Ways to Waste Money on Your Car

Car Tips | August 19th, 2007 by 3

I was reading today one of my favorite blogs, the dumblittleman.com, and going through his archives, I found an interesting article on 20 ways to …

I was reading today one of my favorite blogs, the dumblittleman.com, and going through his archives, I found an interesting article on 20 ways to waste money on your car.

While I agree with him on some articles on that list, there are still a few others that I strongly disagree on.

Here are some observations from his list, my response is below the bullet points.

3,000-mile oil changes

While I agree that most of the time, the 3000 miles rule is just a marketing strategy by the oil changing places, I also have to advise you that based on your driving style and conditions, the 3000 miles rule might apply to you and it wouldn’t be just a waste of money. I see this as a cheap insurance, in my case, if I knew that my driving style is aggressive, then I would rather spend $20-$30 on oil change. One thing I should also mention is that newer and more sophisticated cars , through their electronics, monitor the assumed quality (given conditions and driving style) and counts down the oil life.

Taking false economies. Better to replace a timing belt on the manufacturerís schedule than to have it break somewhere in western Nebraska

Almost true, but there are cars that are known for their issue with the timing belt, and it has been proven that certain brands and models, when they hit 100-120k miles, the timing belt will break.

Not replacing your air filter and wiper blades yourself

I can count at least 20-30 people that I know that have never even replaced a tire, so an air filter replacement will be out of the question for them. While I know that replacing an air filter and the wiper blades is not a “rocket science”, there are people out there that rather have someone do the job for them. ( On another note, my wife is great at replacing flat tires, air filter and wiper blades, but she’s from another “galaxy” so she doesn’t count)

Overinsuring. Never skimp on liability, but why buy collision and comprehensive insurance on a junker you can probably afford to replace?

Some professions require the owner of the car used for business to have an extended insurance on it, with a higher coverage, so even if the car is a “junk” , the rules need to be followed.

Not knowing how to change a tire. Have you even looked at your spare?

I have already stated above my point of view when I was talking about the air filter and wiper blades, and do you want to know a secret? I’m not that good with the tire change process and sometimes it takes me a really long time to finish, and out of frustration, I just call the BMW Assist people or a towing truck.

Btw, it happened to me at least 2-3 times, when I was all dressed up and I had a flat tire, so rather than screwing up my suit and shoes, I just waived a towing truck and paid the $20-$30 fee.

Car washes

Yes, he is right, it is a waste of money to take your automobile to a car wash place, but I live in Chicago, and in case you’re not familiar with the area, our winter lasts about 4-5 months, so it’s out of the question for me to go ahead and even attempt to wash the car myself. Now you might be asking yourself, “Why would he wanna wash the car anyway? What a waste of money” , but like I said before, on top of the long winter we have here, we also do get some heavy snow pretty often, so the roads are covered with salt, which we all know that it’s not too good for your paint job and the car’s body.

Ok, it’s Sunday night and I’m going to stop with the rambling and observations, so it’s your turn now. And if you don’t agree with me, feel free to take a stab at it. :)

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