Lowering my automotive expenses has been top of mind lately.
Hovering around 30k miles, the stock Continental Procontact TX tires that came on the car were ready to be replaced. I rotated them, maintained proper air pressure, never did J turns, burnouts or anything crazy like that. First it was the sidewalls beginning to show cracks, then some really bad hydroplaning even in light rain. I read reviews where people said the sidewalls were weak and started to get bubbles after hitting potholes. So I looked at my options.
The top rated 245/45R18 tire was the Vredestein Quatrac 5. It isn’t a well known company in the US, but seems to be more common around Europe. A set of 4 tires for $582.12 plus $45.28 in shipping, for $627.40. Right off the bat I save $168.92.
The tires shipped to my local Firestone shop, I leave work a little early on a Monday, deal with 45 min of traffic, only to be told by the manager… sorry we only have one guy working and 6 cars to do work on. I ask about doing it the following morning and he nope same problem, come back Saturday. I say screw it and load the cars up in the trunk and backseat of the Maxima.
Drove to a shady looking tire shop in my area that is open a little earlier. With tax they installed all 4 tires for $86. Hopefully they did the job right and I don’t have problems down the road.
Yesterday I found a $59.99 coupon for a wheel alignment at a nearby Nissan dealership. They’re a few miles out of the way but I’d brought my car there before, without any problems. I casually mention to the service advisor I have a $15 off coupon from one of their competitors for synthetic oil, but am still 400 miles from really needing a change. She then says they have a promo for $9.99 for Mobil 1 0W20 synthetic oil with a new filter. That’s like $30-35 cheaper than what I’m used to paying. About ~80 total. Helps to shop around.
For the tirerack purchase I get 5% back since I used PayPal. So $31.37 back, then 3% cashback on the subtotal or $17.46. $664.57 total for the tires. Saved a couple hundred bucks…
Next is insurance, Allstate’s rates are getting out of control. I’m 34, have a FICO score above 800, no accidents, no tickets. They give a slight discount for up front payment. I have priced out policies elsewhere and the price is closer to $600 for 6 months for better coverage. Potentially saving $500/yr in the process. That’s almost an extra car payment, or 10 tanks full of gas. Calling a local insurance agent who can shop around rates this week. The line must be drawn here. Progressive may be in my future. Sup Flo? haha