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Taking Action: DIY vehicle repairs to save you time, stress and money

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Unless you lead a charmed life, odds are good you will experience a break down or a flat tire at some point. Swapping out a spare tire can not only be stressful, it can also cost a pretty penny if you have to pay someone to do it.

That's why WHNT News 19 is taking action for viewers; walking them through the steps of a tire change and other easy Do-It-Yourself car repairs to save time, stress and money.

According to the AAA, a driver can expect to spend 58 cents for each mile driven, nearly $725 per month, to cover the fixed and other costs associated with owning a car. That comes out to a whopping $8,698 per year!

Researchers at Northwestern University also found that women are often, but not always, charged more than men for auto repairs.

The perception of mechanics isn’t much better. As recent as 2013, consumer resource site RepairPal showed 77 percent of respondents think mechanics are more likely to sell women unnecessary repairs. Respondents also thought 66 percent believed mechanics charge women more than men for the same services.

So let's talk about those tires.

Let’s face it, changing a tire isn’t something a lot of people know how to do. University Kia’s service manager David Hooton tells WHNT News 19 learning how could save you a lot of money.

“Being able to change a tire on the side of the road, you’re not having to pay for road side assistance, you’re not having to pay for a tow truck and a lot of times you’re not damaging the wheel or the tire by trying to drive it further," Hooton said.

We’re taking action to walk you through the process...

  1. If you get a flat, stop driving and pull over to a safe area.
  2. Find your spare tire. It’s a good idea to find out beforehand whether it’s under the vehicle, like on a SUV or mini-van, or if it’s in the trunk. You may not even have a spare -- just a kit.
  3. Pull out all your tools, then loosen all of your lug nuts just a bit to start.
  4. Then jack the car up, fully loosen the lug nuts, take the flat tire off and put the spare tire on.
  5. Once you're done, lower the car back down, then tighten the lug nuts up and secure your flat in the back of your car.

It’s really that simple! The next time you find yourself in a bind, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

There are some repairs you’ll likely want to let a professional handle. We interviewed University Kia's General Manager on the difference between easy repairs and more serious problems.

Click below to watch his exclusive interview with WHNT News 19, explaining when you should NOT try to DIY and instead take your rig to a pro. He also offered advice for when you are taking your car into a service center, to get an optimal experience.