Jacaranda team

Quality Checked

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One of the biggest costs that come with owning a car is repairs. Whether it’s the aircon, tires, or windscreen, anything that goes wrong with your car can leave you with a big bill. And unfortunately, you can’t avoid car repairs if you want to keep driving your vehicle.

Whether you’re a car owner or looking to buy your first set of wheels, knowledge is power. Understanding the common car repairs can help you avoid an unreasonable repair bill.

Below, we’ve put together the ten most common car repairs including the costs of fixing these repairs. Plus, we list the most common reasons people damage their cars.

What are the most common car repairs?

According to IbisWorld, the Motor Vehicle Engine and Parts Repair and Maintenance industry has seen considerable growth from 2016 to 2021. During this period, there were a total of 42,756 businesses in this industry category operating in Australia. With this in mind, it is clear that there is a high demand for car repair services.

Based on data collected by AutoGuru, an auto repair comparison site, these are the top ten most commonly requested car repairs of 2020:

1. Front windscreen replacement

Taking out the number one spot as the most common car repair searched for and booked is front windscreen replacement. Whether caused by road debris, severe weather, or flying items, a cracked windscreen can be dangerous. It can make a vehicle unroadworthy, and it can also impact the car’s overall structure. According to Autoglass, a windscreen makes up 34% of a car’s structural integrity.

2. Air conditioning re-gas

A car’s air conditioning is important, especially given we live in a ‘sunburnt country’. Even during the cooler months, the air con is vital for demystifying foggy windows. The most common reason an aircon is malfunctioning is a lack of refrigerant gas. It is fixed by pumping refrigerant gas through the air conditioning system to provide cooling to the inside of the vehicle. If this level is low, the aircon won’t work well or will stop working completely.

3. Front brake pad replacement

The front brake pads do approximately 70% of the braking required to slow down or stop a vehicle. This is why front brake pads typically need to be replaced more regularly than rear brake pads. However, this can depend on the make and model of the car.

4. Tyre replacement

Tyres are relatively soft rubber and they frequently come into contact with hard and abrasive surfaces while you drive. As a result, tyres regularly need to be replaced. However, this will depend on the quality of the tyres and the way they are treated.

5. Battery replacement

The car battery is a battery that is used to start a motor vehicle. It provides an electric current to the electric-powered starting motor, which essentially starts the engine. Unfortunately, when this fails, your car fails too.

6. Timing belt or chain replacement

The timing belt or chain keeps the crankshaft and camshafts perfectly timed, which keeps the engine running effectively. If this fails, it can lead to severe implications for the engine. This is because components in the engine can collide at high speeds.

7. Rear brake pad replacement

While these brake pads only do 30% of the braking, they can still eventually wear down and need replacement. It’s important to replace rear brake pads when they need to be replaced. After all, you don’t want them to fail when you need them.

8. Clutch replacement

The clutch sits between the engine and the transmission, which allows them to be disconnected when the pedal is depressed, and reconnected when it is released. This is what allows your car to change gears.

9. Spark plug replacement

The spark plugs are used to ignite the fuel and air inside your petrol-run engine. If they are overdue for replacement, your fuel consumption can increase and your car may struggle to run as smoothly as it once did.

10. AC compressor replacement

The AC compressor pressurises the system so it can push the aircon refrigerant throughout your car. It can sometimes last the whole life of a vehicle without needing replacement. Though, the chances the AC compressor will fail can increase after your car surpasses 150,000km.

Common costs of car repairs

Now that we know what the common car repairs are, let’s have a look at how much they might cost you to fix.

Keep in mind that the prices below are without consideration of the severity of the issue, the make and model of your car, and the mechanic. However, it can still be used as a handy point of reference.
Car Repair Cost Range
Front windscreen replacement $200 to $1,000
Air conditioning re-gas $100 to $250
Front brake pad replacement $170 to $870
Tyre replacement $100 to $700 (per tyre)
Battery replacement $110 to $500
Timing belt/chain replacement $500 to $1,000
Rear brake pad replacement $150 to $400+
Clutch replacement $900 to $3,000
Spark plug replacement $120 to $400+
AC compressor replacement $800 to $1,200

Most common ways people damaged their car

According to research obtained from, men are more likely than women to have their car broken into, and older drivers are more likely to be rear-ended. Additionally, people from Tasmania are more likely to damage their car by hitting an animal, which is least likely in Queensland and South Australia.

Below, we’ve listed some statistics of the reasons people damaged their cars in 2018:

Occurrence Percentage of drivers affected
Car was rear ended 42%
Person scratched their car and didn’t admit to it 39%
Car was broken into 25%
Damaged car by hitting an animal 18%
Car was keyed 15%
Hit by an uninsured driver 15%
Hail damage 14%
None of the above 7%
Other 4%
Written by: Jacaranda team