Is it reasonable to pay $1,100 in maintenance and repairs on a car that's only 3 years old?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jan 01, 1998

Dear Tom and Ray:

Okay, so we're not so good at being yuppies. We just took our Toyota T100 for
its 80,000 miles service. Its last service was over 50,000 miles ago. But they
want $1,100! The truck is less than 3 years old. They say we need our front
brakes and our timing belt replaced. Oh, golly, guys. If this wasn't so
expensive, husband Jay could have his own radial arm saw for his birthday. Do I
really need to spend this much money? Were all those oil changes in vain? If
I'm going to spend this much, why didn't I just buy a Volvo? Please respond.
Husband Jay is waiting on an answer because he's dying to start building that
new grape arbor. -- Lorrie

TOM: Well, the reason you didn't just buy a Volvo is because a Volvo would cost
you about 3,000 bucks at this stage, Lorrie.

RAY: And the oil changes were not in vain. But all the oil changes in the world
won't help your brakes last any longer. Or your timing belt, for that matter.
This is just regular maintenance that is expected and needs to be done.

TOM: You drove 50,000 miles and only spent $1,100 on maintenance. That's just
over 2 cents a mile. Not very much.

RAY: Or look at it this way. Most people drive 12,000-15,000 miles a year. So
for most people, 50,000 miles is about four years worth of driving. So you
spent the equivalent of less than $300 a year.

TOM: No matter which way you look at it, Lorrie, it's not a lot of money for
the number of miles it covers. It only seems like a lot because you've saved up
all the maintenance and are doing it all at once. So my advice is to just cough
up the money for the truck and let husband Jay borrow YOUR radial arm saw to
build his grape arbor.

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