

Difficult Repairs to Diagnose on a Vehicle

When it comes to vehicles, they are without a doubt a complex piece of engineering and machinery. It’s all the little intricate moving parts that get us from point A to point B. However, it doesn’t come without a price tag, does it?

When your vehicle starts to show signs of a mechanical failure, there’s usually small symptoms that present themselves, leading up to the ultimate and inevitable failure. As a driver and a car owner, we tend to miss those cues because we get complacent with our older vehicle and the quirks or smaller issues it may have.


While older vehicles require more maintenance than others, some have fewer issues until they are hit with one great big mechanical failure. And even people that are mechanically savvy may need a professional mechanic, like our friends at Lee’s Transmissions to diagnose the problem.

Most Difficult Issues to Diagnose on a Car

To help you narrow down what possible problems you may be having with your vehicle, we’ve created this list of the most difficult issues to diagnose on a car. If you aren’t sure what could be wrong with your car based off the symptoms its presenting, it could be one of the more difficult ones, and it’s best to get it into a mechanic.

1.Electrical Issues

For anyone who has ever experienced even the smallest electrical problem on a vehicle, you’ll already be more than aware that this one takes the cake. Electrical problems are the hardest to resolve on a vehicle, and often times, even harder to find the source.

With so many vital components relying on your vehicle’s electrical system, it’s without a doubt one of the most difficult and most expensive repairs that is needed on a vehicle. While many people think a transmission or engine replacement is the most expensive repair, they are wrong.

This is because with electrical issues, there’s truly no limit to what could be malfunctioning. It could be caused by your alternator, your battery, loose wires, broken wires, frayed wires, water damage to various electrical components, and the list goes on. In fact, electrical problems that couldn’t be repaired or even diagnosed is one of the leading reasons people scrap their cars with us.

Fortunately, we pay MORE cash for scrap cars with electrical problems than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. If you have a vehicle with electrical issues, get in touch with our team of scrap car buyers today. We’ll offer you cash for your car!

2.Engine Failure

It’s a common misconception that when your engine goes, you’ll know it. While this can be true in some situations, it’s not always the case. We’ve even had people sell us their scrap vehicles thinking their engine was dead, when there was an entirely different problem going on. That’s why a mechanic’s diagnosis is so important.

Engine failure can present in several different ways, and sometimes, not at all until it finally goes.

There are other sensors and components that are responsible for protecting your engine in the event of failure, as well as notifying you, the driver, of potential engine failure.


If your knock sensor isn’t working, your vehicle won’t signal to you that your engine is knocking. If your engine is misfiring, but you don’t have common knowledge of vehicles or possible symptoms, you can miss the cues. There are also many other issues that can mimic engine failure, and could even cause it, but it isn’t actually your engine failing.

More Cash For Scrap buys MORE cars with dead engines than any other scrap car buyers in the Lower Mainland. However, if you think your engine is toast, but haven’t had it properly diagnosed yet, we may advise you to do so before selling your car. We want what’s best for our customers so that we can truly pay you MORE cash for scrap cars in Metro Vancouver.

3.The Check Engine Light


The check engine light is there to signal that an issue is present in the mechanics of your vehicle.

It could be something simple like your gas cap isn’t closing all the way. Or it could be something major like your engine is misfiring, or your timing belt is about to go. Knowing what issue to address is a job for a professional mechanic.

However, even though they have tools to help diagnose what your check engine light is saying, as it throws a code for their code reader to advise, it doesn’t mean that they have the problem solved immediately.

Sometimes, the check engine light signals multiple problems at once. When this happens, it can be hard to detect what’s really going on under your hood. As once they fix the first issue, they clear your check engine light. You won’t know what else could be an issue until it comes on again, and sometimes, it doesn’t.

4. Rust Damage & Corrosion

When you park an older vehicle outside for long periods of time, it puts it at risk to various kinds of damage from weather exposure, if nothing else.

sell my car Surrey

When hit with Vancouver snowy weather, sometimes a vehicle can sit in 2-3 feet of snow for days on end. Particularly if you live in or around the Fraser Valley. Additionally, this is a problem for older vehicles because they are already beginning to break down from years of wear and tear.

When a vehicle starts experiencing rust in the wheel wells and along the underside of a car, it can spread to other areas of your vehicle like the exhaust system and fuel tank, causing a whole host of other problems that can be difficult to diagnose. The more widespread the corrosion, the harder it is to diagnose all that needs to be fixed.

5.Transmission Issues

transmission issues

Unless you’re an expert mechanic who’s trained to identify complex transmission issues, finding out if your transmission needs replacing is harder than you think. Even experienced professionals have a difficult time sometimes identifying exactly what the problem is.

That’s because knowing if you need a repair done to your transmission, versus a full replacement, is a fine line. It also depends on the type of transmission that you have, how often you’ve had it serviced (if ever), and what your vehicle’s symptoms are.

