2008 Hyundai Elantra Cost per mile

Tiny
JAMESDARK
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 HYUNDAI ELANTRA
  • 87,000 MILES
I was wondering where I could learn good average and range life expectancies for all the parts of my car so I can better calculate the true cost per mile of running my car for deliveries? I'm told most people might fall between 50 and 75 cents per mile not including gas cost. I messaged someone at kelley blue book but haven't heard back from them. Is there a publication to that effect? A physical book I could buy?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 AT 10:58 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I've never heard of such a thing, and that's probably why you haven't heard back from your request. They're scratching their heads too. There are way too many variables involved in what you're looking for. What some people do is track their repair expenses to see what their costs were after they occurred. Very few people actually do this because it has no merit on anything. You could run over a nail and get a flat tire. Are you going to call that a "cost of running the car"? That could happen regardless of whether you use the car for deliveries or not.

The costs we normally look at are those that are involved with every car, regardless of its use. Those include fuel, maintenance oil changes, registration and licensing fees, and insurance. Even maintenance can be misleading because a few manufacturers are famous for making their "normal duty" maintenance schedules real generous to make their cars look better than those of their competitors you might be considering buying. In one case the oil change interval was 7,500 miles which we all know is double what is proper. Their avenue of escape was it was physically impossible to meet all of the conditions for "normal duty". If you drove at city speeds, at highway speeds, on dusty roads, in the rain, in cold weather, in hot weather, etc, you fell under the "severe use" maintenance schedule.

What I would call the cost of running your car for deliveries would be the cost repairs and maintenance over and above the costs you would have if you were just driving between a job and home. A sales clerk, accountant, or a nurse do not expect their employers to take care of their cars, so you would have to look at their typical expenses associated with getting to work, then try to determine how much more expense you would incur by using your car for your job. I don't know of any practical way to do that. My 25-year-old minivan has 264,000 miles, and as far back as I can remember, since it was new, I've spent less than $500.00 on repair parts not including gas and oil. I've had numerous former students who regularly spent around $800.00 on a major repair once a year, and they thought that was normal. Always for the same brand of car and similar models. In both cases, what would you consider "normal" if it was used for deliveries?

We're seeing a lot of control arm bushing failures now. A few decades ago they lasted the life of the car. If one goes bad on your car, do you consider that to be normal wear because it is so common, or do you say it's because you use the car for deliveries and bushing failure used to never be heard of? Why does that bushing fail on one car, but not on the car that came off the assembly line right behind it, and now has twice as many miles? How do you tell if that part failed because you drove your car 2,000 miles making deliveries? What about the bushing that failed after a family drove 2,000 miles on vacation?

Probably the best place to look for what you're after is the Post Office. They have a lot of vehicles, but they also have a lot of people driving their own vehicles for deliveries in the country. I know they get an allowance for fuel, and that probably is close to what it would cost them if they were paying to put fuel in a vehicle the Post Office owned. On the other hand, I doubt anyone is going to be reimbursed if their car needs a major engine repair. One of the advantages of having employees use their own cars is they are going to be more likely to take better care of them. Company cars get abused all the time, and employers know that. If someone knows their employer is going to cover all their car's repairs, what incentive is there to take care of it?

It is fair to expect the employer to contribute to an employee's car's maintenance since they would have that cost associated with running the business anyway, but I don't know of any really good or accurate way of knowing how to determine the dollar amount.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 AT 12:44 AM
Tiny
JAMESDARK
  • MEMBER
Costs such as inspections, car insurance, and registration which are done at a regular interval and are done regardless of my car's use are sunk costs and I would not include them in my formula. I just figured someone must be keeping a good eye on the average typical life spans for all parts so they know how much they can sell them for. It is my understanding that we have the technology to make a light bulb never burn out, but than how would they make money? I know averages will not produce a perfect match for my partcular costs and my speed of travel and turning on and off of my car are factors also, which is why a range would be helpful so I can at least put a number on the most everything would cost. And I could simply keep track of my miles. Say 30% of all the miles I put on my car in a year are work related I can take the total car usage costs time 0.3 and that is what work costs me. Taxi drivers seem to know what to charge customers to cover their costs both in vehicle and their own salary. So Kelley Blue Book or no other source keeps tabs on these types of things?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 13th, 2014 AT 10:36 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
As I mentioned, there's WAY too many variables. Businesses know the cost of having people run the checkout counters. That doesn't change during busy periods or when business is slow. They simply try to cut costs by having fewer people working during slow times. Every repair shop owner knows all about having ten mechanics, and some days they have to turn away business because they're booked solid, and some days we clean the shop because there's no cars to work on. These are cases where professionals can t know all the variables for their businesses, at least until they sit down and do the books after the fact.

