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How to avoid expensive vehicle repairs

Channel 2 Investigates reveals how to save up to 50 percent

HOUSTON – As a young, marketing and sales professional, Crystal Perez does a lot of driving, but what she actually know about cars, you could fit into a spark plug box.

I should tell you, Crystal is also my sister in law, kid sister to my wife Veronica, and recently we were talking about her car breaking down right in the middle of the road.

“It died on me on the road as I was going up a hill, so that’s how I found out there was a problem with my fuel pump,” Crystal said, smiling.

Like any of us would do, Crystal took her car to her local mechanic and the price for repairs was not what she wanted to hear.

“The guy told me it was a fuel pump and it was a dealer part only, which to me would mean they’re going to jack-up the price.  He told me the price was going to be about $400 dollars,” Crystal said.

That’s when Crystal did something more and more people are doing every day.
Instead of just hanging her head and agreeing to pay what she thought was an outrageous amount of money, Crystal, although she knows nothing about cars, decided to buy that fuel pump herself, online.

She went straight to eBay, typing in the year, make and model of her car and the part she wanted.
She didn’t even have an official part number, but up popped a whole selection of new parts at lower prices than she had seen.

“The one I went with was online for $249 dollars,” Crystal said.

Now remember, the repair shop price for that part was going to be $400 and now Crystal was looking at paying just $249, a savings of $150, for about five minutes of work on the computer.

Junior Bekdely owns Redline Auto Sports along with his dad Ali, and he has seen a huge increase in recent months of customers bringing in their own parts.

“Today the average consumer is a lot more aware and informed and going online, finding the part yourself, you can save 30 percent to 50 percent, even more,” Bekdely said.

The list of websites offering new auto parts include, rockauto.com, carparts.com, partsgeek.com, amazon, and eBay.

Just how much can you save if you are smart?

Listen to  Bekdely talking about a customer who brought him new brakes to install on his Range Rover.

“He needed a full brake service (all new brakes).  He was quoted about $4,000 thousand dollars from the dealer.  But he found his parts online for about $500.  Add in a few hundred dollars for labor, and he was able to get it done for under a thousand bucks,” Junior said.

You could call it a revolution.

Crystal calls it a whole new way to get your car fixed.

“I think everyone should do it, yeah.  It’s a no-brainer,” Crystal said.