The most expensive faults in a car and how to avoid them

Clutch, EGR valve, injectors, turbo, catalytic… are classic breakdowns that usually cost you ‘one eye of the face’. Whether because the piece fails or by improper use, we tell you how to prevent, as far as possible, greater evils.

In spite of performing the vehicle inspection when it touches, sometimes it is inevitable to suffer a breakdown that affects important parts of our car. Also, of course, there is the misuse of the vehicle. To all this, the aging of the car park does not help, as does the lack of maintenance. And it is that the cars of ten to fifteen years are most suffer mechanical failures, especially problems related to the engine and electric.

Since it is clear that we all try to dodge the workshop, especially to replace or repair an expensive component, there are precautions to consider that can prevent greater evils. We speak of signs that, seen in time, can save us from major problems. Finally, recommendations and clues that will help you recognize the most common symptoms that point to possible breakdowns in expensive parts to fix or replace.

Clutch: eye as you step
change the fuel filter at least every 30,000 kilometers

In manual cars it is one of the elements that most breaks down. To detect that something goes wrong you have to pay attention to noises and abnormal vibrations that may occur to engage or disengage. For example, a pronounced hardness and a long pedal stroke indicate that the part is coming to an end. Clutch replacement can cost, depending on the model, between 500 and 1,300 euros.


Prevent damage to the clutch passes take care of him, releasing him gently to get the fly and avoid, at all costs, pedal in full circulation (even slightly), or keep in gear to drive stopped, clutching, of course, thoroughly . Some taxi drivers, for example, manage to extend the life of the clutch over 300,000 kilometers avoiding these practices or driving in a way, say, “sporty”, with sudden changes.

EGR: exposed to soot

Attention must also be paid to the ERG (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve, a modern recirculation system for the exhaust gases. It is located between the intake manifold and the exhaust, so it is exposed to high temperatures and the accumulation of carbon and soot, generated in the mechanical combustion. The main symptoms of malfunction are dysfunction at startup, once pulls up, high fuel consumption, engine flooding, excessive smoke and lack of power. Replace the valve usually cost between 300 and 1,200 euros on average.


One way to prevent damage to this element is circular sporadically above 2,500 / 3,000 rpm steadily and for a few minutes at a speed of 130/140 km / h, or failing that , with the engine warm and running, Accelerate thoroughly a few times in a timely manner. That way, we will burn much of the accumulated soot.

The injectors are solenoid valves in charge of supplying the exact amount of fuel that the motor requires

Injectors: as precise as delicate

The injectors are solenoid valves in charge of supplying the exact amount of fuel that the motor requires. About 14 percent of the most complex breakdowns are related to them. The most common causes have to do with wear, but also with the use of low quality fuel and, to a lesser extent, poorly maintained. Replace the injectors has a average cost of 250 euros per piece in petrol engines and diesel 500 euros.


Properly care injectors passes using chemical additives designed for cleaning, although many brands of fuel include a percentage of additives in their fuel to remove impurities. Also, should not refueled during filling of the pumps. Eye, tank trucks recharge with power removing the sediments stored in the pump, which can end up in the tank of your car.

Similarly, do not rush the reservation: the sludge generated in the reservoir end up reaching the combustion chamber, forcing the pump and nozzle clogging. Care also with biodiesel: absorbs water and moisture, and can accelerate oxidation and corrosion of the components. Often, you may have fungus or bacteria in the ducts that clog and deteriorate the injection.

Finally, change the fuel filter at least every 30,000 kilometers: retains impurities and water from fuel. Doing so is much more economical than cleaning, repairing or replacing the engine injection. And controls the revolutions always traveling at less than 2,000 rpm generate more soot and provoke vibrations and premature wear of the injector system. If you notice anomalies, go to the workshop soon.

Catalyst: filters and injection are vital

Something more economical to repair, although involving a complicated process, is the catalyst, installed in the exhaust system. Its function is to reduce the pollution generated by the gases after combustion. It is a key element, because of its good performance depends on the reduction of environmental impact. What’s more, if it goes wrong we can break down the ITV.


We can perceive fault in the catalyst if we notice a lack of power, the car stalls often clanking at the bottom of the vehicle or out of thick smoke and strange odor from the exhaust. Change the catalyst does not come out for less than 200 euros (many are around 800 and even exceed 1,000 euros). And is that the materials used in its manufacture, platinum and palladium, are expensive.

Use gasoline of good quality and moderate practice driving lengthen the life of the catalyst. Same as bringing the injection system to the test. Even allowing the car to idle for a few seconds before starting it will work well, such as changing the mechanical filters when appropriate and stopping in time any leakage of oil or coolant. Being an element that works at high temperatures, it is necessary to avoid parking on dry stubble that could get to burn.

Turbo: better without haste

Overfeeding, which injects greater flow of intake air from the motion generated by the turbine exhaust gas suffers lubrication failures or excessive carbon powder in your ducts. In addition, as it can reach 750 degrees of temperature and turn at 100,000 revolutions per minute, the heat, the pressure and the speed with which it operates generate an ideal cocktail to cause breakdowns. The price of a turbocharger varies between 800 and 1,400 euros.


Caring for the turbo passes by leaving an instant mechanical idle after starting until the piece is well lubricated (and the same to turn off the engine). Its internal bearings allow it to rotate fast, but as they are lubricated with the engine oil if you turn off the engine it will continue to spin by inertia without lubricant, and you will suffer premature friction and wear. In addition, and especially in winter, should not rise much speed cold (less than 80/90).

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