Your vehicle is one of the most expensive items you own. It’s a complex system with over 30,000 parts that, when operating correctly, gives you the ability to move around freely.
With that many parts, however, if one thing goes wrong, it can quickly escalate, causing problems with the way you drive. It might start as a noise or a funny smell, but if left unchecked, can turn into a major car repair.
Luckily, you can avoid costly car repairs by adhering to a regular car maintenance schedule. Regularly scheduled maintenance keeps parts well lubricated, the system running smoothly, and your vehicle on the road.
Let’s start by looking at five of the most common and most expensive car repairs we see coming into our shop.
Brake pad and rotor replacement
A car’s brake system is one of the most important systems on your vehicle. Imagine flying down the mountain after a day of skiing, and you discover your brakes don’t work. Even in town, as you move closer to a red light, without brakes, it can be a harrowing experience.
Over the life of your vehicle, you will have to replace your brake pads about every 40,000 to 50,000 miles. Of course, that changes based on the make and model of your car, as well as your driving experience. Someone with all city driving will replace brakes more often than someone with all highway driving.
Brake pads are the least expensive part of this process. Brake pads are designed to provide you with warning signs as they start to wear down. They are built with a metal bar just shy of the recommended thickness level. When this is reached, it will produce a metal on metal grinding sound that warns you it’s time to replace the brake pads. This gives you plenty of warning to schedule a visit with one of our mechanics, and replace the brake pads before they impact performance or safety.
Ignore this sound, and the brake pads can start wreaking havoc on other parts of the braking system. Poor quality brake pads can impact rotors. If they are damaged or warped past the point of repair, these will also have to be replaced. And that can escalate your repair bill exponentially.
A good set of tires can last you anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 miles or more. But you can’t replace a set of tires, have them installed, and leave them unchecked for all those miles. Because they are your one connection to the road as you drive, more can go wrong with a set of tires than most drivers realize.
How often do you test the air pressure in your tires? If you say every fill-up, you’re on the right track. Tire pressure can change rapidly depending on driving conditions. Both cold and heat change the way they perform, as well as how and where you drive your vehicle each day.
Pay attention to the tread as well. Do you see uneven wear marks? That’s a sign of a deeper problem in the performance of your vehicle. Rotate your tires regularly. You might consider having it done each time you change the oil. This ensures your tires wear evenly, and will prevent damage based on the way you drive. This can also alert you to bigger problems you can fix before they escalate.
Fuel injector cleaning
Think about all your vehicle goes through as you drive the Colorado roads. Ice and snow build up in the winter, with chemicals, rocks, and sand impacting many parts underneath the hood. Freezing temperatures can also impact the functionality of individual parts. Then in the summer months, heat can impact the way your car moves.
Fuel injectors spray gas into the combustion chamber to allow the correct amount of gasoline to enter into the engine. Each cylinder has a corresponding fuel injector – a four cylinder engine will have four fuel injectors.
Fuel injectors do wear out over time. But with the proper cleaning and service schedule, you can extend their life. Most manufacturers state fuel injectors will last between 50,000 and 100,000 miles, depending on care, gasoline used within the system, and how often fuel filters are changed.
The timing belt connects the engine with the vehicle’s crankshaft to ensure the valves open and close properly. The timing belt synchronizes the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft to ensure the valves open and close, allowing the pistons to move up and down. Without a timing belt, your car’s engine wouldn’t operate.
A timing belt goes through a lot of wear and tear. The timing belt breaking is a big problem, and can lead to extensive damage to the engine. Check with your vehicle’s manufacturer to determine how often it should be replaced; it’s typically around 60,000 to 100,000 miles.
Warning signs can include missing teeth from the belt itself, a ticking noise from the engine compartment, or visible signs of cracking or damage. Simple maintenance checks periodically can warn you of potential problems, giving you the chance to replace it before it can break and cause extensive damage.
It’s a problem with the transmission. Those are words no vehicle owner wants to hear because it’s one of the most expensive car repairs you’ll make.
Without a transmission, your car won’t move. It helps the engine run smoothly, and moves power from the engine through the wheels.
A transmission isn’t just one simple block. Instead, it’s made up of over 800 parts that are unique to each make and model on the road today. When they all work together, your car will operate seamlessly. To ensure that happens, it’s important to keep transmission fluid fresh and operational. Ensure it’s at the right level, and avoid aggressive driving or riding the brakes.
How a mechanic can keep your car running
These are just a few of the major car repairs that can impact your vehicle and your wallet. Owning a car doesn’t mean expensive repair bills. If you schedule your maintenance visits with a mechanic you can trust, you’ll ensure your car stays healthy and operating well for as long as you own it.
Scheduled checkups will always ensure your car stays operating and in peak performance. Don’t ignore mileage or date reminders; they are there for a reason. If you work together with a reputable mechanic, you can drive with peace of mind.