Beyond Oil Changes and Tire Rotations
Owning a car can be one of the more rewarding life milestones, but we all know that with car ownership comes inevitable car repairs. Car repairs are not only frustrating, they can be expensive. Newer cars are being built to last longer, but with that innovation, repairs are more difficult than they used to be.
Some built-in systems are being designed to be harder for repair technicians to get into, so it sometimes becomes necessary to have it maintained by the dealership or manufacturer.
There are several routine problems that have been cited as being the most commonly seen, and repaired, car issues throughout the U.S.
Below are some problems to keep an eye out for, and what to expect with them:
Oxygen Sensor Replacement
This replacement is very common with older cars, it is a component in your exhaust system that detects oxygen in the exhaust that hasn't been combusted. These sensors wear out with time and the average cost of repair is about $250.
Catalytic converter Replacement
This part is also found in your car's exhaust system, it is used to neutralize dangerous or hazardous material in exhaust fumes, like carbon monoxide. These components typically last the entire lifetime of your car, but other issues within an exhaust system can create wear on the catalytic converter.
This is a relatively expensive replacement, averaging about $1,150 to repair. Luckily, with a properly functioning catalytic converter your car will also see increased performance and gas mileage.
Spark Plug Replacement
These are small parts that are responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel within your cylinders, making the engine run. There are some distinct signs when your spark plugs are failing, so diagnosing the issue shouldn't be difficult. It may be tempting for consumers to replace their own spark plugs, as it can be a relatively inexpensive fix, however, if done incorrectly they could interfere with your car's gas mileage or ruin the catalytic converter, which is a much more expensive repair.
It is always the best idea to have a certified technician do even these small replacements to ensure the performance of your vehicle.
There is a thermostat that measures the temperature of your engine, and if this thermostat breaks or is faulty, it can activate your check engine light. This is a common problem in older cars, if left unrepaired it will make your engine run under capacity or strain itself, causing damage. This repair costs about $210 on average.
Ignition Coil Replacement
Ignition coils work in conjunction with spark plugs to help ignite the fuel in your engine, sometimes these coils need to be repaired even if your spark plugs are fine. This is a common repair, and only runs about $236, this cost would go up if you had to replace both these and your spark plugs.
Mass Airflow Sensor Replacement
This sensor detects the amount of air that flows into your engine, which your car's computer uses to determine the best fuel-to-air ratio in the ignition chamber. This problem can affect cars of any age, and is about $380 to replace.
The most common repairs seen in all auto shops, however, are those associated with the routine maintenance and upkeep of your vehicle. These include oil changes, oil filter replacement, air filter replacement, tire replacement, battery replacement, wiper blade replacement, fluid level checks, wheel alignment, brake repairs, and general engine tune ups.