Here’s some bad news for those of us who spend a lot of time behind the wheel: not only are drivers in the U.S. getting worse, but it appears that their cars are too. A recent study by the Automobile Association of America showed that the poor economy is forcing drivers to delay or avoid needed maintenance or car repair. One in four drivers, or 25 percent, could not afford “major” car repairs (over $2,000), and one in eight drivers, or 12.5 percent, couldn’t even afford a $1,000 repair.

If you’ve priced parts or repairs lately, you’ll realize that reaching these numbers isn’t difficult. A set of four tires for today’s larger wheels can easily exceed $1,000, and a complete brake job with new pads, rotors, and labor can even creep up on the $1,000 mark. If you need major engine or transmission work, it’s almost certain you’ll cross the $2,000 threshold, depending upon the vehicle you drive and the amount of labor involved in the repair. In some cases, extended warranties can help, but these often require you to prove that you’ve followed the vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

We’re spending less money on repairs and upkeep of our cars as well. In 2005, the average driver spent $181 annually on repairs and maintenance; in 2011, that number has fallen to $169, despite the fact that labor, parts, and material prices have gone up over the past six years.

Americans are keeping their cars longer, too, which isn’t necessarily a good thing if they’re avoiding maintenance or repairs. To avoid costly repairs in the future, the AAA advises drivers to stick to the maintenance schedule recommended by their manufacturer. A transmission fluid and filter change may seem expensive, but it’s quite a bit cheaper than having to replace your transmission due to neglect.


Source: Automotive News (subscription required)

What do you think?
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  (342) posted on 10.18.2011

Maybe it is really better if we don’t had a car if we can’t afford its maintenance.. hahaha smiley Seriously, just sort of advice for everyone, if you can’t afford the maintenance of your car, why don’t you study to fix it on your own? There’s a lot of cheap ways on how to learn that.

  (331) posted on 09.7.2011

It’s just sad that we choose to have ride that we can’t support its maintenance! Hell, no wonder why there’s a increase in the percentage of road accident.

  (365) posted on 09.7.2011

yeah, I would say that I’m one of the guilty! I admit that I don’t make a regular check up on my ride since its kind of costly!

  (314) posted on 08.8.2011

I think it is a normal thing. Not all of us can afford the repair and maintenance of our car, especially if you own expensive cars like Bugatti and Ferrari. It is a good recommendation to stick with the schedule rather than waiting for your car to mess up.

  (530) posted on 08.8.2011

Yeah, its kind of funny on how they can’t afford the repair for their vehicle. I’m sure they even got a pain in the neck about the fuel crisis. When you can’t afford at all then why don’t try to sell the car instead.

  (474) posted on 08.8.2011

Well, not only in the US I guess, but all around the globe that affects in economy crisis. I understood that these people just try to save and use the money for other expenses. However, I think in this case, it would be better to commute rather than having a headache about this thing.

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