Budget For Maintenance in Gig Harbor

Sometimes busy Gig Harbor residents dream about going back to the "simpler" days of our grandparents. But if you could travel back in time and take a road trip around Gig Harbor in a Model T, you might change your mind. The improved designs and quality of today's automobiles have significantly reduced the amount of time Gig Harbor car owners spend at the side of the road during breakdowns. With proper maintenance, today's vehicles can stay on the road longer than ever before.

Some of those improvements, however, have led to higher repair costs. For example, older cars often broke down from vapor lock. Gas vaporized while traveling from the gas tank to the fuel pump. No gas, no power. The car quits going. The solution was simple - you just sat by the road until the car would start up again. Today's Gig Harbor motorists would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it's likely that yesterday's Gig Harbor auto owners didn't care much for it, either. So on today's vehicles, the fuel pump is actually located inside the gas tank. Problem solved. No more vapor lock. The downside is that now it costs a lot more to repair or replace a fuel pump at Gig Harbor area auto service centers.

Gig Harbor motorists should certainly should be grateful for the improvements in auto design that keep us off the side of the road, but it comes at a price. Car care in Gig Harbor is simply more costly than it used to be. So if you think about it, Washington car owners can avoid many expensive car, truck, SUV repairs by preventive maintenance. If we plan for maintenance, we can avoid a lot of costly repairs.

Edmunds.com has a great calculator to help you estimate car repair costs. Gig Harbor drivers can enter the year, make and model for your vehicle, and the calculator will give you an estimate of what it will cost to service and repair your vehicle for the next five years. It also estimates the costs for depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes and fuel.

These estimates can be used to set up a reasonable budget to manage your car repair and maintenance expenses. Of course, they are just estimates. All Gig Harbor car owners know that life hands out a lot of surprises - some good, some bad, so there's no way to know exactly what your car, truck, SUV will need. But a good estimate helps you make a good budget, and a good budget is always helpful when it comes to car repairs.

Let's look at one example. For a 2003 Toyota Camry, here is Edmunds' estimate for the cost of repairs and maintenance for the next three years (as of the time of this writing):

Yr. 1Yr. 2
Yr. 3
3-Yr. Total
Maintenance7482257941767
Repairs352 4094761237
Total1,1006341,2703,004
Monthly Average925310683

According to this estimate, the owner needs to set aside about $83 a month to defray the costs of car care. That sounds like a lot until you compare it to the payment on a new automobile. And even if car repairs are more expensive than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.

Just a bit of auto advice from Mackert Automotive LLC: If you like new cars and can afford them, then buy them. But if you are buying a new car every few years because you're afraid of the higher repair costs for older vehicles, then you ought to take a second look at the numbers. You can save a lot of money on car payments and Washington auto insurance with an older Gig Harbor vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for essential preventive maintenance in Washington, it can become as routine as a car payment - only a whole lot less costly!

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