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  • FIRST POST
    • DD265
    • By DD265 5th Aug 18, 12:18 PM
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    DD265
    What do you budget for maintenance?
    • #1
    • 5th Aug 18, 12:18 PM
    What do you budget for maintenance? 5th Aug 18 at 12:18 PM
    I have an '05 Golf TDI which is in excellent nick for it's 118k miles. I do 350ish miles a week currently.

    I have a good local independent garage that I trust and I do try to keep on top of things. I think there might be some 'big' costs coming up in terms of belts due to mileage then possibly suspension and brakes at some point as I've had the car a year and they haven't needed doing thus far.

    Up until this point I've just used disposable income to pay for maintenance & servicing but my disposable income is about to become less disposable so I want to start budgeting properly. I'm not certain how much to set aside - what would you suggest is a good base figure?
Page 1
    • wgl2014
    • By wgl2014 5th Aug 18, 12:51 PM
    • 742 Posts
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    wgl2014
    • #2
    • 5th Aug 18, 12:51 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Aug 18, 12:51 PM
    Difficult to say, routine maintenance is easy as you have set intervals. You mentioned belts, these are not done that often but it's a false economy to leave them as if they go it can cause significant damage, check your manual.
    Brakes are easy to check for wear on both pads and discs, have a look at how much friction material is left and if the discs have any 'lip' around the outside.
    For most jobs a Haynes manual and an afternoon can save a fair bit of cash if you are confident to some jobs yourself.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 5th Aug 18, 12:58 PM
    • 12,624 Posts
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    unholyangel
    • #3
    • 5th Aug 18, 12:58 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Aug 18, 12:58 PM
    If you have a good garage you trust, have you tried asking them at MOT time if they think anything big might need done next year? The garage I use does this so I've always known in advance whats going to need done.

    Apart from that, it might be helpful to know what sort of work its needed over the last few years. At the quoted age, I'd expect some parts to have either been replaced in the last 2-3 years or shortly need replaced due to rust.

    Also, I've heard from a few friends that some garages here are offering repairs on short-term credit - where you get the car repaired and then have 3 months to clear the balance. So perhaps thats an avenue to explore if money is a concern for you.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 5th Aug 18, 3:09 PM
    • 3,381 Posts
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    Tarambor
    • #4
    • 5th Aug 18, 3:09 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Aug 18, 3:09 PM
    500 a year including a service should be more than enough. Depending on how and where you drive the brakes may not need doing for a long time. I'm just reaching the point where I need to replace the back brakes since I last changed them 80,000 miles ago and it is that long ago because the majority of the mileage my car does is a 56 mile round trip to work mostly on a main A road with very little stopping.

    As stated some jobs like changing brake pads are quite easy to do and, despite belief to the contrary, within the capabilities of most people once they put their mind to it.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 5th Aug 18, 4:08 PM
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    silverwhistle
    • #5
    • 5th Aug 18, 4:08 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Aug 18, 4:08 PM
    My spreadsheet budget shows 30 a month for servicing although as the car is getting on a bit I might increase that to 40. I suspect the front discs will need doing at next service. I'll take it to my usual independent as I don't have a garage, drive, the tools or the confidence to fix. Good at taking things apart but not so much at putting them together again...
    • DD265
    • By DD265 5th Aug 18, 4:23 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
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    DD265
    • #6
    • 5th Aug 18, 4:23 PM
    • #6
    • 5th Aug 18, 4:23 PM
    Service is due in 2800 miles so I will double check then. Looking at the history the cambelt was changed at 60,000 miles so I think I'm right that this will probably need doing in September/October or spring. There's a note recommending the brake fluid is changed in March, but nothing else was mentioned. General feedback from both garages that have serviced it for me are that it looks pretty immaculate inside.

    Since buying the car I've had a full service with all filters replaced followed by an interim service plus the DSG oil and filter changed. New tyres all round, then it's had a new CV boot, coil spring/strut top mount/drop link. I also had some cosmetic work done including the sills which were corroding, but I view all the cosmetic stuff as one-off.

