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8 Common Auto Repairs And When To Expect Them

8 Common Auto Repairs And When To Expect Them

How to Plan for 8 Common Auto Repairs

Car repairs are an expense that can be hard to budget for.

However, it is possible to predict certain faults – which could help you financially plan for them.

Below are 8 of the most common auto repairs, how much they cost and when to expect them.

1. Brakes

Brake pad replacement is essential for safety as well as keeping maintenance costs low.

Replacement will generally cost between $150 and $400 for smaller cars and should be done on average, brake pads last about 60,000 km.

However, it depends on your driving style and how regularly/hard you use your brakes – if you do a lot of sharp braking, your pads may only last 40,000 km.

You’ll usually know when your brakes need replacing because stopping will take longer and your brakes will start grinding/screeching. 

Leave it too long and it will be significantly more than brake pads that will need replacing and those extra repairs can be expensive.

8 Common Auto Repairs And When To Expect Them

2. Tyres 

Cars often go through several sets of tyres in their lifetime. The cost can vary depending on the quality of the tyre you opt for.

Higher quality tyres as well as tyres for larger cars cost more, wth the price difference being between a few hundred to a few thousand.

Most people pay a professional to replace them, but you can save money by replacing them yourself.

How often do you need to replace car tyres? Usually every 40,000 km.

Front tyres will usually wear faster than rear tyres if your car is front wheel drive.

Check your tyres regularly for excessive tread wear, cuts and bulges and the pressure to ensure they are kept in good condition and last their anticipated lifetime.

Read the guarantee with your tyres and keep it handy to refer to if you are eligible for a replacement under warranty.  

3. Spark plugs

It costs between $100 to $250 on average to replace a spark plug in a small car.

Standard copper spark plugs generally last no more than 30,000 km, making them a common repair.

Platinum and iridium spark plugs can last up to 100,000 km.

Start-up troubles, rough idling and slow acceleration are all signs of spark plug issues. 

4. Battery 

Car batteries last about 3 to 5 years on average before needing to be replaced, and replacement costs about $150 to $250 for small cars but a lot more for large cars.

You may not get much warning that your car battery is dying.

However, if you’ve been having trouble starting up your car in the morning and have had to use jump leads, this could be an obvious sign that it’s worth getting your battery checked out.  

8 Common Auto Repairs And When To Expect Them

5. Air con/heating

If you regularly use your car’s air con, you may want to look into getting it checked once per year.
Most car AC systems need to be regassed every 2 years, but some need annual regassing.

This costs about $250, although can sometimes be included in a service.

If your air con is blowing out warm air this is a telltale sign it needs to be regassed.

6. Oil filters

Many car manufacturers recommend replacing oil filters every $5000 km.
However, you can usually get away with replacing them every 10,000km or every year without performance being affected too much.

This is typically done along with an oil change – which can cost between $100 and $250 if you use a mechanic.

Not changing your oil filter regularly could lead to increased friction and heat in your engine – increase the speed at which engine parts fail. 

7. Wiper blades 

Many car owners don’t replace their wipers blades regularly enough.
Ideally, you should be fitting new wiper blades every year, as they can quickly wear.

A cheap pair of wiper blades can be bought for about $20.

You may be able to install these yourself, although some people prefer to get a professional to fit them (some can be quite fiddly).

If your wipers aren’t wiping properly, this is a sure sign they need replacing. 

8. Clutch

Got a manual car? You can expect the clutch to last a long time. However, all clutches eventually fail – usually at around the 70,000 to 120,000 km mark.

Replacing a clutch is not cheap and costs between $500 and $2000 on average.

If the clutch is slipping/sticking or you have trouble changing gears, it may be a sign that the clutch needs replacing soon. 

Summary

When it comes to owning a car, you will have to pay for insurance, maintenance, petrol and eventually replacement.

The above tips can help reduce costs as can the following articles:
How to live without a car
How to reduce the cost of transport

8 of the most common auto repairs, how much they cost and when to expect them

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