Having owned multiple cars over the past few years, from old beaters to a brand new car, I’ve had my fair share of expensive auto repairs.
My first car was a 1992 Honda Accord. It was 18 years old when I was driving it, and I had to replace nearly everything in the few short years I owned it. When it comes to keeping your car up and running safely, you will inevitably have to pull out your wallet to cover servicing and parts fees.
Some repairs are obviously more pricey than others, so eventually every car owner will have to decide if the cost is worth it, or if it’s better to just scrap it and buy something new.
In no particular order, here are some of the most expensive car repairs.
Any time you find a used car marked at an unbelievably cheap price, chances are the transmission has gone on it.
The transmission is the part that transmits power from the engine to the wheels, and it usually lasts a long time, though it can eventually wear out from rough gear changes and other stress that is placed on it. However, it’s usually caused by poor maintenance and by neglecting to get regular oil and transmission fluid changes.
Since a lot of garages don’t do work on transmissions, because of how difficult it can be, your car will most likely have to be taken to a specialty shop. Repairing or replacing a transmission is highly labor intensive and can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000.
Among the most commonly reported car problems are engine issues. When your car has suffered a lot of internal damage and needs a lot of repair or replacement, it’s called a blown engine.
There are a lot of things that can cause a blown engine, from a damaged valve to leaking oil to a broken rod.
The cost of replacing your engine depends on your vehicle, your mechanic, and the type of engine your car needs, but typically it will cost about $1,000 to $4,000.
3. Head Gasket
The head gasket in your car has an important job; it seals the engine cylinders and stops coolant and oil from leaking. Therefore, maintaining the seal on your head gasket is really important, as failing to do so can cause overheating and further damage to the engine. Although the part itself is rather inexpensive, repairing a head gasket is often laborious and typically has to be done by a professional.
You can help keep a perfect seal between the engine block and the cylinder head by using coolant to help your car not overheat. Otherwise repairing it can cost you between $400 and $900 just on parts alone, on top of 15 to 24 hours of labor you’ll be charged by an auto shop.
4. Air Conditioning Compressor
The air compressor in your car separates the high and low pressure air when cooling down your car and its engine.
There are a lot of different things that can cause your compressor to malfunction, such as a rod or valve inside of it breaking, or if your engine belt breaks causing a ripple effect.
Getting a new compressor can cost anywhere from $200 to $600, depending on what caused it to malfunction, the type of car, and your mechanic. If additional services are needed, such as Freon charging, you will have additional costs.
Replacing the turbo in your supercharged car is one of the most expensive repairs. It spins at about 200,000 RPM at full capacity in a supercharged engine, and it needs to cool down by letting the engine idle for a while after driving at fast speeds in order to prevent damage.
There are several other ways for a turbo to go caputs, like a turbo shaft imbalance, which causes scraping against the metal housing that allows shards of metal to go into the engine and ruin the turbo.
Replacing the turbo in your car could cost anywhere around $1,000 to $6,000 or more, and eight to nine hours of work.
The camshaft in your car controls how your engine takes in air. Chances are it won’t ever break, but like with most things in life, if you neglect routine car servicing and oil changes and you allow grime and dirt to build up on the valves, you might run into some problems.
Replacing a camshsaft is labor instensive, and can cost between $1,500 to $3,000.
7. Timing Belt
Timing belts need to be replaced regularly because they are prone to wear and tear due to excessive use. Although replacing a timing belt itself isn’t very costly, not doing so can cost you a lot of money.
If a worn timing belt splits, it can cause some serious damage to valves, pistons, camshaft, connecting rods, and more. Replacing all of those damaged parts can cost you thousands of dollars and a lot of time.