Lightweight Cars May Have Bigger Repair Bills

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Car parts made of lighter materials are often more complicated, or even impossible, to repair.

Lighter and newer car materials can improve fuel efficiency, but there’s a trade-off: They’re harder to fix.

Carmakers want better mileage and crash-test results, but having both is increasing costs elsewhere for consumers, USA Today says. “The sometimes exotic materials needed to meet those goals mean replacement parts not only cost more, but often require elaborate repair techniques that are taxing skills in some body shops,” it says.

The paper highlights three materials automakers are moving toward to meet fuel and safety standards:

  • Aluminum. In 2009, the average car used 327 pounds of aluminum. By 2025, the estimate is 550 pounds, but the steel it’s replacing is far heavier.
  • Carbon fiber. This composite material is currently preferred in high-end sports cars, but it’s getting cheaper and appearing in more parts.
  • High-strength steel. It’s as strong as traditional steel, but lighter. It’s increasingly being used for car bodies.

These materials are saving consumers at the pump and meeting stricter regulatory requirements, but could cost everyone at the repair shop.

Businesses have to invest in the new tools and methods to repair them, USA Today says, and that cost could be passed on to consumers. New materials such as high-strength steel sometimes remove the option of repair, too. Steel parts that once could have been repaired by welding in a small new piece have to be replaced instead, because the new material can’t handle the heat of welding.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Lookin’ Good! How to Get a Killer Deal on Eyeglasses

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,958 more deals!