Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A good reason to maintain your car

When a mechanic tells you your car is in immaculate condition, they mean it.

They don't want to mean it. It's like someone at Best Buy saying, "We won't even try to upsell you because it's clear you know exactly what you want and exactly how to fix it." Or one of those overly aggressive salespeople at Sears who takes one look at you and says, "I'll bet your siding is just dandy."

As I've mentioned before, I'm one of those anal people who actually fills out the maintenance book on his car. I've never missed a service appointment, even though my car is six years old and I'm past the one-year anniversary of being poor. Yesterday, I got my 55,000-mile oil change and tire rotation. And as is always the case with my current car (which I bought new), the mechanics could clearly see that I wasn't going to be fooled into unnecessary repairs. 

This is in stark contrast to my previous vehicle, which constantly required expensive repairs that always seemed to come in pairs. "You need a new fuel pump ... see you next week when your hoses pop off!"

The lowlight of that era was when I went to see someone about my broken window tracks, and they told me the problem was a burned-out motor. I had hand cranks.

"No you don't," the guy told me with a straight face he should patent.

I never did get those windows fixed. For that reason, but also because it was funny to slide them up and down with suction cups.

We live in a society that upsells everything these days, from car repairs to books and everything in between and on the outer edges. Need is almost never part of the equation. So in keeping my car up to speed, not only do I gain the satisfaction of a reliable vehicle, but also the satisfaction of one of the most aggressive industries telling me, "Nah, you're good."

Good indeed.

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