    I was thinking maybe 50 a month, so 500 per year sounds good.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 5th Aug 18, 6:42 PM
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    Tarambor
    • #7
    • 5th Aug 18, 6:42 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Aug 18, 6:42 PM
    Doesn't sound too bad from the post you've made. I don't count things like tyres and replacing brake pads and discs or cambelts as a repair because they're a consumable that'll need replacing on any vehicle which moves.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 5th Aug 18, 7:59 PM
    • 1,408 Posts
    • 523 Thanks
    sevenhills
    • #8
    • 5th Aug 18, 7:59 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Aug 18, 7:59 PM
    I have an '05 Golf TDI which is in excellent nick for it's 118k miles. I do 350ish miles a week currently.

    I have a good local independent garage that I trust and I do try to keep on top of things. I think there might be some 'big' costs coming up in terms of belts due to mileage then possibly suspension and brakes at some point as I've had the car a year and they haven't needed doing thus far.
    Originally posted by DD265

    I recently had my timing belt changed, but a friend of mine has a diesel 1995 people-carrier that has done over 200,000 miles without a belt change.

    • wwpaddler
    • By wwpaddler 6th Aug 18, 2:32 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    wwpaddler
    • #9
    • 6th Aug 18, 2:32 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Aug 18, 2:32 PM
    I budget 80 a month for car maintenance - this is possibly a little high as it's a 15 year old 170K mile Megane doing 13K miles/year so it has needed some repairs a younger car wouldn't need. However unlike Tarambor this includes everything (servicing, tyres, brakes, wipers, screenwash, repairs).
    Last edited by wwpaddler; 06-08-2018 at 2:35 PM.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 6th Aug 18, 2:52 PM
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    Tarambor
    Oh I'm including everything in the 500, it is just that replacing consumables aren't really repairs.
    • Luke86
    • By Luke86 7th Aug 18, 1:07 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Luke86
    I budget 100 a month for everything, including the consumables people mention like oil, brake pads, service, MOT etc. Only extra is tax and insurance. Sometimes there's some spare, sometimes not.
    • fred246
    • By fred246 7th Aug 18, 2:40 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 582 Thanks
    fred246
    I really don't think you can set a monthly figure for repairs to an older car. It's not going to work. I remember grumbling to a couple of lower paid workers that they were wasting money on new cars. They had taken out monthly PCPs. "It's alright for you. You can afford to drive an older car. We can't afford repairs." It seemed strange that the poorer people drove new cars but the rich drove older ones. It is an area though where DIY repairs make an awful difference. I would pay 50 for a timing belt where a garage would charge hundreds. DIY repairs cost a fraction of the garage price. You just have to keep driving it and analyzing the cost and if it's too much get rid of it. You will save a fortune in the long run but I am afraid you can't put a monthly figure on the cost.
    • Cash-Strapped.T32
    • By Cash-Strapped.T32 7th Aug 18, 6:47 PM
    • 499 Posts
    • 285 Thanks
    Cash-Strapped.T32
    I try to put away 50 to 100 per month in a seperate account for repairs & consumables until I've got a grand - at that point, my assumption is I've got enough to cover pretty much anything that isn't going to write off the car, and if the absolute worst happened, I could go on ebay and buy a new car the next day if I needed to.

    If/when I use some of the money, I begin to build it back up to a grand.

    Then again mine's a 15yr old Clio 172, so even a new timing belt (and associated gubbins) can easily be upward of 400 smackers and you don't want to that particular job at home...

    Having had to replace my own exhaust the other weekend I really do want to begin doing more stuff at home though - I genuinely don't know what I'd do without youtube when it comes to maintenance....
    • fishybusiness
    • By fishybusiness 7th Aug 18, 9:31 PM
    • 1,212 Posts
    • 757 Thanks
    fishybusiness
    Grand a year put aside for our 200k miles Audi A6, including tyres, air con gas, repairs I do at home, everything really.

