The most expensive car repairs and how to avoid them

By: Kris LeSueur   |   08 Aug 2022

“Prevention is better than cure” is a mantra that doesn’t only apply to physical health; it applies to everything, even car maintenance. Your car is bound to collect some wear and tear over time, but regularly keeping things in check will help avoid one-time big-time repairs that can break the bank. What are these big-time repairs? Keep reading to find out.

Engine repairs

What is a car without its engine? Useless. Your car’s engine is a piece of highly technical machinery that governs many systems. Therefore, if it gets damaged, you also need a highly technical process performed by professionals to fix it. And these processes are not cheap.

Repairing or replacing parts of the engine is one thing; replacing the whole engine is another. The most expensive engine repairs involve air flow sensors, catalytic converters, and head gaskets. Even replacing these parts will cost you thousands of dollars each.

Replacing an engine will cost you around $4,000–a conservative estimate. The price depends on the kind of engine that you have. The more powerful the engine, the more costly it will be to replace it.

Avoiding engine repairs come down to being diligent with engine maintenance. You keep a faulty engine that needs replacing away by having regular maintenance checks from your trusted mechanic. Change oil regularly, keep the cooling system in check, check filters, and don’t ignore the check engine light.

Transmission repairs

Just like the engine, your car’s transmission has multiple components. Some of them can be easily repaired while others need replacing.

Some repairs won't cost you much if it’s from normal wear and tears. A hundred dollars will do the trick if it's just fluid change that you need. However, there are cases where your car needs a total transmission rebuild, either from poor maintenance or a bad wreck.

A transmission rebuild is needed when the cause of transmission failure is not immediately evident. This requires the mechanic to remove the transmission from the chassis to inspect the components piece by piece. This sounds like a lot of work, and you know what that entails. You will need around $3,000 for that–another conservative estimate.

In cases where the only option is transmission replacement, you are looking at somewhere between $4,000 to $8,000.

Again, the best weapon against these costly damages is proper maintenance. Do not neglect fluids as they keep transmission parts lubricated. Learn how to be gentle with your transmission to avoid straining it. Use the appropriate gears and know how to speed up and slow down properly.

There are parts of the engine and transmission that are relatively cheap. However, there are times when you pay more for the labor cost than the part itself because it takes a level of expertise to replace these parts, something that you cannot “DIY”. Taking the DIY route will sometimes cause more damage and hence, more money and time to undo.

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