You own a car and you have more than one reason to love it. However, along with all of the perks that come with owning a vehicle (Freedom! Independence!), there are also a lot of expenses. In fact, the estimated cost per mile for ownership and operating costs is $7,581 annually as of 2015.

The sad news involves the fact that the number only takes more general costs into account, such as gas, regular maintenance, and tires. There are more expensive costs that come up from time to time.

Every car has different repair costs and expenses, but here are the ones you don’t want to be forced to deal with.

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Costliest Car Expenses:

7. Belt

Cost: $500 - $900

Prevention Tip: Timing belts are likely to wear due to frequent use. Don’t let yours split or let a worn belt carry on for too long as it can cause serious damage. Replace the belt roughly every 30,000-100,000 miles to prevent more costly expenses and you can always check with your manufacturer for their recommendation.


6. Fuel Pump

Cost: $400 - $1,000

Prevention Tip: Fuel pumps are fragile devices that must supply the correct pressure to the injector so that your vehicle can run properly. The best way to insure that your pump doesn’t quit without warning or need repairs is to always use a high quality fuel. Be sure you know exactly what is going into your vehicle, and sometimes, paying a little more for gas can be helpful.


5. Head Gasket

Cost: $1,200 - $1,500

Prevention Tip: The head gasket works to prevent coolant and engine oil from mixing while the car is in use by working as a seal. Don’t let your car overheat and check the coolant regularly to look for leaks.


4. Transmission

Cost: $1,800 - $3,500

Prevention Tip: Just because transmission fluid doesn’t need to be changed as frequently as oil, doesn’t mean you can let it slip your mind. Most transmission failures are the result of fluid issues simply because many are unaware that the fluid needs to be replaced every two or three years. By giving your transmission the proper attention, and not riding the clutch on a manual transmission, you can avoid this costly expense.


3. Blown Engine

Cost: $1,000 - $4,000

Preventive Tip: A blown engine can be the result of a range of problems from leaking oil to a damaged valve. Regardless of how it happens, it’s expensive and it’s worthwhile for you to do all you can to prevent it. As your car gains more mileage, be aware of possible problems. Typically, after 150,000 miles cars may begin to have engine problems. Check yours frequently, and before you purchase a new engine, be sure the cost doesn’t outweigh your car’s worth. High mileage cars are more likely to need increasing repairs over time and you don’t want to put more money into an older car than it’s worth.


Two of the Most Expensive Car Costs That You’ll Have to Accept:

2. Car Insurance

Auto insurance is the law in just about every state and for good reason, as car accidents can be costly. That said your premium isn’t cheap either. The average cost of car insurance is $900 annually, though that can vary largely upon a driver’s location and history. Though it may seem like an expensive, unnecessary cost, it can pay off in a big way after an accident. Try comparing rates to find the most reasonable option for you.

1. Depreciation

Depreciation is actually the single greatest car expense. A new car’s value decreases a few thousand dollars when it’s driven off the lot and continues depreciating from there. Though you can’t stop depreciation all together; you can slow down the rate by keeping up to date with regular service and maintenance repairs. Keep your car in great, tiptop shape and see the return.  

Photo Credit (top image): Walter, Lee Emmons, makelessnoise