Although Labor Day traditionally marks the start of the new model year at your local car dealers, these days cars just trickle in over the course of the year with fewer coming at the traditional fall introduction. So whether it is a brand new model or just new options or revised sheet metal, the new ones will be in dealers this month.
This weekend, the 2011 NASCAR season starts with the one of the biggest races in the world: The Daytona 500. On my list of great motor-sports races, Daytona ranks up there right next to the Indy 500, the 24 Hours of LeMans, the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco, the Monte Carlo Rally and the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races.
(Monaco gets two of the greats because historically it was full of rich playboys with fast cars, and they liked to find out who was fastest.
But, if you aren't a rich playboy you may find it hard to see these events, except on the TV.)
Tickets for the Daytona 500 race start at $55 per person. Have a small boy who loved the Pixar movie Cars? Be prepared to spend as much for a day at a NASCAR race as you would at Disneyland. Ticket prices are about the same, the prices for food and souvenirs are similar--but Disney is slightly less commercial, and much more tasteful.
People waste lots of money on things they don't need. Depending on how many miles you drive a year, any dollars wasted on car maintenance can really add up over time. Here are three of the biggest and a funny picture of what not to do.
Expanding on Woody's "Vampire
Diaries Dental Plans and Other Long-Term Money-Saving
Strategies" blog post, it's good to look at the long term.
Buying a house versus renting an apartment for about the same
monthly payment seems like a no-brainer. But when it comes to cars,
dealers often push leasing when you really should be buying.
Last week we started talking about buying a car for less than the price of many bicycles. We discussed where to look and what, or what not to look for.
Now it's time to start narrowing thing down. A quick look around my neighborhood via Craigslist this week turned up a '92 Mercury Grand Marquis, and a '95 Ford Escort Wagon for sale, both under $2,000. Both ads mention condition (running) and registration status (plates)--so two of my standard questions are answered.
Now, what else do you need to know before you commit to go look at the car in person?
People ask me for car care advice all the
time. I think it has something to do
with the grease under my fingernails. But unless you are going to describe a specific noise your car is
making, or some weird symptom you've noticed, I can't be of much help. I can carry on long conversations with other
car guys about problems and repairs and improvements and modifications, but it's doubtful I can fix your car around the water cooler in the office. Though there was one time I was able to tell
my wife how to fix her car after two minutes on the phone, and she was able to
drive to work, it doesn't happen often.
I can give you advice--and may even be able to diagnose and tell you the solution to your problem,
but if you aren't the type to do it yourself or don't have a
mechanical aptitude, you're going to need to find a mechanic. If you want to save money on your car
repairs, you need to find a GOOD mechanic. One you can trust to diagnose what's wrong quickly, only fix what
needs fixing, do things right the first time, and actually do what they charge