How Much Does a Full Car Check Up Cost?

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An average car should last 200,000 miles or 12 years, according to Mechanic Base, while according to Forbes, modern average cars should last 250,000 miles and more, depending on make. Have you ever owned a vehicle that hit 200,000 miles? Many car owners never hit the last mileage, sometimes out of choice, and in others, the car runs into failure.


According to Consumer Reports, your car could hit the last mileage if you take care of it. If you take care of your car, it will take care of you. One of the best strategies to ensure your car serves you for a long time and without spontaneous breakdowns is doing a full car checkup. In a full car inspection, an auto mechanic will check your car’s interior and exterior to ensure everything is in working condition.


If you have settled on completing a car inspection, the next factor you’ll consider is the checkup costs. How much will a full car checkup cost you? You can estimate the full car checkup cost by breaking down the various aspects your auto mechanic will likely check.


Why You Need a Full Car Checkup


Before knowing the full car checkup cost, you must be convinced you need a full one. Here are five reasons you need to get a complete car inspection.


1. Increase Car Reliability


A small percentage of car owners buy cars for luxury and small errands. The majority of cars are functional. They enable convenient transportation from one place to another. If you rely on your vehicle for transportation, you’d be disappointed if it kept breaking down. You might not know what will break down without regular maintenance and checks. A full checkup helps you respond to issues early before they cause trouble.


2. To Increase Fuel Efficiency


When a car is new, you can correctly estimate how much your fuel tank can hold and the mileage you can get. As the car ages, you’re not quite as sure how much fuel your car uses. Problems such as lower tire pressure or a leak could be the culprit. A full car checkup will include an inspection of your tank and engine. Any problem causing fuel inefficiency will show up during a full check.


3. To Increase Your Car’s Longevity


If you take care of your car, it will serve you for a long time. A full car checkup ensures that issues are solved immediately before the damage spreads. Just like simple regular practices such as healthy dieting and workouts ensure the long-term health of an adult, car maintenance will ensure the longevity of your car. Sometimes your vehicle could have a problem that’s not visible until the problem is too pronounced.


4. To Reduce the Likelihood of Expensive Repairs


Modern cars are made to endure plenty. You could drive on rocky terrain and survive winter and storms with your car. Yet usage and time will take a toll on your vehicle. You may notice a small crack on your windscreen and ignore it for some time. Yet, with a full car checkup, you can avoid expensive repairs by responding before they worsen.


5.To Maintain Your Vehicle’s Value


A car loses value with increased mileage. The more fender benders and crashes, the less valuable your car is. Yet a full car checkup gives your car a fresh start, and your vehicle looks and works as well as new. Getting the go-ahead from an auto expert will assure you that your car is roadworthy and valuable. So, if you plan on selling your vehicle, it will be more valuable after a full-car inspection.


Full Car Checkup Cost: A Comprehensive Guide


Now you know why a full car inspection is essential. All you need is to plan for one. But also important is budget considerations. How much does a full car checkup cost? The simple answer is that it varies depending on the make and auto shop. According to Mechanic Base, an average full car service costs between $200 and $800. OBD2 Scanners estimate that a full car inspection costs between $100 and 150$. On the other hand, Way estimates that a car inspection will cost you $150-250$.


A full car checkup lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. So the costs are typically hour-based. Inspection costs don’t cover any repairs. It’s like a health checkup. The doctor runs multiple tests, and if a problem arises, they treat it, but the costs are separate. A full car checkup will either result in an ‘everything’s ok’ from the auto mechanic or ‘you need to repair aspects A and B.’


Here’s a breakdown of the costs that add up to the full car checkup cost. The total cost would be much higher if you opted for the individual aspects. The cost of repair and maintenance may also vary.


1. Cost of Radio Repair


One of the areas your auto mechanic will inspect is the automotive electronics, including broadcast radio, rearview cameras, and GPS. Care electronics may be easily forgotten during routine checkups, but their functionality is essential for comfort and sometimes safety. For example, you might not be able to use your GPS if your LCD monitor is faulty.


You should expect to spend around $50 on a typical car radio repair. According to Car Autos, a good radio repair costs between $60 and $160. If the radio is faulty, the mechanic will add the cost of the radio repair. The cost of radio repair depends on the type of radio you need and the extent of the damage. You can check on Amazon and local retailers for quotes.


2. Cost of Roof Repair


The full car checkup cost might also add to the cost of roof repair. If you don’t have a roofing rack on your car, you probably don’t carry much weight on your car. However, other incidences, such as hail storms and fallen branches, can leave a massive dent requiring roofing service. Your car roof lining is also vulnerable to sagging because of extreme temperatures.


