Car Maintenance.. Throwing Cash Out The Window???

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That’s right, you might as well just open your wallet and while you are driving down the road in your poorly maintained car, let it hang out the window at about 60 mph so everything inside just blows away in the wind.  That’s basically what you are doing when spending that money to maintain your car, right?  I mean, it runs fine now, and still runs fine after the maintenance is done, hard pill to swallow that maintenance stuff is.

Yea, it is.  If that’s the way you wanna look at it.  Anything can be strewn into a bad thing if you try hard enough.  But making an investment in what is quite possibly the most expensive thing you will ever buy to help it last as long as possible so you don’t have to make that huge purchase any more than absolutely necessary make perfect sense to me.  Lets break that last statement down.  I know, it was a mouthful.

Purchasing a new or even a lower mileage used vehicle is going to cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.  I’d venture to say that most of us don’t have that kinda cash laying around waiting for a rainy day.  So that means that when it’s time for a new car, you’re gonna have to get a loan.  That loan may last anywhere from 3-6 years or longer!  Your payment may be anywhere from $200-$500 per month or more not including the full coverage expensive insurance required when a vehicle has a lien on it.  Keep this info in the back of your mind as we progress.

I don’t wanna get too much into the math here, I mean seriously, lets keep it simple.  We all need to be able to understand this.  So you got this car, maybe it has 150,000 miles on it.  Some good mileage, not too much, but she’s certainly broke in.  You take your car to a new shop, a shop that actually cares about you and your vehicle.  You are there for a simple oil change.  And while you are waiting, the service advisor comes over to you and starts talking about maintenance.  And I don’t mean your every 3-5000 mile oil change (you DO change your oil every 3-5000 miles, don’t you??).  He asks you about your vehicle, how you use it and what your plans for this car are.  He asks you what you depend on this car for?  Do you just drive it every couple weeks to take the trash cans to the end of the driveway? Or do you depend on this thing? Armed with that info, he begins to recommend maintenance to keep this car on the road as long as possible.

“YOU WANT $1500.00 TO DO SOME MAINTENANCE ON MY CAR??????”  Yep.  And here’s why.  During the customer “interview” you said that this vehicle is primarily used to keep your life going.  You take the kids to school and ball practice, you drive it to work every day and it’s used to take your elderly parents to the doctor every week or so, and it’s your only vehicle.  If this one goes down, you don’t have a back up.

Lets look at that $1500 and what it’s going to do for you.  Several systems need maintaining just like the engine oil.  Transmission fluid wears out and needs replaced.  Power steering fluid, spark plugs, and that’s just to name a few.  So you decide to not fix this car and look for something with lower mileage.  You find a decent deal, a car with about 80,000 on it and it only cost $18,000!  nice!  So you go ahead and make your payments, for arguments sake we will say they are about $300 a month and lets say it take 4 years to pay it off.  At an average of 12,000 miles a year, that puts your car at roughly 140,000 miles.  Keep in mind you’ve been making that payment EVERY MONTH and hopefully nothing went wrong with that car during those last 4 years because it’s gonna be tough to foot a repair bill AND make the car payment at the same time… And guess what, now you are right back where you started with your old car.  Except instead of paying that $1500 for the maintenance and repairs needed 4 years ago to keep that car going until now and then some, you paid likely over $25,000 with interest and higher cost insurance!!  Ok, so maybe something went wrong with your old car during that time, and it cost a whopping $3000 to fix, still, only at $4500.  FAAAAAR cry from $25 grand!  And I bet that car would still have some life left in it!

Now I get it, I do, vehicles wear out.  No one likes to drive an old ratty worn out rig.  And there comes a time in every vehicles life that it’s just time to retire it.  It seems to me that people pull that trigger way too soon way too often.  So I urge you to consider making an investment in your current, medium mileage vehicle to keep it going.  It’s almost always more economical to do that than replace it.  And of course we at Auto Go Automotive would love to be the shop that helps you stay on the road safely, reliably, and economically!