Saturday, March 29, 2008

The costs of maintenance

I am a proponent of preventative maintenance and usually follow recommended guidelines; flossing my teeth daily, scheduling an annual physical, following the manufacturers’ recommended car maintenance, but I'm having a hard time believing the $304.65 I just spent for my car’s 30,000 mile maintenance service was really necessary. All of the money books recommend following manufactures' guidelines, plus the service technician at the dealership made a point of telling me not to miss the 30,000 mile service. He did say it could be a little pricy running somewhere in the range of $100-$200. Maybe if his estimate would have been a little closer to the actual cost of $362.46 (without coupons); I wouldn’t feel quite as ripped off. Sure they inspected everything tires, brakes, fluids, fan belt, you name it, but was it all really necessary. The results were great; everything passed inspection and no further work was needed.

With car maintenance I always feel at the mercy of the dealership or repair shop. I remember taking my previous vehicles to those quick oil change places. There were occasions they were so convincing I felt my car would not make it to the next block unless I spent hundreds of dollars for additional services. It was because of these high pressure sales tactics that I stopped going to those places.

One thing I know for sure:
With my next car (which hopefully will not be for several years), I will forego most of the 30,000 mile maintenance.

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