Hello all! This is our first Blog post. We just wanted to touch up on our theory/opinions on true maintenance of a vehicle. Since we are Honda vehicle specialists, our view on maintenance goes back a long way. When most vehicles were taken into the shop to be "fixed", certain manufacturers had a "maintenance schedule" for their vehicles. This brought about statements like.."Wow, they last forever".. and "It has how many miles on it?" To say that fluid maintenance and adjustments are important is an understatement. The cleaner you can keep a fluid, the less wear will occur, period. It cost approximately 10 cents less per mile to drive a maintained vehicle as opposed to the exact vehicle non maintained due to premature repairs. If you let your quality repair shop maintain your vehicle on average 3 to 4 days out of the 365 days in a year, you should have a vehicle that runs well with a high reliability factor.
A simple approach that we take to help maintain our own cars is setting up a "savings/car" account that we treat like a new car payment. We automatically deposit $125.00 a month to that account per car and that usually gives us plenty enough money to stay in TIP TOP shape.
We are asked this question quite a bit, so we decided to write down our OPINION on this subject. Firstly, a dealer is a great option if you do not have a solid "independent specialist" within reasonable distance of convenience. The dealer offers all high quality OEM (original equipment parts). Their skill set is generally good. There is however a big curve of skill set at a dealership. There are "just started today" low dollar apprentices all the way to high caliber/paid diagnosticians or Masters of their trade. When you take a car in for routine maintenance at a dealership, the odds that your vehicle lands in the "masters" or high cost bay is usually pretty slim. They are working on more complex work. Everyone needs to start somewhere, but at a solid independent specialist, the owner is usually one of those "masters" that went out on their own, so if they are training a newbie, you still have the "masters" eyes on your vehicle when even the simplest of tasks (oil changes, etc.) are performed. They are usually using high caliber OEM parts as well. Ultimately, in today's world of information at your fingertips where you can price many things side by side, service and skill set is the hidden price factor. Would you now still be willing to pay the same price for the same service, one performed by a master, the other by a possible apprentice on his/her first week on the job without the OWNERS name on the line? Choose what makes you comfortable.
Hello readers, it is a sad time in a car's life when it reaches that 8 and 10 year old mark (so young) when the inevitable replacement of items starts to happen. If your shop has not been proactive in the recommendation of wear items, they can start to add up. $900 for struts, $600 for hoses, $500 for ball joints, etc. If that is all recommended at once, with some fluid maintenance, you are sitting at $2,100. The question we get asked, mostly by newer customers of ours is...."The car is not worth that much, is it?" In all fairness, some are not, but most are, depending on how you look at it. If you have a car that selling value is only $2,500 but needs $2,100 worth of work, what questions do you need to ask yourself? We have a couple. How has the reliability been? Do you still like the car? If the answers are good, and yes, the answer is "yes" it is worth it. Here is why....if you go to buy a new car, let's say 30K or so, the dollars lost are $2,400 in sales tax, not counting the immediate loss of value, and a payment of $500 or so (unless you can just write that check). If you want to calculate the cost for the year on that repair, it is $175.00 per month, for only 1 year or $5.85 per day for you to utilize a car that you are already familiar with and registration is affordable! In short, there is a point in a cars life when you have to look at the value as ownership value over selling value. Cars are basically public transportation that you can utilize whenever you want, to go wherever you want, any time you want. So if you can determine what your cost per mile works out to be, you will see that even with repairs, your older car is more likely "worth it"
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