General Information

Here are some examples of used car repair costs:

  • ENGINE: over 1000 individual parts – The average repair is over $2000.00, and when one part fails in the engine, it can have a chain reaction causing the whole engine to fail.
  • TRANSMISSION: well over 500 individual parts – Average cost of repair depending on the kind of car is $1850.00.
  • STEERING SYSTEM: over 100 individual parts – The average cost of repair is over $600.00.
  • COOLING SYSTEM: over 50 individual parts – The average cost of repair is over $465.00.
  • BRAKES: over 100 individual parts not including ABS (antilock brakes) – The average cost of repair is over $350.00.
  • DRIVE AXLES and DIFFERENTIALS: over 70 individual parts – The average repair costs can range from $500.00 to $1000.00.
  • SEALS and GASKETS: over 500 individual parts – The average cost of repair is over $600.00.
  • SUSPENSION SYSTEM: over 50 individual parts – The average cost of repair is over $500.00.
  • FUEL SYSTEM: over 100 individual parts – The average cost of repair is over $550.00.
  • 4 WHEEL DRIVE DIFFERENTIAL and TRANSFER CASE – The average cost of repair is $1100.
  • AIR CONDITIONER and HEATER: over 100 parts – The average cost of repair is over $700.00.
  • ELECTRICAL SYSTEM and ACCESSORIES: over 1000 individual parts – The average cost of repair is over $800.00.

note* Average repair rates are based on samples of various makes and models of vehicles commonly driven in the United States. Some of these repair rates are calculated from Mitchell Mechanical Parts and Labor Estimating Guide.

There are many more parts that need to be checked on a used car. If a car was in a serious accident, it may never ride the same.

How accurate are vehicle history reports?

Not very accurate; At present, less than 25 states report vehicle history to the databases from which these reports are quarried. We inspect many vehicles that have clean history reports that were in accidents, both major and minor. Also, history reports may overstate damages assessed in an accident, scaring a prospect away from a desirable, road-worthy vehicle. Reports on accidents are often not present, as there is no set requirement/law by which to submit that information. History reports are limited and can be misleading as to the condition of a vehicle for both buyers and sellers. Vehicle history reports do not contain information as to the mechanical condition of a vehicle. A trained, qualified technician is necessary to report the status of a used car after inspecting it, which involves more than a brief walk-around. Inspecting used vehicles includes lifting them in order to evaluate their undercarriages. If you are inspector price-shopping, please keep in mind that you may only get for what you pay.

What is a “Certified Pre-Owned Car”, and should I have it inspected?

Used car certification mainly applies as a marketing technique to raise the price of a used vehicle. Certifying usually implies that it is has been serviced and is given warranty by the seller for a stated period of time. A certified stamp does not guarantee whether or not a vehicle was ever involved in an accident. It is not a guarantee that the vehicle is in better condition than one that is not certified. Certified vehicles are usually detailed, so they look like new cars. The only ones who can sell a “certified used car” are new car dealers of the make of the car you wish to purchase.

  • Carfax History Falls Short (cbsnews.com)
  • Vehicle histories, fraud protections offered to buyers said to instill false confidence (msnbc.com)

$1200 issue found by lifting only!

Oops! Leaking CV boot! How much to repair?

We KNOW this vehicle has no leaks!

brake line - not supposed to be twisted