Monday, July 20, 2009

Auto Repairs and How to Keep Your Car on the Road

I spent last weekend (which was cold and rainy, by the way) up at my cabin. On the way up north I heard the Car Guys on NPR talking about an article they had on their website about how to keep your car running forever. Since one of my goals is to keep my little buggy going as long as I possibly can, I made sure to look it up. You can find it here: Best Ways to Keep Your Car Running.

I admit, I need to do some routine maintenance for my car. I've been keeping up on my oil changes (mostly) but I missed my 30,000 mile check up ah... 10,000 miles ago! The article recommends taking a look your owner's manual to see what is needed, as they put it:

If you're wondering how often to do these things, there's a book that explains it all to you. It's called the owner's manual. You'll find it in your glove box, shrink-wrapped in plastic, because — if you're like most of us — you've probably never looked at it. In the back you'll find a list of service intervals, and the services that are recommended during each of them. If intervals in the book stop at 120,000 miles, that doesn't mean you're done with maintenance. Go back to the beginning and start over (so, for instance, do all the services called for in the 7,500-mile service at 127,500). Nice try, though.
Because I really am inspired to keep this car running as long as I can, that is on my to-do list for this week - look at the manual and see what services I should consider doing. My car is running great - and I want to keep it that way. Again, to quote the article, "It's the stingy man who makes the most boat payments!" Getting these things done on a regular basis will mean less expensive maintenance down the road, I know... now all I have to do it come up with the money...

That seems to be a big problem this month. I have nothing coming in! Don't get me wrong, all the changes I have made over the last year has made it so all my bills are being paid in full and ahead of time. Theoretically I could "coast" for awhile if I wanted to, but I just can't. I have too many goals I need to complete in the next year.

One thing I am working on is a garage sale for this weekend. Hopefully that will bring in some extra money and will clear out some much needed space. It is also a nice time to hang out with some great friends and chat with my neighbors. There is also a little part time work available starting at the end of next week. I put in for as many shifts as I could possibly get, even volunteering to learn another department if they want. Hopefully, the two things will really help, because I still have to get the rest of this house painted and I am afraid I might have to borrow it from my mother......


Photo by: Miz GingerSnaps

8 comments:

Miss M said...

The best way to save money is to keep the things you have in good condition. I want to keep my car until the wheels fall off, no more $500 a month car payment for me. Fortunately Mr M is mechanically inclined so he does all our routine maintenance. Which reminds me, it's time for an oil change.

PS - I put off my 30k service and it ended up costing me more, a part wore out in the meantime and damaged some other systems along the way. I probably spent $600 more than I needed to by putting off routine maitenance. Ouch.

Dawn said...

Miss - okay, that did! You scared me. I will look at my manual tonight!! I don't think I can get everything done at once, but I am sure I can do a few things at a time, and at least have them peek at things like the brakes and whether the filters need replacing.

Divorced Lifestyle said...

Ah yes, routine maintenance. I hadn't done any (other than oil changes) in about 3 years, so when I took the van in last year, it cost me $3,000. Luckily, I had the money from my divorce settlement, and had them fix EVERYTHING.

Of course, this year, they are telling me I need another $1,500-2,000 worth of work, but I am trying to put it off, and replace the things I can myself. I don't need a garage to replace my battery or bulbs. But tie-rods and catalytic converter covers are another story.

Dr. Faith said...

Great post, my car's check engine light just went off this morning (for the 4th time in the last 6 months I might add). As it has gotten closer and closer to 100K I'm beginning to think that I won't be able to keep this car for as long as I hoped I would. I've shelled out $2,000 in maintenance on it in the last 6 months and $5,000 in the last year and a half. That would have been a nice down payment on a new 'mobile. But I keep telling myself that this is cheaper in the long run - but I'm not sure how much longer that will hold true.

Kari said...

Ha, how is this for bad? What is a 30k service? Considering my car has well over 100k on it I'm thinking I'm okay... right?

RTC said...

My oil change is overdue. I'm going today!

Frugal Dreamer said...

Great reminder! I am at about 60K and have had ZERO maintenance done on the car. I'm always good about getting oil changes, but I too need to really consider the maintenance checks!

Dawn said...

Divorced Lifestyle - I think what I am going to try to do is go through the manual and pick off routine maintenance items one at a time, as I have funds.

Dr. Faith - I am hoping to keep my car well past the 100,000 mile mark, just 60,000 to go! The good thing is that I don't drive a lot, the bad thin is that short trips are harder on your car. A mixed blessing I guess.

Kari - at this point, you might want to just cross your fingers and pray. :)

RTC - Good for you!

Frugal Dreamer - I am the same way. I going to try and be better about it though.