Too smart for my own good

When we bought our new truck in July (has it been that long ago?) I didn’t get an extended warranty, but I did spring for a prepaid “oil changes for life” plan. And I’m beginning to realize one of the downsides of failing to keep up with automotive technology.

When I did the mental calculation on the payout for the prepaid plan, I used my standard “every 3,000 miles” schedule, and I figured I’d easily come out ahead, even factoring in the time value of money. What I failed to realize is that today’s cars (at least in the Wonderful World of Honda) no longer require oil changes as frequently as the 11-year old Durango I was replacing. And, in fact (I’m sure most of you already know this), you — the driver and owner — have no active role in the decision regarding when the oil needs to be changed; the computer will let you know when it’s time, thank you very much.

So I now find that the Ridgeline has just under 4,000 miles and the computer is telling me that we’re still at 60% of oil life, and I’m beginning to realize that I’ve paid approximately $70 each for oil change over the estimated 100,000 miles I’ll probably rack up before buying another car. Another brilliant financial decision.

On the other hand, maybe I’ll get lucky and the truck will exhibit one or more of these characteristics and I’ll get more frequent changes.

Categorized as Cars