Prevailing Through Endurance

Vehicle wear and tear vs. manufacturer defects

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Lemon Law

Whether you are driving an old faithful car or a shiny new model, vehicle troubles are inevitable. The question that often arises is whether these issues stem from natural wear and tear or if the manufacturer may be to blame.

There are several signs to look for when determining whether the Lemon Law might cover your car troubles.

Routine maintenance

If you have not followed your vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule, chances are that wear and tear are the likely culprits. The following components require regular replacements:

  • Brake pads
  • Tires
  • Belts
  • Windshield wipers
  • Bulbs

These parts all naturally wear down over time, and timely replacements are part of responsible car ownership. Changing the oil regularly is also necessary.

Unusual noises

Unusual sounds such as grinding, squeaking or knocking may indicate deeper issues. While wear and tear can contribute to these noises, sudden and persistent problems might be red flags for potential manufacturer defects. If your vehicle is relatively new and you are experiencing these issues, the situation is worth investigating further. In 2022 there were 932 vehicle safety recalls, and your car may be one of them.

Persistent issues

Wear and tear typically result in gradual performance degradation, but persistent issues that repeatedly occur despite repairs may point to underlying defects. If you find yourself making frequent trips to the mechanic for the same problem, it’s advisable to explore the possibility of manufacturer defects.


Maintain a comprehensive record of all repairs, maintenance and issues you encounter with your vehicle. This documentation can serve as valuable evidence when trying to differentiate between wear and tear problems and potential manufacturer defects. Thorough documentation strengthens your position should you need to address the issues with the manufacturer.

Keep an eye on recall notices related to your vehicle’s make and model. Additionally, check for technical service bulletins that address known issues. If you have moved since purchasing your vehicle, you may not be receiving these important updates by mail.