Everything falls apart, eventually. I know that sounds a little depressing, but when it comes to cars, that’s the truth. No matter how high-tech they make cars these days, they still haven't made one that doesn’t wear out or rust. On the one hand, many car parts are easy and cheap to replace. You could replace a blown light bulb or fuse, for example, and it won’t hurt your wallet! But if you’ve been driving for long enough, even the major parts of your car will stop working the way they should. Sadly, those are the more expensive car parts to replace, the ones that cost you a lot to buy plus a bit more for your mechanic to repair.
At what mileage do most car parts start having problems?
When do these problems start? Surely you can sort of ‘predict’ when they’ll happen and plan for it in advance. Well, the answer to that question is that it depends. Car parts have different lifespans, and it also depends on factors like your driving style, the terrain you drive on, and even the climate in which you operate. And let’s not kid ourselves here, luck also factors into it quite a bit.
Spark plugs made of iridium or platinum, for example, should last about 160,000 kilometres. Water and fuel pumps may start to fail after five years of use. You see, car parts don't fail at the same time. That's why you need to have your vehicle regularly inspected, perhaps when you take it in for its regular maintenance.
What are the most expensive auto parts to replace?
When a small car part like a light bulb or windshield wiper starts to fail, it’s not such a big deal. Replacing them is easy and won’t hurt your budget. Plus, your car can still operate in the meantime. However, there are at least ten expensive car parts that will cost you a lot to replace. Worst even, these parts will affect your car’s ability to function correctly, which might render the whole vehicle immobile.
Here, we’re going to take a look at some of the most expensive auto parts to replace. To help you out further, we’ll provide some ballpark figures for how much those parts may cost you.
Let’s start with one of the most painful (financially, and probably emotionally as well!) parts to replace. Whether it’s because of severe neglect or just an act of God, there are cases where an entire engine needs to be replaced. You might find that there’s just too much internal damage for the engine to be saved. Or, you might be in a situation where repairing the engine will cost more than replacing it with a brand new or second-hand engine. Either way, something like this could set you back from $2,500 to as much as $10,000 or more, depending on the engine size and how new it is.
If the mechanic tells you that you don’t have to replace the entire engine, that’s good news. But you’re not out of the woods yet. Cylinders that are broken or damaged may also need replacing, and they don’t come cheap either. Depending on how bad the situation is, replacing a broken cylinder can cost you over $5,000 for the parts and mechanic’s fees.
Your camshaft is an excellent example of a car part that takes a lot of working hours to replace. What this means is that you'll not only be paying for the component itself, but you'll also pay handsomely for the mechanic's time and effort in taking out the old part and installing the new one. See, the camshaft is the part which controls the opening and closing of your engine's valves. Your engine can't function without it, so getting a replacement will set you back about $1,500 to $3,000.
If you search for pictures of what a head gasket looks like, you might think that it's not that important. Well, the head gasket in your engine plays an important role. It seals the spaces between parts of your engine block and stops any leakage. If your head gasket blows, you'll pay about $1,000 to $2,000 to have a new one put in. Again, a lot of that goes towards the labour more than the price of the component itself.
Maintenance of your car’s transmission is easy to overlook. Hopefully, your mechanics (or you) are responsible enough to check on your automatic transmission fluids regularly. If you’re driving a manual (and not very good at changing gears), that could also wear out your transmission, which is one of those expensive auto parts to replace. Installing a new transmission can cost at least $2,000.
You rely on the AC system to cool your cabin during hot climates. The heart of that system is the air conditioning compressor. That's the thing that pressurises the coolant and makes it cold before the blowers distribute cool air inside the cabin. If those compressors die out, replacing them will cost you about $200 to $600, depending on the car you drive. This car part is not exactly crucial to your car's operation, but it certainly is essential to you. Imagine driving in the hot Aussie climate without this thing running!
Mass Air Flow Sensor
Your combustion engine uses a delicate balance of air and fuel to work efficiently. Inside, there's a little sensor that measures how much air gets into the engine and then adjusts how much fuel mixes with it. That sensor is called a 'mass airflow sensor'. Without it, your engine won't work correctly. Getting it repaired could set you back about $400.
Hybrid/Electric Car Parts
Who knew that being environmentally-conscious could cost so much? Well, that’s the sacrifice you may have unknowingly signed up for when you bought a hybrid or electric car. Unlike conventional vehicles, getting spare parts for a hybrid is probably going to cost you a lot. You'll spend not only for the expensive car parts but also for the specialised skills of the mechanics and technicians. You will also pay extra to ship the parts from wherever their manufacturer is located. See, hybrid and electric parts manufacturers aren’t as common as those producing regular car parts.
Just to put things into perspective, buying a replacement for an EV battery can cost between $2,000 and $12,000, depending on the car model and battery capacity!
Last but not least, we’ve come to one thing you wouldn’t expect to see on a list of expensive car parts. That’s right: your car keys. Typically, you’ll get a set of spare keys when you buy a car. Lose them, and you’ll have to order a new set. If you’re driving a more recent model, especially one with added security features or even Push-to-Start cars, your keys aren’t just regular keys. You can’t get them duplicated in five minutes at a locksmith. Replacement keys need to be ordered, coded, and prepared specially for your car. The price tag? $250 to $750. That’s the high price of technology.
What common car part issue can cause expensive repairs if ignored?
Spark plugs, those tiny little things attached to your engine block are easy to replace, so easy in fact that you can do it yourself at home. Better yet, they’re cheap! The problem here is that if your spark plugs are faulty and you don’t replace them immediately (and I mean immediately!), they’ll wreak all sorts of havoc on your engine. Ignore those engine misfires long enough, and you’ll end up paying heaps for other repairs. All because you didn’t replace those inexpensive tiny spark plugs!
How do you find the best deals for these expensive auto parts?
If you’re about to replace an expensive auto part, you shouldn’t forget about comparing prices from various sellers. Doing that will help you choose intelligently. An easy way to do that would be to request for the part from parts-locating platforms like Carpart.com.au. You will then receive multiple quotes from which you can compare prices and warranty offers before you decide to buy. Hope you found this article useful. If you did, you may want to subscribe to our daily blogs, too!
By Ray Hasbollah