Top 6 Most Expensive Car Repairs

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

Full Bio →

Written by

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident auto insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one auto insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

What You Should Know

  • The repair cost of “major engine damage” is typically the most expensive repair and is equivalent to the cost of a downpayment on a brand-new car
  • It is important to commit to regular maintenance to avoid costly repairs
  • Make sure your vehicle is adequately covered by auto insurance, because when it comes to other drivers, there’s always the potential for an accident

When you purchase a car (or even have an older car passed down to you), you probably want something new and low-mileage, yet something that suits your budget as a car owner. After all, the more wear and tear on the vehicle, the more likely you’ll have to make a major car repair.

And while some common car repairs cost less than $100, major repairs can add up to the cost of the new vehicle itself, even if you drive one of the cheapest cars to repair.

What are the most expensive car repairs? Could you save on some of the average car repair costs with routine maintenance?

In this article, we’ll go over the top six auto issues that can break the bank and the ways to get financially prepared for the car maintenance and repair costs that come with car ownership.

#1 Engine Repair

It goes without saying that your engine is the heart of your car. And, just like heart surgery, major engine repair is incredibly complex. Whether you have a BMW or a hybrid vehicle, dealing with an auto repair to your engine will most likely be a costly repair at a repair shop too. 

  • Cylinder repair requires removing and restructuring the entire engine. Between parts and labor, this can add up to anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000.1
  • Rather than trying to repair the old engine, it might be preferable to opt for total engine replacement, which is actually comparable in cost. As an added benefit, your new engine should come with a warranty.

Of course, this steep price tag is equivalent to the cost of huge downpayment on a brand-new car (or the entire cost of a used vehicle). If you hear “major engine damage,” it might be time to cut your losses.

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

#2 Transmission Repair or Replacement

Your transmission helps your car switch between gears, but a serious problem can leave you stuck in the mud as far as unexpected car repairs go.

If your gears are slipping or you notice a burning smell, it may be due to friction and wear on the transmission. And unfortunately, transmission issues are one of the more common car problems no matter the car brand.

How much will repair cost you?

  • The average cost of a transmission repair is around $2,600. But that number includes a wide range of potential issues.
  • A small problem with the transmission could be relatively affordable. For example, replacing the clutch could cost $800.
  • However, if you need your transmission rebuilt, expect to pay between $4,000-$5,000.

#3 Suspension Rebuild

Does your car have a noticeably jerky, bumpy ride? 

Don’t rush to a conclusion and blame your local roads. There could be an issue with your suspension.

Sometimes, there’s a single broken part that can easily be replaced. But if you let the problem escalate, you could end up paying around $3,000 to rebuild the entire system.

#4 Camshaft Repair

Your engine intakes air to run effectively, and the camshaft controls its flow. This lesser-known car part can easily get clogged with debris, causing unpleasant consequences.

  • While a camshaft part is relatively affordable, it’s labor-intensive to replace. And this isn’t a fix you should try as an amateur! Close YouTube and head to the mechanic.
  • Depending on your geographic area, expect to spend $1,500 or more for the parts and labor entailed in this repair.2

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

#5 Head Gasket Replacement

What’s the source of the expression blow a gasket?

Perhaps it’s your knee-jerk response when you find out the cost of your car’s head gasket repair.

The head gasket seals your engine to prevent oil and coolant liquid from leaking. When it blows, both slippery substances go everywhere.

The messy, labor-intensive replacement process can cost around $2,000.

#6 Body Damage Repair

How you maintain your car’s mechanical parts is up to you as a car owner. But when it comes to other drivers, there’s always the potential for an accident.

A little scratch on your bumper might be no big deal—but what about significant bumps, dings, and scratches?

  • Minor car repairs can cost as little as $75. But in some cases, you could end up spending $2,500 or more to get your car looking close to good as new.
  • Luckily, taking out adequate auto insurance can help cover the cost of repairs resulting from collisions, falling objects, weather events, and other unforeseen circumstances. Just be sure to take out adequate coverage for the full range of damaging possibilities in your area.

The Power of Regular Maintenance and 4AutoInsuranceQuote, Combined

So what can you do to avoid these costly repairs and keep driving your current vehicle for years to come? Does car insurance cover repairs? What is car repair insurance?

First, commit to regular maintenance. Get your oil changed every 3,000 miles (or whatever your manufacturer recommends). Use this as an opportunity for a holistic check-up, and bring in your car for a full inspection every couple of years.

Second, make sure your vehicle is adequately covered by auto insurance. Don’t let the crowded marketplace prevent you from getting a comprehensive policy. Instead, visit and compare your quotes. 

Once you’ve found your perfect policy, put the pedal to the metal and enjoy your ride!


  1. Yahoo. The most expensive auto repairs that will make you want to sell.
  2. Repair pal. Camshaft replacement cost.

Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Compare over 200 auto insurance companies at once!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption