Taking a Bite Out of Costly Car Repairs

Each year, Americans spend $36 billion on car repairs. Find out how to save.
3:26 | 07/15/13

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Transcript for Taking a Bite Out of Costly Car Repairs
Tonight we kick off a week of our series real money, easy new ways to save money, put it in your pocket. Tonight something that takes a big bite out of a family budget, fixing the car. Americans spend 36 billion dollars a year on repairs. Our paula faris will be kris krossing the country this week. She starts us off tonight by helping one san francisco family save hundreds of dollars. Paula, hello to you. Reporter: Good evening from sunny san francisco, diane. We're keeping our cars longer than ever. The average car on the road is 11 years old. 66% of us believe we're spending too much at the auto shop. There's good reason for that as we take a road trip with one san francisco family. Okay, little man, you ready to get in the car? Reporter: The rejbrand family are putting money on your honda but don't want to put more. They were suspicious of their $1,000 or more they were quoted. Our insider, phil reed, says car owners like the ray brands don't have to spin their wheels. To figure out the going rate for repairs before you call your mechanic, tip number one, use this free app called repair pal. Their suv needs a big tuneup. We typed this list in and they tell us the average being charged for the same service to others in your community. For example, some people in their area have paid as little as $233 for new brake pads. So we called local mechanics to compare prices and found some places charging more and some whose price was just right. Did you have any idea that the prices were going to range this much? No. They also recommend those who guarantee their work. Those mechanics to go through the approval process and if they pass get listed on their site. Tip number two, did you know you may not have to go to the auto shop for routine maintenance. Your mechanic is sprout is up across the country. They come to you. They don't have to have a garage and all the overhead that that requires. Reporter: How much is he going to pay to go to the shop? 100 plus which means there is no wait. Reporter: Finally tip three, figure out what that blinking dashboard light may mean before you call the america. With this new gadget called car md, phil finds out there are four free recalls on their car. This is good to know because I had no idea. Reporter: The hassle, the frustration in the rearview mirror. Those repairs, $525 less than their last quote. That's real money! Reporter: That's right. We saved them $525. What struck us the most that differential, $100 for one repair. Tomorrow we tackle hidden bank fees, the average american spending $225 a year, that money earning next to nothing, we're going to show you how to earn 78 times the national interest rate.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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