People buy expensive things for their cars

Image titled 13 Expensive Things People Buy for Their Cars

picture: Michael Price / Wikimedia Commons

A blue 2002 BMW M5

picture: NZ Car Freak / Wikimedia Commons

The only major mod on my E39 M5, just for the sound. I bought a Dinan shaft exhaust in 2016 for a cost of $1500. This isn’t a full exhaust either, and I’m sure I could just do a muffler wipe or something cheaper. But I wanted to stick with the DINAN and really enjoy the sound in all kinds of driving. To this day, even with over 180k miles on my M5, it still sounds fantastic and I always get asked about my setup. It was definitely the most I’ve ever paid for an exhaust system of any kind on any vehicle.

Submitted by: Da Car Guru – 15,000 RPM daily driver

A BMW 325i Touring M Sport E91, gray and blue

picture: nakhon100 / Wikimedia Commons

My total driving to maintain 5 BMWs over the last 8 years or so is about $10k in parts, I do all the work. The single most expensive part was all new springs and struts for my E91 at about $1250.

This total may seem odd since all my parts come from FCPEuro so my oil changes cost $18 each time.

Submitted by: Kadiman

a white Mazda Miata photographed in Washington, DC, USA.

picture: IFCAR / Wikimedia Commons

A Flyin Miata turbo kit for my 91 Miata. Was my car old enough to vote? Yes. It also had 180k miles on the clock. Did I buy a used 1.8 long block so I could take advantage of the extra low end torque and spin a bigger turbo? I sure did. Did I have that engine rebuilt complete with heads, a 5-corner valve job, new pistons and connecting rods? You know.

I had spent years slowly adding mods as I could afford to do them – Brakes, suspension, interior, wheels and tires. I did them along with routine maintenance and also made “while I’m here” upgrades. I knew the end result would be fun, but I had only driven a turbo Miata before – FM’s “Yellow Submarine” so I had no idea what I was getting until the job was done.

Not including the previous mods, I spent somewhere around $11,000 to get all that work done. I can’t express the smiles I get from driving it. It’s a dopamine rush. Now that I have a wife and a kid, other financial priorities have taken precedence, but I still have it.

Submitted by: the jimmys

a red soul NC Miata

picture: Grant.C / Wikimedia Commons

Slightly more expensive than all the aftermarket wheels I’ve had, I paid for the one change that almost every NC Miata owner plans to make: Eibach lowering springs, sway bars and bushings. It cost me about $2k if memory serves, and now the car is exactly as it should have been from the factory.

Very not like a boat.

Submitted by: dosh

a 1999 Acura CL photographed from the front

picture: Stephen Foskett / Wikimedia Commons

This was about 20 years ago on my Acura CL: I think it was $1,500 total for the Eibach lowering springs, Koni shocks, Suspension Techniques sway bar kit with poly bushings, and the Ingalls cam adjustment part. The marginal increase in handling was not worth the rougher ride and scratching on all sorts of things. Even with the camber adjustment parts, the front tires wore much faster on the inside.

Submitted by: Stephen

A 2003 Winnebago Journey Class A diesel motor home mounted on a Freightliner Custom Chassis (FCCC)

picture: Winnebaggo / Wikimedia Commons

4″ lift on my RV (includes shocks, stabilizer bar, custom beams, extended radius arms, some other suspension work…) – about $8k in parts and labor, plus $1200 for tires bigger ones and lip powders. It’s been great – Not only do I have more clearance, but it now drives beautifully on the freeway when it was a total nightmare before. It’s an embarrassing amount of money, but definitely worth it.

Submitted by: Liam

Image titled 13 Expensive Things People Buy for Their Cars

picture: Bilstein

During the pandemic, I spent $1,800 on a set of Bilstein adaptive dampers and then had to wait a damn year for them to show up with the missing chip. The dealer quoted me something similar in price to do just one corner, let alone four. They got slapped and everything lined up and so far they are great. A bump over OEM and slightly stiffer in sport+ while maintaining ride quality in comfort.

All parts have been expensive but I have gotten OEM or better every step of the way.

Submitted by: Markoff8585

Mercedes-Benz 560SELpicture: PhotoSleuth / Wikimedia Commons

In the spring of 2008, I bought a 1991 Mercedes 560SEL for $4,000. A little over 2 years later, I gave it away for free, having spent over $25,000 in repairs on it. Everything from $1,500 brake pads to $1,000 window switches. I spent more time in the waiting room of the Mercedes service center than in my apartment. Never buy a German car again.

Submitted by: never speak again

A black Audi S5

picture: Monsterajr

The most recent drain on my wallet for my B8 Audi S5 was the engine mount and engine mount for the staggering price of $2700 installed…. various other items to access it. Audi says it’s something like a 15 or 20 hour job (can’t remember). My mechanic did it in less time, but said he’s never had such a complicated process just to begin with.

My wife is about to divorce me over this recently purchased 120k mile “mid life money pit” as she calls it.

But come on, look at it! and got a V8 and 6spd MT!

Submitted by: Monsterajr

Skid plates mounted on a vehicle

picture: The ultimate standard

The tires were the most expensive, but I think that’s a relatively common answer. The next most expensive were the skid plates – engine, transmission, transfer case and shock skids.

Submitted by: The ultimate standard

The interior of a 2012 Mercedes A-Class

picture: John Karakatsanis / Wikimedia Commons

I paid a few thousand for an optional, slow to program, NAV system in my Mercedes and two years later everyone had switched to real time traffic apps on their phone. Maybe not the most expensive thing, but man did it feel like a waste of money.

Submitted by: 17 seconds

A bike mounted on a rear mounted rack.

picture: BirdLaw900 / Wikimedia Commons

Trailer on my GTI to carry my bike rack. My first trailer hitch mount, never going back to the roof. About $250 for the shock, and while I theoretically could have installed it myself, another $150 for the peace of mind to have the pros do it (required removing the bumper and shortening the rear air dam, and I knew I’d never get it the right ones).

Submitted by: Bird Law900

Mechanic Julio Escabedo installs a tire on a Dodge Caravan at San Rafael Firestone on January 5, 2009 in San Rafael, California.

picture: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

A $1,000 tune-up.

It killed me, but it paid off. I think. I had all kinds of symptoms, codes and strange misbehavior to the point where eventually the Acadia could not be trusted after the end of the driveway. My mechanic brother shot down some of my speculation and told me he wouldn’t even play the guessing game with me until I had replaced w, x, y and z. And a, b and c. All those things that should be replaced as part of regular maintenance, but we never do until they fail. Then he would speculate with me on whatever he was doing at the time. I pushed it and kept on swinging and guessing, but finally relented. Well, nearly $1,000 and a few frustration filled weekends later it was done. And it’s been running perfectly ever since.

It was very unsatisfactory. I needed an identifiable problem to fix. But there was none. Just catching up on maintenance. It was money well spent, but the whole thing makes me feel bad for some reason.

Submitted by: Harmon20

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