Costs of vehicle repairs/maintenance

Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
29,483
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
I did a radiator drain/refill a couple of weeks ago. Coolant was in there for a little over a year. Came out looking brand new. That's what I like to see, imo, it means your keeping the fluids clean and in tip top shape.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
3,974
Location
pa
i am a DIYer in almost everything, BUT a "man gots to his limitations" says Clint E + lower cost living in a smaller town has lower cost independent repair shops if your lucky + lower cost vehicles generally have less + easier upkeep IMO!! NO direct injection + NO slush box trannies especially CVT's!!
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
10,909
Location
OH
If you desire brake fluid flushes, fuel injection flushes, batteries replaced because “it’s weak” shocks/struts replaced “because they are old”, and every other money making scheme, get over to a Firestone service center.
I've never done a brake fluid flush on any vehicle I've ever owned, does that make my vehicles a ticking time bomb?
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Messages
28,658
Location
CA
If you desire brake fluid flushes, fuel injection flushes, batteries replaced because “it’s weak” shocks/struts replaced “because they are old”, and every other money making scheme, get over to a Firestone service center.
I would say most auto repair establishments, not just Firestone's.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
933
Location
South
I hereby declare NO COMMENT regarding brake flushes as I have been told (here) that all brake hoses have the inherent ability to allow microscopic moisture molecules in without allowing high pressure brake fluid out…
Not saying I agree but I’m doing some independent research.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2017
Messages
2,236
Location
MN
I'll start by saying this: here in MN, brake flushes are much more difficult than say... Texas. Try opening a bleeder on a 10 year old vehicle in the Midwest. Times 4. That "quick" service can easily become an expensive repair. Sure, you could avoid this by applying anti-seize from day one, but that's not happening.

Going back to generic maintenance, after working almost 20 years in the indy business I can say with confidence that it's really a 50/50 split. It doesn't really matter what kind of vehicle it is, who owns it, how much money they have, etc. At the end of the day, people treat their vehicles equal to the value they place in them. The customer with the $75k Range Rover that whines about a $600 brake job (which they can easily afford) is immediately replaced by the working man and his Corolla which runs half that cost. That customer won't think twice before approval.

The overall cost of maintenance isn't really the issue, it's one's appreciation for their vehicle.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
1,427
I've never done a brake fluid flush on any vehicle I've ever owned, does that make my vehicles a ticking time bomb?
I was having a hard time finding test strips so I ordered a electronic tester. Opened a brand new bottle of prestone DOT3 fluid - on the shelf maybe a year, safety seal still intact and tested it. 2.5%. Huh? Opened a second bottle still safety sealed. 3%. Tested my 2 old Nissan's - were probably changed 3 or 4 years ago. One shows 2%, one shows 4%. Must be bad tester - sent it back.

Ordered different brand. It shows up - but looks the same. Tested all of the above, got about the same numbers. Went to walmart and bought 2 brand new Prestone DOT 3 fluid. Tested them - 1 is at 1% and the other at 1.5%. Added a little water to each in a small cup. It went up - so its working in the right direction at some level. Realize they tell you to change it at 2% and its reading 1 and 1.5% out of the bottle.

So - I have not idea. Assuming the tester is not accurate but at least relatively comparable to some level - how can a brand new sealed bottle on my shelf for a year have more water in it than Fluid in my truck for several years - irrelevant of what the % really is?

I guess I need some test strips.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2019
Messages
933
Location
South
I was having a hard time finding test strips so I ordered a electronic tester. Opened a brand new bottle of prestone DOT3 fluid - on the shelf maybe a year, safety seal still intact and tested it. 2.5%. Huh? Opened a second bottle still safety sealed. 3%. Tested my 2 old Nissan's - were probably changed 3 or 4 years ago. One shows 2%, one shows 4%. Must be bad tester - sent it back.

Ordered different brand. It shows up - but looks the same. Tested all of the above, got about the same numbers. Went to walmart and bought 2 brand new Prestone DOT 3 fluid. Tested them - 1 is at 1% and the other at 1.5%. Added a little water to each in a small cup. It went up - so its working in the right direction at some level. Realize they tell you to change it at 2% and its reading 1 and 1.5% out of the bottle.

So - I have not idea. Assuming the tester is not accurate but at least relatively comparable to some level - how can a brand new sealed bottle on my shelf for a year have more water in it than Fluid in my truck for several years - irrelevant of what the % really is?

I guess I need some test strips.
That’s interesting and I appreciate you testing and posting the results. Could these testers be designed just for the sole purpose of selling brake fluid flushes? Who knows. The results of the test you’ve posted reinforces my personal thoughts which I’ve been slayed here for stating… most times this service isn’t needed. We drive street cars. Not track cars.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
10,335
Location
Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
It makes a huge difference financially if one can do their own maintenance vs relying on shops or dealers to do it. Shop rates are very high and given the industry’s shady reputation, I can see how some people wait until things break instead of being proactive. It’s hard for them to tell if they are being lied to or not.

