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The 10 most common car repairs in 2020

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Updated 25 Mar 2021

Joel Ilton

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AutoGuru is the most convenient way to search, compare and book local auto repairers, so it’s no surprise that each year, we provide servicing and repairs quotes for hundreds of thousands of vehicles.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 most commonly requested repairs on AutoGuru for 2020.

1. Front windscreen replacement

Windscreen replacement has risen to become the most common repair searched for and booked through AutoGuru in 2020. Having a cracked or damaged windscreen can not only make your vehicle unroadworthy but also reduces the structural integrity of the vehicle in the event of an accident.

Can you drive your car with a cracked windscreen?

Having one of AutoGuru’s expert windscreen specialists come to your house or workplace to replace or repair your windscreen will ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, but more importantly, safe in the event of an accident.

2. Air conditioning re-gas

Summer is well and truly in full swing, so the air conditioning in your vehicle is probably getting a workout, and it may not be working as effectively as it used to. There could be a number of reasons why your car air con isn’t working, but the most likely cause is that the system may be low on refrigerant gas.

This gas is pumped through the air conditioning system to provide cooling inside the vehicle, and if the level is low it won’t work as well. This could be due to a leak or a failed component. Having the air conditioning system inspected and regassed after a repair will ensure you keep your cool all throughout summer.

3. Front brake pad replacement

The braking system is one of the hardest working components on your vehicle, especially for drivers that spend most of their time behind the wheel in the city, where constant stop-start driving really takes its toll on the brakes.

The front brake pads do approximately 70% of the braking required to slow or stop a vehicle, so they tend to need replacing more frequently than the rear brake pads, although this percentage varies depending on the make and model you drive.

Keen to find out more? Here’s everything you need to know about brake pads.

4. Tyre replacement

Your tyres are the main point of contact between your car and the road. Well actually, they’re the only point of contact.

As you can imagine, because tyres are a relatively soft rubber compound, and road surfaces are generally hard and abrasive surfaces, tyres come off second best, so they need to be replaced in order to ensure your car has the most effective point of contact with the road.

That’s why choosing quality tyres is so important for your safety! They last longer and work much better.

5. Battery replacement

Another component that’s not often thought about until it fails is the battery. They often fail at the worst time, leaving you stranded when you’re in a hurry or it’s raining outside.

Fortunately, AutoGuru now has mobile battery specialists available to come out to your vehicle and replace your battery, getting you back on the road again. You can even use Afterpay to have your battery fitted now and pay it off in four easy instalments.

Stuck on which battery you choose for your car? AutoGuru recommends Century Batteries, here’s why!

6. Timing belt / timing chain replacement

The timing belt/chain is an essential component that keeps the crankshaft and camshafts perfectly timed, which keeps your engine running at its best. If the timing belt/chain fails, it can cause components in the engine to come into contact with each other at high speed, and often means a complete replacement engine will be needed.

Timing belts have both a kilometre based and time-based replacement interval, whichever occurs first.

Timing chains are generally much more sturdy, and some are built to ‘last as long as the engine’, however there are still some make and models that require replacement at set intervals. Even though we’ve paired them together, timing belts are much more frequently replaced than timing chains.

Learn more about the difference between a timing belt and timing chain.

7. Rear brake pad replacement

Not too far behind front brake pad replacement is rear brake pad replacement. Although they only do 30% of the braking when slowing down, the rear brake pads will eventually wear down and need replacement. Some vehicles are also fitted with ‘anti-dive’ measures, which applies the rear brakes more than the front under certain braking conditions, which wears these brake pads more than usual.

If you’ve noticed a squeak when braking, or feel your brakes don’t pull your vehicle up as they should, it’s best to have your braking system inspected and any repairs carried out to return your vehicle back to a safe condition.

When you hit the brakes, you really want to trust that they’ll do the job. It’s also nice to know that they’ll do it quietly and without covering your wheels with brake dust. We recommend Bendix brakes, their range of quality brake pads ensures there’s an option everyone!

8. Clutch replacement

Simply put, the clutch is fitted between the engine and the transmission, and allows for them to be disconnected when the pedal is depressed and reconnected when the pedal is released so that you can change gears.

While clutches do not have a set kilometre or time interval for replacement, they do wear out over time, and will require replacing at some stage in your vehicle's lifetime.

Find out how to tell if your car has a clutch problem.

Often, clutch replacements are one of the most expensive repairs you will have to carry out in your vehicle’s lifetime, due to the amount of labour time it takes to remove and refit the transmission, especially if your vehicle is fitted with a dual-mass flywheel.

9. Spark plug replacement

Despite only being fitted to petrol engined cars, spark plug replacement scrapes its way into the top 10. The spark plugs are used to ignite the fuel and air mixture inside your petrol engine, and if they are due for replacement, your fuel consumption may increase and a lack of performance may also be noticed. On newer vehicles, precious metal spark plugs are commonly used which have increased service life, but can still fail prematurely.

Having your spark plugs replaced if an issue is noticed will return your engine to maximum efficiency, saving you money in the long run.

10. AC Compressor replacement

What does the AC compressor do? Well, it pressurises the system so that it can push the AC refrigerant throughout. Through normal wear and tear, and possibly due to an unexpected defect, the AC compressor may stop functioning or seize.

In the majority of situations, the AC compressor lasts the whole life of the vehicle without requiring replacement, although failure is more likely after 150,000km.

Found out why you should be getting your car air conditioning system serviced.

So that wraps up our list of the 10 most commonly requested repairs on AutoGuru in 2020.

Whilst some can be classified as wear and tear items and generally aren’t all that expensive to repair, there are some others on that list that could shock you!

That’s why AutoGuru makes it easy to get transparent quotes from local mechanics. Helping you make the most informed decision when it comes to repairing your vehicle is what we do!

Need a quote? Too easy, you’re just a click away!

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Written By

Joel Ilton

Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.

After almost 10 years on the tools and in customer service, he moved into the IT realm as a Data Analyst and In-House mechanic at AutoGuru.