Americans spend up to 1.6% of their before tax income on car maintenance and repair. And this may increase, since the average US household vehicle is getting older. So when it comes to car repair, what are some of the most expensive breakdowns? Let’s find out.

Pay for the high cost of repairs with an extended car warranty. Get a free quote from CARCHEX today.

Engine Replacement Or Rebuild

Some call it engine replacement, other’s an engine overhaul. Whatever its name, it’s very expensive and usually means some kind of mechanical catastrophe has occurred. In most cases, severe engine damage is caused by overheating and sometimes this is due to the lack  of coolant or a water pump failure.

If the engine overheats, the engine block can crack along with other problems. A repair may be possible, but typically a full overhaul or replacement is required.

Total cost = $7,500 – $8,000 (or more)

Steering Column Replacement

If your steering wheel tilt doesn’t lock in place, it could be due to a steering column failure. Other symptoms to watch out for are creaking, clunking, or clicking when you turn the wheel. Also if the steering doesn’t return to center after exiting a turn, you may need a steering column replacement.

Total cost = $6,000 – $6,500

Hybrid Battery Replacement

Even though hybrid car batteries are meant to last for a long time, that doesn’t mean they last forever. At first, you might notice a dashboard warning light coming on. Or maybe the gas engine revs higher than normal as it tries to compensate for the weak battery. You may also notice excessive battery cooling fan noise as the system attempts to protect the battery.

Other common signs to watch for are a lack of ability to hold a charge, poor power, or low gas mileage. A worn out hybrid battery requires replacement.

Total cost = $4,000 – $5,000

Transmission Assembly Repair

You may see a transmission fluid leak at first, and this could be caused by worn seals or gaskets, damaged housings, or a loose transmission oil pan. If detected early, these repairs are less costly. But, if you smell burning transmission fluid, things are likely getting worse. Other symptoms include hesitant, uneven, rough, or noisy shifting.

Today’s automatic transmission systems are fully computerized and complex. If not detected early, repair costs can be quite high.

Total cost = $3,500 – $4,000

Camshaft Replacement

When your camshaft fails you may notice a loss of engine power or engine misfire. The car might even shut off unexpectedly while driving. For those that change their own oil, you could see an odd metallic flake or shimmer when the oil is in the drain pan.

Camshaft replacement is labor intensive, taking up to 12 hours or more. Regular oil changes and maintenance go a long way in preventing camshaft failure.

Total cost = $1,500 – $3,000

Protection Against High Repair Costs

Unexpected and costly repairs are more likely to occur in older vehicles. One of the best ways to cover the cost of repairs is with an extended car warranty. These plans pay for unforeseen breakdowns in a way nearly identical to factory warranties.

Cover expensive car repairs with an extended car warranty. Get a free quote from CARCHEX now.