WASHINGTON - Do you get steamed every time your car is in the shop and you're told you're going to need a really expensive repair? Turns out many of the costliest fixes can be avoided in the first place.
According to CarMD, the average repair bill is now more than $300.
CarMD says most of those costly repairs could be prevented if owners paid attention to routine maintenance.
Replacing spark plugs -- the fifth most common repair -- at $10 each could save the catalytic converter and your wallet $1,000.
A loose gas cap can result in a 0.5 percent decrease in gas mileage. Gas caps cost $.80 a piece.
An oil change is a lot less expensive than replacing an entire engine.
And so when it comes to cars the message is simple: Pay now or prepare to pay a lot more later.
For a complete list of the most common car repairs, click here.
WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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