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When you buy a car, you may have to prepare for something to go wrong along the way. It’s common for a car to need repairing, especially when you’re buying in the used car market. The components in your car can wear down over time and may even break completely. The cost of repairs can depend on which component needs replacing or fixing and the make and model of your car. We’ve collated a list of the most expensive car repairs and an estimated amount of how much they could cost you. 

1. Catalytic converter. 

Cost = £2,200

One of the most expensive car repairs you will need to pay for is the catalytic converter. The catalytic converter is fitted to the exhaust and is used to reduce the number of harmful emissions released into the environment. A problem with your catalytic converter may be identified by a warning sign on your dashboard or thick or dark smoke coming from your exhaust. They are one of the most expensive components to replace because they are of higher value. Catalytic converters are often targeted by thieves because they are easy to remove and contain valuable metals.

2. Clutch. 

Cost = £1,200

Not so much a problem for automatic car buyers but manual drivers only, your clutch can be an expensive repair or replacement. Usually, your clutch will need replacing if it has been worn down. Your clutch is the third pedal in your vehicle which needs to be pressed in order to change gears. The clutch is used multiple times throughout any journey, and even more so if you are in start-stop traffic. If you feel the clutch starts to feel spongy, vibrates, or sticks when pressed, it may be an indicator your clutch needs to be replaced.

3. ECU (Engine Control Unit) 

Cost = £1,000

Your car’s Engine Control Unit is a very important and complex component, and due to this, it can be one of the most expensive car repairs you could make. The ECU is responsible for controlling multiple systems at once such as the ignition and fuel injector systems. However, the ECU usually has good longevity because there are no moving parts, but it should still be kept in mind in case anything goes wrong.

4. Alternator. 

Cost = £1,000

Your car’s alternator has the important job of charging your car’s battery to power the ignition and other parts. If you frequently stall, have trouble starting your car, or the car battery warning light comes on your dashboard, it can indicate a problem. Alternators can be expensive to replace because they’re used for so many different parts in the car. If you leave a faulty alternator to get worse, eventually the car will cut out and you’ll have a bigger problem on your hands.

5. Fuel injector. 

Cost = £1,000

Your car’s fuel injector will set you back around £1000 if it needs replacing. The fuel injector is used to feed fuel into the combustion chamber and is mixed with air. Usually, fuel injectors find fault when bits of debris find their way into the system and block the flow. This component is very intricately made which makes it expensive to replace. Each cylinder also has its own fuel injector and if one needs changing, it’s also recommended to have them all done at the same time.

6. Timing belt. 

Cost = £770

The timing belt or the cam belt is used to ensure the crankshaft and camshaft rotate at the right speeds. If it snaps or is worn down, it stops all the parts in your engine from working. Many of the car repairs on our list are due to the parts but when it comes to the timing belt, you pay more for labour. Your timing belt should be changed once every four years or around 60,000 miles. It is a fault which should never be ignored as it can turn into a much bigger repair if left too long. 

7. Suspension. 

Cost = £312

If you frequently drive over potholes, your car’s suspension will take a beating. Your suspension will naturally wear as the years go on and if you no longer feel like your car is offering a smooth ride, it could be time to have the suspension checked. You can also test it at home by simply resting all your body weight on the bonnet (when stationery) and assessing how it bounces back up once you come off it. If it’s stiff or bounces too much, there could be an issue.

8. Starter Motor.

Cost = £200

It’s easy to identify if the starter motor has failed as your car will simply not start. It may also be accompanied by a burning smell or smoke coming from the engine. The starter motor does what it says on the tin and should start the car when you turn the key in the ignition. If it fails, it can cost you around £200 to sort but the actual cost can be make and model dependent. The average lifespan of a starter motor is around 5 years or 50,000 miles.

Common dashboard warning lights.

Don’t get caught out by expensive car repairs, check out our list of the most common dashboard warning lights. 


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