20th Feb, 2020
Taking your car to the garage can be an unnerving experience at the best of times, especially if you think it might be bad news. After all, if a repair is too expensive then it may easily end up outweighing the cost of your vehicle, and when that happens usually the most economical course of action is simply to scrap your car. Now, happily not every repair will make your car a write-off – but here are just a few that may well do just that.
For quite some time now, almost all new cars have been manufactured with an in-built ECU, or Engine Control Unit. It’s basically the brain of your car, and monitors the engine power and performance, fuel-air mixture, emissions levels and more. Now, it’s a solid device with no moving parts, so in an ideal world it would never suffer damage. But it’s possible, and it’s expensive.
One of the main ways that drivers can accidentally put their ECU out of commission is through attaching jumper cables the wrong way. Jumper cables have very clear markers on them to show which way they should be attached, and neglecting this will reverse their polarity. If you’re lucky, this will only blow up your battery, with an associated cost of over £100. If you’re unlucky, it’ll kill your ECU, which is a repair that costs upwards of £1200.
Your engine is a large and complex component, and unfortunately that means it’s vulnerable to all sorts of problems. Engine seizure is perhaps one of the most serious of these issues. Basically, it happens when your engine’s lubrication fails, which often involves insufficient oil levels or oil pressure. As soon as that happens, some of the most delicate and expensive parts of your car can start scraping into one another, ultimately leaving your engine with have little practical use (beyond perhaps a particularly avant-garde sculpture for your living room). Unfortunately, there’s no way to fix a seized engine – your only option is to have it replaced, and the cost for that starts at about £1200.
It can be easy for drivers to underestimate just how much we rely on our air conditioning. It keeps us cool in the summer, and warm in the winter, and it’s basically a key feature in allowing us to maintain control over the interior conditions, so that we and our passengers can travel in perfect comfort. But while their function might be simple, their repair is absolutely not – the exact cost will depend on the make and model of your car, but you’ll need anywhere between £500 to £1000 handy to have yours back in tip-top condition.
One of our recent posts explored how crucial your timing chain (otherwise known as your cam belt) is to the function of your car. A broken cam belt is a very bad thing. You can find the long explanation as to why in the previous post, but here’s the short version – basically, it’s the timing chain’s job to keep certain moving parts out of each other’s way. If it breaks or snaps, those parts are liable to collide, and your engine destroys itself in very short order. Put like that, it almost sounds kind of cool, but you probably won’t think so when you get the bill for over £700. (Or even well over a grand, if your engine ultimately needs replacing entirely.)
The head gasket is another innocuous sounding part with a hugely important function – essentially, it maintains the seal between your engine head and your engine block. You see, your engine needs the combustion chamber to remain perfectly sealed so that the fuel and air can be properly mixed and ignited. If the head gasket blows, the immediate result is that coolant can get into the oil passages or engine cylinders, which is definitely not supposed to happen. You might be able to spot the problem when blue smoke starts billowing out of your engine, which can be strangely captivating in its own way. But you know what isn’t – a bill for over £1000, that’s what.
While most modern cars are designed for economy and reliability over raw performance and speed, it’s still a sad fact of life that no car lasts forever. If you’ve had your old motor long enough, something’s bound to go wrong eventually no matter how much care you’ve taken of it. When that happens, you may well be left with no other option but to scrap your car.
Happily, that’s where we can help here at Scrap Car Network. With our nationwide network of scrap car dealers, we’re the perfect people to help you get the very best price for your old car, and you can get an online valuation of your vehicle in as little as 10 seconds! All you have to do is fill in your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and you’ll have your very own free, no obligation quote. Go on… couldn’t hurt to look, could it?