Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Car Issues, Round Two

So, I don't even recall how much I paid for an extended warranty on my car, but it was well worth it.

When I got my car back I noticed that the gas gauge wasn't reading correctly. It would say that I had only 3/4 of a tank when it was all the way full. So, I went back to the dealership in Long Beach. They gave me a loaner and the guy said they would do it as a recheck and only charge me if it was an unrelated problem. He called back yesterday and said that it was a totally separate issue-different system in the car. I was suspicious, but he said that he checked anything that could have been related to the fix they did last week and that it was just a coincidence. (Frankly, I'm still a little skeptical about that, but I don't know what else I can do about it).

Luckily, my extended warranty covers this one too (I do pay a $50 deductible). The cost to replace this piece would have been $900! So, without a warranty, I would have spent $1600 in a two-week window. Also, I get a free loaner car while they do the repair (this time it's a Tacoma truck. Anyone moving this week?), which is saving me money as well.

All of these car repairs are making me realize that I need to add a line in my budget for car maintenance. I am going to need to get my filters cleaned and flush the fuel line this summer, plus who knows what else. And I got my registration bill this week...I am thinking of putting away another $100 per month toward car expenses. If it builds up, that will be good to have in case of a big repair. It means less savings in other areas, but I also think it makes sense.

Does anyone else put away money each month for this area? Or do you take it out of your emergency fund?


  1. I had planned on doing a car fund when I paid it off, which coincidentally was the same month I was laid off so I don't yet have a car fund and will probably need to buy a new car in the next year.

    I plan on putting a big chunk of my paycheck into a car fund for as long as I can so I will have a hefty downpayment and maybe be even to pay cash for a car if I can hold out for long enough.

  2. You can figure this out on your own if you know some of the variables. The problem of course is that you need to know the cost of the variables. Find out how many miles a set of tires, set of brakes (front and rear), an oil change, cabin filter, etc. is supposed to last on average. Then figure out the number of miles a month you drive.

    It's not complete, but it is a start to determining the per-mile cost (outside of gasoline usage). I'd probably add more to this database, maybe 25-50% (depending on the vehicle condition). If you're excel savvy you can build a sheet to help determine this.