Updated: Dec 18, 2022
In a previous post I spoke about the best vehicles for delivery. It doesn’t quite cover the main repair issues facing drivers, both gig and cuffed. All vehicles need maintenance and specific repairs. Vehicles have issues that are brand and model specific: Nissan is known for catalytic converter (repair) issues while Honda is known for using timing belts (maintenance) instead of timing chains.
Repairs are not maintenance items. Changing oil - that’s maintenance. Not changing engine oil will require major engine repair or replacement. See the difference?
This isn’t a long list, nor is it in any particular order. Because repairs don’t happen in a particular order and certain repairs are prevalent on specific models. There are other things that go wrong that will need repair because they just break. These are the most common repairs, not the only repairs you may face. That’s why I recommend the cars in this post.
This is where it gets interesting. It’s also why I recommend a basic truck. A basic rear wheel drive truck has an actual frame and it's also missing something that makes it valuable for delivery. It’s missing CV joints. Why is that a good thing?
Because all front wheel drive cars have CV joints…and they break…often. They are not delivery friendly. This is why we like trucks. Smaller trucks are ok with mileage and smaller is what you want. Don’t get a Dodge truck with a Hemi.
But here’s the rub… Most vehicles have gone to front wheel drive models, making the rear wheel model almost obsolete. There is a ray of hope though, that means there's a good selection of cheaper older model cars with rear wheel drive to choose from if you shop around. If not and your stuck with front wheel drive then make sure you check to see if the CV joint boots are torn and negotiate that out of the price.
Often misunderstood for what this does. Often misdiagnosed as battery or starter issues. The battery provides the juice that starts the cars starter and the alternator keeps the vehicle running. When this thing breaks, the only indicator it’s gunna give is when it breaks. Real problem is that it can go out while your vehicle is running. Other problem is it’s not a battery, when it dies it can’t be restarted.
The part that obviously does what it says. Whether you're gigged or cuffed, this will be something you might need every two years or so. You can save a lot of life of the starter if you keep an extra key on a wrist band or key link wrapped around your arm while you leave the car running and locked.
I don’t typically consider brakes repair items. I consider them maintenance items. Maintenance items are things that are intended to wear to replace every number of months, years, or miles. Brakes, tires, and batteries are all maintenance items that fall within this category. But people don’t maintain them at correct intervals and they turn into repair items - very costly ones at that. Keep the brakes off the repair list and on the maintenance list.
Keep up with the basic maintenance items on your car and you’ll spend much less on repairs. I use a shop where I bought my car from for all my maintenance. The owner and techs there know me and my car and they have complete records of everything done. They also know what I do for a living so they typically get on it right away. This will save you time and money in the long run but, as always, it’s up to you.
Have the oil changed at the same place you have it serviced. It might cost a little more than those cheap oil change places, but then again, they aren’t likely to leave the oil cap off or the filter loose. And if they do - there’s no guessing who did the work. These are also times you can use to have them look the car over for excessive tire wear, leaks or loose belts, etc.
And remember, when you’re doing regular maintenance you discover any future issues you may need to address. You can talk with the tech and see how far in the future you may have to get a repair done and plan for it rather than have the car break down on a rainy Friday morning. Then you’re talking tow and the shop may not be able to fit it in, parts need ordering and so on. Save yourself money, time, and aggravation.