ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – As fears over a flatlining economy swell, some motorists are trying to save cash – but letting their cars turn to clunkers in the process.

A new study by AAA shows that more and more car owners are putting off repairs while waiting for their economic situation to improve. However, KMOX auto expert Greg Damon says saving a cent here and there often leads to big bucks lost down the road.

“It’s that old adage, that old T.V. campaign, ‘You can pay me now or you can pay me later,'” Damon says.

He says little things like waiting too long to have an oil change can lead to a replacement of the entire engine. He says one of the most common mistakes is the closest to the road.

“Tires are extremely expensive,” Damon says. “With the skyrocketing oil prices, tire prices have just shot through the roof. So they’re really putting off tires until they absolutely have to have them.”

Damon says other oft-neglected parts that could cause a drain on dollars later on include spark plugs, fluids and especially timing belts.

The AAA study reveals that one out of four Americans can’t afford a major car repair bill, and more than half choose to hang on to old vehicles rather than buy new ones. Following Damon’s advice by keeping up on maintenance can keep that engine purring.

Copyright KMOX Radio.


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