The goal should always be for vehicle owners to try to salvage a car for as long as possible. You definitely don’t want to be constantly spending on new parts, but buying a new car can set you back way more than just doing maintenance and repairs. Unfortunately, certain situations can render any car useless without major repairs. The following are a few that will make any auto owner question whether or not the fix is worth the cost.
Head gasket issues are common because cars are prone to overheating for a variety of reasons. Anyone who allows the car to overheat without pulling over may hear the dreadful words that their vehicle needs a new head gasket. Mechanics generally charge $1,500 to $2,000 for this job because of the time and work involved in the fix, and the estimate is usually pretty accurate. Mechanics will basically have to take the entire top of the motor off to get to the gasket, not to mention the cleaning and resurfacing that may be involved. Not many people want to put $2,000 into a $2,000 vehicle, thus most owners divorce their cars when this problem occurs.
Sometimes, a mechanic finds out that a customer needs new cylinder heads in addition to a new head gasket. These cylinders can be warped beyond machine resurfacing abilities. In such a case, the shop will have to order new cylinder heads, which will cost more money on top of the cost for the mechanic to dig to get to that part out of the vehicle.
There may come a day when you need your timing chain changed. If that’s the case, you can be prepared to pay about $500 and up to $1,000 for the job. If it requires mechanics to do a lot of un-layering work to get to it, expect the cost to go up. it’s not as bad as a head gasket job, but it can still set you back considerably.
Valve jobs or replacements will depend on the type of motor the car has, and the placement of the valves. It will ring to the bell of more than $1,000 just like the other jobs. These can happen when a timing belt breaks and the pistons and valves are no longer in time with each other, usually during major crashes like in a trucking accident. Bent valves can also occur with engine over-revving, insufficient maintenance, and during engine rebuilding if you aren’t careful.
Anything that has to do with the middle or lower layers of the engine is going to cost you more because of the work. It takes a long time, even with the specialized tools available. If you have an older car, you may want to just take the money that you have and buy a new one. That may be a better solution for you, but you should consider doing the work on a newer vehicle. Luckily, keeping up with regular car maintenance can be a great way to keep equipment running smoothly and many places offer free alignments, inspections, and diagnoses. If the unthinkable does happen to your car, keep in mind that these fixes can really put a dent in your wallet. Hopefully you can avoid most, and keep your car running for years to come.