My offline work is very demanding, I travel 100 miles average daily visiting my patients around countryside and remote areas. Sometimes I go to towns and cities I never been to before so imagine me going through several rigs after years of work to keep up with my travel needs and have a reliable car. With that amount of mileage I have to travel daily, me and my coworkers usually drives a "fuel efficient cars" not necessarily hybrid. I wish I can afford to go hybrid, as much as I like to try but I am not financially ready for it yet.
It is pretty common to see Ford Escort in our company's parking lot or other compact type of different make. You can't imagine how much I saved by driving a compact type car compared to driving my big truck. It is almost buying my compact car for free for all the money I saved on gas cost monthly. Not just that, I also saved some money because it cost less to repair, maintain and replacement parts for compact cars compare to SUV and Trucks. Believe me one time I have to have my timing belt replaced and that cost me an arm and a leg. It is hard not knowing much about cars. Even a simple repair like that, I have not enough confidence to do it myself.
After years of having to deal with minor repairs and going to repair shop. I realized I am better off buying a repair manual and do it myself. Sometimes some auto mechanics take advantage of your ignorance with cars. Me particularly is not really an auto mechanic and auto terms savvy nor knows much what's under the hood of my car. It will definitely help to be familiarized with the terms and parts of an automobile and slowly build confidence to work on simple task. So since I have my own repair manual I have managed to change oil, change flat tire and do little maintenance and safety check like check water pump and stuffs by using repair manual. I even upgraded my stereo system and installed subwoofers. With our digital world , we can even get repair manuals on CD or search online. It is unbelievable how much information we get online. Next time you have to do minor repairs, go online first and save yourself some bucks.