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Car Repair Costs Rose in 2012 – Not for Hybrids, Though

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Car Repair Costs on the Rise For the First Time in Six Years - Is it Time to Trade In?
Car Repair Costs on the Rise For the First Time in Six Years – Is it Time to Trade In?

Car repair costs are one of those things that car owners never really want to deal with, but how much you pay really depends on what type and what age of vehicle you drive.

The newer your car is, the less often you’ll need to make repairs. Where older vehicles recommended oil changes every 3,000 miles, some newer vehicles are extending that interval to 10,000 miles. Some oil companies assert that you can push this to even 15,000 miles.

Add hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles to the mix and service intervals are even further apart and cheaper than ever before. Timing belts are slowly being phased out and chains are lifetime. Fluid technology has advanced to the point where the first coolant or transmission fluid change might be at 100,000 miles.

Maintenance costs are dropping all the time. On the other hand, car repair costs are on the rise, not because of high technology, but because of the economy. With the US economy slacking for the last five years or so, owners have been holding onto their vehicles for longer.

With more years on the road and more miles on the clock, bigger car repairs come more often simply due to wear and tear. According to research that CarMD has been conducting since the mid-1990s, car repair costs went up 10% in 2012, breaking a six-year downtrend in car repair costs. The biggest increase of 11.6% came in the Northeast region, arguably the worst environment to own a vehicle in the US. Could it be time to trade in or trade up?

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