Show me the Money

May 1, 2009 12:09 PM

Show Me The Money: Cheap Auto Repairs

Repairs on cars are almost never cheap, but by spending a little money and doing some simple things now, you can save money down the road.

Jennifer Miller is getting a tire changed on her green Honda Accord. Despite never having an oil change, she says it runs okay. "I just don't have a lot of extra money to put into the car," said Miller.

In this bad economy, many drivers are putting off repairs. Ignoring the simple things that keeps cars on the move. "Skip an oil change, you think it won't hurt anything, but you've got major problems with your engine," said Steve Sayers.

An oil change usually costs about 30 dollars, but skipping them can cause problems down the road... worst case, an engine replacement can cost you 5 to 6 thousand dollars. Another forgotten maintenance item, cleaning fuel injectors. Mechanics recommend doing it every 12 to 18 months. "You end up having to replace a set of injectors, could be as high as $1500. Where the cleaning is as low as $100," said Sayers.

You might save a few dollars by skipping fluid and filter changes, but it will cost you in the end. Flushing your cooling system costs about 100-150 bucks, it's recommended once every other year. "You put that off you're looking at the cost of a radiator, $400 to $500."

As for Miller, she hopes to squeek by a few more months until she graduates. "If I get my car repaired all the time, it just means I have to work more," she said.


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