What Do These 7 Common Car Repairs Cost?

Posted in November 7th, 2016
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This was a guest post submitted by Stephanie L.

Anyone who has owned a car will tell you that car repairs don’t come cheap. Even if you find your car in the shop for a simple diagnostic test, you can plan on spending at least $60 or so per hour for the labor costs alone.

In the past, CarMD, the maker of vehicle diagnostic equipment, published a study showing us what the most popular car repairs were. In case you missed it, here’s what most people bring their cars to the shop for, along with the cost estimates:

#1 Oxygen Sensor
The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the car’s exhaust and tells the car’s computer how much gasoline is left in the tank. If the car has a faulty oxygen sensor, this can potentially lead to a drop in the car’s gas mileage. It usually costs less than $250 to repair this sensor.

#2 Loose Fuel Cap
This one sounds like a funny one, but according to that study, more than 8% of repairs in a shop are due to a loose fuel cap. Just like it sounds, this is when the fuel cap isn’t put on properly, and with some models, if this were the case, the “check engine” light could come on. If the shop is respectable, they will usually repair it at no charge.

#3 Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is responsible for controlling the car’s emissions system, and this part will usually fail when a spark plug or fuel injector is ignored. This part will be one of the most costly repairs on the list, costing close to $1,000 to $1,500 to fix.

#4 Missing Air Flow Sensor
The air flow sensor will measure the amount of air supplied to the engine; it will also determine how much fuel should be delivered. This is usually a preventative maintenance issue and will stem from not replacing your air filters. This sensor will cost about $400 to replace; however, if you perform routine checks, a simple air filter will only cost you $25.

#5 Spark Plugs
Spark plugs will ignite the fuel in the cylinders, and according to this CarMD study, replacing a spark plug will usually cost you less than $10; however, since some spark plugs may melt your catalytic converter or damage other parts, the total repair bill could get close to $350.

#6 Coolant Temperature Sensor
As the name suggest, this sensor is responsible for detecting the coolant’s temperature. If this sensor were to fail, the average repair could be around $150.

#7 Intake Manifold Gasket
The last common repair on our list is the intake manifold gasket – a part responsible for preventing air leakage between the engine parts. If you fail to replace this part, it could lead affect your car’s fuel economy and/or engine performance. This repair will be around $350.
The car repair costs will depend on your geographical location, the mechanic you take it to and your car’s make and model. It’s always a great idea to get at least three to five quotes before getting your car repaired to ensure you’re making the best and financially smart choice.