When it comes to car repair services, car repair costs are often a primary concern for drivers, and to a certain extent they’re unavoidable: A blown engine simply must be repaired if you’re expecting your car to move, and brake line repair isn’t optional if you want your car to stop on cue. But there are some repairs that you can avoid through basic maintenance and good habits. Here are five of the most expensive car repairs—and what you can do so you won’t need them.
- Catalytic Converter Replacement
Catalytic converters serve to detoxify emissions—important both for your smog check and the health of the environment. The most common cause for failure is clogging, which prevents proper fuel processing. Rust or corrosion can also cause leaks. Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance guidelines can prevent problems in the first place, but if your converter isn’t doing its job, be sure to troubleshoot the entire system—otherwise the part will fail again, and you’ll be faced with repeating the costly repair.
- Injection Pump Replacement
An injection pump delivers fuel into your engine’s cylinders. Clogging is relatively common, and can be particularly expensive to fix in SUVs and other cars for which replacing the pump requires disassembling the entire rear of the vehicle. To avoid this problem, just change your fuel filters on the recommended schedule.
- Transmission Assembly Replacement
Along with general engine problems, transmission trouble may be one of the costliest car repair services a driver will ever face. The transmission is the mechanism that allows power from the engine to move along the drivetrain and turn your car’s wheels, and replacing it costs up to $4,000. Always ensure that your transmission fluid levels are good and that your fluid is the bright red color it’s supposed to be, as a darker color indicates contamination.
- Hybrid Battery Replacement
Obviously, this problem affects only a small percentage of drivers. But when a hybrid battery needs replacement, it can cost several thousand dollars—especially because the smaller battery that charges it often needs to be replaced as well. The best way to protect your hybrid’s battery is to protect it from extreme weather conditions, either too hot or too cold.
- Evaporative Emissions Leak Repair
The evaporative emissions system (EVAP) consists of several parts working together to contain the fumes coming off the fuel in your gas tank. If your system is working properly, trapped gas fumes are directed and burned up by your engine at the right time. But if something goes wrong, such as a leak or compromised canister, the subsequent troubleshooting, replacements and system reset will cost several hundred bucks. To keep your lines from corroding, apply a rust protection agent. Also make sure your gas cap is screwed in tightly after every re-fueling.
When you know you need car repair services, how do you go about getting auto repair estimates or choosing a local car repair shop? Share your advice in the comments. Read more about this topic at this link.