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car maintenance

Road Trip lesson 1: Car prep

Originally when we talked about doing this trip we also were considering Asia, Europe and Hawaii as options for where we would like to go explore.  There advantages for mexico though (same time-zone as our business, easy flights in/out for visitors, spanish, relatively cheap, etc), but probably one of the main draws for us was the idea of a “road-trip”.   I liked the idea of the freedom to go wherever we wanted.

However the last advantage that I was expecting was that $1500 in gas would be cheaper than $4000+ in plane tickets.   But an important number missing in this logic is the car maintenance required to do a 20,000km road-trip.

To fix our car up to go, we have bought new tires that are good in high heat ($750), new shocks/front brakes ($600), added tinted windows ($250), did the carpet cleaning ($150) and changed the broken radio ($180).

Now in Dartmouth, we decided to do an oil change, alinement, and get a general check-up.   Which turned out to be the ball joint and wheel bearings…geez!  Another $800.  However, we do notice a nice difference in the way the car drives, so at least it feels like it was worth it.

While at it, we decided to replace the head-lights (since we’ll be driving 20,000km) and wipers ($60).

I think by now we could have came close to getting the 4 of us to Hawaii!

So my road-trip lesson 1:   probably not cheaper than flying.