Sometimes busy Upper St Clair 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 Pittsburgh 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 Upper St Clair motorists 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 Upper St Clair drivers would hardly tolerate that kind of inconvenience; and it’s likely that yesterday’s Upper St Clair 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 Upper St Clair area auto service centers.
Upper St Clair drivers 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 Upper St Clair is simply more costly than it used to be. So if you think about it, Pennsylvania motorists can avoid many costly 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. Pittsburgh 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 Upper St Clair drivers know that life hands out a lot of surprises — some good, some bad, so there’s no way to know exactly what your 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):
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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 pricey than expected, that $83 is going to make the bills a lot less painful.
Just a bit of auto advice from Chuck’s Complete Auto Service: 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 Pennsylvania auto insurance with an older Upper St Clair vehicle, and preventive auto maintenance can help you avoid most car repair bills. And if you budget for important preventive maintenance in Pennsylvania, it can become as routine as a car payment — only a whole lot less costly!