There's no conspiracy to hide costs from you. The UPS basketball team knows what it takes to keep their trucks on the road, but then when the cost of fuel goes up, they add on a surcharge because they couldn't plan for that variable. Airlines adjust their ticket prices all the time to account for those variables. Even my former boss at a tv repair shop had every cost associated with running the service van calculated down to the last penny, but that was AFTER the repair costs were known. How can you say your cost is going to be a certain amount when you don't even know yet what is going to break? A lot of business owners budget a certain amount for unexpected repairs, and when that amount gets exceeded multiple times, they figure it's time to dump that vehicle and buy a new one.

I've never heard of anyone in any business having a formula or time specification for each individual part. When I started at the Chrysler dealership in 1990, speaking of your light bulbs, every '87 - 90 Caravan that came in needed at least one front running light, and often all four. The common expression in the parts department was "how many bulbs do you want with that oil and filter"? Well, my '88 Grand Caravan came from there, and I just noticed last week, for the first time after 25 1/2 years, two of my bulbs were burned out. NONE of those bulbs lasted more than a couple of years, but mine did. So how would you rate their life expectancy, and are they going to burn out sooner or not depending on the vehicle's use?

How would you rate the tires' life? I run mine almost until you can see the air inside, and I never get stuck in snow. Normal people would replace them 15,000 miles before I do. You can make your own cost of ownership by how long you're willing to put up with a rattle, ineffective wiper blades, or a water leak.

A lot of the things you eluded to started with customers' expectations and demands. In the '60s, when typical highway speeds increased, we got more noise from wind turbulence over wiper blades. That was normal and people accepted it because, after all, we were in a metal box going down the road, and that made noise. Eventually some engineer figured out people would pay extra for a complicated wiper system that hid the arms under the rear edge of the hood. Today people refuse to accept the fact they're outdoors when they're in their cars. They demand their butts be roasted, she must have a heater set at two degrees warmer than on his side, the head lights have to turn on automatically because we re too stupid to do that ourselves. We treat our cars like another room of our houses, not like it s a personal transportation device that takes us from one place to another.

All of these toys and gimmicks add to the number of things that break down. I don t care if an insane engineer feels compelled to make my doors lock by themselves at 15 mph, as long as I can still lock and unlock them myself when the computer gives up. I m smart. I know how to push the lock button. Does your car have a built-in anti-theft system? From what I ve read here, they are real effective at preventing owners from driving their own cars. How would you add that variable to your list of calculations when you have to make your deliveries by walking because your car engine won t run?

Now we re hearing about GM cars that self-lock the doors with the engine running, ... After the driver got out and closed the door. That s another product of a not-too-bright engineer, but you re the one who pays the price for it. How about a Corvette with no door lock key cylinders, just a proximity sensor in the remote hand unit. If the car s battery runs down, how do you get in to remove the back seat to change the battery or open the hood? Answer: Which window do you want me to break? Do you include that repair cost in the cost of using the car for work?

I realize I m getting off track, but I hope you see my point that there s so many things you can t foresee. To get back to those individual parts, the redesigned 96 Caravan disaster had linkages in the sliding doors that can best be described as being held together with magic. When the magic wore off, a linkage would pop off, and depending on which one, you might not get the door open from the inside or outside. We were waiting for the first lawsuit after a crash involving fire and little kids stuck in the back. In all the years of building cars and trucks, when have you ever heard of a rash of lock linkages falling apart? They also had plastic lock motors that broke and jammed up so you couldn t move the lock. That never happened before either. In both cases it was to make the vehicles lighter for better fuel mileage. This is what our politicians overlook all the time; the law of unintended consequences. People demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, then whine when plastic parts are over-stressed and break.