BITOG crowd has a very skewed perspective. We are enthusiasts and even if we don’t perform the work ourselves, we can usually tell if something needs to be done or not. An average person relies on the technician, service writer or their Indy mechanic to tell them what needs to be done. Unfortunately many in the industry use the customers lack of knowledge to either up-sell unneeded service or down right rip them off.

These kind of stories spread quite rapidly, especially these days and leave a long lasting and negative impression.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
8,739
Location
Atlanta,GA
It makes a huge difference financially if one can do their own maintenance vs relying on shops or dealers to do it. Shop rates are very high and given the industry’s shady reputation, I can see how some people wait until things break instead of being proactive. It’s hard for them to tell if they are being lied to or not.

BITOG crowd has a very skewed perspective. We are enthusiasts and even if we don’t perform the work ourselves, we can usually tell if something needs to be done or not. An average person relies on the technician, service writer or their Indy mechanic to tell them what needs to be done. Unfortunately many in the industry use the customers lack of knowledge to either up-sell unneeded service or down right rip them off.

These kind of stories spread quite rapidly, especially these days and leave a long lasting and negative impression.
So true. I was watching a YT video of a guy who was giving a tour of his shop. One of his technicians was doing an inspection on a vehicle which was in for routine maintenance. The vehicle had a nail in two tires. I wondered how the customer would react. Would the customer claim that the technician placed nails in the tires or simply agree to a patch and replacement or do nothing because they're holding air?
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
10,909
Location
OH
It makes a huge difference financially if one can do their own maintenance vs relying on shops or dealers to do it. Shop rates are very high and given the industry’s shady reputation, I can see how some people wait until things break instead of being proactive. It’s hard for them to tell if they are being lied to or not.

BITOG crowd has a very skewed perspective. We are enthusiasts and even if we don’t perform the work ourselves, we can usually tell if something needs to be done or not. An average person relies on the technician, service writer or their Indy mechanic to tell them what needs to be done. Unfortunately many in the industry use the customers lack of knowledge to either up-sell unneeded service or down right rip them off.

These kind of stories spread quite rapidly, especially these days and leave a long lasting and negative impression.
There's little reason not do one's own maintenance these days. With very little mechanical skills or knowledge, it's easy to do at least preventive maintenance, if not even more complex tasks, considering Youtube will certainly have several "how to" videos for just about any vehicle made. Unless it's something major that I don't have the tools to do, I do all of my own maintenance...
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
8,475
Location
Scruffy City
For a while now, I've wondered how most people afford just regular maintenance

Even when i was a service advisor in the early 90's i wondered how people afforded to pay for service. Id be calling people thinking "Geez I'm glad I can do this myself."

A lot (Most of all?) service centers over sell maintenance.

I'd argue most BITOG's over maintain.

Follow the factory schedule, using quality products, don't fix what isn't broke you will be fine.
 

JTK

Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
14,915
Location
Buffalo, NY
Buying used w/ 50K miles on it is the sweet spot for what?

I know used pricing is coming down some, but when a ~4yr/old, 50K mile rust belt vehicle is selling for darn near what a brand new comparable vehicle is, are you really saving anything?
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
10,335
Location
Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
There's little reason not do one's own maintenance these days. With very little mechanical skills or knowledge, it's easy to do at least preventive maintenance, if not even more complex tasks, considering Youtube will certainly have several "how to" videos for just about any vehicle made. Unless it's something major that I don't have the tools to do, I do all of my own maintenance...
No question, but people like us are a minority,
 
  • Like
Reactions: JTK
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
8,739
Location
Atlanta,GA
There's little reason not do one's own maintenance these days. With very little mechanical skills or knowledge, it's easy to do at least preventive maintenance, if not even more complex tasks, considering Youtube will certainly have several "how to" videos for just about any vehicle made. Unless it's something major that I don't have the tools to do, I do all of my own maintenance...
There's a short list of things which prevent me from doing all of my own maintenance however three of the top four are listed below in order of importance.

#1 Tools/Equipment
#2 Space
#3 Diagnostics for automaker centric codes.

Back in 2019 I worked up a spreadsheet to calculate my breakeven point for DIY vs Indy/Dealer for maintenance and expected repairs over the time period I intended to retain the vehicle.

It's almost 2023 and I have only spent about 50% of what it would cost me to perform the work myself. The gap is found in the upfront costs for tools and equipment.

When shops say people are paying for their experience. That's only half of it. The other half are the tools/equipment which the shop/technician has depreciated over a period of years.
 

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
9,669
Location
Utah
"The car is new, it doesn't need any maintenance".
Other than oil changes-as stated this would be true for the first 50,000 miles. There is nothing that is gong to ruin a vehicle in that amount of time. I even question how much sludge you would have build up without frequent oil changes......in that amount of time.
 

CKN

Joined
Oct 14, 2014
Messages
9,669
Location
Utah
Even when i was a service advisor in the early 90's i wondered how people afforded to pay for service. Id be calling people thinking "Geez I'm glad I can do this myself."

A lot (Most of all?) service centers over sell maintenance.

I'd argue most BITOG's over maintain.

Follow the factory schedule, using quality products, don't fix what isn't broke you will be fine.
Yes-I have an original term I have coined since joining BITOG for this "over maintaining". It's a BITOG Money flush.
 
Top