Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yet Another Car Repair

$519.90 for a new front oxygen sensor, catalytic converter, oil change and labor. Why is this worth mentioning? Several reasons:

My van is about 5700 miles away from the 300,000 I have been aiming for the last half decade. Expensive repairs are par for the course. It is worth documenting the path to 300k.

As with the new tires last fall or medical bills, unexpected bills happen. Fortunately I have the money to afford this bill, but $500!! That's a lot of money! I know not everyone saves the kind of money I do and I am sad for those without the resources I have. The world is certainly not financially fair.

I have mentioned my interest in electric vehicles, fully electric not hybrids, before and the last two days reinforced my thinking. Electric vehicles have far fewer parts, no wet toxic gases, and fewer fluids or temperature differentials. In other words, except for the battery, the things will last decades with probably less maintenance then oil changes.

2 comments:

  1. I was surprised to learn that electric cars are far less "green" than we would like to think:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324128504578346913994914472.html?KEYWORDS=electric+cars

    It's eye-opening to the fact that we need to think in terms of life-cycle costs, both in money and to the environment, rather than dollar or ton of CO2 per mile.

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  2. Lane, yes the up front carbon cost for these cars is huge, mostly because of the battery, which has to be replaced every 5-10 years. However, I just passed 295,000 miles on my van, I'm in it for the long haul. With the $7,500 tax credit and perhaps $400-500 a year in gas and $100-500 a year in oil changes/gas engine specific repairs the car will make up for it's financial difference in less than a decade. Hopefully by that time battery technology will be a little better too.

    Perhaps I am thinking too long term. I am interested in the fact that the drivetrain only spins, unlike a cylinder and all the associated complication that comes with an internal combustion engine which is currently failing on my van. An electric drivetrain requires less maintenance and will likely last longer than internal combustion, that should be my argument.

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