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Nik00117 08-20-2012 08:55 PM

Being cheap doesn't always save money
Working in the car industry I see a lot of times where people try to cut corners to save money.

Example: Once had a customer who had blown out her tires on her Mustang. She decided to buy the cheapest tire she could (like a week after she got her new tire) hit a curb at a high rate of speed and screwed up her rim.

Another one had a customer select a car purely based upon price even though I advised her to go with a slightly more expensive one that would have a much better reliable rate (Caliber vs Focus $400 price difference same options). At least she is getting her value out of the extended warranty.

Had one customer who spend 8 months purchasing in a way I had advised him not to he saved $450 and spent 3 additional unnecessary months waiting for a car that wasn't his.

Another individual had a transmission problem that had to go to a transmission specialty shop to be repaired (80 mile drive). The fix was quoted at $500 and towing an additional $200 ($700 total) he decided to drive he was advised that driving the car may damage the car more resulting in a more expensive bill. He drove the car, around mile marker 40 his transmission went from "slightly broken but repairable" to completely blown apart. Cost to replace $2,700.

My father once had to change the transmission fluid, this job on this particular job was actually quite complicated and involved especially for an individual not mechanically inclined. Well he was quoted $200 for parts, $200 for labor and 2 days turn around time, (we where on vacation) so he purchased the $200 in parts and started doing the work himself. 5 days later the parts where ruined and he had given up. The car could not be driven (no transmission fluid) so it had to be towed to the dealership ($100), we had to purchase the parts again (another $200) and then pay the labor cost (another $200).

My dad had later learned his lesson, we had received a free riding lawn mower form a friend. It needed some work on the engine which we where able to perform ourselves and we got the engine and everything running just fine. However the blades would not turn because of a worn out belt. We took it to the local lawn mower repair shop and they said "Belt's $20" we bought it my dad asked how much to put it on they said "It's a PITA, but we'll do it for $150" we paid our $170 came back 2 days later and got our lawn mower. It worked perfectly no stress. That thing ran for 5 years before we mowed, then we left it with the house.

Had he gone the "expensive route" he'd of spent $400

He went the cheap route which cost him $700

O yes and instead of being done in 2 days it was done in 8 days (5 days of his attempt, 1 day for the car to get to the shop, and 2 days at the shop)

MotorcityJAX 08-20-2012 09:52 PM

Great stories, lessons for all to know. You should change your name to Confucius for the wisdom your giving

thenorm 08-20-2012 10:03 PM

i've got examples too.

I needed custom 15x10 wheels for auto-x. Bought steel wheels $150 each, but they weighed more than I wanted. After a few seasons, i found some aluminum wheels $300. So bought the more expensive aluminum wheels, and took a hit (-$100) on selling the steel wheels. Shoulda just bought the light aluminum wheels ($600 total) in the first place instead of $800 the cheap way.

another case, bought an ebay bolt adapter spacer for like 70$. cracked them after a few events, ended up having to get custom spacers made. Only cost $100 because a buddy is a machinest. So spent 170$ the cheap way, instead of $100 the expensive way.

however, being cheap has taught me how to do alot. I can swap suspensions, do my own alignments, change clutches, all regular maintenance, rebuild and install supercharger.

I've saved many thousands by getting my own hands dirty.

mikebontoft 08-20-2012 10:43 PM

I've got quite a few too... usually fixing other peoples problems.

most recently a guy replaced just about everything else on his car... every sensor every module EXCEPT for the fuel pump which was buzzing like crazy.

finally replaced it for him because he needed it and imagine that... it ran fine.

I will say I hate when people ask me to do stuff for them at home because they don't want to pay me labor. they get a big no.

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