New car shopping.. it's been 16 years

Jan 25, 2009
2k is a small repair these days, and on an older car, those repairs can come frequently.
Most labor rates for the general public are between $90 and $ hour.

At those levels you can have anywhere from 15 hours of labor and $650 in parts costs (at $90 an hour) to 12 hours of labor and $500 in parts costs (at $125 an hour).

Brakes are usually an hour for most vehicles.

Transmission drain and fills are usually between 1 and 2 hours.

Replacing struts are approximately 4 to 6 hours.

What else? Powder steering and brake fluid. Just use the best $10 turkey baster on Ebay and handle the fluids yourself.

From there just invest in the best fluids and filters for your vehicle. Arrange for a paintless dent repair place to handle the dents and scuffs, and if yours not willing to wax and detail it yourself, find a professional who can.

One more thing. Get a reputable do the work if DIY isn't in your wheelhouse.

I just had a customer of mine handle this catch-up maintenance and upkeep on a 2001 Subaru Forester. He may have one or two repairs and there to four years from now but the preventive maintenance and the preserved looks will help him mentally stay the course until EVs become the better choice.

That's going to take another three to five years. Given the economics of car ownership it's worth the wait.