OK, so that’s not quite fair.

Neutral this morning asked,

Has the environment ever factored into your car buying decisions in any way?

Lots of responses about buying a Prius to save a buck on a long commute. Not really any responses about making a decision to save the environment.

But that got me thinking.

What is the most effort a Jalop has gone to - automotively speaking - in order to save a buck?

Ill-advised home repairs? Hypermiling an unlikely - or unwilling - steed?

Not mine - and not something I’ve done. But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought things like a lower dam or front splitter good for both downforce AND mileage.


A year or two after I (finally) got my M3, the head gasket failed. I spent 3 months driving our beater car while I learned how to fix my blown head gasket myself.

I didn’t know if I could do it, but I preferred trying and failing to just giving up on it.

It was a big deal for me at the time, and kind of a rite of passage for me - especially considering what the car meant to me and how much the dealer wanted to do the job (most of the purchase price).


More recently, when I relocated to Austin we were trying to buy a house but I was still commuting from Dallas. I replaced my driveshaft and other more minor parts on the top (deserted) floor of the company parking garage, and after seeing how deserted it was up there after hours, I eventually just slept there under the stars - snuggling up against the side of the car - instead of making the trek to the local city park I’d been camping at.

Not shown - me sleeping on the back side of the car, between the car and the wall.

Not quite living in a box van, but both better and worse.

So, fellow Jalops - what crazy automotive things have you done to save a dollar - bonus points if it’s to enable a purchase, repair, or upgrade!