The most common automotive maintenance and repairs

As you rack up the miles, it’s only natural that things will sometimes go wrong with your beloved vehicle. In fact, Click Mechanic has estimated that Brits will spend on average £30,000 on the most common vehicle repairs during their lives.

auto maintenance and repairs

Used cardealership, Lookers, which also provides drivers with full aftersales care which includes MOT testing and the sale of car servicing parts, is here to try and reduce that hefty sum. Join them as they guide you through the most common automotive maintenance procedures and repairs and tips on how you can make each part prone to faults last longer:

The flywheel

It has been estimated that drivers will spend around £7,740 on flywheel replacements over their lifetime, with signs that your car needs a new one including if you can no longer change gear or the clutch begins to slip while you’re driving. Also, listen out for the transmission making a noise that isn’t normal when you’re using the clutch.

As your car’s flywheel is connected to the vehicle’s clutch, the key to making this item last longer is to improve how you use the clutch. Therefore, avoid putting excessive pressure on your clutch and only make use of it when it’s absolutely necessary on the road.

The clutch

When it comes to the clutch itself, it is calculated that drivers will fork out approximately £5,670 over their lifetime to replace this crucial element on their vehicles.

Some cars appear to be more prone than others to need clutch replacements, if research by WhoCanFixMyCar.com is anything to go by. After analysing the repair jobs that were posted for the 100 most popular cars on its website, the online car service and repair hub found that 20.57 per cent of all jobs posted for the Peugeot 108 were for a clutch replacement. This is considerably higher than the average 8.39 per cent ratio for clutch replacements which was recorded across all 100 vehicles studied.

Your car may need a new clutch if the item starts to slip when you’re driving or you begin to find it difficult to change gear when making use of a gearbox. Just like when listening out for signs of a faulty flywheel, an unusual noise coming from the transmission when you’re using the clutch is another telltale sign your clutch may need replacing.

Try and get more out of your clutch by opting to apply the handbrake and sitting in neutral when stuck in traffic, rather than leaning on the clutch. You can also avoid placing unnecessary pressure on the item by making sure that all your gear changes are conducted in a smooth yet quick manner, as well as refraining from having your foot constantly on the clutch pedal as you drive.

Cylinder head gasket

One of the most expensive parts to fix is the cylinder head gasket. With a cost of approximately £3,500 over the period of a car’s life, this will show signs of needing to be replaced if the engine light comes on, if the coolant temperature is too high, if there’s smoke coming from the bonnet, or if the engine won’t rev. For any of these signals, it’s important not to run your car and to seek help from a mechanic as soon as possible. We’ve all heard the term ‘blown a gasket’ and this comes from the cylinder head gasket overheating.

The alternator

Unfortunately, your car’s alternator can often break will little or no warning. However, you may notice that your dashboard and interior lights aren’t as bright as they should be, which is a key sign of needing a new alternator. Other signs that it may need replacing include a battery warning light on your dash board, or your battery simply won’t charge.

The role of an alternator is to generate electricity to enable the battery to work. For this reason, you’ll find that most electrical components and factors will determine how long your alternator’s lifespan is. Therefore, it’s key to look after all the other parts if you want to keep your alternator in working order for as long as possible. On average, the overall cost of fixing and replacing a car’s alternator stands at £2,506 throughout the vehicle’s life. Typically, a well looked after alternator will last approximately seven years and 100,000 miles.

The Cambelt

Over a car’s lifetime, the cambelt can be expected to cost you £2,088 to keep in full working order. The cambelt is also known as the timing belt and works by operating the engine’s valves. If you don’t replace it when recommended to by the manufacturer, it will eventually break. If this happens, it’ll prove very expensive as it can cause major engine damage.

However, keeping on top of it can save you in the long run as the belt itself is relatively cheap to replace. Signs to be aware of when it comes to needing to replace it are a grinding or squeaking nose coming from the engine or the car not starting. The latter will be evident of the belt breaking completely.

Of course, there are many other issues you may encounter when it comes to running your car, but those above are some of the most common automotive maintenance and repair jobs you’ll encounter when owning a vehicle. To prevent hefty bills, make sure you keep on top of your vehicle maintenance and regular get it checked by a qualified mechanic.

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