Someone asked me about buying a BMW 5 series or a 7 series (from 1995-2001) and 
I started thinking about what I have had to spend on my car.

I bought my 2000 BMW 740iL 4 years ago with 159,000 miles. I now have 228,000 
miles. In the 4 intervening years, I have had to do the following repairs and 

Replaced the battery twice, one was free as the battery was under warranty -- 
Replace Tires - $400
Replaced the coolant reservoir and coolant level sensor around $120
Replaced the radiator -- $400 (includes labor cost at shop)
replaced rear brake pads $100
replaced passenger door lock actuator $250 (includes labor cost at shop)
changed the spark plugs - $75
replaced one ignition coil - $70
replace fuel pump and fuel filter -- $500 (includes labor cost at shop)

That adds up to $2115 in four years and 68,000 miles. I doubt I could have 
driven a new car and spent less than that in 4 years!

Even if I figure in the cost of 12 oil changes (some done by me and some at a 
shop) with an average cost of $50 each, that brings the total to $2715. Less 
than $3000 in 4 years and almost 70,000 miles.

So, I decided to figure out the TOTAL operating costs for my car. I added up 
the cost of the car + insurance + gas + maintenance and repairs + licensing and 
taxes. I added it all up and my total ownership costs is 23 cents per mile.

According to AAA, the average operating costs in the USA is 57 cents per mile 
(for all car styles). The average operating cost for a large sedan is 69 cents 
per mile. Those amounts for the miles I have driven would have been $38,760 and 
$46,920 respectively. I spent a total of $15,728 for my car including 

A few sites I have seen provide the average operating costs and the cheapest 
vehicle for 5 year operating costs was a Toyota Prius at approximately 30 cents 
per mile the average cost of a small sedan at 46.4 cents per mile.

Despite the conventional wisdom, my 740iL has been extremely cheap to own and 
is more than twice as cheap as the smallest and cheapest average cars.

Now that I have figured it all up I know what to do with my fleet.

Fix the windows on the 01 BMW, sell it, and keep the truck and 2000 BMW and 
drive it as long as I can.  I have 228,000 miles.  I see no reason it won't 
make it 250K (knock wood!).

Don Snook

From: Curley McLain []
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 2:08 PM
To: Donald Snook <>
Subject: Re: [MBZ] No car payment this month Was: A car for poos

Thank you sir!   240D has been around for over 20 years now.  Since I had to 
drive it several winters and both kids drove it and learned to drive in it, it 
is no longer pretty, but does not look bad from 50'  For now, the rust is 
mostly in places where it does not show.  It could use a couple  months of 
Dimitri's majik!  Then a Curt roller paint job.

Donald Snook<>
September 21, 2016 at 11:49 AM
Now, this deserves an ATTABOY!

Any time someone can keep their cars running (and even improve them) in an 
effort to avoid a car payment, I think that is an admirable goal!

Don Snook

-----Original Message-----
From: Curley McLain []
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 8:25 AM
To: Mercedes Discussion List 
Subject: [MBZ] No car payment this month Was: A car for poos

on that note: In the past month, the only parts I have had to buy was the 
engine shock for the 240D. That means no "car payment" this month!
Sincel about a year ago, I have been doing a lot of fixing, and ordering parts. 
A lot of it was deferred maintenance. Even the neglected 240D has a new 
exhaust, after 20 years of patching the old one together until it was pretty 
much bandaids holding the bandaids together. When I took the old exhaust off 
and salvaged the hose clamps, there was only the front pipe from the manifold 
to the bend to the aft (about 20") left.

It also has new motor mounts, a new air cleaner, the transmission
modulator adjusted; new front end parts etc. The old 240D sounds
good, is smoother and shifts better. The trans has been "on the way out" for 
10-15 years, but has not died yet...


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