Deal Diva: Summer savings on car maintenance

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - For those who plan on taking a summer trip, it's probably a good idea to check out a list from that might show just how costly car repairs could be.

Researchers of the popular website and app came up with a list of the, "most expensive," and "most affordable' vehicles to repair."  They looked at the four most common car repairs which include:

  • Alternator replacement
  • Water pump replacement
  • Front brake pad replacement
  • Oil service change

So, what's the average cost for all four repairs? Well, that depends on the car.

To see which vehicles made the list, go to

Ultimately, it doesn't matter what a person drives, preventative maintenance can cut down the repair costs and keep motorists rolling this summer, according to Gary Freeman, owner of C & G Auto in Myrtle Beach.

"Summer travel and use is actually hard on a car," he said. "There are a lot of systems that get taxed very heavily during the summer. Cooling system is one of them that includes the radiator and the hoses, (and) the water pump. These are all something you want to check." 

Freeman said car batteries need to be checked not only in the winter. Most of them last about three to five years.

"Batteries get a lot of work in hot weather," Freeman said. "Batteries suffer more in hot weather than they do in cold weather. They fail more in cold weather but it's because they've been taxed so hard during hot weather."

Motorists should also remember that it's important to check the tires before hitting the road.

"Most cars now have something to remind you if your tire pressure is low, but you want to look at the tread on them too," Freeman said. "Make sure the tread depth is sufficient when you are traveling to make sure you don't encounter any problems such as hydroplaning.

Freeman added when tire tread is low, they will often pick up more nails and other objects.

Then there is the rule of not getting caught in an afternoon summer storm with bad wiper blades.

Freeman said replacement blades are relatively cheap and most people change them out themselves. If not, the work can be done at a lot of places for free.

However, according to Freeman, the most common summer repair they see is fuel pump failures.

"It's because the fuel pump is cooled by the gasoline it's submerged in," Freeman said. "So, if your gasoline level is low, the pump is operating, getting hotter and then if you pull in and fill it with fuel that is actually coming from the ground, it's cold. The cold fuel goes on the hot pump, and we see at least a dozen every summer that won't start."

Freeman added the bottom line is taking care of a vehicle may only take a few buck now, but it will save drivers frustration and hundreds of dollars in repair costs later.

"It's smart to do the preventative maintenance stuff, and if you are not familiar with it, have someone check it out for you," he said. "Take it to someone reputable and tell them to check your (car) out to make sure everything is okay."

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