I hear you re observation that light bulbs could last forever, and I ve had similar arguments for years, but at what cost? Twenty years ago who would have paid ten bucks for a light bulb that would last 36 years, but today we do for an LED bulb. Sure we can build a car that gets 50 mpg, but how many of us are willing to pay the much higher price for that technology? Just because we can do it doesn t mean people will buy it. Chrysler had the Horizon Miser in the late 70s that got 54 mpg and had a ton more power than a wimpy Prius. No one bought them because they wanted the bigger engine. The environmentalists have that smug attitude they re saving the planet by driving a hybrid, but they can t be bothered to think about the costs associated with mining those raw materials, and the high cost of refining and using them in the manufacturing process.

My grump is all the unnecessary use of computers in today s cars, and as a result, I refuse to own one. I m all for an Engine Computer, an Air Bag Computer, and an Anti-lock Brake Computer, but do we really need a computer to control power windows, wipers, and the heating system? All those systems worked just fine for decades without computers. I m surprised no one has hung a computer onto a wheel barrow yet!

In the 60s, Maytag built washers and dryers that lasted so long, I still have a pair. Today people buy the lowest price they can find and the manufacturers respond by giving us what we want. A new washer falls apart before it s unloaded off the delivery truck, and we accept that as normal. So can we build better? Of course we can, but who would buy it? Spark plugs used to be stretched to last 30,000 miles. Today they easily last over 100,000 miles, and we read here every week about someone not understanding what a misfire is and why it causes their car to shake. Spark plug manufacturers are still selling spark plugs, but you won t find them for 75 cents anymore.

Remember too that in the 60s and 70s, engines never lasted 400,000 miles like many do today, unless they were rebuilt twice. In the 40s engines needed a valve job every 15,000 miles. Today many need a new timing belt at 100,000 miles, but that is considered a maintenance item, not a major repair. We never needed a new cylinder head gasket at 50,000 miles, but we also never got 300 horsepower out of a little four-cylinder engine. It s a trade-off between cost and life expectancy. You and I would be willing to pay for a product that had a reputation of long life, but we can t find them anymore. It s not that they can t be profitable like you said. It s because they won t sell enough of them when there s the cheap alternatives available.

Even the taxi owners you mentioned don t have a formula for determining repair costs. Their ball joints take just as much hammering as on all cars and trucks, except for the people who drive in Indiana where they never learned about Huge gaping sink hole ahead signs for on their highways. (I went through there a couple of months ago and had to rearrange my kidneys a few times). I still can t believe I didn t blow a tire or break a tire belt. If you hear a rattle due to a sloppy ball joint, Ford owners know to have them replaced immediately. For the rest of us, how long can you put up with the noise and poor handling. Since this will happen to all cars sooner or later, do you blame that on using it for work? One of my ball joints is still original at 264,000 miles, and the other was replaced for the first time less than 20,000 miles ago. Chevy Blazers in the 90s used to eat upper ball joints and need new ones every two years. The 80s Ford Escort, which we called killer cars , often needed ball joints and tie rod ends in as little as 15,000 miles until the aftermarket industry came up with vastly-improved parts. How would you put a life expectancy on those parts when there s such a wide range? And just because my ball joint is still okay after 25 years, the typical ball joint might last half that long on identical minivans.

To close this story, let me refer again to my boss at the tv repair shop. One year he spent a day and a half, (business was slow), trying to determine whether he should put exhaust, brakes, and tires on the old van, trade it for a new one before the end of the year, after the first of next year, lease it, buy it, etc. After all those hours it came down to an even wash no matter which route he went, except that his old van got 17 mpg and the new one was rated at 18 mpg. Based on that one variable he traded for the new one, then figured out it was getting 16 mpg on a good day. All that calculating and time was wasted. To add to the insult, the new van was in the shop three times as often as the old one, and he was so frustrated that it became one of the many things he considered when he decided to retire early. He sold that pile before it went out of warranty.

