Cars, god love them, wind up costing us a fortune. First, there’s buying the thing, which is all nice and exciting. Next comes car insurance and tax – arguably the most spirit-crushing part of car ownership. Then comes fuel, which can often prove a nasty overhead for those covering a lot of tarmac.
Perhaps the worst expense of owning a car however, is those unexpected repair bills. Faults, malfunctions and breakdowns can often spell disaster for those without a sizeable savings account – extinguishing all hope of a sunny summer holiday in a single hiccup, creak or clunk.
But what are the most expensive problems that can go wrong with your car, and what can you do to avoid them? Let’s find out.
- Replacing the Cylinder
- Replacing the Transmission Assembly
- Replacing the Camshaft
- Replacing Spark Plugs
- Repairing Air Conditioning
Ignore the tell-tale signs of cylinder failure long enough – backfiring, coolant leaks, smoky exhaust – and you could face a repair bill of anywhere from £3,000 to £5,000. The cylinder houses the pistons, as well as a whole host of other important components, and should it fail it’ll be difficult to put right. For most drivers, the repair bill for a defected cylinder is simply too pricey to pay – particularly when you consider the price of a used car.
Transmission knackered? Brace yourself for some eye-watering repair quotes. Depending on the make of car, you’re looking at a bill of at least £1,500 to replace an entire transmission assembly. For luxury cars however, this figure is much higher – especially if you take it to the original dealership. The transmission assembly features no-end of intricate moving parts, and is liable to damage if not properly maintained. To avoid the hefty bill of replacing a transmission system, do yourself a favour: drive sensibly and take care of your transmission.
Have sympathy for those whose camshaft has gone kaput, as the repair is likely to cost the best part of a grand. The camshaft controls how much air the engine consumes, and without it all sorts of problems can arise. Sadly, the shaft is buried deep in the bowels of the engine, making it difficult for mechanics to access easily – thus the meaty bill. If you suspect camshaft trouble, keep an eye out for the pesky “check engine” light, as well as any and all ignition hiccups.
Abandon spark plugs at your peril, because they could end up costing you a small fortune. Though spark plugs aren’t expensive to buy new, a lot of labour goes into replacing them, which can make for a hefty bill. If you’ve a spare Saturday on your hands and are relatively DIY-savvy, why not replace the plugs yourself? It could save you over £800 in repair bills. Spark plugs provide the spark an engine needs to start, and they’re relatively easy to replace once you know how.
Come summer, millions of drivers hit the A/C button to combat the toasty exterior temperatures – but what happens when the air conditioning suddenly ceases to keep you cool? We hate to say it, but it’s probably time to panic. Repairing air conditioning is difficult and it’s one of those jobs that should be left to a professional. Sadly, said professional is likely to charge you hundreds to repair the broken unit – our guess? A cool £800 quid.
Fear your car could be cruising towards one of the above issues? Don’t worry. At Holts, we have a range of products developed to help you solve your car problems and get back on the road. To find out more about our range of products, visit the Holts website or call us on 0161 866 4800.