Automotive

The Most Expensive Car Repairs

Owning a car gives you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. However, owning (or leasing) a vehicle also comes with a lot of responsibility.

Your vehicle will likely be one of the biggest purchases you ever make, and you need to remember that the expenses don’t end when you drive your car off of the lot, even if you pay in full. In addition to monthly payments, gas, and car insurance, you must also budget for maintenance and repairs.

While some repairs will only cost you $50 or so, others can be much more expensive. Read this guide to learn about the most expensive car repairs.

1. Critical Engine or Cylinder Failure

A critical engine or cylinder failure can easily set you back $7,000-$10,000. Damage to your engine block or cylinder failure often means you’ll need to replace your entire engine.

Otherwise, you’ll never be able to drive your vehicle again. There are a few reasons why engines fail. Typically, it has to do with the owner neglecting to perform routine maintenance. Remember to perform regular oil changes, check for oil leaks, and maintain your car’s cooling system.

However, if it’s too late and your engine has failed, your best bet is to usually have the engine replaced rather than trying to repair the broken one. Or, depending on what your budget is, you may want to consider putting the money toward a down payment on a new vehicle.

2. Hybrid Car Batteries

Many people dream of owning a hybrid or electric car so they no longer have to pay for gas. However, keep in mind that the batteries used in hybrid cars are expensive and need to eventually be replaced.

Replacing a faulty battery can cost you up to $6000. The hybrid batteries on the market today typically last about ten years, so be prepared for this expense if you’re considering purchasing a hybrid vehicle. Additionally, keep in mind that when you replace the battery, you’ll also need to replace the car’s computer system, which can easily set you back another $6000.

3. Transmission Failure

If your vehicle’s transmission fails, you’re not going anywhere. The transmission is a complex system that converts engine power into usable power so your car can move forward.

If your transmission fails, multiple components will be damaged, and you’ll likely need to pay $4000-$5000 to have the system fixed. Here are some signs that your transmission system is experiencing issues:

  • Slipping gears
  • Burning smell
  • The car refuses to switch gears
  • Dragging clutch
  • Noises when in neutral
  • Check engine light flashing on
  • Shaking or grinding
  • Unusual sounds

These issues may not necessarily mean your transmission is failing. However, it’s still important to have your car looked at in case there’s a serious issue.

4. Airbag Replacement

As of 2017, over 50,000 lives have been saved by airbags. However, once an airbag has been deployed, it almost always needs to be replaced. You may also need to replace the steering wheel and glove box in the event they suffer from damage when the airbag is deployed.

Altogether, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2500-$4000 to replace your airbags and any parts they damage. Of course, if your airbag has been deployed, it’s likely because you’ve been involved in a car accident. In this event, the airbag replacement may be covered by insurance.

Additionally, if your airbag went off by default, the replacement may be covered under the vehicle’s warranty. Click here to learn about the Mercedes extended warranty cost.

5. Suspension

Your vehicle’s suspension consists of springs, shocks, struts, rods, and control arms. Essentially, your suspension prevents you from feeling every dip and bump on the road.

Over time, the suspension’s parts can wear down. Replacing a single part of the suspension system typically doesn’t cost a ton of money. However, if you don’t replace the parts in a timely manner, you may end up in a situation where you need to replace the entire suspension system.

Typically, a total suspension system replacement can cost you between $2500-$3500. Luckily, maintaining your suspension system can help prevent you from having to replace it completely. Here are some signs that your suspension system could use some love:

  • Difficulty steering
  • Dipping when braking
  • Continued bouncing after hitting a bump
  • Pulling or drifting to one side when turning corners
  • Unusually bumpy roads

Also, keep in mind that most suspension system parts last 70,000 miles before they need to be replaced.

6. Camshaft

The camshaft controls how your engine takes in air. Over time, your camshaft can get dirty and become built up with dirt and debris. You can regularly clean your camshaft via oil changes and valve cleanings. However, your camshaft will eventually break down, and typically, it costs $1500-$3500 to replace it.

Typically, your check engine light will turn on if there’s an issue with the camshaft. Don’t ignore the light, and get your car checked out when this happens.

7. Head Gasket

The phrase “blowing a gasket” exists for a reason. When your vehicle’s head gasket goes out, your car will spray coolant and oil, white smoke will billow from the exhaust and engine, and the engine will overheat.

Clearly, a blown head gasket creates a huge mess. However, despite the mess it produces, a head gasket isn’t the most expensive repair. Typically, it costs around $2,000 to replace a head gasket – sometimes a bit more if damage has been done to other parts of your vehicle.

Taking Care of Expensive Car Repairs

As you can see, there are many expensive car repairs you may encounter throughout your lifetime. In addition to saving money for regular car expenses, it’s important to have some money set aside for these repairs.

However, the best thing you can do is to keep up with regular maintenance to ensure small issues don’t turn into big ones. And make sure you understand what’s covered under your car’s warranty.

Check back in with our blog for more vehicle maintenance and repair tips!