I m sorry for getting so wrapped up in this reply. You already know about the fixed costs. For most business owners, car repair costs are just another business expense, and the more they can reduce expenses, the more profit they make. That profit gets applied to the future in the form of business expansion, pay raises, equipment upgrades, and things like that. Here again though, those things are pursued after those costs have been incurred and are known. What you re looking for is a formula or a list to tell you which parts are going to fail at a specific mileage, but there is nothing like that, and I doubt any business allocates dollars that way. There s just too many variables to allow for planning that way.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, November 14th, 2014 AT 11:36 AM
Tiny
JAMESDARK
  • MEMBER
How do businesses determine what to put aside for car repairs? I deliver pizzas and would like to start my own business using only my own car to act as a courier over longer trips since my highway MPG is the only measure that is any good. I've read in pizza delivery forums online that pizza places may compensate drivers per delivery to roughly cover the cost of gas, but may barely scratch the surface of covering the long term, work related, costs to the vehicle. Basically a job for short sighted people and you know customers in generally don't tip enough to make up the difference even though if they picked their orders up themselves they'd incur the same. The legal issue to getting proper compensation so that drivers aren't in fact earning less than minimum wage because they are incurring too much cost is proving that it is likely that ones vehicle costs at least so and so to run. If the car fails all together than the employer can simply let the driver go, and that unfortunately seems like the only sure way to know how expensive it is by waiting out its useful life.

Now if one could determine the lifespan of parts even if the life varies wildly from 3 months to 25 years I would still consider that useful information. If it is an expensive part I would assume it would will not last a whole year to be conservative and save up accordly, or if it's a cheap part than an average would be suitable. I just want to be sure I'm not being completely taken advantage of because otherwise I might as well be a cook so I don't need to use my own resources. Parts fail for many reasons and sometimes they have to do with the failer of an adjoined part and sometime more "natural causes" but even so isn't someone (particularly the maker of the parts) keeping stats on these things? Or maybe a large brand mechanic that services many cars around the country like Midis or something? They would likely monitor milage as well I assume.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, November 14th, 2014 AT 7:38 PM
Tiny
JAMESDARK
  • MEMBER
By the way I had trouble recalling my password for the e-mail address I normally use hence why I created this new account with this e-mail address. Not sure if there is a site issue.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, November 14th, 2014 AT 7:39 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's a clinker in yer thinker. Your notion about cost of repair resulting in earning less than minimum wage is incorrect. People who do earn minimum wage automatically go home with less according to your way of thinking. They have the cost of owning and operating a car to get to work, or the cost of mass transportation, the cost of clothes, etc. Now you have to add in the cost of being forced to buy a commodity they may not want or need. That's health insurance. That is an extreme hardship for many people, and if you intend to own a business, you have to include those costs and for any employees you might have. Most people do not aspire to stay at minimum wage for very long, so artificially inflating it has a lot of negative aspects the politicians looking for votes don't want us to consider.

I talked with my cousin who had a tv repair shop for 30 years about this. He said there is no way to factor in the cost of future, unknown repairs other than simply to expect them, but van repair costs was one of the smallest expenses and the least significant as far as running a business. First he had to pay a pile of government taxes, fees, and workman's compensation. He even had to pay unemployment insurance on me even though I was part-time, one day a week, as needed. When my main employer laid me off for three weeks to upgrade my alignment hoist and equipment, they took unemployment money out of my cousin's account even though he gave me a lot more hours, then they raised his level so he had to pay in more every month. He had been down to the lowest level for years because he never laid me off and there was no chance he ever would. He took a beating twice, so again, it's the "law of unintended consequences" that the politicians overlook. He would have been better off to let me sit at home.

You'll need more and different auto insurance too. That is going to cost more than what you'll be spending in repairs. The closest my cousin could come to answering your question was that you are allowed to deduct 55 cents per mile on your taxes. That is supposed to cover repairs, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation. Not all of those costs can be quantified, like depreciation. You won't know what your car is worth when you sell it or trade it until you actually do that and find the right person to take it. Some years your actually expenses might exceed what you're allowed to deduct, but in most cases that doesn't happen. There is no separate place on the tax forms to list "cost of repairs".

