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Consumer Reports: Lowering your car costs

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Maintaining your vehicle and keeping it on the road can be downright expensive. But according to Consumer Reports, there are some things you can do to keep your auto costs down.

For starters, break up with your insurer. Many consumers think staying loyal to their insurance company will save them money. But that's just not true, so shop around at least every three years.

Speaking of insurance, consider raising your collision and comprehensive deductible: You could save as much as $500 annually.

Ditch the in-car navigation system. That could save hundreds maybe even thousands the next time you purchase a vehicle. Besides, you most likely already have a navigation system on your cell phone.

Negotiate tire prices when it comes time to buy. You can do that by comparison shopping at different tire shops and not settling for the sticker price. Consumer Reports says more than half of consumers who haggled or asked for a lower price actually got it.

And finally, oil changes are good for your engine but you don't have to do them as frequently as you think. The old rule of thumb was paying for an oil change every 3,000 miles. But these days, the experts say every 5,000 miles is perfectly fine.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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