Car Maintenance– they take us wherever we need to go at the flick of the wrist and we don’t know how much we rely on those suckers until they’re gone. Or broken. Or crunched up a little. My car enables me to earn my salary because, try as I might, riding a bike 20 miles to work along the freeway just isn’t too practical. And public transit, though cheap, would hinder my ability to volunteer and work side jobs.
At this point I’m not buying much for my car because I have the following on hand:
· Oil- 24 quarts
· Oil Filters – 4
· Cabin Air Filter – 1
· Engine Air Filter – 1
· Windshield wiper fluid – 1 gallon
· Car wash liquid – 1 gallon
· Car wax – 1 bottle
· Emergency roadside kit
· First Aid kit
I also have ramps for my car and oil catching devices plus lots and lots of rags.
The first goal is a $1,000 on hand to cover my deductible if the car is in an accident that requires repairs.
The second goal is $1,000 for yearly maintenance. Realistically I have enough supplies to get me through the next year without buying anything. However, as oil goes on sale for $0.49/qt and filters are just $3.50 I’ll stock up again. The biggest concern in the next 20,000 miles (one year) is my tires.
Action Step: this month I’ll take the car in to have my tire air pressure adjusted and get an idea when I should be replacing the tires. By the end of the year I’ll get quotes from three sources.
The third goal is to start saving $20/week to cover my insurance deductible every year instead of paying a pitiful $2 extra each month for monthly billing.
Action Step: this one is actually on hold until I close on the house. At that time I’ll have a life insurance policy, house policy and car insurance and my premiums will drop by one half. Yes, that’s half the cost for adding two policies. Go figure. So the best time to take advantage of this is probably late January before the premium renews in February.
My long term goal is to replace the car. However, I drive a ’07 Toyota. I’ve decided to keep this car even though I could sell it for twice what I owe and buy a clunker. Primarily because this car should last for another 8 years, at least, and I plan on driving it that long. Once the car is paid off – probably in the next 12 months – I’ll save half my monthly car payment in a “replacement car” fund.