The most obvious place your auto mechanic will check is the lining. If it fits well, you will be confident to continue driving until the next car checkup. However, if your auto mechanic determines that your car’s roof requires repair, you will incur the cost of roof repair, which costs between $150 and $450 .


3. Cost of Air Conditioning


Car air conditioning works similarly to residential AC. It helps exchange heat and humidity from the car to give off warm and cool air. Car AC installation is custom fit to a vehicle, but you can do repairs if your AC has issues. When a vehicle is new, the AC works well, exchanging hot air with cool air. However, normal tear and wear can cause the refrigerant to leak.


The average cost of car air conditioning will average between $400 and $500, according to Consumer Affairs. Your auto mechanic will perform diagnostic tests to ensure your car’s AC is optimal. Ignoring AC problems will damage the system even more and reduce the comfort of your car.


4. Cost of Transmission Repair


The full car checkup costs might include the cost of transmission repair. Transmission repair is pricier than other types of repair and will cost between $1200 and $5000 according to Auto Chimps. However, ignoring problems in any part of the transmission system will carry over to the engine and cause an emergency shutdown. You may notice problems if you hear clunking and humming sounds when the car is neutral. You may also notice a ‘burnt’ smell in the fluid.


With a full car checkup, you don’t have to guess if the transmission is working well. A reliable auto mechanic interested in giving a full assessment will do diagnostic tests to determine if there’s a problem. If they notice an issue, they may fix it or recommend you visit a transmission repair shop. Some remedies might include transmission fluid change or replacement.


5. Cost of Heating Repair


Your car uses the heating system to warm the cabin. When your heating system works well, your car’s environment will be comfortable throughout a wide range of external temperatures. However, some issues may arise, such as overheating or not heating. Some causes include low antifreeze fluid, a faulty thermostat, or a faulty heater fan. Without adequate knowledge of car heating systems, you may not be sure what’s causing the problems.


During a full car checkup, the auto mechanic will diagnose the problem and recommend an option, including buying extra accessories from a heating company. If your heating system is faulty and requires repair, the cost may average between $500 and $800.


6. Cost of Glass Replacement


One of the likely causes for visiting an auto repair shop is to get auto glass repair services. Unlike other types of car issues, such as faulty transmission, glass issues are more visible. You can easily identify when your glass requires repair. While you could visit a glass repair shop for glass replacement only, it could be part of a full car checkup.


So the cost of glass replacement could add up to the full car checkup cost. Although the total cost of repairs may increase with glass repair, it would not be prudent to postpone it. The cost of glass replacement is about $300. Damage to glass parts, such as the windscreen, can reduce visibility and attract a fine in some states. Further, the damage could worsen if there’s no intervention.


7. Cost of Waxing


Did you know waxing could form part of maintenance? An auto mechanic can add a waxing service as part of the full car checkup and maintenance. Car checkups are part of maintaining a car’s value and aesthetic appeal even after extended mileage. A thin coat of wax has multiple benefits for your car, such as protection from sun rays and scratches, while giving your car a fresh look.


Once you do a complete car checkup, it should work and look new, and waxing is part of adding value to your car. The cost of waxing will vary depending on the auto shop you visit. On average, it will cost you between $75 and 150$. Waxing will serve you for some time, so the cost will be worth it.


8. Cost of Body Repair


If your car has taken a beating from harsh weather or crashes and accidents, the full car checkup cost will include the cost of body repair which, according to Lending Tree, is about $300 to $1400. Car body issues are quite visible, and you don’t need a mechanic to diagnose car damage. However, you will need to visit an auto repair company to do body repair.


Your auto mechanic will view the damage and make recommendations. They could recommend having the body panels replaced or fixed through welding. If you prefer doing the job yourself, you could attend welding classes, enabling you to restore the parts yourself.


9. Cost of Glass Tinting


Although auto tinting is not essential for the performance of your car, it has other functional benefits. For example, it will protect you from harmful sun rays and keep your interior private. Some car tints will block 70% of the sun’s rays, giving your interior a cool feel even on sunny days. If you do glass tinting, the cost will be about $150. The cost will depend on the amount of tinting you desire.


Final Thoughts


Now you know the full car checkup cost could go as low as $100 and as high as $800 depending on the mechanic and the region you live in. Since most checkups take less than an hour, your auto mechanic may use hour-based pricing. The checkup will not cover costs such as repairs or replacements. However, the inspection will save you the cost of discovering issues with your car when on the road.


Some mechanics offer a complete package with certain essentials on a checklist. Some elements, such as engine status and tire pressure, should take priority. Whatever features you choose, the total cost of a full car checkup is much less than neglecting your vehicle.



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