Saturday, May 2, 2009

Car Repairs, not always frugal, but necessary.

Ugh! Thursday, hubby's truck died on I-75 in Atlanta. Not a good place to be stranded. Apparently, his fuel pump died a horrible death.

While there is never a good time to have mandatory car repairs, this truck has in excess of 300,000 miles on it and has been a trooper. So, it's hard to get too upset when we have to do some work on it to keep it on the road. But, as hubby had to go to work on Friday, we borrowed my Mom's car as she wouldn't be needing it for a day, so it all worked out.

My brother is home from school this weekend (he is studying to be a mechanic) and spent the better part of the day with hubby (in the hot sun) trying to maneuver under the truck on our gravel driveway. Poor kid. But, the job is done (okay, the gas gauge is toast now, but the truck runs like a charm) and hubby says that he couldn't have done it without the skilled help.

I realize that I am blessed that hubby will tackle many car repair jobs. Perhaps it isn't so good that the kids have learned a very few choice words from the frustration of trying to do the job in our driveway, without specialized tools and a service bay to work from. But, car repairs are seldom inexpensive, even when done at home.

We came out okay this time because we didn't have to pay labor charges to get a huge job done and hubby didn't lose any time at work because of the repairs (we try to avoid that, even though his employer is wonderful).

Even after we make a generous cash gift to my brother, the semi-starving college student, we will have come out way ahead. That part is good. Especially since my transmission is starting to sound a little funky....

I guess that is the price we pay for having older, used vehicles exclusively. We do save quite a bit of money on car payments and interest. We also keep our vehicles on the road for as long as we can reasonably do so. When we can't get car parts locally, or ordered in a timely fashion, we begin to consider trading up.

Now, we are facing a double-whammy as both of our vehicles are reaching the end of their useful life at the same time. Wow! My car has 360,000 on it and has been an absolutely fabulous vehicle. But, we have to consider whether to try and replace the tranny or just start again with a new(er) car. Mine is a 1996 (I think) Maxima. I'd love another one with fewer miles, if I could find one.

But, I guess we'll figure it all out as time passes. I am praying now that God will help us to make wise decisions concerning the vehicular situation at our house. I am sure He will provide excellent guidance, as He has at all times.

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