• May 29, 2008
The pains many automobile owners are feeling at their local service station isn't just at the pump -- prices for general maintenance is also increasing. Petroleum based products, such as oil and tires, are heading north with the price of gasoline. Demand for steel has also pushed up prices on various automotive parts. That means consumers are seeing larger bills from their auto repair specialists, even when their exhaust doesn't require three people to install. Instead, many are choosing to squeeze pennies and skimp on elaborate repairs in order to stay on the road. AAA says in 2008 the average vehicle owner will spend $8,121 to operate their automobile. That is up nearly $300 from last year. The only ease in operational expenses could come from the insurance industry. As costs increase, people drive less and less, which should subsequently lead to fewer accidents and lower premiums.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do my own work, save a boat load on labor...WOO HOO!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      There are some really unreliable Japanese brands, so this advice is a bit silly.

      BTW Golferal, if a tow truck driver has towed equal numbers of each car, then the car the number of vehicles on the road would still be the more reliable brands.

      For example, if a tow truck driver has towed an equal number of Camrys and Passats over the years that actually means the Passat is a lot less reliable than the Camry since the Camry outsells the Passat several times over. So if what the tow truck driver said was true, it actually proves that there ARE differences in car reliability, and the ones that are the most popular volume sellers are also the most reliable models out there.

      Just pointing out the flaw in your logic there, since tow drivers encountering the same # of broken down Mitsubishis, Chevys, BMWs, and Toyotas would make the Mitsubishi and BMW the worst in terms of reliability just because there are so many more Chevys and Toyotas, so if they were equally reliable you'd see far MORE Toyotas and Chevys as a tow operator.

      While we're talking about volume sellers, the cars with the most volume also tend to be the cheapest to maintain, since there's large aftermarket support for parts and plenty of crashed vehicles to scavenge parts from. Also? You can walk into any auto parts store and it'll be likely that they'll have what you need, instead of having to go to your dealer to get some esoteric part ordered.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree with tekdemon. I would love to see that tow truck drivers data compared to that area's market data. If he is in Detroit, where imports acount for about 20% or less of the market, I'd say his stats are good for the Domestics. If he's in CA, the opposite is true.

        I also wonder what he is towing the vehicles for. Is it becuase someone went into a ditch, or because the cars broke down. It would be an interesting study though. Seems like whenever I see a car in a ditch on a snowy day it's eiteher an awd car like Subaru or a compact car like a Corolla.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Escalade Es`ca*lade", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Escaladed; p. pr.
      & vb. n. Escalading.] (Mil.)
      To mount and pass or enter by means of ladders; to scale; as,
      to escalate a wall.
      • 6 Years Ago
      :) I love BMW. One less thing owners can continue to not worry about.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And I love the fact that 75% of used BMWs are being dumped onto the market with close to exactly 50k miles. Really reassures me that the owner genuinely cared about his/her automobile.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Any money you save will be recouped when your 4 years expire and your dealer starts reaming you.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Most of them tend to lease anyway, and that was my point. I feel bad for the Merc owners who have to make a car payment, AND pay for service. That's the point I was trying to make.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Insurance would stay the same! Maybe fewer accidents, however parts to repair those cars would cost more.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Autoblog has always been a playground for pedants. Merritt's just keeping up an old tradition on this site.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think you mean escalating.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Buy a car that starts with "J" in the VIN and you'll never have to worry about high maintenance costs.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_identification_number#Country_codes
        • 6 Years Ago
        Over 163K in a car that starts with "3C3" and nothing outside of the maintenance listed in my owners manual. My biggest expense is either gas or insurance depending on how much I drive each month. Maintenance costs are negligible.

        I've got nothing against Japanese cars but so very few of the ones they have made appeal to me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're out of your mind. Every Japanese car I've had (2 Hondas and a Mitsubishi) cost every bit as much to maintain and repair as the other vehicles I've owned.

        I once asked a friend who was a tow truck driver (AAA contracted) what brand of vehicles he towed the most, and after keeping track for over 3 years he said they were all about equal.

        Your statement is complete bunk, sir.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Merritt, next time ask yourself, can you say something is Tahoeing? Or Yukoning? If not, then dont say Escalading.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If it was intentional then it is funny, being a car blog and all. If it was unintentional then it explains a lot.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As a prior poster noted, 'escalade' is a word, and it means scaling, which could reasonably be interpreted as climbing--just like automotive maintenance costs.

        A creative choice of a word, intentional or not.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm not going to comment on the obvious typo but who honestly thinks insurance companies are going to "lower their rates?" Ever?
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you drive less, your rates do generally go down.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My insurance rates have gone down in the past. Being a good driver helps I guess.


      BTW I think 'escalading' was intentional. This is a car site people.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yes, but the soccer mom in the Escalade who runs the red light and totals my car, and 100s of others like it will surely raise insurance premiums.
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