Car repair costs on the rise, take preventative care of your car to avoid paying too much

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 6:33pm

Americans are holding on to their cars longer than ever and a new report out today says the average car is now 11 years old. But how does that impact you as a driver?  It means more maintenance costs. 

According to the report, car repair costs in the nation are on the rise. But there are simple things you can do to save a trip to the mechanic and avoid costly repairs. 

It starts with the basics. Experts recommend you rotate your tires frequently to help them wear at the same rate, and don't ignore the "check engine" light -- it might be warning you of a serious problem with your oxygen sensor that could add up to an additional $900 a year in gas.

One local mechanic in El Paso says the Borderland bucks the trend of high auto repair costs because there are so many mom and pop shops here that offer cheaper repairs than dealerships -- driving the cost down. But just because it may be cheaper to get your car fixed in El Paso doesn't mean you shouldn't take preventative measures to keep your ride running smoothly. 

"It's always good to put the correct amount of air in your tires so that you can actually have better fuel mileage and they last you a little bit longer. Maintaining your tire pressures, doing the basic maintenance, air filters and things like that," said Joe Labrado, service manager at Viva Chevrolet in El Paso. 

You can extend the life of your engine and get more miles out of every tank of gas by changing your air filter every 12,000 miles.

Labrado said these tips are especially important for people who can't afford a new car or don't want to be stuck with a car payment because newer vehicles come with warranty packages that cut car repair costs for the owner.

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