To determine how much it costs to maintain a car in Mexico, I’d have to divide it into parts and labor. For example, I buy the oil and oil filter at AutoZone (we have an AutoZone here, and it’s just like the US) and it costs the same as in the United States, or sometimes less because they package it. I take the oil and the filter to my mechanic, and he changes it for 50 pesos ($2.50.) I don’t get the oil in my fingernails, or figure out where to put the oil, or crawl under my truck, it’s done in 30 minutes, and the mechanic brings it back to me. Maintenance is pretty good.
When you get a new set of tires, it costs close to nothing to get them put on, really. They only charge you for the cost of the tires. I try to buy my tires up north whenever I can. For instance, if I have to go to Texas for a trip, I make it a point to buy tires there because it costs less since the import tax on tires in Mexico is atrocious. There’s Michelin here in Mexico, but the price is higher than in the US. I’ve got big tires in my truck- 22 inches. I priced my tires when I was in Guadalajara the other day, and they cost 4,000 pesos ($190) each. In the US, these tires cost around $150. The cost here in Mexico getting better.
I also always try to buy tires for my motorcycle up north because we don’t have near the selection here, unlike in vehicles where you have Michelin and Goodyear. I’ve been running BF Goodrich on all my vehicles for a long time because they’re good quality tires.
When tires are made for Mexico, the sidewall is thicker than it is in the US. Have you ever driven on the roads of Chapala? That’s why. There are some things you want to buy in Mexico because they’re built for Mexican roads. In the United States, you can get Michelin tires with real thin sidewalls that ride so smooth. Of course, those tires won’t last a year in Chapala. They’ll blow out in the sidewall because you’ll get a pothole, or you’ll go over a tope (speed bump), and all of a sudden, you think, “Oh my God! Shocks! Front end!”
I live on this mountain here, and I go up and down the cobblestone roads every day, so I go through shocks faster than I would if I lived in the US because it’s a little tougher on my suspension here. That’s why I’ve got a big heavy-duty truck; because it lasts longer. What do you see driving around town? SUV’s. You see some of these other real fine automobiles but you know what it’s like. You just look at them and think “those drivers are new in town, and they brought their car with them” They come out with a really nice car. Around here, you have to think about where you’re living. It’s just like if you lived in Colorado where I’m from, you’re going to drive an SUV with a 4-wheel drive.
(Ad for Autozone, Mexico, pictured.)