You also have to watch how many miles you actually use the car for business and how much for personal use. In my cousin's case, he drove 20 miles round trip each day between his home and his shop. Those miles could not be deducted. At first the government said you had to document the personal and business miles every day, and he did that, even though there was such a huge outcry, they finally said you only had to do that for three months, then you could use those averages for the entire year.

Remember too that everything you pay to the government comes first. They don't care if there's nothing left over to pay your employees, and they sure don't care if there's anything left to pay yourself. There were many months when my cousin went home with nothing. In fact, at least one year I made just over $2000.00, and he made less. That's not much reward for taking the risk of owning your own business, and it's why in this country you have to be pretty brave to do so. Too many employees think their bosses are getting rich. If that were always true, what's stopping them from starting their own businesses?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 3:33 PM
Tiny
JAMESDARK
  • MEMBER
I would be making less than minimum wage because delivery is for my employer. I don't personal profit from it. If I used a company vehicle and they paid for gas, repairs, insurance, etc that would be fine. But if it is their choice where I go, and it is for their profit and mostly my expense it has to be factored out from my wage. I shouldn't have to pay to work. Certainly not when I'm already paid the minimum allowable by law. If it doesn't benefit me personally such as my rent, clothes, food, etc than it shouldn't be my problem. I don't think health insurance is an issue as of now. I earn too little to pay taxes at all and many low paying employers are preemptively offering no more than 30 hours a week claimly Obamacare will make them insure their workers so if anything employers are forced to cover that. If I became a courier I likely wouldn't tell my car insurance that that's what I'm doing. They don't know I deliver pizza and it's for the best. Lol. A friend of mine works for another pizza place and claims his boss makes less than he does which is kind of funny and sad at the same time. And my uncle owns a staple of a business where he lives and up until recent years he was always happy to pay employees more than minimum wage, but he fears he would need to close business if it was hiked up another time. He actually already plans to sell the business but that is mainly to do with employees continuing to steal from him. Inflation aside and what minimum wage happens to be the only cost I should be expected to pay for work is driving/or traveling to and from work on my own dime.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 6:41 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I don't have a good answer for you other than to suggest that expenses factor into everyone's take-home pay. You're lumping take-home pay with hourly wages. If you're paid minimum wage, that's what you're earning, regardless of whether your expenses include shoes to deliver mail, a hair net to make sub sandwiches, a suit and tie to greet customers, or you have no expenses at all. If those expenses are strictly related to work and you wouldn't incur them otherwise, you can deduct them on your taxes, but only if you itemize. If you do the short form, as you probably do, there are already a lot of deductions built in that will more than cover the cost of running your car that is in addition to normal personal use. If you don't earn enough to pay taxes, you're already ahead of most of us.

I've been unemployed for six years and have no intention of looking for a job. I worked two jobs since college, and three jobs for four years. I can live off my savings and investments now. If I got a job, ... Well, when I had my last job, I lost exactly 50 percent of my paycheck to the government so my take-home pay was already half of what you'd see on paper. I put over 5,000 miles on my van each year just driving to work. I didn't get to deduct any of that wear, gas, and maintenance. My take-home pay was just about double what is considered "poverty" level for a single person, but my annual "salary" just about put me at what Obama considers "upper middle class". I was one of those who people have been taught to scream at that we don't pay our fair share. I think 50 percent was quite enough to give to someone else, thank you. Once again, the "law of unintended consequences". If you think you're going to take half of my paycheck, surprise! Now you get nothing. Taxpayers don't take care of me, but if they keep voting for politicians who enact regressive taxes, they will.

If you want to use vehicle expenses as deductions on your taxes, life is going to get a lot more complicated with record-keeping, documentation, and filing your taxes. I think you'll be happy to forgo that grief in return for the the increased wear on your car, which isn't going to be that big of a deal. As you start listing more and more things as expenses, you're going to be scrutinized a lot more and you'll want to have your taxes prepared by a professional.

