7 Car Repairs that Are Worth Every Penny
Car repairs are never high up on a car owner’s list of favorite things to do. As a result, regardless of whether they are necessary or not, car repairs are often ignored by motorists. Anyone who owns a car knows exactly how much of a nuisance it is to drive the vehicle all the way up to the service shop to get it repaired. It is nearly as bitter an experience as visiting the dentist.
Why People Hate Repairs
The dislike for car repairs can be justified to some extent. While a lot of car owners are simply reluctant to bear the overwhelming expenses of car repairs, statistics suggest that the primary reason for ignoring car repairs has very little to do with money. The financial burden of paying thousands of dollars in car repairs does play a factor in keeping people away from service shops. However, it is the fear of being embarrassed by the horrendous condition of their vehicles that makes car owners continually delay their date with the mechanic. Sometimes, people are just afraid to know how bad a situation their car is in. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss.
Ignorance Is Costly
Ignorance toward car maintenance can cost car owners dearly in the long run. If car owners fail to nip the problem in the bud and make the fix early on, the severity of the damages will keep increasing, and the cost of repairs will keep piling up. Soon enough, the amount will rise to a figure that the car owner would be unable to afford. Some may even find it more feasible to buy a new car instead of repeatedly paying for repairs that were ignored earlier. However, in the current economy, buying a new car without selling the old one can put car owners in an unbelievable amount of financial difficulty. To escape this predicament, car owners must consider taking their car up to a service shop on a regular basis and paying for certain indispensable repairs.
Advice from Professionals
As a car owner, you are recommended to always take the advice of the people at service shops and car maintenance workshops. Those professionals know exactly what is best for your vehicle and will do everything within their ability to ensure that your precious car performs at an optimum level. That being said, there is no denying the fact that visiting service shops every now and then can take a toll on your wallet. Under such circumstances, you need to focus on paying for repairs that are essential. The other “not-so-important” maintenance work can be put off for later dates.
The 7 Repairs Worthy of Your Money
Essential car repairs are not always inexpensive or cheap. At times, they can cost you quite a bit of money. Despite that, you should have no reservations about going through with these repairs. Overlooking these repairs will drain more money out of your pockets in the long run. Hence, the sooner you get these repairs done, the better. The following are the 7 highly important repairs that will be worth every penny you pay for them.
Whenever car owners have problems with their tires, they simply make the assumption that there is either too much or too little air inside the tire. That is not always the case. If being too light or too heavy on air was the only problem that tires had, then there would be no need for service shops to repair tires. The simple problem of adjusting the air inside the tire could be fixed by the individuals themselves. However, in reality, tire problems can be an indicator of far more critical issues in the car. As a matter of fact, if you notice uneven tread wear, this could be sign of any one of the following:
- Worn Out Steering
- Problems with Suspension Components
- Issues with Wheel Bearings
Once you check for these, you need to get back to the basics. To ensure that your car does not break down in the middle of the road, keep your tires properly inflated. If you are not sure of how to inflate or deflate the tire properly, do not hesitate to visit the service shops. It is not ideal for inexperienced car owners to handle car tires without expertise. Maintaining the car tire pressure is extremely important and should not be taken lightly. If the tires are not properly inflated, a blowout could result at any moment in time. In the most unfortunate of circumstances, your car could suffer a blowout while you are speeding at 70 miles an hour in the expressway. In other words, your ignorance about fixing the tire pressure could lead to severe injuries and could even cost your life.
Ensuring the safety of the tires is very important, and one way of doing that is by checking to see whether the tires have been over-used or not. Over-worn tires may fair well on perfectly conditioned roads, but are completely unsafe on wet or snowy roads. This is also the reason why you are discouraged to buy used tires when there are fresh, brand-new ones available. There is no knowing what the tires went through. They could have been driven by the previous owner under low pressure. They could have brushed repeatedly against coarse roads or had a sharp object pierce right through them.
Blinking Check-Engine Light
Whenever car owners see the check-engine light blinking, they should be prompted to park their cars and turn off the engine immediately. The check-engine light flashes when a car engine is undergoing damage of any kind. The damage may not necessarily be something major, but, then again, you are not in a position to take the risk. If you are not sure about what the problem is after checking your engine, you can drive your vehicle to the service shop and let the mechanics take care of it. A safer option would be to have your car towed to the service shop. The longer you keep the engine on and drive the car, the further the problem will be aggravated.
More often than not, the check-engine light flashes when there is a misfire that can lead to overheating of the catalytic converter of the car. In such a situation, you may have to spend somewhere around $500 to $1000 to replace the catalytic converter. Do not delay the repair or the replacement of the catalytic converter under any circumstances. It is an emissions control device, meaning that it operates under very high temperatures. Thus, when the device is out of order, the high temperature surrounding it can cause a fire. It is much wiser to spend $700 or $800 changing the catalytic converter than to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a new car to replace the burnt-out old one.
