Most Expensive Car Repairs and Modifications that are not Usually Covered by Insurance

Cars are a symbol of status, freedom, and wealth in the world today. If one owns a car, they are automatically better off than someone who does not. If they own a sports car, they have a better image than the soccer mom with the mini-van full of kids. However, no one is better than the person with a broken car and no way to fix it. Isn’t that what insurance is for? Not particularly, when the insurance simply covers damages received during an accident or natural disaster. So, before filing that claim with the insurance company to replace a motor, you need to know exactly what repairs are covered and what are not. You also need to know what the most expensive car repairs are that usually are not covered by an insurance policy.


First, the more expensive part of the car is the engine. Most car insurance companies will not cover any repairs to this part of the car unless it has been damaged in an accident. Even then, whoever is at fault may have to pay some portion of the repair. If you want to build up your engine from a 400 to a 454, you will have to pay for that on your own. Insurance companies will not pay for any parts unless they are damaged beyond repair and a file is claimed within their time table.

The Cost

Should one decide that their engine needs changing, they will seek out a mechanic’s shop to swap out the engines. At most shops, the current rate for an hour’s worth of work is approximately $100, although different shops charge different labor prices. The cost of an engine can be anywhere from $1,500 to $11,000. The reasons that the gap in price is so big are:

  • 1. The type of engine that is being replaced. A Toyota Corolla’s engine would cost around $2,000 while a bigger car, like a Subaru, would cost $10,000.
  • 2. If the replacement engine is one that is in high demand, like an engine for a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS, the engine would need to be a high performance one. That adds to the engine’s price tag as well.
  • 3. Will the engine be new or used? If they are new, the sticker price could shock you. If you find it in a junk yard, you could literally save yourself thousands of dollars. The drawback to junk yard engines is that they may or may not work, which means more money to fix the problem, or you have wasted money buying that engine. You can also look online for used parts, however be wary of sellers who will not answer all your questions about the part. If you can, look at it before buying it so you can see what kind of shape it is in.


This part of the car is very expensive to replace and is also not covered under most insurance plans. Just like the engine, the cost of replacement depends greatly on the make and model of the car, but the price can be anywhere from $1,800 to $4,000. The hybrid model of cars can also be included in this cost. Again, you would have to pay the mechanic for his time, unless you knew exactly how to change a transmission yourself and had a hydraulic lift to hoist the car on so that you could do the changing.

Rear End Differential

This part of the car can cost anywhere from $1500-3000, depending upon the make and model of the car. It can also be very time consuming because your mechanic will have to pull out the rear end of the car to work on it. While that may not seem like a lot of work, consider that they will have to hoist it, pull out the rear, work on it, and then return it back into the car. The removing and putting back of such heavy equipment sometimes requires two mechanics to lift it. If you plan to try this at home, do not attempt it. The car could crush you, if you do not know what you are doing.


If the car was purchased as brand new or bought at a dealership as used, there should be some type of warranty that may cover defects. This is not considered an insurance claim or policy because the part may be defective a few weeks after being driven. Again, insurance only covers damages, not parts replacement, unless an accident has occurred.

You may be wondering if it is worth the cost to replace these parts or just purchase a new car, but remember one thing – whatever modifications you make to the car, the insurance company will not pay for them or the labor costs of the mechanic automatically.


When she’s not reading about the latest auto news, Britney Baker writes about auto insurance for

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