How to know when to repair or replace your vehicle

Nothing lasts forever, including our beloved cars. Eventually there will come a time when it’s time to say goodbye to your old car and look for something new(er). Here we present some situations that may mean it’s time to start looking for a new ride.

Scenario 1:

Your car’s body is rusting. There are two general types of rust that you’ll find on your car – surface rust and eat-through. While neither type of rust is a good sign, surface rust doesn’t usually cause structural integrity issues. Surface rust appears as bubbles under your paint. This kind of damage can be fixed right here at SVG in our body shop. Keep in mind though that once rust has appeared on your car, even after it’s been removed, it can come back. You will need to decide if the cost of having the rust repaired is worth the investment to you. The other kind of rust that you might see is eat-through. This is the kind of rust that can lead to structural issues with your vehicle. When the rust has corroded the metal to the point that the metal flakes away and leaves holes, that’s eat-through rust. While it’s unsightly, the effect is has on the integrity of body panels can vary widely depending on where the rust holes are. Your car’s body panels have been specially designed to crumple in a specific way during an accident to keep you safer. If rust has eaten these crumple zones away, it could render your car as less safe. Another area where rust can be exceptionally dangerous is on the car’s frame and/or suspension parts. Having these areas fixed can be difficult and costly to repair so you’ll need to determine whether the repairs are justifiable or whether it’s time to visit the team at SVG to look at getting something new.

Scenario 2:

Hearing mystery noises under the hood. Have you ever heard someone say an engine has a “knock”? This can sometimes be a sign that your motor is ready to give up. Well-maintained motors can last for very long times, but if your motor has not had proper oil changes or has been driven exceptionally hard, parts inside the motor such as connecting rods, bolts and bearings can wear out or vibrate loose creating a knocking sound. If your car is out of warranty and your engine fails, you could be looking at a significant repair bill. Of course here at SVG we have very talented service technicians who can replace your engine for you, but if the cost to replace your engine exceeds about 30% of the total value of your car, it might be time to look for something new.

Scenario 3:

Your car smokes more than Cheech and Chong. When the gasket that separates the block from the head of an engine goes bad, things can go bad quickly. Oil and water were never meant to mix, so when a head gasket goes, antifreeze, water and engine oil mix together creating a need for an emergency repair. Without this repair, your vehicle will puff out smoke. Again, you have a choice to make…let the qualified technicians SVG repair the problem, or start shopping for a new ride. As with an engine swap, if the estimated cost of the gasket repair exceeds about 30% of the vehicle’s total value, it might be time to find a new set of wheels.

Scenario 4:

Your hybrid turns eco-unfriendly. Hybrids are a great way for consumers to start working toward environmentally responsible motoring. However….not many people are truly aware of the consequences of a worn out battery in a hybrid. Just like the battery in your smart phone seems to stay charged for less and less time every day, your hybrid’s battery does too. They can and do wear out and lose their ability to charge. Replacing these batteries is not nearly as simple as replacing a battery on a vehicle with a full gasoline engine. To replace a worn-out hybrid battery (particularly on older models) is time-consuming and costly. To help with safety and vehicle balance issues, hybrid batteries are usually placed in areas of the car where the removal of large portions of the interior is required to replace it. This adds a lot of labor costs to your bill as does the need for the technician to re-calibrate vital electrical components (removing the battery will cause your electrical and electronic components to lose their settings). In addition to the cost you’ll incur to replace one or more batteries, think of the environmental damage that can be caused by disposing of the old worn out batteries.

Categories: Service
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