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      Residents opt to open their hood rather than their wallet

      The economy has hit many businesses hard as residents keep a close eye on their budgets, but car repair shops have seen an increase in customers as people try to find ways to save money.

      "Right now it's cheaper to fix an older car than just buy a new car. Car payments are expensive and if you can take an older car, put a little money in it, drive it a long time, you'll save a lot of money," said Purvis Auto Repair owner Buddy Purvis.

      Older cars aren't an uncommon sight for many mechanics who say the trick to keeping your repair bill down is to act fast.

      "If you hear a noise that wasn't there yesterday and it ain't going away, there's probably something wrong. Get it looked at, because that little noise today could be a simple repair and then you let it go a couple of weeks and then it could be a major thing because it's tore up a bunch of things too," said Gieryic TMs Auto Repair owner Tom Gieryic.

      Regular maintenance and check-ups that get commonly pushed off are exactly what a car needs to stay off the lifts. Experts say another part that can add up fast are tires, so drivers should always pay attention to their condition.

      "Keep an eye on your tires, make sure you keep the correct air in it, check them once a month, somewhere in that area. Tires mean a lot, lower tire pressure, more friction on your tires, the quicker they wear out," said Purvis.

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