There are certain jobs that are just no fun. Some repairs are difficult to reach in a confined space or need special tools. The challenge is amplified when you need to dedicate an entire day, wrenching away and testing your patience in the process. But the truth is that these repairs affect the overall long-term health of your vehicle. Neglecting them can lead to more severe issues down the road, potentially costing you more in repairs and compromising the safety and reliability of your vehicle. It’s all too easy to label these repairs as merely annoying and put them off, delaying the inevitable until a dramatic breakage occurs leaving you with no choice but to deal with the situation in an urgent manner. So, with the imperative in mind here are five repairs you should stop putting off until tomorrow.
Worn Engine Mounts
That annoying “clunk” when you put your car in gear will only get worse. Engine mounts are designed to allow for a certain amount of movement, but there is a limit. Once that limit is reached, you start risking damage to other components. For example, consider the hose connecting the power steering pump to the power steering reservoir, delicately positioned between the engine and the fender on some vehicles. As the engine moves excessively due to worn out engine mounts, this hose may stretch beyond its intended capacity, possibly leading to premature wear or even a rupture. Further more the movement can cause the hose to rub against nearby components, escalating the risk of damage. Wires may get pulled loose from the excessive engine movement risking electrical problems and potentially leading to a host of issues that are both frustrating and costly to fix. It’s best to just knuckle down and get it done.
While the noise may be annoying, an exhaust leak can also lead to nasty fumes entering the passenger compartment causing a serious health risk. In extreme cases an exhaust leak can burn or melt nearby components. Unfortunately an exhaust leak can also be hard to track down, especially when it’s buried deep in the engine compartment. The culprits are diverse – cast iron manifolds can develop fractures, bolts securing the exhaust system can weaken and break under stress, gaskets might lose their integrity, and exhaust pipes can corrode and eventually rust through, creating openings. The straight forward repair is to replace the offending part. For some vehicles though, there are creative workarounds from NAPA Solutions like exhaust manifold repair clamps.
If you have been topping off your oil for a long time rather than finding the leak, it is time to stop putting off the inevitable. It’s easy to overlook a minor leak, dismissing it as a mere inconvenience while opting for a quick fix like topping off the missing fluid. That small drip of fluid might seem trivial as it stains your driveway, but the implications go beyond mere aesthetics. That fluid leak may also coat your engine and damage other components. Delaying that power steering pump leak repair will sure seem silly when it ruins the alternator as well. The advice is clear: it’s in your best interest, both for the longevity of your vehicle and for the pristine state of your driveway, to address fluid leaks promptly.
Worn out shocks and struts have a way of sneaking up on you. They rarely go bad overnight, but when they are at the end of their service life they may as well not be there at all. Shocks and struts play a crucial role by absorbing and mitigating the impacts and vibration that would otherwise be transmitted to various chassis components. They act as a shield, safeguarding the integrity and durability of the chassis. Without that protection, those chassis parts wear out faster. Shocks are usually straightforward to replace, and strut replacement has become easier thanks to the availability of modular strut assemblies. Once the job is done, the difference will be immediately apparent. The ride will feel smoother, and your vehicle will handle better, providing enhanced control and stability.
Failing CV Axles
You may already know your CV boots are torn, but there’s no way to know just how long you have until the joint inside starts to fail. If you are hearing a tell-tale clicking when turning your front wheels left or right, then you are due for new axles. Allowing the issue to go on can escalate into more significant problems, potentially leading to hazardous driveline vibrations that compromise the safety and stability of your vehicle. Beyond discomfort during your drive, these vibrations can translate into a genuine threat on the road, affecting not just your vehicle’s performance but the safety of you and other road users. Delaying the repair can even push the CV axle assembly to the breaking point, resulting in a catastrophic failure that could leave you stranded or worse, cause an accident. Make the time and get it fixed. Your vehicle and your peace of mind will thank you.
None of these repairs are fun and some can take up a chunk of time. But if you have the DIY knowledge to tackle them at home or the spare time to visit your local NAPA AutoCare, now is a perfect time to get things done.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPAonline or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA Auto Care locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on repairs you should stop putting off, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA Auto Parts store.
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With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of his many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible, BMW E46 sedan, and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.