| CARCHEX Research Center

How To Prevent The Most Expensive Car Repairs

Even though there is no way to avoid all breakdowns, some car repairs are much more costly than others. How can you avoid these wallet busters that might cost $5,000 or even more? Let’s find out.

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Engine Overhaul

This is definitely one repair job you want to avoid. If you have to rebuild your engine, it might cost you up to $8,000. Even though this kind of problem is rare, it pays to know how to avoid complete engine breakdown. In almost every case, engine overheating is the cause of severe damage. This could happen if you let your coolant level fall on a hot day. A faulty water pump could lead to similar problems.

Every once in awhile, pop the hood and check your coolant reservoir, especially in the summer. Also, get to know what the normal running temperature is for your car, and keep an eye on the temperature gauge. If you notice the temperature running high soon enough, you might avoid a blown engine.

Dripping Fluids

In most cases, leaking fluids are corrected easily and inexpensively – if you pay attention. On the other hand, unnoticed fluid leaks can lead to high ticket repairs. For example, leaking transmission fluid could be due to a worn seal that is easy to replace. If you wait too long, a full transmission overhaul can run you up to $3,000 or more.

Pay attention to any moisture on the ground where you park, and have a mechanic take a look right away.

Rough Running

A rough running engine, especially when first starting, might mean a head gasket failure. High mileage vehicles are especially prone to this breakdown which might cost over $1,000 to repair. Regular maintenance is a good way to avoid this problem, as is avoiding engine overheating.

If you notice your engine oil looks milky, it could be coolant leaking into the oil system. Sweet smelling exhaust smoke is a telltale sign as well. If these symptoms develop, it might be too late to avoid a big repair bill.

Dead Battery

A combustion engine car battery is not expensive to replace, but a hybrid vehicle battery can cost you over $4,000. In general, hybrid batteries are meant to last for many years, but there are ways to take better care of them.

Stay faithful to the recommended maintenance schedule. Various mechanical issues might strain the battery more than necessary. If you keep your hybrid fine tuned overall, it protects the battery as well. Also, do your best to keep the battery charged between 40-80%. While full discharge or full charge won’t do irreparable damage, hybrid batteries tend to last longer when maintained in this range.

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