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Are Minor Car Repairs Really Worth the Cost?

» Posted July 7, 2021Resources | Share This Post

Getting a car repaired can be a big hassle. There is the time it takes to make an appointment and take your vehicle to a mechanic, as well as the cost of repairs and the aggravation that comes with being without your car while it is being fixed.

That often has people wondering whether it is really worth it to bring their vehicles in for seemingly minor repairs. The answer is it depends: on the specific problem with the car and the cost of the repairs. Some seemingly minor issues can become more severe if they are not addressed right away, costing car owners who hold off on the repair more money and causing more aggravation on the back end.

There may also be legal implications for people whose cars are covered by the California lemon law. The law requires carmakers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty and to buy back or replace cars that the company cannot or will not fix. Taking a vehicle in for repairs early can help establish the record needed to force a buyback or replacement later.

Most Expensive Car Part Repairs

Repair prices can range widely, depending in part on where you get the work done. Some of the most expensive parts to repair or replace include:

  • Engine 
  • Car frame
  • Battery
  • Engine block
  • Transmission 
  • Cylinder
  • Catalytic converter
  • Head gasket
  • Powertrain control module
  • Axle shaft
  • Brakes

Some of these repairs, like an engine replacement or a new car battery, can cost upwards of $5,000 to $7,500. That price tag - the money could instead be used for a down payment on a new car - is hard to justify, unless your car is under warranty and the manufacturer is picking up the tab.

Most and Least Expensive Models to Repair

The cost of repairs also varies based on the type of car. Some of the most expensive vehicles to maintain and repair, according to Consumer Reports, include:

  • BMW 5 Series (Cost at 10 years: $1,200)
  • Chevrolet Suburban ($900)
  • BMW 3 Series ($800)
  • GMC Acadia ($775)
  • Honda Odyssey ($700)

Some of the least expensive cars to maintain include:

  • Nissan Leaf ($0)
  • Ford Fiesta ($200)
  • Ford Focus ($200)
  • Chevrolet Tahoe ($200)
  • Hyundai Genesis ($200)
  • Ford Ranger ($200)
  • Nissan Frontier ($200)
  • GMC Sierra 1500 ($200)

Is it Worth It? 

There are a number of questions that car owners should weigh when deciding whether repairs are worth it.

Is the car under warranty? 

If so, the manufacturer is required to fix the problem, buy the car back or, in some cases, replace the vehicle.

How much does the repair cost and how long will it take?

The cost should be weighed against the other alternatives.

How old is the vehicle? 

The older the car, the more likely it will have other problems and need more repairs down the road.

Can you safely drive the car without the repair?

Is doing nothing an option? If so, it is important to understand whether putting off repairs will make the problem worse and the future fix more expensive.

What are the alternatives?

Whether it is buying a new car, holding off on repairs or simply keeping the money in your pocket and sharing a vehicle, these alternatives should be weighed against the cost and benefit of having the car fixed.

Talk with a Los Angeles Lemon Law Attorney

If you have been stuck with a malfunctioning vehicle, an experienced Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help. 

Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.  Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a Los Angeles lemon law attorney today.

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Posted By: Sean S