Car Expenses

Today I took my car in for an oil change. I had a coupon from the dealer that would've made it $28 for a multi-point inspection and an oil change, but I missed my appointment (not through fault of my own... hmph). I've been putting it off for awhile and needed to get it done today, so I went to EZ Lube. I was shocked to find that they're more expensive than the dealer?! I normally pay $30, but paid $52.99 at EZ Lube. Maybe if I had requested the lowest grade oil the price would've been the same? I have no idea what kind of oil the dealer uses; they've never offered me a choice. I requested the second most expensive type. If I ever go back, I'll check the internet and the manual first to see what oil is recommended for my car.

There were two distinct differences between EZ Lube and the dealer. EZ Lube was much faster - I think my bf and I waited maybe 20 minutes - while it always takes hours at the dealer (we usually walk around town and get lunch while it's being done). And while I have no idea what the mechanics are doing to my car at the dealer, at EZ Lube you can either watch the mechanics at work through a window, or watch them on the live feed broadcasted in the waiting room. The manager brought me out to the car after he had done the oil change to show me the filters and talk to me about what he'd done. He also offered me two other services. I can't remember the first one, but the second was a power steering flush, which I agreed to do (I'm past 35k miles, and I've never had one done). The price seemed steep though -- 59.99. In total, plus tax, I spent $117 on car expenses today.

I'm going to add a line in the budget for "Miscellaneous Car Expenses." I'm going to set it at 100/yr. Everything beyond that will have to come out of my emergency fund.


Meg said...

That's why I love love love doing my own oil changes... I have absolute control over what I use and know exactly what's being done to my baby! It also costs about the same as getting it done at one of the quick lube places, but with MUCH higher quality oil and an OEM filter... Keeps my babies purring and it's a great chance to bond with them.

Then again, I'm one of the only girls I know who can actually do this, so... (I don't even know many guys who change their own oil.) If I could ensure that somewhere along the line a career as a grease monkey would pan out into something like high end Porsches or Ferraris, I'd do it. For now, it's enough to keep cars as a hobby. :)

Sunflowers said...

That's awesome that you do your own oil changes! My bf's dad does them himself too (also does all his own repairs). I would like to learn more about my car... learning how to change a tire would be a good one. <.< But for now, I'm happy to have someone else take care of it for me...

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