Car repairs can be expensive, and nobody ever seems to know if they really need the maintenance and/or fixes that their mechanic or owner's manual recommend. If the car seems to be running fine, what's wrong with ignoring a little problem and avoiding a trip to the shop?

The problem is that little problems can become big ones. With cars, ignoring warning lights or sensory warning signs can cause minor issues that would only require a relatively cheap repair to blossom into bigger, more expensive problems.

Instead of procrastinating with minor car repairs, it's almost always best to address them now to help prevent more severe problems from happening down the road.

4 Simple Car Repairs to Deal With Head On

Simple Windshield Repair

Regular maintenance is part of car ownership. It's something we always urge consumers to factor into their budgets because it's something that every vehicle requires. Little things can become bigger issues if they are ignored, and a relatively inexpensive repair can turn into one that costs thousands.

Tom Barlow of DealNews took a look at some simple car repairs that require your immediate attention. If left unchecked, they could easily become big problems that become much more expensive to deal with.

  • Fix Windshield Chips
    Whether caused by Mother Nature or a rogue stone, a little chip or crack in a windshield may not seem like a big deal if it isn't in your line of vision. They don't change anything and can be easily ignored, so what's the big deal? The problem is that if a little crack is ignored, dirt, debris, or water can get into it and compromise the spot's clarity for good. Or worse, it could grow larger and eventually grow into a crack across your entire windshield. If dealt with right away, small windshield chips can be easily repaired. In fact, some insurance providers are happy to pay for it because it beats having to replace an entire windshield. If not, a little problem could develop into an entire windshield replacement.
  • Balance Tires
    Unbalanced tires can be detected by steering wheel vibrations at speeds over 40-50 miles per hour or by noticeable uneven wear. If you tires aren't balanced, they can wear unevenly and may call for a new set sooner as opposed to later. Also, any shaking or vibration can put additional wear on your car's suspension system, which could lead to shocks and struts needing replacement. These things are much more costly than getting your tires balanced, so check your owner's manual to see how often the maker of your vehicle recommends having it done.

  • Replace Spark Plugs
    Worn or damaged spark plugs can lead to a lot of problems. They can lead to a reduction in gas mileage and engine performance, which can cost you money. A blown out spark plug can cause problems in the catalytic converter, which can be very expensive to repair. They can also cause a drain on your battery and lead to it needing replacement as well. Your owner's manual will tell you how often your spark plugs need replacing, and the cost of a set of them is nothing compared to a new converter or other engine trouble.
  • Replace the Oxygen Sensor
    An oxygen sensor, or O2 sensor, monitors your engine's exhaust and helps adjust your engine's air/fuel ratio based on the amount of downstream oxygen. According to CarMD.com, a malfunctioning oxygen sensor is the number one reason for a car's "check engine" light to come on. Don't just put tape over the light on your dashboard. Problems with an oxygen sensor can cause your engine to start consuming more fuel than it needs (which leads to you spending more on gas) and can eventually cause your spark plugs and/or catalytic converter to malfunction as well.

Act Now, Benefit Later

When it comes to car repairs, it's often better to tend to the needs immediately while the problem is still small. Doing so may cost you money now, but it can save you big bucks down the line.

Credit repair is the same. When you are dealing with damaged credit, ignoring the problem isn't going to make it go away. Attacking it head on is the only way to get you back on the path to healthy credit.

If you need a car and your credit is less than perfect, Auto Credit Express can help. We know how hard getting approved for financing can be when you have bad credit, which is why we've made it easy. We can help you if you complete our free and easy online application, and your auto loan can help you jump start the credit repair process.

You can even get an extended warranty on the car you buy. If you check out the benefits they offer, you'll see that an extended service contract could help you save money on car repairs over time. Check out how they can help you save here.