Besides, common sense suggests that no car owner would want to be trapped inside the inferno of his or her burning car.
Defective Windshield Wipers
The performance of windshield wipers deteriorates over time. Do not wait for your wipers to become non-functional. As soon as they make it difficult for you to look through your windshield, you must consider either repairing them or changing them completely. Usually, there is not much that can be done to improve the quality and performance of worn-out windshield wipers. Hence, it is always preferable to go for new ones. Depending on the manufacturer, the cost of a new pair of windshield wipers is somewhere between $20 and $40.
Clearly, it is much wiser to spend a paltry amount of money on new accessories for your windshield than to risk having your view obstructed. Windshield wipers that do not clean well pose the risk of serious road accidents, especially during torrential rain or heavy snow. Whatever amount you pay for the new windshield wipers will be an investment in your safety. There have been quite a few reported road accidents that can be attributed solely to faulty windshield wipers.
Worn Out Timing Belt
The rule of thumb for car maintenance and repair work states that replacing the timing belt every 100,000 miles is mandatory. This is something that no car owner should ever ignore if they want to reduce their long-term car maintenance expenses. If the timing belt of your car is damaged significantly, it can cause severe damage to your car engine. As you should be aware by now, damage to car engines can turn out be hugely expensive. In the light of this information, it seems like a much better option to spend money on replacing timing belts, which are not very expensive, in order to avoid having to spend a fortune on repairing a horribly damaged car engine.
The other advantage of replacing timing belts is that they hardly ever take up any time. You do not have to leave your car at the service shop for long when your timing belt has worn out. In other words, there really is not any genuine excuse for you to overlook the routine timing belt replacement once your car has crossed the 100,000 miles mark.
Depending on the car and the manufacturer, the timing belt can go on for much longer than 100,000 miles. That being said, you should not take any unnecessary chances. As soon as your car has hit 100,000 miles, take it up to the service shop. Let the professionals over there decide whether or not the timing belt of your car needs a replacement.
Damaged Oxygen Sensor
A lot of car owners are unaware of the fact that their cars have an oxygen sensor, and that it can get damaged quite easily. When the oxygen sensor becomes faulty, the car begins to use up more gas than necessary. Not surprisingly, this is one problem that car owners are not reluctant to fix, since the excessive consumption of fuel hits their wallets hard.
To check for damage of your oxygen sensor, simply lift the hood of your car engine and see whether all the wires are connected in the way they should be. If not, then take your car to the workshop as soon as possible. They will deal with the disconnected or burnt-out wire, and get your oxygen sensor replaced.
Replacing the oxygen sensor may not be as cheap as replacing windshield wipers, but this is one investment that should make all the sense in the world to you. After all, with a new oxygen sensor in place, the fuel consumption of your car will go back to normal, and you will not have to pay for extra gas.
Identifying a brake problem in your car should not be too difficult. The signs of a brake failure can be narrowed down to the following four problems:
- The car pulls to one side when you press on the brakes.
- You can easily floor the brake pedal and the resistance is very low.
- Scraping or grinding sounds are made every time you make an effort to stop the car.
- The brake warning light goes off on the dash.
Most car owners are very fearful of brake problems. Their fears can be explained by statistics which clearly show that brake failure is one of the leading causes of road accidents in highways. Therefore, it should be a no-brainer to take your car up to the service shop the moment your brakes stop working properly. If the situation is too bad, you can have the car towed to the service shop.
Fixing brakes should not be an extravagant expenditure. However, in worst case scenarios, you may be charged a fair amount of money for replacements. Do not hesitate to make the repair. Spending a thousand dollars or more on brakes alone is completely worth it. Each penny you pay here helps to ensure your safety in the future.
The oil that you pour into your car at the gas station is not the only fluid in your vehicle. Every car contains a host of different fluids, each serving a distinct function. Car owners, who are unaware of what these fluids are, and those who fail to keep an eye on them, are literally asking for trouble. Not changing these fluids can be hugely detrimental to the performance of the car.
Some of the most important fluids in the car include:
- Brake Fluid
- Engine Fluid
- Engine Coolant
- Power Steering Fluid
The costs of changing all these fuels may pile up to significantly increase your expenses, but you should not feel too bad about paying for this repair work. Also, you are strongly recommended to not place yourself in charge of repla-cing the fluids. Ask the professionals at a service shop to do it for you, because the slightest of mistakes could lead to costly leakages.
No-one wants to see hundred dollar bills getting drained out of their pockets for their car maintenance. However, there are certain expenses in life that you simply can’t elude. Get these 7 car repairs done in time, and you will save yourself a lot of money and regret in the long run.