Every type of machine needs regular maintenance and repairs to continue running in tip-top shape, including cars.
Normally, you won’t need to worry too much if you encounter common car problems, but sometimes, it’s not worth fixing a car. The costs of the repair may outweigh the value of the fix, and you may be better off buying or renting a new car.
How can you tell when you’ve hit that point? If your car won’t start or you’re having gearbox problems, you might think there’s no turning back. But that may not be the case.
Read on to learn five easy-to-identify car problems that aren’t worth fixing.
1. Blown Head Gasket
A blown head gasket can result from oil and coolant combining on their way from the engine to the cylinder head. These liquids should not mix at any point, so when this happens, it may blow your head gasket. You’ll know this is the problem when white smoke spews from your exhaust pipe.
A replacement head gasket doesn’t cost much, but the process of installing a new one can prove complex and time-consuming. You’ll likely spend upwards of $2,000 for a repair.
2. Rod Knock
Unlike other car or engine problems, rod knock isn’t a visible issue. You’ll have to listen to hear this issue.
Rod knock happens when you drive your car without refilling fluids on a regular basis. This results in the sound of knocking coming from your engine, as the bolts and bearings get loose.
Unfortunately, you can never really fix rod knock, so you should get a new car and pay closer attention to low fluid warnings.
3. Dead Hybrid Battery
Most drivers have experienced some type of car battery problems, and it doesn’t cost much to replace your average battery. You’ll be set back by a few hundred dollars but nothing too bad. For hybrid cars, it’s a different story.
Hybrid car batteries have a lot of advantages, but they come with a hefty price tag. Instead of hundreds of dollars, you’ll have to spend in the thousands to replace one.
4. Faulty Transmission
Transmission repairs start around $500 for minor repairs and only go up from there. You could end up spending around $3,000 to $4,000 in some cases. You can’t drive with a faulty transmission, so it is a necessary repair, but the cost often isn’t worth it.
The price tag comes from the fact that modern transmissions include computer systems, which require special tools and knowledge to repair.
5. Bent, Dented, or Damaged Frame
If you have an accident that damages the frame, you may need to move on. Even if a repair shop can fix the frame visually, you’ll have a weakened frame, which may increase your safety risk while driving. Whether your frame is bent, dented, or severely damaged, you’re looking at steep repair costs, and your car will never be the same.
If your car has suffered this much damage, you should consider selling it. Look for someone who buys junk cars and promises the best prices with no hidden fees. Even though your car may not work, sellers can harvest the parts and reuse them.
Ask a Professional About Your Car Problems
If you don’t know much about cars, you may wonder when it’s time to retire yours. You can identify these car problems easily, but for more complicated issues, you should ask for an opinion from a professional. Someone experienced with car repairs will tell you when it’s not worth fixing a junk car.
Looking for more car advice? Check out the “Automotive” section of our site.