In 2017, Consumer Reports estimated annual maintenance and repair costs for various car models across the United States, and the results ranged from as low as $420 for 10-year old Toyota sedans to more than $1,200 for BMW sport utility vehicles. Note that these estimates did not take into account major repairs. Which is what we will get into now, those issues that most American drivers never see coming.
First things first: automakers do not want you to go through the hassle of major repairs. They would much prefer that you stay loyal to the brand and trade-in for a newer model down the line. Preferably before the following issues come up.
What this means for used car buyers is that they are more likely to encounter these problems. Some car problems are not completely avoidable. And as more miles are pile up on the odometer, the need for some major repairs is just a necessity. However, abiding by a routine automotive maintenance schedule can help you to delay many of the following repairs.
More importantly, professional auto technicians can oftentimes detect certain issues that signal trouble may be ahead. So, prior to purchasing a new to you used vehicle, consider stopping in at Weatherspoon Auto for a pre purchase inspection. Doing so has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in the future.
Should a major repair be imminent and unsafe or impossible to ignore, our professional auto repair shop can effectively & efficiently repair your vehicle.
Complete failure of an automatic transmission system is an extremely expensive part to replace. This is a major reason you should never underestimate the importance of routine automotive maintenance. Let’s just say replacing the transmission of a 10-year-old luxury car could cost about 40 percent of resale value. As for manual transmissions, the need for gearbox replacement is not very common either. However, there are a couple of exceptions: the Volkswagen Golf and BMW 3 Series.
The cat, as it is known in the automotive maintenance & repair shop world as an expensive part to replace. In terms of labor, replacing the cat can be quite a challenging in a few models. Note that Ray Weatherspoon Automotive cares about their customers & pride themselves on remaining affordable. Catalytic converter problems are likely avoidable with routine automotive maintenance. Things like vehicle tune ups & regular oil & filer changes can significantly impact the lifespan of a catalytic converter.
Major Electrical System Repair
How long an alternator will last is subject to various factors, some of them related to regional climates. In a Honda Civic, you may not have to worry about this well past the 100,000-mile mark. However, it may happen sooner than later to your Audi A3 or BMW 3 Series.
Replacing the alternator by itself is moderately expensive. Now if a vehicle also has additional problems within its electrical system, be ready to pay up. And you will have to make some budgetary decisions that may be more difficult if you own a luxury car. When automotive maintenance & service technicians mention that the alternator should be replaced, you will want to get it done sooner than later.
Entire Clutch Assembly Replacement
Sporty Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus models are notorious for clutch systems that start slipping and burning. And typically this problem surfaces earlier than owners expect them to. When buying used Golf and Focus models directly from young owners whom you may have seen racing up and down Capital Boulevard at night, you should expect a clutch replacement to be in your future, although chances are that the owner may have already done so. Some older Honda Element models also had this problem earlier than expected.
Engine Control Module
Modern ECM units do a lot to deliver smooth driving experiences, clean emissions, fuel efficiency, and ease of maintenance. However, sometimes they will fail because of external electrical activity. A hasty jump start or a faulty installation of alarm or stereo systems may end up frying the ECM. Which should be covered by most auto warranties for a few years. For the most part, ECM units are very easy to replace, but they are very expensive parts if you are the proud owner of a Land Rover, for example. In turbo-charged sports cars, the ECM can also be expensive, and replacement may have to be followed with a tuneup service.