Thursday, April 5, 2012

Money – Transportation

I was driving in my 2000 Dodge Neon the other day and I thought to myself…I sure wish I didn’t need a car. Beside taxes, transportation and shelter are huge expenses. The upfront initial cost of a vehicle can be a single decision to ensure you’ll never be wealthy. For example…purchasing a car for $20,000 can cost you $1,750,819.90 over 30 years if you could earn 15% returns instead of buying the vehicle. You can use this saving calculator to figure it out.

If you borrowed the money to purchase the $20,000 car the cost is even worse. Warren Buffett understood this and is why he was driving a used 2001 Lincoln for so long.

I have owned and driven many difference cars. Including 1982 Toyota Tercel, 1987 Toyota Corolla, 1991 Dodge Monaco, 1998 Ford Taurus, 1999 Ford Escort, 2001 Ford Focus, 1986 Mercury Cougar, 1988 Trans Am GTA, 1996 Dodge Neon. We currently own a 2000 Dodge Neon, and 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan. I purchase the Neon for $3,000 and the Caravan for $5,850 in 2010. At the time of purchase our Neon had 110k miles and the van had 72k.

Knowing that vehicles are a huge expense from purchase price to operating and maintenance. Repairs can be very costly if you don’t know how to maintain your own vehicle. Much of the maintenance you can perform yourself such as putting correct tire pressure, replacing batteries, spark plugs, and air filters. Changing oil can be done, but it isn’t as cost effective as it used to be. I prefer using the auto shop on base, and using the lifts if I were to change my oil.

Sometimes I do this if I think my vehicle requires a certain type of oil. My Neon was having oil pressure problems and was either leaking or burning oil. I used Restore for my next oil change. Haven’t had a problem since. You can click the link to a thread where others have had similar experiences.

A word of caution. I also read another article where a guy driving an Infiniti had problems with it…or at least according to him.

Like investments…there are many scam products when it comes to cars. I have tried many of them out…so if you have a question about a particular car product let me know.

I am a big fan of K&N air filter products. I also have an aftermarket exhaust system on my Neon which gives me 30 mpg city and 43 mpg highway. I’m not sure if it is true, but I have a feeling by putting better air intake and exhaust systems on your vehicle it not only increases the gas mileage, and power, but the life of your engine.

If you have never been to your base auto repair center, you should check it out. I'm certain you can learn something from some of the gear heads, and perhaps make some new friends.  Don't be afraid to ask questions...people who work on their own cars typically love to talk about them.  So, get in there!

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