One of the painful truths of owning a car is that they cost money. And depending on the bumps, scrapes and faults you pick up along the way – they can cost a lot of money.
It’s not the simple of matter of buying, insuring and filling the tank. Cars are like people, prone to all kinds of wear and tear, and more often than not these things are going to happen when you least expect it.
We’re not saying this to alarm you, just prepare you. It’s always handy to have some cash put to one side for vehicle maintenance – because this list of car repairs demonstrates just how expensive things can get.
Estimated cost: £1,140
The estimated mileage life of an alternator varies from 50,000 – 100,000 miles. But at whatever rate yours deteriorates – one thing you can be sure of is that one day, it will wear out.
This isn’t your average wear and tear job either, once your alternator dies so will your entire electrical system…and then you’ll have a pretty huge problem on your hands.
Fuel injector replacement
Estimated cost: £1,060
It’s probably the last thing on your car you’d ever worry about fixing, and hopefully this is a bill you’ll never have to face. The life of a fuel injector should pretty much match that of your car…fingers crossed, anyway!
Estimated cost: £2,200
Ironic isn’t it… a catalytic converter is designed to give us a greener planet – and when you have to replace you turn pretty green too.
On the bright side, these should last the life of your car; however heavy impact could damage the ‘cat’, and an engine burning too much oil and the wrong kind of fuel additives. If you’re cautious about saving those pennies you can fit the replacement part yourself, but most of this cost is in the part, which contains valuable metals like gold, palladium and rhodium.
Clutch assembly replacement
Estimated cost: £1,200
It’s not uncommon for clutches to wear out over time, but the good news is you’ll usually be able to catch those warning signs so you’re not taken entirely by surprise.
There isn’t much you can do to prevent this from happening either, unless perhaps you switch to a gentler driving style.
Labour fees will account for roughly half this cost, so if you’ve got the skills and know-how, it might be worth buying the parts and fitting them yourself.
Water pump replacement
Estimated cost: £540
You can’t really put a timing on the life of a water pump. It may last 50,000 miles or never fail. It’s a small but crucial part of your engine cooling system. Without it, the coolant no longer circulates to maintain the temperature of your engine. The result? A very hot and angry car and driver!
Minimise the risk of this happening to you and keep that coolant regularly maintained and topped up.
Timing belt replacement
Estimated cost: £770
This is a particularly annoying piece of routine maintenance, but you must keep on top of it. The timing belt connects the base of the engine to the crankshaft, with the camshaft in the top.
If this fails, or perhaps misses a couple of teeth on the cogs, the valves and pistons could collide. In English? This will wreck your engine.
We understand the temptation to avoid replacement costs unless there’s a detectable problem, but do it anyway. Your manual or local garage will tell you roughly when this is due – so take a mental note.
Always conduct regular checks and follow the necessary maintenance guidelines for your vehicle, and you can easily reduce your chances of landing heavy bills like these!
Author: Joseph Lazare