Drivers putting more money into car maintenance

June 16, 2010 8:30:53 PM PDT
With the economy showing signs of life, area auto repair shops say drivers are doing something they put off as long they could -- routine maintenance. They were trying to save money during an uncertain period, but now they are starting to spend again.

"If you're going to rely on your vehicle, you need a reliable vehicle," auto repair shop owner Alan McCoy said.

That is why some Bay Area mechanics say business is revving up.

With the recession still echoing through the economy many Americans are choosing to spend a few thousand fixing up their old cars, rather than buying a new one.

"I think people came to the conclusion that you had to maintain and repair the cars they had or they wouldn't have anything to drive," McCoy said.

McCoy owns the Car Doc repair shop in Martinez. His earnings suggest that during the depths of the recession people put off even routine maintenance until they were sure about their jobs and finances.

Since then, things are looking up.

The consumer rating firm J.D. Power and Associates says the average car on the road is now more than nine years old. At that age they begin to need more maintenance, even if that's not what drivers want to hear.

"They complain about the cost of repairs and I do understand that, this is one step above going to the dentist," McCoy said.