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Estimated vehicle repair costs in budget
Old 04-08-2009, 12:25 PM   #1
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Estimated vehicle repair costs in budget

Like many of you I have a budget that I've developed and refined. One area that I've identified that needs better estimates is my category 'Vehicle Maintenance'. Right now I have a flat $150 CAD for maintenance. This includes routine maintenance and major repairs for a 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck with 80,000KM (around 40,000 miles give or take).

I put on roughly 20,000KM (10,000 miles) per year on my vehicles. We've only had the truck for 3 months and significant repairs were done before we purchased it (tie rods, tires, misc front end work, timing belt, etc). I basically plugged $150 CAD out of the air for lack of a better number. I also have been spoiled with a warranty on my other vehicles so I haven't worried much about major repairs. This truck has warranty for probably another year before I surpass 100,000KM.

So my question is how does everyone else budget for routine repairs and maintenance? Do you know of any good online resources for estimating yearly routine and repair costs?
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Old 04-08-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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Routine maintenance - based upon past spending/year
Major repairs estimated and amortized/yr in a contingency fund
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:57 PM   #3
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Fingers crossed; but seriously, tires at about 6 years of age along with a new battery in the same time frame. Those costs can just be projected to occur at that point and budgeted for (tires for the truck/SUV will cost us about $1,200 (was looking last week just to be prepared). Brake pads at 7 or 8 years (we only drive about 6K per year). Since I have, up until now, done my own maintenance and routine oil/filter changes are just included in routine expenses at 6 month intervals. We only have a single vehicle so it is easy to estimate future costs.
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Old 04-08-2009, 06:30 PM   #4
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No online sources I know of.
I budget approx $1400 per year for car maintenance & repair & tires for 3 vehicles (92 Accord, 02 Jeep, 05 Mustang). The 92 and 02 get driven all year round in the Rust Belt. All labor is free (dh2b) unless a lift is neeed.
If I don't spend my vehicle budget, all the better. But I do allocate that amount just in case. Beats the heck out of car payments.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:14 PM   #5
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We use a three-pronged approach:
1. Past experience. I know what oil changes and new tires cost, and we know how often we need to do them. That's easy to plug into the budget.
2. Anticipation. We follow the servicing recommendations of our car's manufacturer, and so I know when the 50,000 mile or 65,000 mile service is due, and what it entails (it's in the owner's manual). So I call the shop to see what those will cost us, and plug those numbers into the budget. That way I can plan for expected things.
3. We keep an emergency fund for unexpected occurrences. So far this has only been used for a hotel room and dinner when a blown tire on the freeway couldn't be fixed that day and we had to stay in a small town overnight before getting new tires. But as the cars age, we'll pad this fund (actually, we'll just start accelerating savings so we can buy a car with cash to replace the old one). Right now I kick about $50 a month to the emergency fund.
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:41 PM   #6
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Edmunds calculates estimated repairs and expenses are part of the "True Cost to Own" a car.
http://www.edmunds.com/popupinfo/abo...costtoown.html

I don't know how accurate it is, but I assume it looks at the suggested maintenance, plus the typical track record of the model for estimating unexpected repairs.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:41 PM   #7
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Interesting to run the Edmunds calculator.

We have a '99 Dodge Stratus with 130k+ miles and have done all the owners manual maintenance plus new struts all around and a timing belt and water pump a couple of years ago. Without looking up 10 years worth of figures, the last 3 have averaged a little over $1K/year.

Edmunds calculates about $1400/yr for a 2005 (the farthest they go back)

I must have gotten a good one.

Bye the way, I was looking at new and used car prices. (Just in case DW can't stand the old one any longer) Most of the mid-size (Altima, Sonata, Accord, Avenger) are at a bit over $20k. 2008's are at around $16k, except for the Chrysler product which is down to $11k!

I don't want to get rid of the old one, (basically worthless as a trade in, but still reliable, 30mpg, and I figure it saves me at least $5k/year to keep it) but I am sensing a deal in my future, as long as the gov't pays for repairs.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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I just figure $.50/mile for all car expenses and budget based on how many miles/year we typically drive. If you run the numbers on the Edmonds site and figure the per mile cost from that, it's not too far off the $.50/mile I use. Of course, YMMV, heh, heh.
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Old 04-21-2009, 06:59 AM   #9
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Just started an emergency fund this week for mainly this reason. Cars are the most unpredictable unforseen expense. In the past I have just robbed peter to pay Raul. I'm in the same position as Walt, My 1996 jeep with 170K miles is basically worthless as a trade-in but still runs great. I'm waiting for cars to get to $100 mark and figure I'll buy two. My biggest expense is CAt converter on the jeep, about $300 every 3 years. Honestly if the repair bill was more than the value of the jeep I would probably just buy a newer used vehicle.
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:45 AM   #10
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I have a 2000 Toyota so for the past nine years it has not required any repairs at all - - not a dime.

But it has needed maintenance including tires, brake pads, a new battery, and the 30,000 mile maintenance stuff.
I treat oil and gas as a regular monthly expenditure and budget item, but other maintenance is in my "unexpected big expenses" category, along with root canals, HVAC replacement in my house, repairing routine hurricane damage, replacing broken electronics, and so on. "Unexpected big expenses" is a category in my budget that is based on my five year average for such expenses. (It does not include my daughter's wedding since that had better be a once in a lifetime expense and I have been saving for her wedding for years.)

If I don't have any unexpected big expenses, I save the money budgeted for them since I will probably need it the next year. If I have too many, I dip into my emergency fund. It all works out.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
Edmunds calculates estimated repairs and expenses are part of the "True Cost to Own" a car.
http://www.edmunds.com/popupinfo/abo...costtoown.html
Neat site!
I ran the calculations for my 2005 Mustang. The answer was $0.52 per mile, based on all year driving with a total of 15K miles per year. I only operate it from late April to late October, so I can half their estimate. I can handle $0.26 per mile as a worst case.
I did not finance it, so it will be even less. I wonder if there was a Rust Belt factor (road salt) built in for depreciation for my zip code.
I didn't see any year choices older than 2005 at the Edmunds site. Did I miss something at the site ?
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltwill8 View Post
Bye the way, I was looking at new and used car prices. (Just in case DW can't stand the old one any longer) Most of the mid-size (Altima, Sonata, Accord, Avenger) are at a bit over $20k. 2008's are at around $16k, except for the Chrysler product which is down to $11k!
Sometimes you get what you pay for.........
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:56 AM   #13
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Budget $100 month per car for repairs, $100 month for pontoon repairs/upkeep, $100 month for travel trailer repair/upkeep and $200 month for house upkeep/additions. Has worked for going on 7 years now.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:00 PM   #14
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Sometimes you get what you pay for.........
I thought you were supposed to buy low. With me its buy low, drive 10 years (at least), and give to a grateful grandchild.

21 yrs on the last 2 chrysler products without many problems. Once the grandkids get them, however, they tend to expire rapidly from teenage exuberance.
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