7 Ways to Reduce Your Car Repair Costs

Throughout the years, I have spent way more money on car repairs than I should have. Because of my limited knowledge of how a car works, I surrender my credit card to the mechanic and pay whatever they charge. In the last few years, I have started thinking about what steps I can take to prevent […]

When the Check Engine Light Comes On

This post is a departure from my usual topics, but I think what I learned this week will be of value to those with limited knowledge of how a car works. This post could save you a few hundred dollars. Wednesday evening the Check Engine light came on in my car. I’m the original owner […]

Car Repair Spreadsheet – Why Didn’t I Think of This Earlier?

I recently got nailed with a $1500 car repair bill. The big ticket item was replacing an EGR Valve. Now I know very little about cars and tend to tune out when mechanics start getting technical, so I didn’t recognize that this was the third time that I had to have my EGR Valve replaced in the […]

My Car Battery and the Science of Good Luck

Last winter when I was spending a bunch of money on auto repairs, the mechanic advised me to also replace my battery. He gave me an estimate of $200 for a new battery installed. That sounded high, but when you own a diesel you expect everything to be a little higher. I decided to hold […]

Getting Hit By a Car

On Saturday evening I was walking across a street in Capitol Hill inside the pedestrian walkway. A large white SUV came up from the side street towards me. It appeared the car was slowing as there was a Stop sign. But it didn’t. By the time I realized the car was going to run the […]

Silver Surfer Turns 100,000

My VW Golf TDI (the Silver Surfer) celebrated its 100,000 mile birthday last night while driving through Lower Queen Anne. Here is a breakdown of the first 100,000 miles. No wonder I like Seattle. I’m driving almost half as much as I did in San Diego.

Don’t Cry For Me and My Diesel Engine

About a week before 9/11, I made one of the most fortunate consumer choices of my life. Although I had already decided to buy a silver VW Golf hatchback, I didn’t know if I should get the gasoline or the diesel engine. Having never owned a diesel engine, I was concerned I wouldn’t find a […]

Silver Surfer Meets BeetleJuice

In September 2001, I was wise enough to buy a diesel hatchback that got 43-49 MPG. I still own the VW Golf TDI. Diesel engines typically last twice as long as standard engines and are more fuel efficient. I named my car Silver Surfer. The other car was VW Beetle named BeetleJuice. BeetleJuice is gone, […]