5 of the Most Expensive Car Repairs

No matter which way you slice it, car ownership can get really expensive. From monthly finance or lease payments to high insurance rates, the cost of owning a car can skyrocket depending on the car’s age and condition. However, an even larger factor is the cost of repairs, especially if you own an older car. Repairs can unexpectedly creep up on you, so it’s important to know what you might be in for when you own a car. As such, here are the five more expensive car repairs.

Suspension components

While you are fully aware that the car you’re driving rides on a suspension that keeps the chassis off the ground, you might not be aware of the components that are included in it. A car’s suspension is typically comprised of springs, shocks, struts, control arms, and tie rods and if only one part of that equation fails, then it’s usually not too expensive.

However, if your car needs a complete suspension overhaul, as is sometimes the case for cars that around 10 years old, then you can expect to fork out around $2,500 to $3,500 to your local mechanic. Fortunately, as your car ages, you will likely only have to replace one of those components at a time, but if you need everything done at some point, then be prepared to pay top dollar.

Toyota Tacoma Suspension
Toyota Tacoma Suspension | Toyota


While we hope that you never get into an accident, just know that it can get really pricey it ever does happen. Not only are the structural repairs expensive, but if the airbags deploy, then you can be sure to add a lot more money to that repair bill. How much more? According to Goliath.com, some airbag replacements can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 depending on the car and the cost of labor.

Truck accident with airbags deflated
Truck accident with airbags deflated | Buche and Associates/Kansas City Star/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Transmission repairs

It doesn’t matter whether your car has an automatic or manual transmission, the repair bills can surely add up if something goes wrong. Considering the transmission transmits the power from the engine to the axles and through the wheels, almost any transmission issue can leave your car stranded on the side of the road. From worn clutches to damaged gears and synchros, it’s important to stay on top of your transmission maintenance, included regular fluid changes, as some of the repairs can cost you anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000 for parts and labor. Even “simple” clutch changes can cost around $1,000 depending on the car.

YPSILANTI, MI – MAY 30: Brian Lindsey of Saline, Michigan, works on new transmissions at the Button Up section of the General Motors Powertrain Ypsilanti Transmission Operations facility May 30, 2006 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. GM will invest $125 million in the facility for additional capacity to produce a family of Hydra-Matic six-speed rear and all-wheel drive automatic transmissions, and will invest an additional $45 million for vendor tooling, containers, and other locations necessary to support the expanded Ypsilanti operations. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Hybrid car battery

This one obviously doesn’t apply to every car owner, however, if you currently own a hybrid, then you might need to worry about replacing the hybrid battery somewhere in its lifetime. No, not the smaller 12-volt battery, but the bigger high-voltage one that provides the electric power to the motor. While all hybrid cars have long warranties for their hybrid powertrains — up to 100,000 miles or more – keep in mind that the cost for parts and labor can total up to $6,000 if you get it handled by a dealership. If you don’t want to go that route, then you can save money by going with an independent shop or doing it yourself, but it will still cost a lot.

Porsche Taycan Turbo battery system
Porsche Taycan Turbo battery system | Porsche

Engine and engine cylinder repairs

While head gasket and seal replacements are common engine repairs, there might come a time when your engine suffers some major damage. This usually comes about if you’re car has racked up many miles and has suffered some neglect along the way, but you really will never know. Cylinder heads can crack and piston rings can blow, which will inevitably lead to a complete rebuild or an engine swap. If that’s the case, then look forward to spending around $7,000 to $10,000 for the parts and labor. Although, the actual cost can vary.

A mechanic working to fix a Ford F-150 with engine problems
A mechanic working on the engine of a Ford F-150 | Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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Stay on top of the maintenance and get an inspection

In case you plan on keeping your old car for a while and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of any of these possible aforementioned repair bills, then we suggest keeping on top of your car’s maintenance as much as possible.

Preventive maintenance is a key component of any car’s longevity and can keep costly repairs at bay. And if you’re planning to purchase an older car with high mileage, then always get a pre-purchase inspection done. It can save you thousands.