Ways to Save and Keep an Aging Car Safe

Carmakers sometimes publish service bulletins for vehicles which can provide substantial savings when getting a car fixed.
1:53 | 11/06/14

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Transcript for Ways to Save and Keep an Aging Car Safe
Our aging cars. And it turns out, families are spending hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on repairs when they don't need to. ABC's Rebecca Jarvis and the real money team showing us how to cut down those bills. Reporter: The Chen family doesn't keep their 2011 Toyota sienna in a garage. Unless it needs work. It is just out of warranty and it's starting to need repairs. Reporter: Isn't that the way it always goes. Yes. Reporter: They've been warned to replace the brake pads, but their first quote is over $1,200. It was basically the repairs, or Christmas. Reporter: To keep their tires and costs from spinning out of control, we brought in auto expert Charlie Romero. His number one tip, look for free fixes. In addition to safety recalls, automakers occasionally publish service bulletins to fix problems found in their cars. You can find those by putting the car's vin number on the website kafsafercar.gov. We found free paint jobs for some Honda civics and new wheel bearings for certain Chrysler mini vans. For the Chen's Siena, free fixes that means they'll save up to $450. But no free fix for those pricey brake pads. For that, our second tip. Be an informed consumer. Using apps like open bay and repair pal that let you compare prices at local mechanics. They have to win your business with the right price. It went from $535 as the low to around $950 as the high. Reporter: A quick app check led the Chen's to this repair shop, charging $600 less than the original quote. Does that sound good to you guys? Christmas! Reporter: Yes. Combined with those free fixes, the chens are now on the road to saving more than $1,000. Rebecca Jarvis, ABC news, Washington.

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

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