I thought now would be a good time to follow up on my post about buying a third car, since it’s been 6 months since I made that purchase. I have done most of the things I needed to do when I bought the car, but I still have a couple little things left to do once I get to them. So far, I’ve spent money in the following areas:
- Replaced spark plugs, two oil changes, fuel injection cleaner, and leak preventative: $153.48
- Muffler: $63.44
- Parts for new radio (old radio volume quit working properly): $50.32
- New air filter: $13.15
- Haynes manual: $13.98
- New manual (car did not come with one): $6.94
- Sun visors (got from junkyard. Old one on driver side was destroyed): $6
I still have a few other things to fix:
- Driver’s side window gets off track. This could be as simple as adjusting something, or replacing a part that could cost up to $80. I’ll find out once I take it all apart.
- Worn gasket. In order to get to the gasket, I need to take apart half the engine. Since I’ll have it all apart anyway, I’ll replace the timing belt, along with the other belts. I looked through the service records, and didn’t see anything about the belts being replaced, so I figure I might as well do it while I’ve got it all apart. This could easily cost me $500+ to pay to get it fixed, but it’ll end up costing me around $50 to do it myself.
- Bad strut. I haven’t looked into this, but it sounds like there might be a bad strut. The previous owner mentioned it, but it doesn’t sound too bad right now. I might just leave it the way it is for now.
- SRS light on. The previous owner said it’s been on as long as he’s had it, and it passes all inspections. I like to have everything fixed, but this is my lowest priority. It’s just for me to drive back and forth to work, so I might not fix it.
Now on to the savings. I am actually saving more than I figured. I originally thought I’d save $29.77/mo, but so far I’ve averaged $39.39/mo savings. I did end up underestimating the monthly maintenance, but that’s because I’m getting the car in better shape than the previous owner had it. I originally thought I’d spend $28.33/mo, but I’ve actually averaged $51.22/mo, based on the bullet points above. The good news is that the car is actually worth $77 more than I paid for it 6 months ago, and the insurance is a little cheaper. I’ve gone 8471 miles in the past 6 months, and my savings in gas is pretty much spot on with gas averaging $3.20/gallon during those 6 months. Gas was cheaper, but I’ve averaged a higher mpg to balance it out.
Obviously I don’t expect the value of the car to increase over time, but the monthly maintenance should drop off once I finish the above items, which should pretty much balance out the depreciation changes. Here’s how the actual costs have broken down for the first 6 months of owning the car:
|added license plates/mo||8.25|
|savings in gas||105.42|
Here’s the original estimate I made when I purchased the vehicle 6 months ago, just so you can compare both of them side by side:
|added license plates/mo||8.25|
|savings in gas||103.85|
So I have come out better than I planned, which I thought might happen. Doing all the work myself on the car makes it pay off. Otherwise, I would have paid more to get some items fixed with it. Run the numbers yourself before deciding to buy a third car, but it might just save you some money if you have a similar situation as me.