Everyone has been driving down the street when the dreaded check-engine light flashes on your dashboard. So, what does that mean?
In many cases, it’s just a minor issue or a problem with a sensor. Knowing you won’t face a big repair bill can help lower your car costs. But sometimes, the light indicates there is a major repair in your future.
Here are the most expensive repairs that your check-engine light might indicate to help you prepare for a rainy day and get ahead financially in case a more serious issue ever comes up.
Editor's note: all price estimates come from Jiffy Lube.
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A fuel-injection pump allows fuel to get into your engine at a smooth interval in order to keep your car running properly without flooding the engine or causing other issues.
The pump includes different pieces working together, and any issue within the assembly can cause it to fail. A new fuel injection pump could cost you around $2,500 to replace.
Transfer case and torque converter
Cars with automatic transmissions have something called a torque converter, which helps keep your car moving forward.
It costs around $2,900 to repair the torque converter. Ignoring a repair like this could lead to a dangerous situation, such as the housing rupturing and spewing shrapnel and oil.
This is one fix you want to make as soon as you are aware of a problem.
If you have a hybrid car, replacing the battery can be expensive. Prepare to dig deep into your wallet to cover a cost that might be around $3,000.
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A supercharger can pull more air into the cylinders of your engine. That allows you to combust higher amounts of fuel and gives your car extra horsepower.
Superchargers are usually found in high-performance vehicles, and they cost around $3,020 to repair.
Transfer case shift motor
The transfer case shift motor plays an important role in helping you to shift into and out of four-wheel drive.
If your transfer case shift motor is malfunctioning, you will likely have issues engaging your four-wheel drive system. Expect a repair to cost you $3,272.
Cylinder head assembly
The cylinder head assembly is an important part of a car’s engine block. It is needed to keep the cylinders operating properly in your vehicle.
One major issue with the cylinder head assembly occurs when the engine overheats, causing cracks in a cylinder head. Any engine light that comes up with this issue could cost you $3,575.
If your transmission assembly fails, it could cause cascading issues under your hood, which is why it’s important to address it fast.
You may have issues with shifting, leaking fluids, shuddering, and noises that will require a professional to fix the transmission assembly.
It can be one of the more difficult repairs to take on, which is why you’ll probably have to pay $3,644 to fix it.
The transmission in your car allows your engine to switch gears as you drive. It usually has five or six sets of gears along with a series of gear trains that help it switch those gears.
Unfortunately, a transmission replacement is a major repair, and you can expect to pay around $3,800 to replace it.
Hybrid inverter assembly
The hybrid inverter assembly is important for the proper operation of your hybrid car or electric vehicle. If you need to replace it, expect to pay a lot of money.
This relatively new technology has a big price tag to replace it. Get ready for a repair of around $4,100.
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What to do next
When the check engine light illuminates, It’s important to take your car in and get it looked at promptly. You can typically keep more money in your wallet if you respond quickly.
Failing to repair a problem could lead to a more expensive bill down the road. Or, failing to fix the issue could even end up voiding your warranty.
And of course, you could also put yourself and others in danger if you fail to fix a problem. Instead, take your car in as soon as possible to get a diagnostic review and any necessary repairs.
A major car repair can be expensive. But taking a few proactive steps can help you prevent the need for that repair so you can keep more money in your bank account.
For example, make sure you take your car in on a regular basis for routine maintenance such as oil changes, fluid checks, tire rotation, and other recommended maintenance.
Paying small maintenance costs now can help you avoid major repair bills later.