As I write this I’m sitting in a carX waiting room, using a free wi-fi connection (a nice 25mbps, by the way), sipping on some free coffee, and feeling a touch defeated.
Today, I took my car to the shop (which I try to do as infrequently as possible) to get new tires. This purchase was planned. This purchase was budgeted for. This purchase was expected. I was looking to be out the door for just a touch over $500. This is just in the nick of time, too. My license plate tags are up this month. I need to get this thing to pass a safety inspection and an emissions inspection. I expected to get the tires and inspections done and be on my way. Unfortunately for me, I was once again proven to be mistaken.
The kind folks at carX, with whom I’ve built a trusting relationship with prior to this visit, candidly told me that I also need new brake hoses, a power steering system overhaul, and new swaybar linkages before the car will pass the safety inspection. Goody!
That $500 purchase that was planned, budgeted for, and expected has now crept to up almost $1,300. More than doubled!! Almost tripled!!! These extra repairs are unplanned. These extra repairs are not budgeted for. These extra repairs are unexpected. Now, you can see why I’m feeling defeated. I’d done well planning for this
I’m trying to look at this through positive lenses, though. I’ve got a baby on the way. An extra $800 now, in the long-run, is well worth the peace of mind that I’ll get from knowing that my car is in decent driving condition; and knowing it won’t kill me, my wife, or my new baby girl.
I know this car. I know what’s working well on it. More importantly, I know what’s working poorly on it. If I take care of this car, it will conceivably see me through quite a while. I’d like to run this car into the ground! What that means for now, is keeping it happy and maintaining the parts as they fail. We’re at 160,000 miles, and I’d like to keep it running for another 160,000+. Lord willing, maybe one day I’ll give it to my daughter as her first car.