Car-illiterate.

by Decemberbaby

That’s me. I own a car, I drive a car, I can replace my own windshield fluid and pump my own gas. Beyond that, I have to rely on the “experts”.

I find it frustrating and hard to know whether they’re being honest with me, whether they’re being thorough enough, whether they’re recommending service on my car just because they want to make money. I have no idea if guy A is right when he says my front rotors need resurfacing, or if guy B is right when he says the rotors are all rusted and resurfacing them means that they’ll still wear the brake pads unevenly so let’s replace the rotors, which will only cost me a total of $30 more than resurfacing. I just don’t know. It’s even worse when you go to three different places and get three different answers.

And for me, it matters. I’m not one of those people who lease a new car every three years. Sure, we bought our car new (something I’ll probably never do again), but it’s almost 5 years old and we plan to drive it for as long as possible. Well, as long as we can fit our entire family into it (I think with some tweaking we could probably manage three carseats across the back.) So the maintenance and service matters, inasmuch as it impacts the longevity of the car and its parts.

So what do I do? Take an auto-mechanic course? Come home and google every suggested repair? Shop around for each and every issue my car has? All of the above?

So to recap: I’m woefully under-educated when it comes to cars, and I want to extend the life of my car as reliably and inexpensively as possible. Any ideas?

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One Comment to “Car-illiterate.”

  1. Surely, there’s a continuing ed course somewhere for that?? If not, you learn and then teach us all! I think tire changing is the limit of my interest in fixing my car.

    Anyway, I love new cars! This is the second I’ve bought brand-new. The first, a little Hyundai, lasted ten years – we basically drove it into the ground, until we could literally no longer all fit inside. This car now feels like a goodbye present from my father (um, maybe because he bought it, and then died?); I love it and it reminds me of him every single day…

    Both cars have been (ptoo, ptoo, ptoo) remarkably trouble-free. Very much unlike the several used cars I drove before that!

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