You Need A Quality Back Yard Mechanic

You need a quality back yard mechanicIn breaking news: Cars Are Expensive! I bet you’re shocked, right? I think anyone who has owned a car for a few years knows that most vehicles are just a huge money pit that never stop sucking your wallet dry yet they are a necessity for most of us Canadians in this monster of a country we live in. A 5 hour drive that seems like just a short trip for us could feel like an eternity and a journey spanning several countries to someone in Europe.

One of the best ways to reduce your car maintenance costs is to find a quality mechanic that doesn’t work for a car dealership or big name repair shop. You do get some peace of mind and arguably higher quality service by going with the big names but most times that’s all it is, just a false sense of security.

Mechanic Labour Costs

The cost you will be charged for an hour of service is highly dependent on two things: where you live and the type of garage or mechanic you bring your car to. My experience has been that most dealerships charge north of $90 an hour for labour in my small city and that figure can rise to as much as $150 in major metropolitan areas.

If you go with an independent mechanic or a smaller no frills shop that does quality work you should be able to get that down to $40 to $50 per hour ballpark probably cutting the cost in half.

Related: ACT NOW! The Best Deal On Winter Tires You Will Ever Find!

Quality Of Workmanship

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Money Saving Tips: Use Synthetic Oil In Your Car

Using synthetic oil in your carRecently I wrote about bringing your own oil when you take your vehicle in for an oil change and how to save money on synthetic oil in the process. Essentially by bringing your own synthetic oil that you can buy for $20 or less in the United States or for about $35 on sale in Canada you can save a bundle because most garages mark up a synthetic oil change by $50 to $70.

That said, there are many more merits to using synthetic oil that will save you even more money. The exact amount is hard to calculate but I can at least give you a rough idea why it is worth it.

Related: Car Parts And Repairs For Up To 90% Off!

Significantly Reduced Engine Wear

The whole point of synthetic oil is to lubricate the fast moving components of your engine so the metallic parts don’t chafe next to each other causing friction, high heat, expansion, and sheering off of little metal bits into the engine oil that can potentially cause even more damage later. I’m no expert on this, but I’ve read that oil breaks down in addition to getting dirty over time which is one of the main reasons it needs to be changed often. Synthetic oil breaks down much more slowly in addition to lubricating better and generally causing your engine to run smoother.

There are large internet communities dedicated just to car oil, one of the biggest being Bob Is The Oil Guy. The enthusiasts on those forums regularly compare oils and send their used oil in for a used oil analysis which tells them exactly what is in the oil so they can really see how well the oil is working. They will know if there is any sheered metal, dirt and gunk in the oil and if the oil started breaking down or if it was still in good shape and ready to go more significantly more kilometers. All of these enthusiasts recommend synthetic oil based on their findings and I’m now a believer as well. I think you should be too.

Of course, this will save you money on costly engine repairs in the long run.

Fewer Oil Changes

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Money Saving Tips: Bring Your Own Oil For An Oil Change

Bring your own oil for an oil changeMost people think the only reason to buy their own engine oil for their vehicle would be if they wanted to change the oil themselves to avoid paying someone else to do it. The truth is most garages and dealerships will allow you to bring your own oil if you simply ask. They will even charge you less for the oil change because they typically remove the cost of the bulk oil they would normally be putting in your car from the bill.

Changing your own oil can be a huge pain because you have to learn how to do it first of all, then buy the oil, filter, and other necessary stuff, then get dirty doing it, and finally find an environmentally responsible way of disposing of the oil. When a standard oil change can be as cheap as $30, it hardly sounds worth all that hassle to me!

Related: Car Parts And Repairs For Up To 90% Off!

However, simply buying your own oil and bringing it with you to the oil change is so dead easy that anyone could do it. But, the real question is: will it save you money?

If you are using standard engine oil and buying it at the regular price at Canadian Tire, then the answer is almost certainly no. If you are using synthetic oil on the other hand and getting it at a good price, then the savings can be huge. Keep reading » about Money Saving Tips: Bring Your Own Oil For An Oil Change

Netflix Canada Doesn’t Suck

Netflix Canada doesn’t suckAbout 2 years ago, shortly after Netflix was launched in Canada, my good blogging friend Simon from Sustainable Personal Finance proclaimed confidently to the world that Netflix in Canada Sucked after trying out the service for a short while. Conversely, I have been a subscriber to the service paying the $7.99 a month faithfully almost since the service launched. It can’t suck that much to have me be a customer this long, can it?

So, Does It Really Suck?

At first, I was almost inclined to agree with Simon because the Netflix Canada selection was severely limited and nowhere near the calibre of movies and TV series that Netflix USA had. Not only that, but there was also no way to efficiently browse their entire library and save titles you were interested in watching when you did happen come across a good one. The movies displayed on the front page when you log in were always changing so it was easy to lose track of something you wanted to watch and never find it again. Fortunately, things did improve quite dramatically over time and there was just enough good stuff to keep me interested and stay on as a subscriber.

Did It Have Anything Going For It At Launch?

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