Sometimes you might think you need a new transmission, but what you have is a linkage issue. Other times, you might think you just need timing adjusted, but your transmission is entirely on its way out. Discerning which it is is most definitely a job for a professional with the right diagnostic tools.

What Factors Can Delay Your Car Repair?

Aside from the increased labour required for a more complex vehicle repair, there are other factors that can result in your mechanic keeping your car longer than expected.

Things Like:

Parts- Sometimes mechanics need to order a specific part for your vehicle. When it’s not in stock, they have to try various different vendors. Once they find one, they need to get the part expedited to their shop. This can increase the length of time that your mechanic has your car.

Complications- Even when a mechanic knows what’s wrong with your car, and what needs to be done to fix it, other problems can arise. Finding other problems while rectifying one or having difficulties installing or removing parts can increase the time your car spends at the shop.

Even if the issues they find are small, they may require specific parts that are not in stock and need to be ordered. Also, they may find other serious issues that need to be addressed before completing the repairs that you came in for.

This can also increase your labour costs. So, if your car spent more time at the shop than expected, inquire as to why, and check your invoice closely to see what you paid on labour costs.

Busier than Normal- Like any business, sometimes mechanics are busier than normal. Different times of year warrant different levels of influx in their shop.

During the winter months, they will see more customers for tire changes, heating maintenance and repairs, and other weather-related issues. This can increase the wait time for you to get your car back after a repair.

Additionally, if they are short staffed due to employees on vacation or calling in due to illness, this can further prolong the duration that they have your vehicle. Try to be patient, as they are usually doing their best to get cars in and out as quickly as possible.

What Car Issues Take the Longest to Fix?

scrap car removal

When we realize what’s wrong with our car, many of us turn to Google to find out how much parts will cost to get our vehicle fixed. However, one thing we can’t always discern before taking our car in for repairs is the labour cost.

There’s usually a typical time frame for each repair that a mechanic shop does. Although certain jobs only require a certain amount of time, things can always go sideways when fixing a vehicle. Finding other problems or encountering more difficulty in removing or replacing parts can bring the bill up much higher than we expected.

Repairing or Replacing the Following Tends to Take the Longest:

  • Engine replacement
  • Engine repair
  • Transmission replacement
  • Transmission repair
  • Spark plugs replacement
  • Catalytic converter replacement
  • Clutch replacement or repair

When you own an older vehicle, shelling out the thousands of dollars required to keep your vehicle going isn’t a practical decision. That’s why MORE people choose to scrap their old cars for cash with More Cash For Scrap. We always pay MORE!

Cash for Cars with Mechanical Issues

More Cash For Scrap is the Lower Mainland’s top scrap car removal company. That’s because we genuinely care about our customers and make every effort to offer MORE cash for cars with mechanical issues than other scrap car buyers.

If you’ve got a vehicle that has engine problems, transmission issues, no catalytic converter, or any other kind of mechanical failure, get in touch with our scrap car removal specialists today. We offer MORE cash for scrap cars than any of our competitors!

Scrap My Car in the Lower Mainland

cash for scrap cars vancouver, bc

Inflation these days seems to be at the forefront of almost every news story in some form or another. From fighting homelessness, to battling gas prices, to affordable housing for the working class; money is much easier to spend than it is to earn. Unless you have a junk car to sell!

With More Cash For Scrap, we offer MORE cash for cars, trucks, SUV’s, and vans than the other guys. Plus, we provide same day scrap car removal, free towing from anywhere in the Lower Mainland, and the best customer service in the industry.

No other scrap car buyers in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley can say the same!

How Much Cash Can I Get for My Car?

Every vehicle is different and has its own set of pros and cons. However, we still offer MORE cash for scrap cars than our competitors, even if your vehicle has some serious issues.

Provide our team with the make, model, year, condition, and location of your scrap car. We’ll make you an instant cash offer right over the phone based off the information you’ve provided us with.

If you accept the offer that our scrap car buyers give you, we’ll arrange for our free towing service to come collect your car that day. If you need a specific day and time, we are MORE than happier to accommodate that as well.

Contact Our Scrap Car Removal Team Today!


If you’re wondering what your scrap car is worth, give us a call, send a text, or fire off an email to our team. We are always ready and willing to provide you with any answers or advice about scrapping your car.

We offer our scrap car removal services 7 days a week, from 7:00am to 11:00pm, and even work most statutory holidays to make scrapping your car for cash that much MORE convenient.

If you want reliable, professional, and prompt scrap car removal in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley, you want More Cash For Scrap. We always pay MORE!

Have a question, comment or feedback? Just ask or let us know your thoughts here:

Share This Article, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: scrapcar

Since 2005, we've specialized in turning our customer's scrap cars into quick cash. We buy vehicles in ANY condition and with ANY issues. We pay MORE cash for scrap cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans than any other scrap car removal company in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island. If you want MORE cash, same day free junk car towing, and a reliable scrap car buying service, you want More Cash For Scrap.