I finally added up all my expenses for the brick for 2009 and got a good view how much its cost over the span of 4 years. This doesn’t include gas or insurance, which is incredibly low for NJ at $800 a year. Here’s the numbers:

4 Years Total

30,000 total miles driven

$8,700 purchase, parts and maintenance

Yearly Averages

7,500 miles

$2,177 spent

$0.29 average cost per mile

Meh… This isn’t too great, but I figure, since i didn’t have any records to begin with, much of this was to bring the car up to the recommended maintenance. The suspension and exhaust were completely overhauled and they will last a long while.

Most of the costs have been kept low by buying parts on-line and installing them myself. The biggest expense by far was having Raw Bear Performance replace the air conditioner and water pump at $1800. The compressor seized soon after I bought it, and the new one had to be converted to R134. Once the car was in the garage the mechanic found all sorts of other issues, including worn belts and bushings and a malfunctioning water pump. While I hated shelling out the dough for the fix, it really hit me hard when I lost my job a few weeks later and was out of work for 2 months. Chilly air pumping out of the vents wasn’t really something I needed at the time. $1800 was.

I figure the brick could fetch about $2500, but I’m not about to sell it. My goal has always been to keep it in the best condition I can up to 200k and then decide what to do with it. At this rate that’s another 6 years, at 2016. Other than a few minor issues my brick is driving better than it ever has. The suspension overhaul makes it handle like a totally different car and new motor and tranny mounts got rid of the hesitant acceleration and annoying undercarriage banging.

Now if I could just get around to soundproofing the floor, adding chassis braces, fixing the overdrive, getting snow tires, repairing the vinyl seats, replacing the wheel bearings, tinting the windows, fixing the heated seat, painting the rims, fixing the leaky crank seal, replacing the front door hinge, rust-proofing the undercarriage, replacing all the missing fasteners, then I’d be all done. Right?

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