Nothing blows a budget faster than a car repair. Getting items fixed or replaced on any make or model of car is expensive and can set people back financially. Unless a part is under warranty, motorists are forced to shell out big bucks themselves to keep their car running properly and safely. And some car repairs are more expensive than others. It helps to know what you can expect to pay should you encounter problems with any of the parts on your vehicle. Here are the 10 most expensive car repairs—ranked from least expensive to most expensive.
Air Conditioner Compressor – $500
Air conditioning is essential in the summer months. Anyone who has had the air conditioner in their car fail in July or August knows that this can be a serious problem. And, more often than not, a broken air compressor is to blame for this issue. An air compressor separates high and low pressure air and allows the gas Freon to cool the car. Rods and valves inside of the compressor tend to break, causing the compressor to stop performing. Or another part within your car, such as an engine belt, may cause a ripple effect that results in a malfunctioning compressor. Either way, it typically costs about $500 to replace an air conditioner compressor. If you have to add more Freon gas to a new compressor that’s installed, it can be even more expensive.
Brake Line – $1,000
In terms of safety, nothing is more important than the brakes on your car. And while new brake pads are comparatively inexpensive, you could end up shelling out big bucks if the brake line that carries needed brake fluid blows or disintegrates. Most brake line repairs cost about $1,000. Mechanics will almost always push to replace the entire line in the vehicle rather than try to patch or fix a broken line. Unfortunately, this type of repair is absolutely necessary for safety reasons. Nobody can, or should, drive if the brake line in their car is damaged or not functioning properly.
Catalytic Converter – $1,500
Motorists who live in a jurisdiction that requires vehicles to be emissions tested most likely have a catalytic converter installed. This device is used to convert the harmful chemicals produced in exhaust fumes into harmless ones that do not damage the environment or the air that people breathe. It is a very noble car component. But it is also an expensive one. Situated between the engine and the muffler, a catalytic converter is easy for a mechanic to find and replace. But the part is pretty expensive. Expect to pay at least $1,500 for this replacement. Catalytic converters can almost never be repaired when a problem arises. They almost always need to be replaced. However, you can feel good about helping the environment as you shell out money for this particular part.
Head Gasket – $2,000
The saying “blowing a gasket” exists for a reason. It refers to people overheating and steam coming out of their ears. And that is exactly what happens to a car when it blows a head gasket. When a head gasket goes, it sprays coolant and oil, white smoke billows from the engine and exhaust, and the engine quickly overheats. Few things produce more of a mess on a car than a blown head gasket. This is because the head gasket seals the engine cylinders and stops coolant and oil from leaking out. Despite the mess and drama it produces, a head gasket is a relatively cheap car part. However, the labor involved to replace a head gasket is not cheap. Replacing a head gasket typically costs $2,000—possibly more depending on the damage done to the rest of the car when one blows.
So, get these parts of your car regularly checked to avoid costly car repairs.