Maintenance cost is really high* in usa. I have Toyota Camery (used one). But I am not talking about frequent breakdowns. But labor cost 70-90/hr (Even software engineers are not getting that much rate). and insurance companies do not cover this cost. I am wondering how much do you guys spend yearly on what kind of vehicle?
First of all, while most IT folks won't be making that much an hour, the company they work for would have to bill considerably more than that much per hour to a third party. Salary is only part of the recoverable costs: they'd have to bill for benefits, and taxes, and office space, and depreciation on the equipment, etc. $90/hr for a skilled mechanic is really not unreasonable at all. You can easily pay $200/hr or more to hire a lawyer, doctor, IT consultant, etc.
Typically, if you buy a new vehicle, the warrantee pays for most repairs for the first few years, and for the most expensive ones for as many as five years. At that point, when you're dealing with a five year old car, then you can either choose to spend money repairing a used one, or you can spend money buying a new one. If you don't mind the risks associated with occasionally finding your car doesn't work, or you can tolerate being engulfed in the occasional spontaneous fireball, then you'll generally spend less money keeping the old one running. If you have three medium size repair events a year (say $1500 total), then that's still less than the payments on a new car.
Cars are expensive. You have to do maintenance. Changing the oil and filter is critical for long engine life. Keeping the tires, brakes, and steering working is life critical to you and others on the road.
As others have said, $70/hr billing is not much. In the US, it costs about 1.4 times hourly salary just to have a person on the payroll, with social security taxes, health care, vacations, etc. For any services company, you have to charge at least twice hourly salary cost to make a tiny amount of money. Managers try to get 2.5 to 3.0 times when they can.
Modern cars don't need much maintenance, but you have to do it. I used to do all my own car maintenance, I have the tools in a six foot high red roll-around toolchest. But I no longer do it. Its not all that much fun, and its a bit dangerous. I believe in specialization of labor. I write software, let the car guys fix my car.
Joined: Aug 16, 2007
It's way too much than what I used to pay in India, for example. I have already spent 800 bucks in six months. It is just killing me. If I buy a new car, situation would not change much. Less maintenance but high insurance. It's like they are saying, "dude you do whatever you want but we know how to get the money".
What kind of maintainance did you have done in those 6 months? Just regular oil changes, or switching all fluids, transmission work, etc? I know that things to do with breaks and transmissions can be really expensive (more than my share of personal experience on that one), but they are things you have to have working to have a safe car.
When I die, I want people to look at me and say "Yeah, he might have been crazy, but that was one zarkin frood that knew where his towel was."
Joined: Aug 16, 2007
...so it all comes out in the wash
I like this idiom.
I am talking about *real* expenses. I had to change the starter and O2 sensor. This discussion actually made me think about public transportation. Where I live , we do not have *strong* public transportation.
Vikas Kapoor wrote: I had to change the starter and O2 sensor. This discussion actually made me think about public transportation.
Wasn't the O2 sensor covered by the 100K mile emissions warentee?
Starters fail, rarely anymore. Back when I was DIY car mechanic, they failed fairly often. Its a nasty job, they get really dirty, greasy and you have to work under the car. Everything you touch causes dirty grease to fall in your eyes.
Vikas Kapoor wrote:Maintenance cost is really high* in usa. I have Toyota Camery (used one). But I am not talking about frequent breakdowns. But labor cost 70-90/hr (Even software engineers are not getting that much rate). and insurance companies do not cover this cost. I am wondering how much do you guys spend yearly on what kind of vehicle?
70-90 dollars seems like a steal to me. I was offered a discounted rate of 169.99 dollars per hour by the BMW dealership where I normally take my car. I have learnt to scream in my mind and be done with it when I hand over my credit card to the cashier.
Main dealers are expensive [rip off] here in the UK - I use "back street garages".
I would expect to paid about £300 for a service on a Ducati motorbike (the belts changed and values need adjusted - complex work!) - main dealer would charge £600 (most lightly more....)
Oh there seems to be no old style mechanics anymore - mostly they are just fitters - they replace parts - after a computer has told them what to replace...
Peter Rooke wrote:I would expect to paid about £300 for a service on a Ducati motorbike (the belts changed and values need adjusted - complex work!)
Anything on a Ducati engine is complex. They have always been complex, that is how they get so much power. The lower end is similar to many other bike, the cyclinder heads are very special. I could see having a good mechanic look at the top of a Ducati engine will cost £100. Adjusting the valves could take all day.
Yeah - I'm so happy I found a guy who knows whats he's doing [used to work for a main dealer] and runs his own back street garage. Everything on the Duke is complex - but its worth it, as its so much more fun that a Japanese four.
Peter Rooke wrote: Should be in the mechanic in the USA
A good mechanic can make a pretty decent living. And they really aren't that much different from computer geeks, they just geek out about different things.
I was supposed to work on my car's brakes yesterday, but the parts store was closed by the time I got there *shakes fist*. I guess I'll have to wait until Wednesday to try out my new impact wrench. . .
The days of the "shade tree mechanic" are long over. I remember when I was younger, watching my dad work on his truck. He could literally stand inside the engine compartment and work.
I take my auto in for an oil change every 3000 miles, even though they recommend every 6000. Of course, every time I take it in there is some "routine scheduled maintenance" that must be performed. So I never get out of there under $100.
Joe Ess wrote:A good mechanic can make a pretty decent living. And they really aren't that much different from computer geeks, they just geek out about different things.
For sure. I cringe when the politicians talk about "making college affordable for everyone" as a goal. First, not everyone is going to do well in college. More importantly, there are lots of good, well paying jobs that do not need, and do not want, college folks. Good mechanics, plumbers, and other trades regularly make much more than the starting salaries of IT folks. A car mechanic who is good can have a salary well over $60k/yr. A mechanic can be making that while the college student is running up $150K in student loans. How long does that take to make that up? It can be a very long time.
gregg wrote: The days of the "shade tree mechanic" are long over
I have a six foot high roll around tool chest in my garage, a 4HP compressor, all the air tools, etc. from my racing days. I know how to turn a wrench.
But on my wife's previous car, it has a miss that sounded like one bad spark plug. I opened the hood and could not even find the spark plugs.