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Most Common Car Repairs That Cost Over $500

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There are two different types of car repairs, the ones that you expect like your regularly scheduled maintenance, and the ones that you don’t. The repairs you don’t expect are the ones that can really hurt you financially if they aren’t an expense that you’ve planned for. That is unless you have a vehicle service contract or other type of extended warranty that covers your repairs. More on this later.

In some cases, these repairs can cost more than the car is worth, especially if they are over the $500 mark. When you get the diagnosis of these repairs and the estimated cost of fixing them, you have to ask yourself if it is worth it for you to fix the vehicle at all. In some cases it doesn’t make sense to dump the better part of $1000 into a vehicle that likely won’t go much further anyways. Some people “total” a vehicle based solely on how much they can sell the car for but I’d encourage you to decide to scrap your car when it financially or logistically no longer makes sense for you.

The Most Expensive Car Repairs Over $500

  1. Engine and cylinders
  2. Hybrid Car Battery
  3. Transmission
  4. Diesel Particulate Filter
  5. Airbags
  6. Suspension
  7. Engine Control Unit
  8. Camshaft
  9. Head Gasket
  10. Catalytic Converter
  11. Brake Line Repair
  12. Fuel Pump
  13. Timing Belt
  14. Air Conditioning Compressor
  15. Fuel Injectors

We’ll start from the least expensive on the list and work our way up. First up: fuel injectors.

Fuel Injectors

Cost: $500

What: Fuel injectors are the part of the vehicle that proved the fuel for the controlled engine combustions that power the vehicle forward. They communicate with the exhaust system through your vehicle’s computer to ensure the proper mix of fuel to oxygen is being given to the vehicle to make it as efficient as possible. If the fuel injectors are improperly functioning, it can be dangerous and bad for the environment. You may have fuel leaking out of the vehicle or there may be an over supply of fuel being burned creating exhaust issues. Most cars have sets of 4, 6 or 8 fuel injectors. They don’t typically break all at once but you can expect 2-4 to go out at a time which will cost you in the range of $500

Air Conditioner Compressor

Cost: $500

An issue I actually ran into today, of course the hottest day of the year thus far, down here was that my compressor is having issues. Pretty much anywhere you live South of Canada is going to be somewhere that having air conditioning is important. The compressors job is to compress the air in the air conditioning system so that it can be cooled by the coolant in the system. The compressor will cost you $500- $800.

Timing Belt Cost

Cost: $500

Not all vehicles have timing belts. A timing belt is usually found in older vehicles. It is the engine component that is responsible for turning the engine. When it breaks the car cannot work and it will usually break something else along with it.

Fuel Pump

Cost $700 – $2000

The fuel pump can be incredibly costly to fix depending on the vehicle that you own. The job of the fuel pump is to send fuel into the fuel injector at the proper pressure levels. It is a vital part of the vehicle that can be damaged if the car isn’t cared for properly.

Brake Line

Cost: $1000

Without proper brake lines the car cannot function because it can’t stop. Once a brake line is damaged there is no fixing it, and a person must replace the entire line. It isn’t cheap to replace.

Catalytic Converter

Cost: $1500

The catalytic converter is important for making your car safe for people and the environment. It resides in your exhaust system and takes harmful chemicals your car produces, mixes them with other chemicals, and results in less harmful exhaust output. If your state requires an emissions test this will be one of the main components under scrutiny. The cost of this replacement is pretty high and may total a lot of vehicles when it breaks.

Head Gasket

Cost: $2000

A blown head gasket will spew all types of toxic and molten hot products into the air from coolant to oil. If you see a vehicle smoking on the side of the road, it is likely the car has a blown head gasket. The part for replacement is relatively inexpensive, but actually getting to the head gasket within the engine is extremely difficult. The labor is what drives up this repair.

Camshaft

Average Cost: $1500 – $3000

Having to replace the camshaft is something that may occur if you fail to change your oil on a set schedule. If you don’t change out your oil it gets really dirty and can’t effectively lubricate the engine. The camshaft is one of the components most impacted by poor lubrication and the part is difficult to access like many in the engine block.

Engine Control

Cost: $3000

You have undoubtedly heard car service techs lament that cars are so hard to repair now, because of so many computer components. This is one of those auto parts. And when it goes “kaput”, there isn’t much you can do but replace it.

Suspension

Cost: $2500 – $3500

The suspension is responsible for safe turning and keeping the overall bumpiness of the ride to a minimum. Without a working suspension it is dangerous and unpleasant to take a drive. The cost of replacing a suspension can get up all the way to $3500.

Air Bags

Cost: $2000 – $4000

Even in a minor car crash the air bags can deploy to keep you safe. You may think that the damage to your vehicle on the exterior being minor will mean that the car is fixable and won’t cost you a ton of money to put back together. You would be wrong because air bags alone can cost up to $4000 to reinstall and driving without the air bags isn’t an option.

Diesel Particulate Filter

Cost: $2000 – $4000

This is a component only found in diesel vehicles so if your car takes regular fuel you are off the hook for this one. The particulate filter is responsible for reducing contaminants in the engine. They cost up to $4000 to replace.

Transmission

Cost: $4000-$5000

The transmission is responsible for shifting the vehicle through the various gears.it is a complex system and when yours goes the car is likely totaled. The cost will range between $4000 and $5000.

Hybrid Car Battery

Cost: $6500

The hybrid vehicle is great for the environment, but can really hurt your wallet. If you’ve looked for a used vehicle you’ve likely come across an array of severely cheap hybrid vehicles. They are priced this way because they need new batteries which will total the vehicle. You must have the old battery disposed of and the new battery installed. All of which will cost you around $6500 to have completed.

Engine and Cylinders

Cost: $7000 – $10000

if the mechanic ever tells you that the engine is blown, you can pretty much count on finding yourself a new vehicle. That’s not to say that with some vehicles it isn’t worth it to replace the engine block, but for most of you it will be time to say goodbye to your vehicle.

Most Expensive Vehicles To Repair And Maintain

Over ten years time, the following vehicles costs the most for repairs:

Chrysler Sebring – $17,200

BMW 328i – $15,600

Nissan Murano – $14,700

Mercedes-Benz E350 – $14,700

Chevrolet Cobalt – $14,500

Dodge Grand Caravan – $14,500

Ram 1500 – $13,300

Need Help Fixing Your Repairs?

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  • Engine
  • Transmission
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We hope this article has answered all of your questions regarding expensive car repairs and why they occur, and that you feel more prepared to to handle them now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics.

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