It seems repair shops are always talking about maintenance. Is all the talk warranted? What about maintenance costs – is there value to maintenance, considering the price to do it? The answer to those questions are found when we first answer another…
Is preventative maintenance really worth the cost?
This is one case where the hype is not just sales talk. If you want your car to last for the long haul, without incurring major repair bills, you have to take care of it. Next to a house, a car is the second biggest purchase most people make. It makes sense to protect such a large investment.
It’s true, it does cost a lot to properly maintain a car. But it cost a whole lot more to fix the things that break when you don’t maintain it! For example, it may cost $28 to $75 to change the oil, but it costs $4,000 to $8,000 to change the engine (and some cars and trucks are even more)!
The importance of changing oil, and other maintenance items cannot be exaggerated. If you want to get your money’s worth from your car, you have to maintain it. New or used, a car will cost you less overall if you spend a little more on maintenance. The chart below does the math for you. You can compare overall maintenance costs vs. the cost to repair.
Maintenance Costs vs. Repair Costs
Here is a list of suggested maintenance with its approximate cost. Shown also is the system that is damaged by neglecting the maintenance, and the approximate cost of repairing that system. The embedded spreadsheet on this page and the full sized one in the link below are both up to date and have current prices. The PDF version may be slightly outdated.