How to save money by beating the system with DIY car maintenance
June 9, 2012
With the price of COE’s going through the roof these days – many car vendors aren’t turning in stellar revenues for the sale of brand new cars. So what most of the them are doing is bumping up their car maintenance billings to make up the short fall in revenue. Eight ball Tharman was dead wrong when he proclaimed imperially that the price of COE’s will only affect a minority of Singaporeans – these days with every car vendor jumping on to the bandwagon to maximize their service center revenue, it looks like Singapore is going to be next most expensive city to just get your car in running shape.
So without delay let me share with you all – how I regularly cut down the cost of car maintenance in Singapore – let me begin by sharing with you that I do not recommend that you touch the car at all. I don’t myself and prefer to leave the job to professionals. To save at least 70% on your annual car maintenance which on average comes up to $2K per annum, which will probably be 3.5K and probably 4K and possibly 5K in the not too distant future – you really need to be snakey about the whole business. In short you have to think and behave like a well trained Mossad secret agent. First of all get a list of items to be changed every X miles – you need a very SPECIFIC list. A general list is no bloody good! This you can get for FREE in every service center that specializes in righting your car periodically. It is very important not only to know what to change at a specific interval. But also what parts should go into the car. This is why when you get a list of items that has to be changed, make sure you also get the part number. Without the part number it is no good. As there are really hundreds of different types of let’s say transmission filter etc. To confuse the matter some cars through their lifetime may even use a different variant of parts for their latter models, so getting the part number is mission critical (remember we all have our Mossad field agent hard hats on). Once you have the part number go to any shop that deals with motor parts and ask them to source the parts for you – with the part number in hand, they are happiest to serve you. As 99.9% of customers who walk into the parts shop really have no idea how to make life easy for the man who runs the part shop. But since you have the part number; that really allows them to zoom right in and source the parts in a jiffy.
You will find the cost is roughly 50%. That is because 99.9% of service centers regularly up their parts by at least 30% to even 70%. Next get a freelance mechanic to fix it for you. There are many around who will gladly do the job for a reasonable fee.
“Women will never ever understand cars. And cars will never understand women. Those are the constants that you have to live with as a man. So if you don’t want to end up with cancer of the wallet, it is necessary to set aside some time to understand what’s underneath the bonnet of your car – three things are key in car maintenance, oil, filter and parts replacement. If all three are done at the right time – a car can theoretically run forever without even running the risk of 10% breakdown. Breakdowns are OK in Singapore. But if you are in the jungle and your car dies on you; that’s it. It’s game over. So car maintenance is something that every man should take seriously, just like cleaning firearms or for that matter making sure there are no snakes underneath your bed whenever you wake up in the morning.”