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Car Maintenance Tips that Can Prevent the 7 Most Expensive Car Repairs

Auto owners in Byram, NJ, trust their auto maintenance and car repairs to Geller's Automotive.

Unexpected and expensive car repairs can unnecessarily drain your bank account. While you cannot completely avoid car repair expenses, it is possible to reduce the probability of having to deal with the more expensive car repairs. The key to reducing car repair expenses is to maintain and replace parts before they fail. By regularly maintaining your vehicle, your mechanic will be able to let you know when something needs to be replaced. In this blog post, we will identify the 7 most expensive car repairs, what to look for if there’s a problem and how to maintain those key vehicle components. Read on to learn more.

A Turbocharger (a/k/a Turbo)

Talk about an expensive car repairs. Replacing a turbocharger can cost upwards of $6,000. Ouch! If you drive a car that has a turbocharger, you know it’s fun to drive, but you also have to make sure you take care of it properly or… You get the picture. Your vehicle’s turbocharger increases the engine’s efficiency and power output by forcing extra air (exhaust gases) into the combustion chamber. The turbo can spin in excess of 200,000 RPMs.

Watch Out for These Signs

 How to Maintain this Engine Component

  1. Change the engine oil and filter, using a high-quality synthetic, on a regular schedule.
  2. Let the engine warm up before driving.
  3. If you’ve been doing any fast, spirited driving, let the engine cool down before shutting it off.
  4. When it comes to fuel, use the octane level recommended by the manufacturer.

Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors spray a fine mist of gasoline into the combustion chamber of your vehicle’s engine. Think of a fuel injector as a “gate” that opens up to allow exactly the right amount of fuel to be delivered into the engine. Because they are a part of the fuel system, a problem with a fuel injector can cause all kind of issues with engine performance. If the problem is ignored, it can even make it so you can’t drive your vehicle. Each cylinder in the engine has a fuel injector. For example, a 6-cylinder engine will have 6 fuel injectors. Fuel injectors go through normal wear and tear and will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. If you want to extend the life of the fuel injectors in your vehicle, regular maintenance is a must.

Watch Out for These Signs

  • Check engine light is on.
  • Engine misfires.
  • Poor gas mileage.
  • Fuel leakage.
  • Smell of gas.

How to Maintain this Engine Component 

Have the fuel injectors cleaned according to the owner’s manual for your vehicle.

Head Gasket

Every precaution should be taken to avoid a cracked head gasket. What does the head gasket do? As the coolant is circulating around the engine the head gasket keeps it from mixing with the engine oil. A cracked head gasket results engine damage. The most common cause of a blown head gasket is an engine that overheats.

Watch Out for These Signs

  • Coolant leaking externally from below the exhaust manifold.
  • White smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe.
  • An overheating engine.
  • Bubbles in the radiator or coolant overflow tank.
  • Oil that looks white or milky.
  • Significant loss of coolant with no visible signs of a leak

How to Maintain this Engine Component  

A blown head gasket is usually the result of an engine that overheats. You can prevent the engine from overheating by maintaining the cooling system. Equally important is to make sure the system has no leaks, the radiator is working efficiently, all belts and hoses are in good condition and the coolant is topped up to the correct level.

The Timing Belt

The timing belt controls the camshafts in the engine so the valves open and close at the proper time. The timing belt undergoes a good amount of wear and tear. If the timing belt snaps, the camshafts run into each other, causing significant engine damage. That’s why it is important to replace the timing belt before it fails. Read more about timing belt replacement here.

Watch Out for These Signs

  • You hear a ticking noise coming from the engine.
  • The belt is missing some teeth.
  • There are signs of cracking on the belt.
  • The belt looks glazed.

How to Maintain this Engine Component  

The simplest and least expensive way to avoid major engine damage from a broken timing belt is to replace it according to the schedule recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.

Fuel Pump

Your vehicle’s fuel pump is responsible for pushing gasoline into the engine of the car. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the fuel pump can be located either within the gas tank or outside of it.

Watch Out for These Signs

  • You may notice noise coming from the gasoline tank.
  • The engine is hard to start or does not start.
  • The engine may stall or surge.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency.

How to Maintain this Engine Component  

  1. Use a high-quality, tier 1 fuel.
  2. Do not let the level of fuel in the gas tank go below ¼ to ½ a tank.
  3. Don’t buy gasoline when the gas station is filling their tanks.
  4. Change the fuel filter at least once a year.
  5. If your vehicle will be sitting for a long period of time without running it, add a fuel stabilizer.

A Seized Engine

Normally when an engine has seized, the crankshaft is frozen and will not turn. This is typically caused when the engine overheats or has been running with low or no oil. A seized engine means having to replace the entire engine or your vehicle. Proper vehicle maintenance can prevent this from happening.

Watch Out for These Signs

If you are driving and the oil warning light or the entire temperature light comes on, stop your vehicle as soon as you safely can, turn off the engine and call for a tow to our auto repair shop in Byram, New Jersey.

How to Maintain this Engine Component  

  • Use high-quality oil recommended for your vehicle and have the oil and filter changed on a regular schedule.
  • Check the level and condition of the engine oil once a month. If you find you have to keep adding oil, bring your car in for repair.
  • Properly maintain the cooling system to keep the engine from overheating.

Automatic Transmission

When you get into your vehicle and put the car into drive or reverse, the transmission allows the engine and drive wheels to work together so the car speeds up and slows down. It’s a very complicated engine system that must be properly maintained to work correctly. 

Watch Out for These Signs

  • The transmission fluid is black or dark brown and smells like it’s burnt.
  • The level of transmission fluid is low.
  • You see signs of transmission fluid leaks.
  • The transmission overheats.

How to Maintain this Engine Component   

  1. Check the transmission fluid once a month.
  2. Don’t ride the brake.
  3. Have the transmission fluid and filter changed according to the owner’s manual for your vehicle make and model. If you do a lot of towing, you will want to have the transmission fluid and filter changed more often. If you have high mileage on your vehicle and have never changed the transmission fluid or filter, ask your technician at Geller’s Automotive before having this service performed.

To Avoid Expensive Car Repairs, Have your Vehicle Maintained at Geller’s Automotive in Byram, New Jersey

If you want to keep your vehicle on the road and problem-free for as long as possible, regular maintenance is a must. Let Geller’s Automotive handle all your automotive maintenance and car repairs. We will let you know when a part needs to be replaced so you can take care of it before the part fails. Click here to make an appointment for service or repair in our auto repair shop in Byram, NJ.