Under the hood : Average Car repair costs in 2023

The cost of repairing a car in the United States can vary significantly depending on a number of factors. These factors include the type of repair needed, the make and model of the vehicle, the location of the repair shop, and the experience and reputation of the mechanic performing the work.

One of the most common types of car repairs is an oil change, which typically costs between $30 and $80. Other routine maintenance tasks, such as replacing spark plugs, air filters, and brake pads, can also be relatively inexpensive.

However, more serious repairs, such as replacing an engine or transmission, can be much more costly. These types of repairs can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the extent of the damage and the cost of the necessary parts.

The make and model of a vehicle can also affect the cost of repairs. Luxury cars, for example, may have more expensive parts and require specialized knowledge and tools to repair, which can drive up the cost. Older cars may also be more expensive to repair due to the availability of parts and the potential for more extensive damage.

The location of the repair shop can also play a role in the cost of repairs. Prices may vary from region to region, with urban areas generally having higher costs due to higher overhead expenses for the repair shops.

The experience and reputation of the mechanic performing the work can also impact the cost of repairs. Mechanics with more experience and a good reputation may charge higher rates, but they may also be able to diagnose and fix problems more quickly and accurately, potentially saving the customer money in the long run.

Average car repair cost by service

According to, the average cost of car repairs typically ranges from $30 to $500. While this is a good estimate, the real number depends on many different factors: the issue itself, the make of the car, your geographical location, how long you let the issue go before getting maintenance done and more.

Regular maintenance 

Regular maintenance encompasses the services all cars need regularly. Some common regular maintenance services include: 

  • Oil and filter change: Oil and filter changes are typically necessary every 5,000 miles, but you should always consult your owner’s manual to see the specific regulations around your vehicle. The price of an oil change will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, as cars require different oils. According to Kelley Blue Book, the price of conventional oil is between $30 to $80 while synthetic oil can be over $100. Synthetic oil, however, runs longer than conventional oil.
  • Tire rotation: Like an oil change, it’s generally recommended you rotate your tires every 5,000 miles, but be sure to consult your vehicle’s owner manual. . The price of a tire rotation depends on where you go for the service and can range anywhere from $20 to $50. A basic tire rotation, meaning there are no other services included, shouldn’t exceed $50. If a mechanic is trying to charge you more, it may be best to go elsewhere. 
  • Multipoint inspection: Multipoint inspection is when a mechanic checks under the hood of your car to ensure the engine, battery and transmission are functioning properly. The cost of the inspection depends on the location and level of detail that goes into it, but will typically be $150–$200.

Replacing parts    

Some car parts need replacing more frequently than others, and some makes and models use far more expensive parts than others. Some of the most common parts that need replacing tend to be:

  • Engines: The price of a new engine depends on the car and shop. For a non-performance engine, the cost should be between $4,000–$7,000. 
  • Brake pads: The cost of brake pads depends on the cost per axle, which is typically between $100–$300. If you choose to replace all four brake pads, you’ll likely find yourself paying $400 minimum. 
  • Batteries: Car batteries have a particularly wide price range, with cheaper ones landing in the neighborhood of $50 and the more expensive ones coming in at $250. The most common lead-acid battery will cost around $150. 
  • Tires: The cheapest tires usually cost less than $100. Moderate tires tend to cost between $100–$200, and specialty ones can range anywhere between $200–$1,000. The cost of your tires will depend on your vehicle and the type of tire. For instance, off-roading and high-performance tires will be more expensive than standard ones. 

Common repairs 

Accidents happen, and some types of accidents happen more frequently than others. Here are some particularly common accidents and the average cost to repair the damage. 

  • Fender benders: Although the damage generally isn’t severe, the price to fix the damage after a fender bender is usually around $1,000. If the repair requires new parts, these accidents can be costly when you add the price of parts, new paint and labor. 
  • Cracked windshields: Replacing a windshield for a moderately priced vehicle is usually between $200–$400. If you drive a luxury car, expect to pay north of $1,000 for a windshield replacement
  • Tire repairs: Getting a tire patched shouldn’t cost more than $20–$30. If the fix requires more than a simple patching, you probably need a new tire. 
  • Car door repair: Side swipes are far too common and the repairs can vary in price. Small dents may only cost $50–$100, but if wiring is damaged or you need to replace the whole door

In general, it is always a good idea to shop around and get multiple estimates before deciding on a repair shop. It is also important to keep in mind that while it may be tempting to try to save money by choosing a cheaper, less experienced mechanic, this could ultimately end up costing more in the long run if the repair is not done correctly the first time.

Overall, the cost of car repairs in the United States can vary greatly depending on the type of repair needed, the make and model of the vehicle, the location of the repair shop, and the experience and reputation of the mechanic. It is important to do research and shop around to get the best price and ensure that the repairs are done correctly.


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