Engine, Transmission, Suspension, Airbags, and Camshaft. These are often the most expensive parts to repair or replace in a typical vehicle.
This article looks at the 5 most expensive car repairs vehicle owners can encounter and ways to handle them.
What Are the Top 5 Most Expensive Car Parts to Repair or Replace?
According to mechanics and auto parts suppliers, these are the things you want to avoid replacing for as long as possible.
- Engine/Engine Cylinder: $7,000 – $10,000
- Hybrid Car Battery (Hybrid Cars Only): $6,000
- Transmission: $4,000 – $5,000
- Suspension: $2,500 – $3,500
- Airbags: $2,500 – $4,000
- Engine Control Module (In Certain Makes, Models, and Years): $3,000
- Camshaft: $1,500 – $3,000
- Diesel Particulate Filter (For Diesel Vehicles): $2,000 – $4,000
This list includes the average cost of repairs. If you’ve got a sports car, an SUV, or a high-performance vehicle, the cost can be much higher.
If your mechanic tells you one of these is an issue, you may want to explore your options outside of a steep repair bill.
1. Engines and Engine Cylinders:
Engines and engine cylinders are the most expensive parts to replace or repair on a car, even if you can find the parts at affordable prices. For a high-performance or heavy-duty engine, that might be the cost of the engine parts alone.
Early Warning Signs of Engine and Cylinder Failure
The most identifiable sign is the “check engine light.” Still, the ‘check engine light comes on for many reasons, so keep watch for other signs.
- Tapping, Knocking, or Pinging – Like your Engine is ‘missing’ a beat.
- Loss of power and worse mileage, especially shortly after a tune-up.
- Stalling, excessive exhaust, and odd odors.
- Rough-running engine.
How Do You Deal with a Failing Engine?
Regular oil changes and maintenance on engine parts like the spark plugs and the air filter keep your engine in good condition.
If you start getting indications of engine failure, you can try to do the essential maintenance. However, you may also want to start putting money aside.
Most car experts recommend buying a new car instead of trying to replace or repair an engine, especially if you don’t mind picking up a used vehicle.
2. Car Transmission:
A transmission is a critical engine part without which the car will not run. But replacement or repair is a time-consuming and challenging task.
What Are the Early Warning Signs of Transmission failure?
Some cars have a transmission light that will alert you when there are problems. But if you don’t have a transmission light, watch for these signs:
- Jerking, grinding dears, and shaking.
- Sudden stopping and starting.
- Slipping of gears.
- Burning smells that could smell sweet.
- Leaking fluid – reddish fluid for most cars.
- Noisy in neutral.
How Can You Deal with a Failing Transmission?
The cost of dealing with a faulty transmission depends on what is failing and how long it takes to find and repair it. Sometimes, the problem might be relatively minor, like a bad sensor or a seal that needs replacing.
However, too much wear and tear may result in more severe problems. Steps to prevent this include:
- Avoiding riding the brake.
- Keep the fluids topped off to avoid excessive wear.
- Get regular maintenance and inspections.
- Fuel additives to help keep engine internal workings clean and at optimum performance.
- If you suspect transmission trouble, take it to a repair shop immediately.
RX Mechanic has more car repair information on their blog.
3. Car Suspension:
A failing suspension can damage your tires and the frame of your vehicle. It can even cause imbalances that strain or even damage the motor.
What Are the Early Warning Signs of Failing Suspension?
The suspension doesn’t have a warning light, so watch for these signs:
- A shimmy or a pull to one side – signals poor alignment.
- Difficulty steering.
- Uneven tire wear.
- Rougher than usual ride.
- The feel of tipping or slipping more often.
How Can You Handle A Failing Suspension?
Regular alignment adjustments will help, as will keeping tires in good condition.
Replace the shocks and check the struts regularly: every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.
Check shocks, struts, and alignment first if there’s a suspension issue. These are relatively affordable repairs, especially with regular maintenance.
If it’s not one of those three, you may be facing a more expensive repair and may need to consider other options.
It would help if you didn’t continue driving the vehicle, as you may lose control.
4. Car Airbags:
Airbags are things we don’t often think about until we need them. But if an accident occurs, these can be critical.
What Are the Early Warning Signs of Airbag Failure?
There is an airbag indicator light on the console. If this stays on during start-up or driving, there’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
There aren’t many warning signs for airbags since they’re not a part that sees regular use. They also don’t require regular maintenance for the same reason.
How Can You Deal with Failing Airbags?
If the airbag indicator light is on, the best thing to do is see a mechanic. They can do a diagnostic to identify what the exact problem is.
If the problem is the sensors or the control module, this can be a relatively inexpensive repair. The high costs come if the airbag itself needs to be replaced.
If there’s more than one airbag going bad, or if they’ve been deployed, the costs will climb, at an average of $1000 per airbag. So, at this point, you’ll need to consider other options.
Driving without airbags is possible, but it’s not safe or recommended.
Head over to Best Selling Cars Blog if you need further information.
5. The Camshaft:
The camshaft is a metal rod that drives the car. If this is worn down or broken, you’ll have poor engine function at best.
What Are the Warning Signs of Camshaft Failure?
Some cars have a camshaft indicator. But you can also watch for these signs:
- Frequent backfiring or popping.
- Cylinder misfire at low and high speeds.
- Tapping or pinging.
- Car stutters or falters often.
- Low mileage.
How Can You Deal with Failing Camshafts?
You can drive with a worn or broken camshaft. However, it’s not recommended, given the poor performance it causes.
Regular engine maintenance and oil checks can help maintain the camshaft.
Some high-performance cars have an easy-to-replace camshaft, but the average car does not. The camshaft also impacts several other parts, which can sustain damage from a damaged camshaft.
For sensor or bearing replacement, it might be expensive but manageable.
If the problem is the camshaft itself, most experts recommend replacing the car rather than dealing with the cost and stress of camshaft repair or replacement.
What Else Can I Do?
The best protection against expensive repairs is regular, proactive maintenance. However, repairs will eventually be required, even with the best of care.
Try to set aside some cash in an ’emergency repairs’ fund if you can. Keep the limits of this in mind when you’re considering a costly repair.
If you or a family member is a skilled mechanic, you may be able to reduce the financial impact of a big repair job. Otherwise, you may have to decide whether repairs or car replacement are more financially feasible.
Image by [Standret] via [Shutterstock.com]