What does it cost to replace ________?

I often get emails with people asking me, “What does it cost to replace _____?” The quick answer is that it really depends on the vehicle. My best advice is to call around to at least three service centers (dealer e.g., Ford), chain repair center (e.g., Midas), and a local independent repair facility. Below I pasted some “general” price guides.

Service/maintenance procedures that are commonly performed when a vehicle reaches the 60,000 to 100,000 mile (5 to 8 year) range include:

  • Tires ~ $400 to $600
  • Battery ~ $75
  • Spark Plugs ~ $75 to $125 (Parts and Labor)
  • Serpentine Belt ~ $75 to $125 (Parts and Labor)
  • Brake Pads/Shoes and Fluid Flush ~ $200 to $400 (Parts and Labor)
  • Fuel Filter ~ $75 to $100 (Parts and Labor)
  • Timing Belt (not all vehicles have, some have a timing chain) ~ $500 to $700 (some water pumps are driven by the timing belt, so this is commonly replaced too) (Parts and Labor)
  • Struts (when the struts are replaced, you also need an alignment) ~ $500 to $1000 (Parts and Labor)
  • Transmission Flush (Fluid and Filter) ~ $150 (Parts and Labor)
  • Cabin Air Filter ~ $50 to $75

After 100,000 miles you may also need to replace the following…you generally don’t replace unless they are giving you a problem.

  • Starter ~ $200 to $400 (Parts and Labor)
  • Alternator ~ $200 to $400 (Parts and Labor)
  • In-tank Fuel Pump ~ $400 to $800 (Parts and Labor)
  • C-V Joints ~ $400 (Parts and Labor)
  • Exhaust (muffler and pipes) ~ $200 – $300 (Parts and Labor)
  • Oxygen Sensors ~ $200 to $400 (Parts and Labor)

The disclaimer is that it really depends on the vehicle. Many of the above repairs can be performed for significantly less if you do them yourself…it’s not the parts that generally bite you it is the labor. To save money, online repair manuals are available that can step do-it-yourselfers through the process. The key is to follow the recommended service intervals in your owner’s manual to prevent unexpected (and often more expensive) repairs.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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