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Vehicle Maintenance and Repair

I’ve known for a while that it is better to pay cash for your vehicle. I’ve learned the hard way to really do that and actually did with my last vehicle purchase about a year ago – wrote a check. Felt rich for about a split second (it was a used car purchase, but at least it is a Cadillac…).

Since I’m on the Joe Sangl crusade I was glad to learn he agrees with driving a vehicle til the wheels fall off. But Joe’s idea of actually budgeting repair money in to savings before it is needed was a new concept to us (maintenance is one thing but most of us assume it won’t ever break). I’ve tracked our spending so well I can tell you for years how much we have spent on average to maintain and repair our vehicles, but it was always expenses that would hit at once and blow our budget. Now that we have budgeted car maintenance AND repair in to the monthly outgo it has made a huge difference. From now on I don’t care as much about the amount we’ve “spent” on vehicle repair. I’m more concerned with how much we have saved up for it.

When it rains it pours sometimes… In just the past few weeks I’ve done a complete brake job on the van, an oil change on it, had the car oil changed, fuel filter changed, and A/C serviced (thank goodness it wasn’t a broken compressor). I usually let a mechanic work on the car – plus I don’t know enough about A/C systems, so I paid about $200 to get that work done. (I recommend Action Auto to anyone who lives here in Anderson, SC.) The van brakes and service was a do-it-myself job, so for about $160 I did the brake pads, rotors, and calipers (that’s a complete brake job). Just for fun I called the dealership to ask them what they would charge. It would have cost me $590 at the dealership, so I saved $430 doing it myself. I was pretty proud of that. Boosted my man-ego. Did that little Tim the tool man chuckle…

The best news is the $360 I have spent in the last few weeks WAS ALREADY SAVED because “car repair” has been in our budget every month for a while even while the vehicles weren’t breaking. Some people like to just pray their car will never break. I do that too, but faith without works is dead. So I budget for stuff breaking and so far the Lord has provided.

Next is tires – first on the car (expensive tires) and then on the van probably late in the year. I know a tire guy but I want to be sure I get the best deal. Does anyone else have someone they recommend??

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