The Most Expensive Car Repairs and How You Can Prevent Them

It’s impossible to completely eliminate car repairs, but you can lessen the chance of having to replace some of the more expensive car parts. We have written about it many times — The best way to reduce the probability of having to deal with major vehicle repairs is to make a commitment to regular maintenance. Properly maintaining items and replacing worn parts before they fail is the most cost-efficient way to take care of vehicle expenses. By doing so, you will have peace of mind about the safety and reliability of your vehicle and you’ll save money in the long run. Read on to find out how you can maintain some of those higher ticket components on your auto.

Is your vehicle turbocharged?

Turbocharged cars are definitely fun to drive, but they can also be a challenge. A turbocharger takes the exhausts gases and uses them to push additional air into the cylinders. In doing so, your car’s engine is able to burn more fuel to increase power to the engine. When running at full capacity, the turbocharger spins around 200,000 rotations per minute. If you have to replace a turbocharger, it could cost upwards of $6,000. That said, you can see why it’s important to make sure you take care of it properly to avoid problems.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • Your vehicle is accelerating poorly.
  • You notice irregular or excessive exhaust.
  • The dreaded Check Engine light comes on.
  • You hear a loud, shrieking noise coming from under the hood.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

The first line of defense to prevent a problem with the turbocharger is to have the engine oil and filter changed regularly. When you do, it’s a good idea to use a high-quality synthetic oil – one that’s recommended by the manufacturer for your particular vehicle. Equally important is allowing the engine to warm up before running it at full capacity. You also want to make sure you cool down the turbocharger before shutting off your car.

Fuel Injection

Your vehicle engine requires the proper mixture of fuel and air to operate properly. The fuel injectors have the job of sending the fuel to the engine. Because of normal wear and tear, eventually you will have to replace fuel injectors.  The key to extending the need to have them replaced comes with proper and regular vehicle maintenance.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • The Check Engine light is on.
  • You notice the engine is misfiring.
  • There’s a decrease in gas mileage.
  • You smell gasoline.
  • Severe engine problems like stalling, hesitating, the engine idles roughly and/or the engine fails to start.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

It’s important to periodically clean the fuel injector system. We recommend a fuel injector system cleaning be done about every 3 years or 36,000 miles.

The Head Gasket

When your car is operating, fluid from the cooling system is circulating around the engine to protect it from overheating. The head gasket seals the engine so the coolant doesn’t enter into the engine with the motor oil. If the head gasket cracks, engine damage will occur. Not only will you have to replace the head gasket, which is difficult to access, but you will have to repair the damage to the engine.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • Coolant may leak from below the exhaust manifold.
  • Your vehicle’s exhaust will be white in color.
  • The engine will overheat.
  • You may find bubbles in the radiator or the coolant overflow reservoir.
  • There may be a loss of coolant with no signs of a leak.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

Avoiding problems with the head gasket comes down to maintaining the cooling system. Flush and replace the coolant every 2 to 3 years or 24,000 miles. You will also want to make sure the hoses and belts running the cooling system are replaced before they fail.

The Timing Belt

As you can imagine, the timing belt endures a lot of wear and tear. If the belt breaks, you’ll end up with major engine damage. Replacing the timing belt can be expensive, but the repair bill for a broken timing belt will be much higher. You may even have to replace the entire engine. Read more about timing belt replacement here.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • The belt is missing some teeth.
  • There are signs of cracking on the belt.
  • The belt looks glazed.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

You can prevent major engine damage from a broken timing belt by replacing it according to the schedule recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

The Fuel Pump

The fuel pump sends the gasoline to the carburetor and is located on either the inside or the outside of the gas tank.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • There’s a noise coming from the gas tank.
  • You may have problems starting your car.
  • Engine power is reduced.
  • Poor acceleration.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

 First and foremost, you should have the fuel filter changed regularly. In addition, never let the level of fuel in the gas tank fall below ¼ of a tank and use only a high quality fuel when filling up.

An Engine that has Seized

If something happens that causes your engine to seize, you’ll either have to buy a new engine or a new car. With proper maintenance, you can prevent this from happening.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

If you oil warning light and/or engine temperature light come on, immediately pull over and turn off your car. Do not drive the car. Instead, you should have it towed to Shade Tree Garage’s auto repair shop located in Morristown, New Jersey. Once you do, give us a call and let us know what happened.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

Your car’s engine must maintain proper lubrication to operate efficiently. Regular oil and filter changes will extend engine life. Always make sure you have enough oil in the engine by checking the oil level once a month. If you notice that you have to add oil on a continual basis, schedule an appointment to have the car engine checked. It’s also important to have the cooling system serviced regularly to avoid engine overheating.

Automatic Transmission

The transmission can be quite tricky. It’s better to deal with a transmission problem when you first notice symptoms than to wait. Failing to properly maintain the transmission or ignoring transmission problems can result in an expensive transmission repair. Click here to read more about your automatic transmission.

Symptoms of a Potential Problem

  • The transmission fluid is dirty and has a black or dark brown color. It may also smell like it’s burnt.
  • Low transmission fluid.
  • Evidence of red-colored fluid leaks under your vehicle.
  • The transmission overheats.

How to Maintain this Engine Part

Like any other engine component that is lubricated, you should change the transmission fluid and filter on a regular basis. You should also check the level and condition of the transmission fluid once a month. If you find you have to add more transmission fluid or that it has a dark color or a burnt smell, have the transmission checked. If you have never had the transmission fluid and filter changed and you are approaching 80,000 to 100,000 miles on your vehicle, ask us before you have the fluid and filter changed. In that situation, it may be better to not change the fluid as doing so may cause transmission problems.

The Best Way to Avoid Expensive Engine Repairs – Bring Your Vehicle to Shade Tree Garage in Morristown, NJ

Regular maintenance is the key to avoiding all of these major engine repairs. The certified technicians at Shade Tree Garage can handle all your auto maintenance needs. Every time you bring your vehicle to our shop for service or repair, we perform a 27-point courtesy inspection. That way we can alert you when a part is showing wear so you can have it replaced before it fails. Click here to schedule your auto maintenance or repair with Shade Tree Garage.

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