Auto experts: Be aware now, or pay later - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Auto experts: Be aware now, or pay later

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Greg Suddeth of Suddeth Automotive explains vehicle maintenance to a customer Greg Suddeth of Suddeth Automotive explains vehicle maintenance to a customer

Three out of every four vehicles on the road currently needs some sort of service according to the National Car Care Council.

The agency said it got that number from inspections done at community car care events in 2012. The top three problem areas with cars tend to be the engine oil, the engine cooling system or the brake service.

Auto experts say neglecting your ride almost always means more expensive repairs later or lost resale value.

April is National Car Care Month and one Columbia automotive shop is offering free car care inspections through the end of month and a free seminar for women.

Suddeth Automotive on North Millwood said in an evolving trend, they've found more women seem to bring cars in for service than men.   

"I would say we deal with 60 to 70% women versus men, whereas I'll go back 20 years ago where we were probably 80 or 90% men," said Mike Suddeth.

Suddeth said the trend does not seem to be slowing down.

"We are seeing it evolve fairly rapidly now," said Suddeth. "More so than what we saw five years ago."

Suddeth said he doesn't know why it seems more women seem to be more car care aware, but he knows one thing:  "The women kind of know what questions to ask," he said.  "Unfortunately, guys, that's true."

So to answer more questions, Suddeth has offered a free seminar for women each April for the past several years.

From answering things like how often to change their oil and why it's necessary, to whether it's a good investment to make repairs on an older vehicle.

Suddeth and the Car Care Council said taking care of your car will avoid costly repairs later.

"Obviously it makes your car last longer," he said. "And in the long run, a well-maintained car has a cheaper operating cost and makes a safer vehicle."

The free women's seminar is this Saturday, April 20th at the Suddeth Automotive shop starting at 9:30am.If you have any questions visit or call (803) 256-2110.

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