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Cars run on gas, batteries and Murphy’s Law: if something can go wrong… it will. Having said that, here is your introduction to yoru car’s most favorite ways or… um, messing with you. (And there’s nothing you can do about it.)

Auto sensor?

It’s probably only a few hundred dollars at most but that’s a few hundred more than you probably have lying around collecting dust. Out of all repairs to cars in 1 year, this accounts for a little over 9.5 percent of them. As easy as this should be for the do-it-yourself mechanic to get at the car makers have made it nearly impossible without the exclusively made tool. Go figure!

Hey, you dropped your gas cap

No big deal, right? You can probably pick up another one when some other nincompoop loses his! Guess how much gas just evaporates into the atmosphere each year because some poor schmucks forgot their caps or put it on too loosely – 147,000,000 gallons. Ouch. Drop a few dollars and replace it now or pay the price down the line. It accounts for just over 9 percent of repairs.

You ignored something else and now…

…Your catalytic converter gave up the ghost. This probably could have been averted, sadly. A fuel injector or spark plug may be to blame. This will cost you. And you won’t pass emissions if you don’t get it fixed. About 6.5 repairs deal with this.

More regularly scheduled maintenance ignored

Mass air-flow sensors fail due to what was probably an ignored or undetected issue as well. It accounts for about 4.5 percent of repairs. Replace your air filter regularly and you might avoid paying somewhere around a few hundred for the part, but the labor? Oops.

The engine feels like it’s missing

Bad spark plugs could be the problem for almost 4 percent of all repairs. It’s a cheap self fix but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will be sorry!

Only about 3 percent of repairs

An exhaust valve for gas recirculation can cause problems with emissions again. Only a few hundred dollars for this repair.

Is that steam?

If it is you might fall into that 2.75 percent of repairs due to failure of a sensor that monitors the temperature of your engine coolant. It’s a pretty cheap repair, but urgent.And when the rust starts, car owners have to start listening for that awful rumbling that always points to mufflers. Oh god!

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