There are certain jobs that are just no fun. Some repairs require using special tools or getting at hard-to-reach spaces. Others take a solid day of wrenching and a kind of patience you simply don’t have. Unfortunately, these repairs tend to affect the overall long-term health of your vehicle. They’re also all too easy to dismiss as merely annoying until a serious breakage occurs. Here are five examples of repairs you should stop putting off until tomorrow.
WORN ENGINE MOUNTS
That annoying clunk you hear when you put your car in gear isn’t going to go away on its own. Engine mounts are designed to allow for only a certain amount of movement. Once that limit is reached, there’s a risk of other components becoming damaged. For example, a hose connecting the power steering pump on the engine to the power steering reservoir on the fender may get stretched or rub on nearby components; wires may get pulled loose from the excessive engine movement. It’s best to just knuckle down and get the proper repairs done.
Sure, the noise is annoying, but an exhaust leak can also lead to nasty fumes entering the passenger compartment. In extreme cases, a leak can burn or melt nearby components. Unfortunately, they can also be hard to track down, especially when buried in the engine compartment. Cast-iron manifolds can crack, bolts can break, gaskets can fail, and exhaust pipes can rust through. The straightforward repair is to replace the offending part. For some vehicles, though, creative workarounds like exhaust manifold repair clamps are another option.
If you’ve been topping off your oil for a while now rather than finding the leak, it’s time to stop putting off the inevitable. A small fluid drip can lead to more than just annoying stains on your driveway; the fluid could coat your engine and damage other components. Delaying that power steering pump leak repair will sure seem silly when you end up with a ruined alternator as well. Do yourself and your driveway a favour and track down that leak.
Worn out shocks and struts have a way of sneaking up on you. They rarely go bad overnight, but when they reach the end of their service life, they may as well not be there at all. Shocks and struts take the abuse that would otherwise be transmitted to other chassis components. 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 on your next drive.
FAILING CV AXLES
Even if you know your CV boots are torn, there’s no way to know just how long you have until the joint inside starts to fail. If you hear a telltale clicking when turning your front wheels left or right, then you’re due for new axles. Waiting too long to replace them could lead to dangerous driveline vibrations and possibly even failure of the axle assembly itself. Make the time to get them fixed. The repairs above aren’t fun, and some can take a decent chunk of time. But if you have the DIY knowledge to tackle them at home or the opportunity to visit your local NAPA AUTOPRO, there’s no time like the present to get them done.