Stephen Green:

I’ll be at the car dealer this morning. You hit 30,000 miles, and things get expensive. Back in a bit.

What kind of car starts having problems at 30,000 miles? A Yugo? Indeed, most of them have warranties that extend past 60,000 miles. Even moderately priced cars now go 100,000 miles before they even need a tune-up.

Now, if this is just something he tells Melissa to give him an excuse to buy a new toy when he gets tired of the old one, never mind.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. htom says:

    I think he means that he has to take the car in for the 30,000 mile service, which is expensive. All of the filters and fluids, brake pads, belts checked, rotors maybe, … and a bunch of labor for doing all of those. Usually $500-$750 for our Subies.

  2. DC Loser says:

    Tell that to my Toyota dealer. My electric window motor crapped out right after 36k miles, therefore no warranty. Now they want $400 to fix it. I can live with a passenger window that doesn’t work for that price.

  3. DC Loser says:


    Ouch! Those Subi prices are most teutonic! I paid $300 for my toyota 30k service, and Honda’s about the same.

  4. Htom has it right — it was time for the 30k checkup.

    A couple new belts, oil change, filters replaced, a couple new tires, transmission flush, etc. It adds up.


  5. Fred says:

    Last I looked in car door, the whole motor thing is basically a “swap in, swap out” deal.

    You pop out the pretty stuff on the inside

    Unplug the motor. Unscrew the gear. stick the new motor in, fiddle everything back in.

    Most complex tool: screwdriver. Maybe a ratchet wrench.

    Time elapsed about an hour if this is new stuff and you are taking your time. Price: new motor, ( you may find a junk yard willing to let you scrounge one from a wreck for a small fee.

    Some cars may be more challenging or have lock mechanism / @%#$% air bags in the way.

    It’s easy to check to see if you really want to have a go, just pry open up the “pretty panel” on the inside when the door is open, and have a good look with a flashlight.

    It’s usually a pop-in / pop-off deal.

  6. DC Loser says:


    I’m not averse to DIY as the motor is fried anyway. This is a Corolla so there’s no airbag there. I like my cars simple. It’s just the thought of getting off my butt and doing it that’s the hard part to get over. I think the part itself is about $300 from Toyota (is it made out of gold?) but I think I’ll do some searching at the junkyards and see what that’ll set me back.

  7. If you look at the stuff they charge you for at the 30K inspection, a lot of it is stuff they do for free with oil changes. (check belts, check brakes, etc). Yeah, you should probably flush the coolant, maybe the tranny fluid too, but a lot of it is BS look at it stuff that they do for free most of the time, or you can do yourself. You don’t need to be a rocket scienist to determine if a belt is going bad.

    87K on my Mazda 626 – with every intention of driving it to at least 200K. I like not having car payments.

  8. CGHill says:

    30k service on my Mazda 626 (!) this past June ran $431, of which $88 was stuff I considered perhaps unnecessary this early but decided to get anyway, inasmuch as I was about to go on a 4,000-mile road trip.

    (I traded my previous 626 at 89k.)

  9. R Gardner says:

    DC Loser,

    For junk yards, I recommend Crazy Rays in Jessup, MD – U-Pull-it place on US-1. Just look at the original first. Used parts store next door.

    If you must buy new, toyotaworld.com will give you ~30% off if it is Toyota unique.