Cost of car repairs on the rise for the first time in six years - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Cost of car repairs on the rise for the first time in six years

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Drivers aren't only feeling the pain at the pump-- but now a new report shows costs are going up at car repair shops for the first time in six years.

According to the third annual Vehicle Health Index coordinated by CarMD.com Corp., an online provider of car repair data, repair costs went up 10 percent in 2012.

(Click here to read more about the CarMD.com report.)

So what's behind the trend, and what can you do to avoid a costly trip to the mechanic?

DJ Peters, the owner of Niehaus Auto in Quincy says mechanics aren't actually raising their prices-- drivers are just keeping their cars longer, which means they are more prone to needing what Peters calls "catastrophic" repairs like replacing an engine or transmission.

Ken Frericks drives a 2005 Audi A4, an eight year old car he does regular maintenance on in order to avoid costly repairs.

"If something goes wrong, I fix it right away, I don't let it get to the point where I have to have a catastrophic repair, I've never replaced a transmission, I've never replaced an engine I've never had to do that," said Frericks.

But D.J. Peters the owner of Niehaus Auto says other drivers aren't as lucky as Frericks.

Peters says a big reason why car repair costs have gone up is simply because parts for older models are harder to find.

"They don't mass produce the parts anymore, it used to be a lot of different parts fit a lot of different vehicles. Now a days, one part fits one exact vehicle, so it's a lot more expensive to find that single part," said Peters.

While Peters says sometimes Complex repairs are nearly impossible to avoid-- there are some things drivers can do to help prevent a more costly repair.

"Get your oil changed regularly, get everything checked out. Make sure batteries and belts and all the normal stuff that are working parts for your vehicle get looked at every once in a while, to make sure they are up to par," said Peters.

And for drivers like Frericks, looking to keep their older models in tip-top shape, keeping up on regular maintenance, might just pay off in the long run.

"The cost of new cars, $30-40,000 now, you can do a lot of repair for that kind of money. Cost of insurance is less on an older car, if you take care of them they'll last," said Frericks.

Peters also says when you spill a beverage or liquid in your car, make sure to clean that up immediately because it can seap through and damage the internal wiring of your car.

And that would be costly.

 

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