I came home just now from doing car maintenance at a drive-through location. The total cost: $457.58. Now, it feels pretty shitty because it’s hard to gauge whether the maintenance is worth it or not. In this case, I did need to get an oil change and have a tire repaired. Those services were essential and I’m quite happy with the service I received for those two. The up-sell that I ended up falling for, though, ended up being a transmission fluid change at $250.
Based on what I’ve read online, transmission fluid does need to be changed eventually, though at very high mileages. My car is currently sitting at about 52000 km, and I’m beginning to suspect that this was not a particularly useful operation for me in the end. I mean, I guess it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about it for another couple of years, and ultimately the money would have been spent sooner or later, but it still feels somewhat shitty being led towards making some decision that I may have otherwise not made. Why are so many car maintenance places like this? Is the industry so cutthroat and margins so narrow that it’s only possible to pry dollars off unwitting people?
After this, I’d like to start paying more attention to what, according to the OEM, the needs of my vehicle are. While there is a lot of reading to do, ultimately it would be nice to have a finer grain understanding of what my coin is getting during vehicle maintenance. Staying ignorant for the rest of my life is definitely not going to do me any favours, after all. There have been a lot of times in the past where I’ve just paid for whatever service was offered to me, because it didn’t matter. With a greater amount of scrutiny towards how I spend my money nowadays, I intend to better educate myself about the things I must spend money for and those I’d be fine without.