Prep for Future Auto Repairs With these Simple Tips (Rather than Buying a New Car)

I am proud to say my Volvo has 160,000 miles on it and is still going strong.  At this point in the cars life its cheaper to make regular expected repair than pay for a new car (though I’m not sure for how long, so if you have tips for buying a car please post them below).  To keep the car running I’ve been practicing a few preventive measures.

  1. Regular maintenance such as oil changes are a must.  I never neglect regular maintenance… as they say, a stitch in time save your engine.  To help ensure regular oil changes I set up a recurring budget line on Mint to “save” some money every month for the oil change.  As a side note, I do not   get oil changes early either.  Getting one early is just a waste of money.
  2. To prepare for forthcoming repairs I searched out a good mechanic and tried him (or her, by the way) out with a small repair.  My thinking was that if he was good with a small repair he will be GREAT for a large one. SO far my mechanic has saved me major bucks simply because he is honest and charges a good rate.
  3. After finding a good mechanic ask him to examine your car bumper to pumper (and pay for his time, too).  After doing this he can tell you what repairs will happen in the next 6 months, a year or longer so that you can budget accoringly.  While this may scare some, I think of it as a way to plan for the future, not hide from it.
  4. Knowing what I will likely spend, I set up a savings account with automatic deposit for the pending repairs or unexpected repairs.  Now when the repairs come I’ll be ready for them, and in the meantime I’m earning interest on my funds.
So a new car will at least cost $200 a month.  Rather than pay for this cost I’m holding out my making repairs that work out to around $25-50 a month.  What do you think?  Is this a good idea?