Owning a car is a great convenience, but there can be some serious expenses involved as well. From the cost of regular maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations to the cost of a major repair, owning a car is far from cheap. That is why it is important for car owners to be prepared for the repairs that may be lurking around the bend. Even if your car has been running like a top for years, chances are good that service will be needed at some point. Being ready for these repairs means setting money aside for not only the cost of gas and routine maintenance but for these unexpected yet predictable costs as well. That way you will be ready when a car repair does hit.
While this list is far from comprehensive, here are five of the most common car repairs.
Air conditioning recharge — if your air conditioning is not as cold as it used to be your system may need a good cleaning and a recharge. The cost of recharging the air conditioning system will vary from car to car, and from mechanic to mechanic, so it is a good idea to shop around for the best price. Just make sure the shop you choose uses environmentally friendly materials and follows all applicable state and Federal environmental laws.
Misfiring spark plugs—modern cars do not need to be tuned up as frequently as cars from our parents and grandparents' day, but problems like misfiring spark plugs or loose spark plug wires still do occur. If your car has been running poorly, misfiring or displaying other similar symptoms it may be time for a new set of spark plugs.
A dead battery —few car problems are as inconvenient as a dead battery, especially when the failure leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere. If it has been awhile since you bought your car or replaced the battery, you may want to have that battery tested to make sure it is still up to the job. Replacing a battery before it fails is a simple operation — replacing it after it has failed most definitely is not.
Failed starter motors— even though your battery is brand new, you may find that your car just won't start. When this happens the culprit just may be the starter motor. The starter motor provides the power needed to turn the engine over, and a failed starter motor can leave you stranded just as surely as a dead battery. If your car is more than 5 years old and you have yet to replace the starter, this common repair may be lurking around the corner. While there is no need to replace the motor before it fails, it is always a good idea to build the cost of a new starter motor into your annual car repair budget
A new alternator — the alternator is another commonly replaced part of the car's electrical system, and it is important to budge for the cost of a new one, particularly if you are driving around in an older car. Depending on the make and model of your car, a new alternator could cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over five hundred, so it pays to be prepared.