The good old days of 2007. A time when I could visit a parts store and walk away with hundreds of dollars in free stuff. I remember O’Reillys giving me 24 quarts of synthetic oil for about $8.00 in taxes. Advance Auto Parts seemed to have access to every cheap Chinese tool set ever made with mail-in coupon in tow. As for Autozone? They gave me 12 free batteries when I established a commercial account there. I used them all that winter and made money on the cores. Ahh, those were good times! They’re no more. But you can still pick up a good deal here and there.
Coolant is cheap! $5.00 a gallon for the store brand 50/50 at Advance is as low as I’ve seen, and I bought six gallons this afternoon. Then there were quarts of leftover Ford Motorcraft® oil for 95 cents each. That will work quite well with the AC Delco filters I use for $4. Of course you can get the store brand filters for $1.50. But you have to specifically ask for it and the help doesn’t advertise that product. Not much profit. Filters that cheap also make me uncomfortable. I despise cheap cardboard so I usually stick with a brand name even if it doesn’t make much sense beyond the label.
Wal-Mart tends to have the cheapest batteries and synthetic oil. If you’re not into shopping specials they usually have the cheapest dino juice as well. As for tires? Pep Boys may have the $60 special for the ultra-cheap set of 4 on most early-1990s subcompacts. But I’m willing to have Tire Rack help figure that one out.
Lifetime warranties on parts? Yes, if the part is easy to get to or if you’re handy. But never on motor oil. With gentle driving and 5,000 mile changes most rides should outlast most Buick owners. Insurance can also be slashed quite a bit if you shop around once speeding tickets and accidents pass the three year mark. Enjoy asking for any discount that may be remotely possible. I especially like low mileage discounts (5,000 miles a year) and all the doo-dad discounts that have to do with safety. I just wish they offered one for those who hate cats.