How to Check for Recalls on Your Auto's Parts

You could save big bucks by finding out if the manufacturer is providing free replacements for malfunctioning parts.

I received a letter from Nissan today telling me that my 2009 Nissan Quest had been recalled because of a possible problem with the brake pedal. When Nissan announced March 2 that it would be recalling some 2008 and 2009 Nissan Quests, I hoped that mine wouldn't be among those recalled. No such luck.

But the good news is that the dealer will inspect the brake pedal and replace it, if necessary, for free. This is usually the case -- and it's important to remember, especially if something goes wrong with your vehicle and it's no longer under warranty.

Say you own a used vehicle and its brakes start having problems. So you take it to the repair shop, and the mechanic doesn't check to see if there's a recall on the brakes. Then you'll end up paying more than necessary to replace a recalled part that you should've gotten for free.

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The next time your car is on the fritz, check to see if there are any recalls on your vehicle's parts.

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor,

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.