By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Does the tight economy have you skipping out on routine car maintenance? Well in some cases that could cost you more down the road. So 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan takes a look at what repairs can be deferred and what should be addressed right away.

The slowdown in the economy is hitting the streets, affecting drivers and mechanics head on. Robert Sinclair of AAA says, “Those who’ve suffered foreclosures or perhaps lost their jobs are really putting off critical maintenance items that they need to have done on their vehicles and it can come back to bite them.”

We’re hearing that more and more drivers are putting the brakes on big repairs while spending valuable cash on unnecessary maintenance like too frequent oil changes or fuel-boosting gizmos. AAA approved mechanic John Frisolone recommends that drivers skip the expensive performance tires and mileage-boosting magnets and instead focus on things like tire pressure. He says, “A very easy thing for a consumer to do to take care of their car is to read the tire pressure setting by the manufacturer on the door and set your tires to that setting. Front and rear may be different, but this is something so simple that can bring a fuel savings to everybody.”

When it comes to oil changes, new engine technology has updated the old 3 thousand mile rule, it’s now suggests changing your oil every 5 to 7 thousand miles.
Modern coolant now lasts longer too. If your coolant is brown or red, it’s engineered to last 50 thousand miles, or roughly 5 years. If consumers are looking to hold off on repairs and save money, Friolone says, “The things I don’t recommend putting off too long would be for example, like your brakes, check engine light is something not to be ignored, have the light looked at immediately.”

To check out the top reasons why cars break down on the side of the road, other than when it has to do with an accident, visit the link below. There you’ll find a link to our partners at CBS Moneywatch and their auto expert who lists the top problems that leave drivers stranded on the side of the road.


Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE