What are the most common car repairs?

What are the most common car repairs?

No machine lasts forever and cars are no exception. They combine complex systems with multiple moving parts that face extremes of temperature, stress, and friction day in and day out. Over time, components need adjusting, fluids need topping up, and electrical parts need replacing.  

That means there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your car, but some issues pop up repeatedly. Mechanics often see the same repair jobs week in and week out.  

In this blog, we’ll explain the most common types of car repair. The good news is you can often avoid them or prolong the interval between service appointments by simply maintaining your vehicle properly and not forgetting about preventive maintenance.  

Here is a list of the nine most frequent car repairs: 

1. Replacing your spark plugs 

Spark plugs are palm-sized components that can lead to big problems if they aren’t replaced on schedule. Their function is to create the spark that ignites the petrol and sets your engine’s cylinders in motion. Without them, your engine won’t start, but the plugs themselves cost very little and can be replaced at home with basic tools.  

It’s important to do it right, however. If spark plugs aren’t installed correctly or you wait too long to replace them, the defective plug can lead to damage in the engine, transmission, and elsewhere. DIY or through a service centre, make sure it's done right. 

2. Making sure your fuel cap has a snug fit 

When your "check engine" indicator inexplicably lights up the dashboard, a loose or rattling fuel cap is usually the culprit. Leaving a loose fuel cap unrepaired will lead to bigger repair bills in the long run, as they drive down your gas mileage. Too much air in your tank means more oxygen mixing with the petrol.  The result is you burn fuel at a faster rate and have to fill your tank more frequently.  

3. Replacing the oxygen sensor 

Oxygen or O2 sensors measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust to optimize engine performance and emissions. They help regulate the air-fuel ratio in your car engine. When the spark plugs set off their timed explosions in the engine’s combustion chambers, the right mix of air and fuel is necessary to allow ignition.  

So long as the ratio of air and petrol in the chambers remains optimal, your engine will run just as it should. 

4. Ensuring brakes and pads are replaced on time 

Everyone knows brakes are important. More than a quarter of all car accidents happen because a vehicle didn't — or couldn't — stop in time to avoid a collision. Common brake repairs include replacing worn-out brake pads, which wear down naturally with everyday use.  

On their own and when done on schedule, the cost of replacement isn’t pricey. Regular brake maintenance can also cover brake discs, drums, lines, and rotors.

Splitting Car Repair Costs

If you're worried about car repairs, then Bumper could help by splitting the cost into interest-free monthly instalments at no cost to you.

5. Oil changes 

You need to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles or so to keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently. The oil collects the grit and gunge that build up in a car's innards over time, and with each passing month, its ability to lubricate your engine parts properly goes down. The good news is that conducting an oil change is one of the easier tasks you can learn from an online course or DIY auto mechanics course.  

If you maintain an accurate record of your oil changes, when it comes time to sell, your car is almost certain to fetch a higher price or more favourable trade-in. Some mechanics will even put a sticker on your windscreen reminding you when the next oil change should happen

6. Tyre repairs and changes 

Without well-inflated tyres and treads appropriate for the weather, you can sacrifice control, speed, and fuel efficiency. For that reason, it's vital to get your tyres patched quickly anytime you run over a sharp object like a chunk of broken glass, anytime you notice a leak, or if the tyres have simply become too worn.  

This isn't something you should take a ‘wait & see’ approach with. There's a real risk that a worn or damaged tyre could result in a blowout while you're on the road. To help stop major accidents from happening, auto mechanics are actually trained to notice tyre issues first — even when a customer brings their car in for a different type of repair.

A weak or dead battery is usually to blame when that happens, and replacing the battery is another simple task that won't cost you much.

7. The Ignition System 

The ignition system on a car includes the starter, battery, and the ignition key or button assembly on the dashboard. If any of those pieces aren’t working, the engine won't turn over — or you might end up with an engine failure in mid-journey.  

8. The electrical system 

In addition to the ignition and starter, also connected to your battery are key electrical components like fuses and light bulbs that need regular replacement. These types of repairs can easily be done at home and the components are easy to find at shops like Halford’s that stock automotive goods.  

Just do a bit of homework and be sure you have the correct specification in fuses or bulbs. 

9. Alarms installed after purchase 

Car alarms installed after the car leaves the dealer’s forecourt often cause problems. Alarm systems need to draw power from the car’s battery and electrical system in order to operate. As an add-on, however, the alarm can cause other systems to receive less power than they need and fail. Alarms can also kill the battery if installed incorrectly.   

Make sure the alarm you buy suits your car’s electrical and battery specs. Otherwise, you’ll have to have it removed by a professional, for a hefty fee. 

Facing an unexpected car repair bill? 

If you do find yourself facing a large repair bill for something unexpected, a car repair loan can help ease the pain. You might also consider a ‘buy now, pay later’ service like Bumper, which lets you get the repairs you need quickly while deferring payments in easy interest-free instalments.  

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