And how long do you plan on staying at minimum wage? Those are jobs for entry-level people who don't stay there very long, temporary jobs, and for people who are grateful anyone gives them a chance. To say it's "not a living wage" should be the incentive to do what is necessary to GET a job that pays that living wage. Don't aspire to the lowest job there is, then whine and snivel it doesn't pay enough.

My first job was repairing tvs after high school, and even at that, I was paid more than minimum wage. No one in government ever told an employer they had to pay me more than I was already worth and getting. If you have the personality to deliver pizzas, talk with customers, and even think about and ask your original question, you have much more than you need to excel well past the point of worrying about minimum wage. What I WOULD worry about is some grossly-overpaid politicians telling your boss he has to pay everyone more, because "everyone" might become half of what there is now. You might get lucky and be one of few who have to deliver twice as many pizzas per run, or you might be home paging through the want ads. Employers aren't stupid. There's a reason so many people have been moved to 29 hours per week, but the politicians are the ones who can't figure out why.

Now that I've said my piece, this really isn't the place for my sniveling. If I can help with specific car questions or anything related to wear and tear, bring it on.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 AT 4:26 PM
Tiny
JAMESDARK
  • MEMBER
I appreciate you taking the time to converse with me. I have a copy of Obamacare on my computer and haven't come across anything that says employers need to pay insurance to employees over 30 hours a week. I think republicans fabricated that. Not only because they would rather end the bill than simply improve it as was the intention when it was passed. I have my BA in psychology and an AAS in business and various other credits in many topics. I would very much love a job that pays more than minimum as I find minimum wage jobs often make people work much harder than jobs that pay a shade more. I just don't think there are many decent jobs around here. I am caught between assuming I must not have the skills or intelligence to handle a real job and the idea that those better jobs must truly not exist around here. As I understand it from business classes 80+% of employers don't advertise open positions. They hire those that current employees know which in my opinion keeps the company stale. Also of course employers likely depend too much on computers to sift through applicants which could well eliminate the best people they could have hired.

I'm afraid I'm out of car questions. Thanks for your time.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 5:43 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
You're welcome.

I'm a former instructor in a technical college. As such, I was surrounded by liberals as you were too in college. Luckily, we elected a really good Republican governor for the third time in a row, and thanks to his efforts, most of our public school systems have turned deficits into huge surpluses, ... And my property taxes went down a lot in each of the last two years. Liberals CLAIM to represent the little guys, but they've had over 50 years to solve all their problems. All that's happened is they've gotten worse. You have to realize too that almost all democrats are lawyers who don't actually produce anything. They just tell one person to give money to another person, then take 30 percent for themselves. Republicans are mostly business owners who know what is involved with taking care of employees and running the economy. They provide the jobs but are called every derogatory name in the book.

I'm not sure what you meant about Republicans fabricated something. Obamacare has a loophole for employees working less than 30 hours per week, and if an employer is smart, he will do what's best for his company which is to do whatever he can to cut costs. No employer ever said, "Gee, what can I do to spend more money today". They aren't running social programs, after all.

I don't know what you do with a degree in psychology but I have an idea. In our technical colleges "accountability" is a huge part of our mission. I was lucky that my teaching degree had to come from a university in the Wisconsin system that is real close to our technical colleges as far as offering degrees in practical things. The rest of our UW system is a joke. We like to say with a degree in some of the programs they offer, you'll be qualified to ask if "you want fries with that burger?"

I can envision a number of jobs your degree will qualify you for or give you an advantage over other candidates, so why are you delivering pizzas? If you go to any shopping mall here, you'll find "Help Wanted" signs posted all over the place. Our newspaper and Shopper's Guide are full of jobs. We are home to two of the nation's largest trucking firms. One just had a piece on the local news that they can't find drivers for jobs that provide free training, then up to $47,000 per year. Some of these jobs DO start out at minimum wage, but you don't stay there very long. People with a good work ethic are recognized and advance pretty quickly.

I wish you good luck and hope you'll find the kind of job you're after. Holler back when you need my magnificent advice.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 AT 6:25 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides