Car Repairs – Which Are the Most Expensive?

Like many things today, vehicles require quite a bit of upkeep. Ignoring the little things like not having hondatonneau covers can leave you with a costly repair bill further down the road. To avoid this, it’s important to attack these problems while they’re small – before they turn into major issues. Here are ten of the most costly repairs and tips on how to avoid them.

Supercharger/Turbocharger

Superchargers and turbochargers keep air flowing through the engine. Since they function at high speeds, they’re prone to excessive heat and damage. When they break down, it can cost $1600 to replace them. Besides that, additional repairs that are needed as a result of the malfunction can add another $700 to $3000. To help avoid problems, make sure the units have the correct amount of oil. Too much can be just as bad as not enough.

Hybrid Battery

The hybrid battery is usually coupled with a motor-assist battery to charge it. If you change one, you have to change both – and that can cost upwards of $2700. The technology is pretty new, so it can be tough to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with the setup. Not to mention parts are scarce and there are few mechanics that service hybrid batteries. To avoid repairs, it’s best to use them in more mild climates, as heat and humidity can put stress on the battery.

Transmission

The transmission is what uses the engine power to make the wheels move. This aspect of the vehicle is often overlooked – and if the transmission fails, you’re not going anywhere. Replacement often costs around $3600. Fortunately, many automakers are aware of the weaknesses in their transmissions, so if you keep an eye on your vehicle’s service bulletins, you’ll know when to go in for a check and maybe get some free transmission maintenance.

Injection Pump

The injection pump transports fuel to the engine cylinders. It’s pretty common for them to clog up, and the range of repair costs varies greatly. A pump for a Honda might only be a couple hundred dollars and simple to change. But for SUVs and trucks, the cost can be almost $3000 because of all the work involved to replace it. Regular changing of the fuel filters should keep the injection pump from clogging.

Cylinder Head + Spark Plugs

Although they are not expensive, faulty spark plugs can cause misfiring, and if it’s ignored, it creates excessive heat in the cylinder. A flashing check engine light is an indicator of this – and it means there is damage being done to the engine. The damaged parts usually include the cylinder or catalytic converter, a cost of around $3500. It’s best to have this issue fixed as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs.

Catalytic Converter

This part detoxifies emissions from the exhaust. They’re usually built to last for about twenty years and give off plenty of indicators before they give out (such as misfires and broken oxygen sensors). When the converter goes kaput, the price tag can run up to $2700. And that’s because of the parts, not the labor. Catalytic converters contain three precious metals – rhodium, platinum, and palladium.

Hybrid Inverter

As hybrids are fairly new, it’s difficult to find parts when they go bad. Inverters don’t malfunction often, but when they do, it can cost $4000 to replace it at best, $7400 at worst. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prevent inverter failure outside of keeping tabs on the check engine light.

Camshaft

Camshafts are the parts that control the engine valves and manages the air intake. Normal wear and tear is usually the reason these parts fail. Keeping up maintenance by changing the oil and adjusting the valves can help prolong the life of the camshaft. Replacement can be costly, mostly for labor, running from $1500 to $3100.

Torque Converter

This is the hydraulic coupling, similar to a clutch, between the transmission and the engine. If it overheats, it can start to leak and warp the parts. This can be dangerous, as it can prevent you from stopping your car in the worse-case scenario. Replacement can cost $1800, so don’t rev your engine when your foot is on the break to help avoid overheating.

Cylinder

Cylinder failure is one of the most costly repairs needed in a vehicle. This is mostly because of the labor involved, as the engine has to be disassembled to get to it. This can put a pretty big dent in your checkbook – around $8000 – so many drivers simply scrap the vehicle for a different one. Thankfully, cylinders don’t fail often, and usually only because of prolonged neglect.

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