Friday, August 26, 2011

Blessing Abound in Car Repairs

I am curious to know, if you had to replace your leaking roof on your home, would you buy a new house? How about a new A/C unit? If you had to replace your business computers would you sell your business?

My van has been a doll baby, with the exception of brakes, tires and new batteries, that 6 year old baby hasn't needed any fixing at all.

However, with me not working and things being tight, we have been neglecting her care a bit and it was evident when we took her into get a new water pump (don't want her peeing all over, do we?) and serpentine belt. The cost was under $500 and while it is going to make our tight budget a bit tighter, we will manage.

However, she still needs an additional $1700 in repairs and I have been amazed at how many people are telling me perhaps it is time to sell my car and get a new one. Why? More over, what sense is that, sell a car I owe less than $3000 on and because it needs some work go out and buy a new one for what...20, 30 or $40,000?

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, not me, unh uh!! I hate car payments and am so excited to being close to paying this baby off, why would I go out and buy a brand new one? Between the insurance and car payment, it would kill us.

So, I got to wondering about the brake line flush the mechanic said I needed and called my brake and tire guys. They are the nicest people...they told me to just stop in and bring the van and they will drain my lines, clean them out and replace the fluid gratis...thats right, they will not charge me, it will be free. Savings? Precisely $102.00!!

Since I will be out of town in a few weeks starting my new job, I called the local Dodge dealer and the transmission service is $70 less than my local mechanic, the tune-up is $15 less so there is another savings of $85.

Hubby will know today if he can change out the rear shocks and if he can...that will save probably over $100.

So, just by calling around and being able to do a few things ourselves, we are saving close to $300 knocking the repairs down to $1400 and I want to buy a new car why?

The most expensive will be when I can afford to replace the bumper and drivers quarter panel. I kept hitting the quarter panel on a rock we have in our yard backing up...okay, so I have no depth perception. However, some nice person backed into my van and being it is a plastic bumper, they cracked it and left!

A few minor things like a door gasket for $100, fix my drivers side window so it will roll down and my back locks so they will unlock and I will have a practically new van for around $3000 in repairs and pay off, so under $6000.

I always recommend you check around your area for a second opinion and talk to mechanics. In our area, the people replacing the water pump are rock solid amazing mechanics and have a stellar reputation.

On the other hand, everyone knows not to take it to our local one size fits all new car dealer because cars come out with huge bills and nothing being repaired!

Still wanting to break into your spare change jar? I am still open to taking donations....:)

Have a blessed day and smile, it doesn't cost anything but means the world to someone you are sharing it with!


Jo said...

Perhaps people are telling you this due to the fact that car makers only build their cars to last for so long and then it is one thing after another untill it becomes a money sucking hole. This is more prevelent with newer cars than older ones. In years gone by they actually built them to last, not break down.I have been very luckey with cars however, I am not very pickey about what I drive. I do not like how the newer cars look so any time I have needed a car I tell my DH "old and used". This way we do not usually have to have a loan and the full coverage is not necessary. At the moment I have a "93" jeep something or other (front seat, back seat, cargo area, back seat folds down to make more cargo room. I get great mileage and we have ( aside from oil changes and tune ups) have had only one problem with it, Dh got a new part at the junk yard and fixed it himself. As close as you are to the payoff of the car I don't think you should go running out to look for a new one but I would probably keep my eyes open for a good used one just in case things start breaking and it goes south really quickly. I hope it all works out in the end for you I wil pray for you .

Robin said...

Buying new vs. repairing is always tricky. It depends on how well your current vehicle is performing. If you are happy with it and it has largely not required many repairs, the wise thing is usually repair. If it is one repair after another and you are extremely dissatisfied, then you should start looking for a good used one to trade. What is most interesting here is how other people are so free with their opinions. But isn't that always the case? But you know what they say about opinions? Everyone's got them. Only YOU have to live with the decision. Sounds like you made a good one. Wise to call around. Thanks for sharing your story.

Quiltingranny said...

Jo and Robin thanks for chiming in, I love it! Jo, my van has been wonderful. Routine oil changes, air filters, brakes, tires...perfect little lady. Hubby checked one of the areas and said there wasn't a problem that he could we will watch it. All cars sooner or later need tune-ups and this one is 18K over due. The shocks were no surprise either. One thing Dodge does and does right is their vans. I am with you Robin, don't like car payments, don't like extra money for insurance. We bought this one when it was 3 years old, it has been and still is a great van!
Absolutely no complaints with Dodge at all on the van...hubby's truck on the other hand....I wouldn't buy another Dodge truck!