Cost of Neglecting Vehicle Maintenance

Written by: Patrick Brown

Maintaining your vehicle may not always be your top priority because of the costs and the time commitment. However, the money that you believe you are saving by skipping routine services ultimately adds up, when your vehicle faces more serious issues and requires expensive repairs.

The following chart, courtesy of Bank Rate, outlines general costs for auto maintenance services and also provides an estimate of the price of skipping them:


Regular Service Cost

Cost of skipping

Regular oil changes

Oil changes help keep your engine clean and lubricated. Change your oil every 5,000 miles or every 4 months.

$120 for one year of oil changes $4,000 – the cost of engine replacement
Tire rotation

Rotating tires helps them wear equally. Rotate tires every 7,500 miles.

$50, every 7,500 miles $350-700 – cost of tire replacement
Timing belt replacement

Replacing the timing belt at the manufacturers’ suggested interval helps save money, as belt failure can cause severe engine damage.

$600 – replacing timing belt $2,500 – engine repair
Brake inspection

Brake disc pads wear down. Regular inspection can allow you to spot wear before it’s too late.

$150-$375 – replacing brake pads $300-$600 – replacing rotors or drums
PCV valve replacement

The PCV system regulates crankcase pressure and ventilates blow-by gases, which helps prevent engine oil leaks and sludge buildup.

$25 every 30,000 miles $100-$1,000+ – new valve cover and/or engine seals
Changing plugs and filters

A well maintained engine is a clean engine. Filters help in this process.

$100+ cost of changing plugs and filters $335-$700 – cost of getting car to compliance

Aside from expensive repair costs, poorly maintained vehicles cause thousands of car accidents each year. According to a study by the Car Care Council in the United States, accidents resulting from underperformed vehicle maintenance costs the economy $2 billion/year.

Take your car in for regular maintenance, for safety’s sake.

Patrick Brown


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