If you dread taking your car to the auto repair shop because of the long list of expensive repairs, take heart! While some auto repairs are absolutely necessary, there are often several others that you can afford to put on hold a little bit longer. This auto repair list can give you a good idea of what needs to be fixed right away and what can be worked on later.
Auto Repair: What Can Wait and What Can’t
1. Mufflers – When mufflers develop tiny holes from corrosion, you might notice a louder exhaust sound coming from the rear end of your car. You can purchase muffler tape to wrap around the holes at most auto parts stores. While this do-it-yourself auto repair can postpone a muffler replacement temporarily, you should crack your windows for additional ventilation to be on the safe side.
2. Hoses and Belts – Other than the timing belt, most other hoses and belts can last over four years or roughly 50,000 miles. On average, you can replace most hoses and belts between six to eight years to save a few extra bucks in the short term. However, if a hose pops or a belt breaks, it’s important to get it replaced right away before it causes extensive engine damage.
3. Shock Absorbers and Struts – Most struts and shock absorbers last for a pretty long time. So if you start to feel a slight shimmy, you could probably wait a little longer to get these parts replaced.
4. Leaks – If your transmission is leaking oil at a rate of a quart for every 1,000 miles, you don’t have cause for too much concern. On the other hand, if your car has a serious oil leak, you should take it to the shop.
While some auto repairs can be put on hold, others require immediate attention. For obvious safety reasons, auto repairs for brakes, steering systems, timing belts and water pumps should be fixed right away. In the long run, you’ll need to evaluate the potential risks involved over the initial pain of paying for any auto repairs.