All of us that have ever owned a vehicle, know that parts wear out and break down, occasionally leaving us on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. Regular servicing and maintenance can help diagnose small issues before they become huge repairs, but no matter how much you keep your car in top shape, repairs are simply a fact of life for car owners. Depending on the type of repair needed, costs can be minimal or you might seem you need a second mortgage in order to pay the mechanic.
Simple Repairs Are Not Always Simple
Many people think a flat tire or new battery is no big deal and are surprised to find out how expensive some basic repairs can be. Another wrong turn consumers often make is diagnosing the problem by themselves. Unless you’re a mechanic or grew up in an oily smelling garage, you probably don’t know as much as you think you do. You might assume when your car won’t start, it’s only the battery when a certified mechanic will be able to tell you an ignition problem led to the dead battery and that both will need to be replaced, which is much more complicated than installing a new battery. Another surprise for drivers when they first lay eyes on the repair bill is the amount charged for labor. Labor charges are frequently more than the parts needed for the repair work.
How Much Does It Cost To Repair Your Car?
Before even the simplest of repairs are made, consumers should always get a detailed written estimate and be able to discuss the repairs directly with the mechanic who’ll be performing the work. Whenever possible, ask the repair shop to return the old, broken parts, ensuring the parts were actually replaced.
Let’s Review The Most Common Car RepairsBattery
This is what provides the juice that gets your car going. A dead battery will most likely need to be replaced as well as inspecting the battery cables and battery temperature sensor. The cost can run anywhere from $50.00 to over $300.00 depending upon the type of battery and vehicle. Most repair shops will install the battery you purchase from them without an additional labor cost.
Maintaining a good set of tires on your vehicle is imperative from a safety point of view and will also help the overall suspension, steering, and braking functions. Tires are what allow our vehicles to grip the road as they speed down it, so tires with worn tread will need to be replaced. The average life of a tire depending upon factors like road condition and weather is around five years. Tires should never be left on a car after ten years even if they’re not showing tread wear and it’s highly recommended all tires be replaced at the same time. Consumers should expect to pay anywhere from $50.00 per tire to hundreds per tire for brand name and specialty tires like those for off-roading or with four-wheel drive.
Essential for driving in wet conditions, this repair can be as simple as replacing the wiper blades to as extensive as replacing the entire wiper motor assembly. This is one of the repairs you assume is a fairly inexpensive fix, which can turn into a two-hour job while you’re in the waiting room. Repair and replacement cost can run between $30.00 for just the blades to more than $250.00 for more extensive work.
Brakes, Steering and Suspension
These are like the three sisters of car repair because when one fails or breaks, it has a direct effect on the performance of the other two. For example, if you need new brakes, but hold off getting them installed, it can have an effect on how your car steers or how it rides going down the road. Whether it’s a complete brake job or a suspension issue, it’s important to have the problem repaired as soon as possible to avoid additional repairs to these related components. These types of repairs are expensive and can range from $200.00 to over $1500.00, again depending on the type of repairs being done.
There’s More – Much More
In today’s modern car, there are more parts than just a starter, carburetor, and spark plugs. There are more moving parts, computer components and electrical systems, which can fail, wear out or simply malfunction. The most common repairs seem to be some of the easiest repairs, but aren’t always inexpensive. Let us take the time to have a technician or mechanic explain what repairs will be made, what parts will be used and how much the price out the door will be. During the repair, if additional problems are found that require work not listed on the estimate, we’ll inform you of the additional work and cost before it’s performed.
If your car ever breaks down and leaves you stranded on the side of the road, rescue may not come for several hours. If you’re left sitting in extreme heat or cold, you may become uncomfortable very quickly, especially if you can’t start the car. If you have young children or elderly passengers, the extreme temperatures can become deadly. This is why it’s very important to have a roadside emergency kit stored in the trunk of your car.
What? Didn’t we just cover the reasons you might want to buy an SUV last week? You bet we did. In the interests of fairness, we thought it might be valuable to offer an opposing viewpoint this week. Today’s opposing viewpoints come from Jim Kenzie of Motoring TV from an episode back in 1997. Jim says you can call them crossovers or call them SUVs – just don’t call them yours.