What Are The Most Expensive Things To Repair On A Car?

Nothing blows the budget faster than repairing a car. Getting items fixed or replaced on any car make or model is expensive and can bring people back financially. Unless a part is under warranty, motorists are forced to take large bucks to keep their cars running properly and safely. And some of the car repairs are more expensive than others. It helps you know what you can expect to pay if you have problems with any of the parts on your vehicle. Here are some of the most expensive car repairs.

Air Conditioner Compressor

Air conditioning is essential during the summer months. Anyone who did not have the air conditioner in their car in July or August knows that this could be a serious problem. And, more often than not, the fault lies with a broken air compressor. The air compressor separates high and low pressure air and allows the Freon gas to cool the car. Rods and valves inside the compressor tend to break, causing the compressor to stop performing. Or another part of your car, such as the engine belt, may cause a ripple effect that causes the compressor to malfunction. Either way, replacing the air conditioner compressor usually costs about $500. If you have to add more Freon gas to a new compressor that’s installed, it can be even more expensive.

Head Gasket Failure

The head gasket is what seals your engine cylinders to prevent coolant and oil from leaking out. If your head gasket fails, the results may be messy – engine fluids will spray everywhere, and you may not be able to drive your car. Head gaskets themselves cost only a few hundred dollars, but the repair process is very labour-intensive, so the overall cost of repair is quite high. The best way to avoid this problem is by maintaining your car on a regular basis and ensuring that your engine is not overheated – heat buildup is the most common cause of head gasket failure, as the gasket can warp because of the engine’s intense heat and pressure.

Critical Engine/Cylinder Failure 

Critical engine failure is well known as the single most expensive car repair facility. If you suffer from serious cylinder failure or damage to your engine block, it is likely that the entire engine will have to be replaced – or else your vehicle will never be driven again. Often, the cost of repairing the damage simply makes the purchase of a new vehicle a better investment. There are quite a few reasons why the engine may fail – and most of them have to do with failing to perform routine maintenance on your vehicle. If you fail to make regular oil changes, ignore oil leaks, or fail to maintain your car’s cooling system, your engine may be at risk of failure. So keep your engine well-maintained and have it inspected whenever you take your car into a mechanic – if you don’t, you could end up with a gigantic repair bill, and a useless vehicle.

Radiator Replacement

Radiators can go on without problems for years, but they can fail easily if your car gets front-end damage or if you neglect to use the proper antifreeze mix when you fill it up. Antifreeze contains corrosion inhibitors and also prevents the expansion and damage of frozen water to the radiator. If your car is losing coolant, you shouldn’t assume it’s the radiator right away, because there are a lot of other hoses and joints that can leak out, and these are simpler, cheaper repairs. So make sure it’s definitely the radiator that’s wrong before you buy a new one.


The suspension of your car consists of shocks, springs, struts, rods and control arms that help your vehicle to absorb bumps in the road. Over time, parts can wear out – and if they are not replaced, you may need a comprehensive suspension overhaul that will cost you a lot of change. Keep a close eye on how your car is riding to avoid replacing the entire suspension. If it swings to the side, feels like it’s more bumpy than usual, or you notice any other suspension issues, get it checked right away – if you replace the problem part early, you can avoid a complete suspension overhaul.


If your transmission fails, your car doesn’t go anywhere. This complex system is what drives your car – it converts the power of the engine into the power used by the drive shaft of your car, which drives your wheels. If your transmission fails completely, you are looking at a very expensive repair, as multiple components will be damaged by a critical transmission failure. Because your transmission is very mechanically complex, you experience quite a bit of wear and tear compared to the rest of your vehicle – so keep an eye on the performance of your car if you want to avoid a complete overhaul of the transmission. Signs of transmission issues include slipping gears, a dragging clutch, strange “burning” smells, and humming noises when the car is parked. If you’re unsure about the health of your transmission, have it looked at by a professional – better safe than sorry.

Water Pump Replacement

This is a small but vital part of your car’s cooling system that could last 50,000 miles, could last 100,000 miles, and could never fail while you own the car. But when it fails, the coolant will no longer be pumped through the radiator and the engine, which will quickly become hot and angry, as you will when you push your car to the nearest repair shop. Water pump failures can happen on their own, but you can improve the odds by keeping your coolant system well maintained and topped off with a proper antifreeze mixture.

By Jon ‘ShakataGaNai’ Davis, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3177569

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