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Are Chevrolet Vehicles Expensive to Maintain?

BY: Andrew Giorgi
Traffic jam with rows of cars

When we think about a vehicle being expensive to maintain, most think about brands such as Tesla, Audi, or Mercedes. Others may think of high-tech features, like in-vehicle Wi-Fi or a turbo engine. While these all make sense, there are many things to consider when calculating the actual cost of owning a specific vehicle. So the main question many people should ask themselves when looking to purchase a vehicle is, could it be possible that a vehicle with a higher initial ticket price may be less expensive to own than one with a lower initial cost?

The answer is simple — absolutely! One needs to consider the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, the cost of parts, routine maintenance, major repairs, and even the likelihood of performing certain repairs. One brand of vehicle that may be surprisingly pricey to maintain, regardless of how many years old your car is, is Chevrolet.

How Expensive Is It To Maintain Chevrolets?

At Endurance, we know that buying a new car can be a burden on your wallet. That’s why we understand the importance of a reliable, well-maintained vehicle. We do what we can to ensure that you are getting the warranty coverage you need for your vehicle. That includes empowering you to know what types of vehicles are likely to cost you the most money to maintain.

Historically, Chevrolets have filed many claims with us here at Endurance, so with no coverage, you are far more likely to be paying a lot for car maintenance and repairs. It’s also important to know that different models have different costs associated with them, but it’s always better to be safe than to be stranded on the side of the road.

Take, for example, the Chevy Cobalt. The Cobalt took the number 5 spot on Yahoo News’s 2020 list of most expensive vehicles to maintain despite having an MSRP of only around $16,000. Over ten years, they estimated that the maintenance costs of the Cobalt could reach over $14,500, which is almost enough for you to buy a completely new one. Another Chevrolet, the Impala, also makes that list at a hefty $11,500. We don’t need to tell you that’s a lot of money.

Our partner, RepairPal, has gathered a wealth of information on vehicles and their repair costs. According to them, the overall reliability rating for Chevrolet is 3.5 out of 5.0, which places them at number 20 out of 32 for all car brands. This rating isn’t bad, but it is important to know that it is their average across 345 unique models. Overall, the annual repair cost for Chevrolet is estimated to come in at $649. Unfortunately, that number is higher than average ownership costs, with a 15% chance of any repair being severe.

All this talk of averages can be a little overwhelming and more than a little confusing. So, let’s break down a few specific Chevrolet models and their cost of ownership.

Chevrolet Trax

With its reasonable ticket price of around $26,500, the Chevy Trax is not what many people would consider to be costly. The Trax is a crossover SUV with good MPG that has been in production since 2015, and in the years since, we’ve been able to collect some information on the vehicle’s maintenance cost.

One can expect to spend an estimated $859.50 in annual maintenance costs and repairs. That’s $8595 over ten years of ownership. To put that in perspective, assuming you buy a brand new car at a dealership, you will have paid roughly 32% of the total ticket price again in maintenance and repairs alone over ten years.

Chevrolet Spark

Subcompact cars are becoming increasingly popular. However, with a price tag well below the national average at around $16,000, the Chevy Spark isn’t what many people consider pricey either. That is until you look at the actual cost of ownership.

Over ten years, annual maintenance costs and repairs are estimated to cost you around $6000. That is almost 37% of the sticker price of a new car. So, to reiterate, if you were to purchase this vehicle, you could expect to pay over a full 1/3 of the ticket price again to keep it on the road.

Chevrolet Malibu

Another popular model, the Chevy Malibu, is not exempt from having its own list of common problems. The Malibu seems to suffer from lousy transmission issues that can result in unforeseen visits to a repair shop. These transmission issues often occur under 100,000 and lead to the transmission needing to be replaced entirely.

To completely replace or rebuild a transmission in a Chevy Malibu, you should expect to pay out around $3,500. While transmission problems are never ideal, the Malibu often suffers from engine and fuel system issues that can make your life even more difficult. In fact, according to the NHTSA (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), over half of the complaints about the 2018 Chevy Malibu were about the engine and fuel system.

While various problems can occur when talking about engine and fuel systems, symptoms can range from speed control problems to stalled engines and poor fuel economy. Worse is that this is not generally a high-mileage problem. You may even be dealing with issues before your first oil change, as these are problems that can often occur as early as 5,000 miles. So, even if you are buying a new car, you have a higher-than-average chance of encountering some of these problems.

According to our partner, RepairPal, the number one most common problem that the Chevy Malibu seems to face is the electric power steering system. Unfortunately, 2004-2015 are the model years of Malibu that seem to struggle with this problem the most. Because the only way to repair the issue is a complete replacement of the steering column, this fix will cost you around $120.

What Are Some Common Chevrolet Problems?

The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado seems to struggle with transmission and engine issues. If you’re stuck taking care of it yourself, transmission or other types of powertrain problems in this vehicle could cost you in the range of $3,500. Clearly, this is not a cheap fix.

Even top-rated models like the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck have a plethora of common problems that can end up adding a hefty price tag to the owners of these vehicles, no matter the model year or your typical maintenance schedule. Issues such as the 4WD Transfer case position sensor/selector switch failing. Common signs of the transfer case failing include trouble shifting between gears. Shifting problems can make getting up to speed difficult and can do a lot of damage to your vehicle’s engine.

Often, problems with the transfer case position sensor can lead to issues staying in 4WD or even failing to engage or disengage altogether. Luckily, this is a relatively cheap and routine maintenance issue that will most likely cost you under $100 in parts. That is, of course, as long as you catch it in time. Continuing to drive with a failing transfer case damages your transmission, driveshafts, and even your axles.

The fuel level sensor is another common problem with the Chevrolet Silverado. When this part malfunctions, it can become impossible to know how much fuel you actually have, as the fuel gauge can fluctuate wildly. Many mechanics would suggest completely replacing the fuel pump module on higher mileage Chevy Silverado’s. This fix is likely to cost you around $1000, give or take $100.

Protect Your Vehicle with Endurance

Owning any vehicle can be an expensive endeavor. Knowing common problems and the price tag behind the fixes can help you make the decisions that will save you money. Endurance breakdown protection can help you offset the expense of owning a vehicle that is pricier to maintain. Don’t get stuck paying for costly fixes! Request a free quote and protect your vehicle and your pocket today.

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