When the repair is no longer worth it: top 10 damages

there comes a time when every driver wonders whether the good old used car is still good enough or whether it would be better to buy a new car or a good used car. The question arises especially when there is an increase in repairs and the owner does not know whether the repair is really worthwhile. The decisive factor here is whether the residual value of the vehicle is still sufficient or whether it is already a total economic loss? In any case, you should get an estimate from your repair shop. Once the residual value of the car is less than 2.000 €, you should in any case think twice before you part with major repairs.

Kfztech.De has listed for the readers the top ten damages where you should think twice about parting with your vehicle.

1. After an accident

Nowadays sometimes even a small parking lot bumpers out to the one that has the damage level above 2.000 € to drive. The reason for this is, on the one hand, the painted bumpers and, on the other hand, the modern headlamp and sensor technology installed in the front. The radiator also quickly suffers damage.

Accidental damage

At first glance, this accident doesn’t look that bad. Only the cost estimate of the expert shows the true amount. – picture: kfztech.De

2. Engine damage

The mechanics of modern engines are very good, and the mileage is well above 300.000 km. Nevertheless, engine damage can always occur, for example, due to material or operating errors, unusual wear or failure to carry out maintenance. If z.B. The necessary timing belt change is not carried out, there is already a torn timing belt with capital consequences. Further engine damage can occur.B. Incorrect refueling, insufficient lubrication, engine overheating, excessively high engine speeds or incorrect chiptuning can result in. You can also read all this here.

3. The cylinder-head gasket

The head gasket between the cylinder head and the crankcase is an inseparable part of the engine and never causes problems. But unfortunately, problems with the head gasket always occur when overheating comes into play. This is often the result of a leaking cooling system. This can be seen, for example, when there is a little coolant in the engine oil, CO2 gas bubbles in the cooling system or loss of power combined with smoking. The repair costs here can quickly climb above 1.000 € up to 2.000 €. If the head has been warped and can no longer be planned, the bill continues to rise. That’s why professional car dealers buy their cars from ADESA, because they can make good bargains and still get good, tested cars.

Cylinder head planning

A cylinder head is planned because it was warped. – picture: kfztech.De

4. The turbocharger

The exhaust gas turbocharger – or turbo for short – which is obligatory in the diesel engine and now also widespread in the gasoline engine, is an engine unit that ensures strong torque and outstanding performance. The high speeds of the turbocharger (ca. 300.000 rpm) need good lubrication. If the oil supply is insufficient, the turbo will seize up and expensive replacement will be necessary. Other sources of faults are severe sooting due to clogged particulate filters or aspirated oil in the system, which can block the turbo.

5. The clutch

The clutch connects and disconnects the power flow between the engine and transmission in cars with manual transmissions. The service life is around 150.000 to 200.000 km, then this is worn out. The older the car you drive, the more likely it is that you will have to pay the registration fee. You usually don’t notice it yourself until shortly before the end of the wear path: the clutch begins to slip.

The costs for clutch, pressure plate and disengager, which are available as an exchange group, are not that high at all. But since the gearbox has to be separated from the engine for the replacement, extensive work is required, which can increase the cost to 1.000 € mark bring.

6. Change and automatic transmission

Damage to gearboxes in cars is rare because torque converters are usually very reliable. However, operating errors and lack of maintenance can lead to increased wear and tear or damage to the transmission. The type of damage and the cost of the damage vary greatly for transmissions, especially automatic transmissions. Getting several estimates for repair or replacement may be helpful here.

7. Timing belt change

To avoid a broken timing belt (see point 2.), regular timing belt changes are planned for a car. In older models, the gasket had to be replaced every 60.000 km, modern models require replacement only every 90 km.000 or even at 120.000 km. The due timing belt change should be taken seriously in order not to provoke an engine damage. Unfortunately, the work is quite complex and consequently expensive. In addition to the drive belt, the tension pulleys and idler pulleys are also changed. The water pump is also replaced at the same time as a preventive measure.

8. The air conditioner

The air conditioner is for comfort but also for safety. If they fail, it is possible to get along without them. But one thing should also be clear. If you want to resell the car, a defective air conditioning system will reduce its resale value.

And maybe the cause of the failure is only missing refrigerant. An air-conditioning system always loses a small amount over the years, which eventually reduces its performance. And the air conditioning service is not expensive. What the air-conditioning system doesn’t like is not running at all, because this often leads to damage. Regular operation and maintenance of the air conditioning would thus be an important matter. A defective air conditioning compressor costs just under 1.000 €; this should be taken into consideration.

9. Modern headlights

With bi-xenon, bend lighting or LED headlights, many cars today have absolutely modern headlight technology, which can sometimes also be found in the compact segment. A complete change of these expensive headlights is rather rare but may be necessary in case of small accidents. A single xenon headlight easily costs between 500 and 600 euros.

But sometimes even a normal lamp change is very expensive, because with some models also battery, radiator or bumper must be removed. This costs expensive labor time. With xenon lamps, it also makes sense to change them in pairs, as otherwise the headlights may shine with different brightnesses. Xenon and LED are in the opinion of kfztech.De anyway a case for the workshop. For example, the headlights of the bend lighting system also have to be readjusted. And individual LED lamps can usually not be replaced anyway. The complete headlamp then has to be replaced.

LED headlights

The LED headlight of a VW passat. In the event of a defect, the entire unit would probably have to be replaced. – picture: VW

10. Dear electronics

According to ADAC breakdown statistics, the three most frequent causes of car breakdowns are the battery (52%), defects in the engine and engine management (19%) and, as the third most frequent reason for breakdowns, steering, bodywork, brakes, chassis or drive (14%). engine management mainly includes problems with injection, sensors or ignition. Here, it is mainly electronic components that are in use. But steering, brakes and chassis are also electronically controlled today. If one sensor fails, this often has consequences for several systems. The costs for diagnosis and repair are quite different, but can also reach the thousand mark. A cost estimate has here in any case top priority.

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