Preventing the Top 4 Most Expensive Car Repairs

David Sung | July 2, 2012

Nothing can ruin your day like looking down and seeing the orange glow of your check engine light. But, car repairs are just an ordinary and expected part of owning a vehicle. While majority of the time, your 'night light' just means it's time for regular service, some repairs are more likely to cost you an arm and a leg. So, to help you keep your cash in your pocket and not in your car, we've compiled a list of tips to help you prevent MSN Auto's top four most expensive car repairs.

A bad camshaft will be characterized by rough idling or accelerating, misfires, and unusual engine sounds. This repair can run you anywhere between $1,600 to $3,100, because of how labor-intensive it is. To keep your camshafts in good order, you should consult your car's maintenance manual or the area to the side of your gas cap, and make sure you are fueling your car with the highest octane gas that your vehicle allows. You should also get your oil changed regularly as dictated by your maintenance manual or lube and tune shop.

Damage to Head Assembly by Way of Spark Plugs

Major spark plug misfires are indicated by a flashing check engine light, and you should not ignore this light. This repair can run you up to $3,500, depending on your vehicle, and can leave it inoperable. Tune ups are a great way to keep your spark plugs in working order. Auto maintenance best practices dictate you should get a tune up every 30,000 miles or every two years, whichever comes first.

Transmission Problems

If your car refuses to go into gear or uphill, you might have a transmission problem. Transmissions are no laughing matter. The ballpark for a transmission repair is $3,600 and can be far higher. To keep that transmission running smoothly, check your transmission fluid as frequently as needed according to your car manual. Also, use proper shifting techniques. If your car is still in motion when backing up or parking, wait for the vehicle to come to a complete stop before throwing it into park or drive.

Cracked Cylinder Head

If your car is smoking, smells like it's burning, or there is water in your motor oil, a cracked cylinder head is a very real possibility. This expense can run up to $8,000. Sometimes that is the worth more than the car itself. For the most part, cracked cylinder heads are caused by overheating your car's engine. Making sure your car's coolant levels are properly filled and that your cooling system is functioning properly will be your best preventative measures. Also, if you find that your vehicle is overheating, do not poor cold water into your radiator while the vehicle is overheated. This sudden change in temperature can, if anything, cause your cylinder head to crack.

These tips will help keep your car out of the shop, but we know that regardless of your preventative measures, cars are still unpredictable and something will probably break. If you find yourself victim of an expensive car repair, check out our installment loans to help get your vehicle in and out of the shop. They are easy to get, can be up to $3,000 in some states, and are paid back in small manageable payments. Cars are complicated, so keep a good handle on your vehicle's maintenance and hopefully you can stay out of the shop and on the road.

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