How long do common car repairs take?

Whether you’re planning on driving your new car from our online car auctions, or ultimately selling it on for profit, getting it professionally assessed and repaired is a vital part of the overall process. Obviously, buying a new salvage car is always a cost benefit analysis. That means if you’re a driver planning on getting a mechanic to repair it, it helps to have a good idea of how long the most common repairs take. If you’re a professional mechanic, on the other hand, it always helps to refresh your memory on the time estimates of common repairs, so you can work out exactly how much time you plan to spend on it. Good news for you there - we’ve summed up the most common repairs for you right here at RAW2K, along with their rough time estimates.

Faulty headlight, rear light or brake light

We’ll start with perhaps the simplest of repairs, which is a faulty headlight or rear light. This takes virtually no time at all, and it such a quick job that many mechanics advertise it to customers as a ‘while-you-wait’ kind of task. Now, assuming that you have the correct bulbs on hand, and that it’s only the bulb which is faulty rather than the underlying electrical system, it should take around 15 minutes maximum. However, if a light has actually shattered from an impact, then that’s a different job entirely!

Estimate: 5 to 15 minutes

Repairing Damaged bumper

When any car is involved in a collision, it’s generally the bumper which takes the brunt of the damage first. As it should do, since it’s designed for that purpose! Once the damage is done though, the car owner is left with a choice: will the bumper simply need a repair, or will it need to be replaced entirely? The decision isn’t as straightforward as it may seem at first: a repair will be cheaper than a replacement, but a replacement will be sturdier and safer. Even a simple repair is relatively in-depth - it may involve adding filler to the impact site, sanding the excess, heating the filler, clearing up the area, and repainting it (as a minimum). For moderate damage, it may take even longer, and for heavy damage it’s better to simply replace the bumper.

Estimate: 1 hour (repair) Estimate: 3-4 hours (replacement)

Changing a set of brakes

This is one of the most common types of repairs performed on the average car, which means it’s a relatively straightforward one for experienced mechanics. Most modern cars use disc brakes (much like most modern bikes), which means that the disc and the pads can both be repaired individually. This means a full brake change might not be necessary in every case. However, if more than one brake needs attention, changing a full pair of front brakes will take about an hour. Changing both sets of brakes - front and rear - will obviously take at least double that amount of time. However, it shouldn’t take significantly longer, as long as all the parts are readily available.

Estimate: 1-2 hours

Replacing tyres

This is another quite straightforward repair. Depending on the size of the tyre and whether the right-sized variants are really available, the time taken to replace each one can be as short as five minutes. All four tyres together shouldn’t take more than 45 minutes. However, most mechanics and garages charge by the hour, so if you’re a driver employing someone to repair your car, it’s worth knowing that garages will typically round up this 45 minutes to the 60-minute mark, and charge you accordingly. Don’t worry, this is standard practice!

Estimate: 5-45 minutes (depending on number of tyres)

Exhaust Repairs

This is another reasonably variable one, as the amount of time and labour the repairs will take depends largely on how severe the damage is. Replacing a muffler, for example, should take no more than an hour, and roughly the same amount of time where the mid pipe is concerned. Repairs concerning the down-pipe, though, are more intensive, and may take as many as two or three hours.

If you’re a driver, it’s definitely worth checking with your mechanic ahead of time, and if you’re a mechanic yourself it’s worth putting aside at least a morning - you may be surprised at how long you’re in for!

Estimate: 45 minutes to 3 hours (depending on severity)

Whether you’re a driver on the lookout to save hundreds or even thousands on your next motor, or you’re a professional mechanic or dealer looking to buy and ‘flip’ salvage cars for a quick profit, we’ve got exactly what you’re looking for right here at RAW2K. Our online car auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, and we stock models from a range of leading manufacturers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?