Even though many of us Automotivists like to wrench on our own cars, we don’t always like some of the unnecessary complications some cars present. So I’ve figured out the easiest cars to work on, for you.
Some are easier than others, and each has its own reason.
Maintaining your car shouldn’t require an advanced engineering degree. If you need something that won’t drive you crazy when getting your maintenance on, check out the vehicles on this list.
Table of Contents
- Chevrolet Silverado HD Work Truck
- Honda Civic
- Ford Escape Hybrid
- Toyota Camry
- Ford Crown Victoria
- In Sum
Chevrolet Silverado HD Work Truck
The legendary Chevrolet small block. Been around basically since Chevrolet existed, they just keep making the engine better and more efficient.
These work trucks are built to get things done, so they can be fixed with a couple of wrenches and a hammer if need be.
The heart is well known because of its iron block and time-tested design, to just keep going. Stay away from cylinder deactivation though, those versions suck. They chew up cams and eventually ruin the motor.
Otherwise, these things are pretty rock solid. For easy maintenance, you can’t beat a full-size 1-ton truck. The drivetrain packaging is small so there’s ample elbow room around.
Base trim level a.k.a work trucks has basic parts like halogen headlights and black plastic bumpers, making them easy to fix in your local Autozone parking lot. Interiors come with rubber floors so you can just hose them off. How’s that for easy?
Why do you think every tuner gathering includes somebody driving this car? These things are a dream to work on that’s why. They’re reliable as hell, parts are cheap, and the mechanicals has been a slow evolution rather than revolution throughout the model years.
These cars are so popular you still frequently see 20+ year generation models out on the street because the average guy can fix almost anything on these cars.
Aftermarket is so vast on these cars and so well documented, you could engine swap, drivetrain swap, or both in your driveway, with most tools you already own. Just check out these cool Honda engine swaps by Autospeed.
Honda 4 cyl are well known for their power potential. The layout and setup are straightforward. Unlike a lot of euro cars, you don’t need to refer to a manual to undo every bolt. That’s why people love to buy them as their project car.
It’s hard to come up with easier cars to work on.
Ford Escape Hybrid
I bought one of these myself and fixed it with less than $300 spent. Mostly just maintenance parts, and some hydraulic fluid for my jack.
I’m talking spark plugs, brake pads, rotors, synthetic oil and filter, new valve cover gasket, and front brake lines. How about that for cheap.
Plus the software can be downloaded for free online to do diagnostics.
This SUV was designed with a V6 so the engine bay is massive. The little 4 cylinder though, has tons of room around it to work on anything.
The suspension is so basic it can be done in a driveway, or an alley, or a cave even. This car truly is relaxing to work on, because whatever you attempt to do is achievable. That’s hard to say on a fairly modern car these days.
Changing transmission fluid, differential fluid, oil, all done in the driveway with some ramps.
The battery and hybrid stuff is mostly based on Toyota designs, so just forget about it. It’s not going anywhere. Just ask NYC cabbies they’ll tell you.
2008 and prior models actually have a way to use the 12v battery to jump-start the hybrid pack if it gets too low. There’s a button conveniently made just for it located on the car!
My car’s battery pack was low from sitting in an auction for almost 2 years. Pushed the button a few times, and voila charged it right up.
Look for a complete breakdown of how I bought this car and what I had to do in a future post.
10mm and 13mm sockets is about all you need to fix this car. Everything is right there when you open the hood at arm’s length.
No crawling underneath to reach things or taking access panels off. You can grab the oil filter with your hand and change it just by leaning over your engine bay!
Even the oxygen sensor can be replaced as soon as you open the hood. Talk about easy.
The reason Toyotas last forever is epitomized by this car. It’s built with logic. Make things easy to repair and cars will just work better. Simplify and enjoy.
Ford Crown Victoria
There’s a reason why this car is number one. It’s almost indestructible. I mean, they just run, and run, and run.
The 3V 4.6L is one of the best low-stress workhorse motors of all time. They don’t make a ton of power but they just keep going. They’re like the energizer bunnies of the automotive world.
Plus the most popular one named Generation EN114, the one you see everywhere, was produced from 1998 all the way to 2012. So you know there’s like a billion of them everywhere.
Parts are plentiful and super affordable. Most of the parts can be purchased at the auto store, no need for overnight parts from Japan.
Heck, a lot of cops and taxi companies still use these cars.
If I had to bet on a car to outlast me it would be this car.
What makes them one of the easiest cars to work on is the gigantic engine bay and fleet-based design. Cars just don’t have hoods this long anymore.
It’s a design from a time when people actually fixed cars instead of just replacing them. This car started its life in 1979!
These cars were designed for fleets, and fleets need to be able to access everything beyond just regular maintenance.
Things just fall into place on this car because they were actually designed to be removable. Even the big things, engine, trans, axles, all of it.
I love a challenge as much as the next guy. Figuring things out and coming up with solutions can be great.
However, sometimes getting things done simply and easily can be just as rewarding if not more. Easy cars create confidence, and with confidence, it allows you to tackle those bigger challenges when they arise.
The cars on this list create enthusiasts, people like us who wrench and enjoy our cars. It’s important for these vehicles to exist.
So go out and buy one of the easiest cars to work on in this list and connect with your car, like you’re supposed to. Maybe even learn how to make some money with it