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The 5 Most Common Car Repairs

Cars require maintenance and repair throughout their lifetime, but where does all that money and time go? It may be a surprise to learn that most car repairs are usually minor, but can create a great deal of problems if not taken care of promptly. These are the 5 most common car repairs.

1. Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are probably the smallest part of a car, but also one of the most important. Having a faulty spark plug can wreak havoc on a car and cause problems ranging from reducing gas mileage to melting an expensive catalytic converter. Always have a certified mechanic check the spark plugs, as replacing them at home can lead to further damage.

2. Mass Air Flow Sensor

A mass air flow sensor works by measuring the amount of air going into the engine and determining how much fuel to deliver to it. This is a minor part of a car's engine but can damage the entire engine if missing. If the filter is not replaced regularly, the entire sensor will need to be replaced. The cost of a new filter is small, but replacing the entire sensor is usually $400, so this repair is one of the easiest.

3. Aftermarket Alarm

Many new car owners attempt to install their own after-market car alarm, stereo, dvd player, or other devices. Usually installing these devices requires owners to tap into circuits, taking power away from other car systems. This will eventually cause the other systems to stop working as efficiently and even fail after a while. When installing something into a car, have a mechanic check to make sure that it's compatible.

4. Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is an expensive part to replace, but car owners frequently neglect this essential part of a car. Unfortunately, the converter itself is usually not the problem. When smaller, unrelated parts are ignored such as the spark plugs and fuel injectors, this can lead to the entire converter being damaged. These small problems can lead to a hefty price tag if ignored.

5. Fuel Caps

Probably the main reason why the check engine light turns on, missing and loose gas caps are fairly common. The good news is that they are easy to fix and inexpensive, but many car owners just ignore them. Not replacing the gas cap will lead to a significant decrease in gas mileage. While a missing gas cap won't actually damage the car, it will cost car owners more at the pump. These are the top 5 most common car repairs. Looking through this list, it's easy to see that most repairs are minor at best. By scheduling a car for regular maintenance, avoiding these problems is much easier. Always go to a certified mechanic and ensure that they know the regular workings of a car before letting them touch your vehicle. While car owners may balk at the price of a regular checkup, over time, the cost is worth a six-month maintenance fee. Pay attention to your car and you may never have to experience any of the repairs on this list.

Jon writes for an extended car warranty website that reviews companies and services at

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