    This coming year I should think it will be no more than a couple of hundred so the costs come and go.
    • silverwhistle
    • By silverwhistle 7th Aug 18, 9:37 PM
    • 2,020 Posts
    • 2,669 Thanks
    silverwhistle
    I really don't think you can set a monthly figure for repairs to an older car. It's not going to work.
    Originally posted by fred246

    I quoted a figure for budgeting purposes, which is just a way of assessing what I have to spend. I may spend more which means I'll go over budget and have to adjust it. I'm "rich" enough not to have to put specific money aside.



    It looks like my A/c compressor has gone. Hot weather or not I'm not going to bother replacing it. That would be far too much over budget!
    • fishybusiness
    • By fishybusiness 8th Aug 18, 6:15 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
    • 757 Thanks
    fishybusiness
    It looks like my A/c compressor has gone. Hot weather or not I'm not going to bother replacing it. That would be far too much over budget!
    Had similar problem, left mine for 2 years and then asked garage to have a quick look when they changed the timing belt. Failure was the front pulley, 65 ish and easy to fit while in pieces.
    • Smellyonion
    • By Smellyonion 8th Aug 18, 7:16 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    Smellyonion
    How long would expect break/ tyres to last?

    I bought a new car so started from ground zero. I am at 23k miles in 1.5 years. How long could I go without replacing anything?
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 8th Aug 18, 8:43 AM
    • 4,470 Posts
    • 10,188 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    I don't budget, I service / fix it when it needs doing and it costs what it costs.

    Over the 14 years I've owned this car it's cost me less than 1000/year average though.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 8th Aug 18, 8:52 AM
    • 174 Posts
    • 232 Thanks
    MovingForwards
    I have a pot of 500 per year and that is for any repair costs/MOT, when I dip into it for parts or MOT I start topping it back up again. The money is kept in its own account as a dedicated car pot. I shop around for insurance (currently have it on a 'normal' policy to keep my NCB going). I run a classic VW.

    Best tip I can give you is make sure you trust your garage/mechanic.

    You can check things out yourself ie lights/electrics just by switching them on/off.

    Brakes, well, you will know when them are starting to go as it takes just a little longer, or needs more of a press.

    Handbrake if it needs to be pointing to the roof lining to engage adjust /change the cable.

    Clutch if you need to move your knee to your face before you can change gear then get it looked at.

    Oils /fluids you can check/top up yourself.

    Tyres check visually for defects, buy a tread measure for a couple of quid and avoid curbing your wheels/tyres. Make sure they are pumped to the recommended spec, also do not drive them pumped up to carrying a load if you dont do that).

    Give your bodywork a once over when washing, look underneath to keep an eye out for rust /holes which need repairing (welding is expensive unless you can do it yourself).

    Suspension press down on the body and see how many bounces before it stops (should only be press down and release, it goes back into standard hight without bobbing up/down a few times. When it starts bobbing your suspension needs looking at/start planning to replace).

    Exhaust smoking (blue/black) after running for a few mins and your car needs looking at.

    Spark plugs (or glowplug) change every few years.

    Cam belt/chain google or check your manual to see when it should be replaced (can be expensive and cripple your car if not changed), you can here your engine making a different sound to what you are used to.

    Yes, you can buy a haynes manual or even an owners guide (on ebay), but with the internet the info is available for free and many car groups on FB have a wealth of info/experience.
    • DD265
    • By DD265 8th Aug 18, 10:29 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 3,244 Thanks
    DD265
    Thanks guys, particularly MovingFowards for a 'checklist'!

    I haven't budgeted in the past and just gone 'oh car in garage this month, best not go crazy on the spending', but if we're going to buy a house my income is going to be stretched a few more ways than it is currently so at least if I'm setting something aside I'm partway there. Another consideration is if the car needs a repair that costs more than it's worth which is unlikely but possible; I'd need some money to put towards a replacement.

    One of our requirements in a house is off road parking, and especially if we're lucky enough to buy one with a garage, I'm hoping to be able to DIY some of the jobs and I have a relative who can teach me a fair bit. I can do bulbs and fluids, plus spray and fit a bumper, but I would have to look up how to jack a car and change the tyre.

    The Haynes manual is under the stairs along with all the expensive AutoGlym products that I've used once or twice in the 4 years I've had them. Car is due a wash this weekend though
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