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Car Repair Costs

We’ve seen a lot of expensive repairs on this forum. I’d like to ask anyone here what their two most expensive repairs ever were. Mine were a MAACO paint job on a Caprice for $1400 and rebuilding the front end on my 1977 Dodge Colt for $750. All other repairs since 1958 were less.

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid inverter/converter…no warranty no recall (missed it by 2yrs) with 115k…$9000.00…8100.00 part 600.00 labor

New Goodwrench re-man diesel engine on my Olds for about $2400 was the highest, but transmissions anywhere from $800 to $1800 over the years were next. Diesel head gaskets at about $1100 and another diesel engine replacement with a used one for $1000 after that. A few fuel injectors from $50-650 too. That’s why I’m not a fan of diesels.

Can’t recall a single repair job costing over $1000, but possibly the total costs for restoring a 1972 Fiat Spyder, including new paint, came to about $1200… with additional repair bills still to come.

Still, I got my money’s worth. Son used it throughout high school and college years, and then I finally traded it even to a plumber for re-piping my house.

My wife’s Subaru Legacy had a throw out bearing failure in the clutch. (apparentely common failure).

The repair was $400 labor + $30 for part. However we opted for a clutch replacement also since it all came out so the grand total: $850. That was inexpensive compared to dealer who quoted work at $1800.

@Bing I would never buy a GM product after your experience.

I had a slightly wrecked Trans Am repainted with a beautiful “pearl” paint job for $2500. It was my wife’s idea so I didn’t have much input. The vehicle was originally black on black which she hated. I got to keep the “shaker hood” though.

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In cluding the totally unnecessary replacement driveshaft that my ex’s friend’s husband, who owned a garage, got her to approve putting in many years ago? The metal shroud that protects the U-joint had a small dent in the side…

A relative of mine has a late 90s Volvo in less than great condition, and the timing belt broke one day. Apparently this model is equipped with an interference engine, so the engine was basically toast. Her “trusted” mechanic initially quoted $800 to repair the engine, which I think was the cost of a new timing belt. By the time he got into it and finished the work… the $800 estimate had turned into a $3000 bill. And my relative paid it.

This on a car worth $500 on a good day, given it’s condition and mileage.

If that mechanic didn’t make a few boat payments, he may have been able to buy a whole boat.

“I would never buy a GM product after your experience.”

That was 30 years ago. Why would you judge a company by what happened that long ago? All car companies have come a long way in the last 30 years, including GM.

I think the auto xmission rebuild on my early 70’s Ford truck cost about $700. I had this done back in the late 80’s. And the xmission has been working fine since. Money well spent.

Well I just had to replace a starter motor, 03 blazer, NAPA cost after discount$200.00. So sure this was expensive and I was stranded, and recycle yard was closed. Luckily the v6 .6 hours labor vs v8 3.6 hrs. Sure I did not do it the first time in .6 hrs, but after binding issues did it in the .6 hours the second time. Glad I did not have the v8 with 3.6 hours labor estimate for a v8

How do you define expensive? I’m not a customer/driver, I’m the mechanic who does the expensive repairs! And I have customers who pay $100 for a routine oil change and people who complain about $4 for a burned out brake light. Having said that, I have one customer who has spent over $20,000 on this car over the last 7 years:

Wow. They must really have a love affair going on with that car asemaster. :slight_smile:

I think the biggest expense I’ve ever faced on any of my cars was a long time ago when a used transmission set me back about 600 dollars on a Sable. The second biggest expense was the same car when the front end was wiped out after hitting a large deer while I was traveling about 60 MPH. Luckily, I found a complete front clip for 400 dollars.

On the cheapest repair side of the ledger, a few years ago while rummaging through some paperwork in my attic I ran across a dealer receipt from 1970 showing a clutch job done on an old Plymouth Roadrunner. At the time I was on crutches from a major knee operation and farmed the job out to the local dealer.
The clutch kit was about 30 dollars and total labor charges were 21 dollars. They charged 3 hours of labor at 7 dollars per hour flat rate… :slight_smile:


I should have clearer and stated if I owned any product with that many issues I would never go back.

I give products one shot. So far VW, Dell and Sony have really let me down in large way. My poor wife had a poor experience with a mid 1990’s GM product(they purchased back under lemon law) and I think that brand and for her domestic as a whole is out.

Leaking evaporator coil in my 04 Concord allowed mold to grow in plenum - terrible smell. $1400 later to replace and all is well except for my wallet.

@ok4450, it’s not a love affair, it’s abuse! We repair and replace the same things over and over again, the car has gone 140,000 miles in 7 years and pretty much everything except the engine has been repaired or replaced multiple times.

A streetlight was out in her neighborhood and she missed a turn, went into the ditch and bent tie rods, axle, and strut. Three weeks later the light still hadn’t been fixed, guess what? Exact same damage.

Boyfriend was mad, ripped rear view mirror from windshield. We fixed it, but next time boyfriend was mad he pulled it off so hard he broke the glass. Now it needed a new windshield.

Brake warning light on dash burned out, driver went 30 miles with the parking brake on before she realized something was wrong.

Car towed in, died while driving, failed ignition module. “Did that part go bad because I was driving too fast?” “How fast were you going?” “I don’t know, the speedometer only goes to 85.”

On and on. Frankly we’re embarrased to have been working on this car so much but she refuses to take it anywhere else.

@asemaster…that is some funny stuff

my largest repair bill was a 1990 CRX Si. loved the thing and spent too much money on it.
1300.00 after timing belt broke and bent the valves
700.00 on the windshield because during a snowstorm, i used this crx to push/bump another crx out of a ditch and didn’t notice that this caused my hood to unlatch. as soon as i hit highway speed, that hood flipped back onto the windshield like paper bending in the wind.
being young and dumb, fixed the windshield but didn’t want to spend money to fix the hood.

well a couple of weeks later, the wind caught the hood, broke the strap i used to tie it down, and the repair shop gave me a volume discount on the second windshield. $650

that was 20 years ago…now i am just old and dumb.

@raj, I understand how you feel. I’ve owned 3 Ford products over the years and all of them failed before they should have. The last one was a 1998 Windstar. I know that Ford has come a long way since then, but I will still buy something else (almost anything else) if it suits my needs. Yet, several frequent posters speak highly of their Ford products. It’s hard to get over past experience, especially for a product as expensive as a car.

I am not old enough to own and drive a car (2 more years), but my dad’s most expensive repairs were an engine replacement due to a bad connecting rod bearing (3K), and a cracked cyl. head (2K for a new used car).