Monday, January 21, 2013

That New Car Smell

Love that new car smell via dickster1961
Love that new car smell via dickster1961

I have posted a lot here about my lack of funds.  Basically, I work two jobs to pay the bills and put food on the table.  At the end of the day, we get by.  My son's SSI benefit has helped a lot, as it allows us to use that money to buy things for him that would otherwise come out of budget.  Since he started to receive it, we have had a little bit more for some small extras, but nothing extravagant.

Over the past two years, one of the biggest drains on my back account has been my automobile.  It seems like every two to three months I have had to take the car into the shop for some sort of repair.  They are almost never inexpensive.  The frequency of repairs has been such that a few weeks ago, my wife and I were discussing how we could possibly afford to get a new car for me.

I won't go back in detail of all the repairs that my car has needed over the past two years, but here are some of the highlights.  One day, I was heading to work when all of sudden the car lost all power and would not start.  It needed a new fuel pump which cost around $900.  A few weeks after that, the air conditioner died and needed a new motor.  Along the way, there were other repairs and assorted maintenance that one would expect on a car with over 100,000 miles on it.

Last month, I was delivering pizzas on a Saturday afternoon.  I had been planning to take the car to the shop the next day because I was experiencing a vibration while braking.  While stuck in traffic, the engine temperature started to rise and when I got to my delivery the radiator light came on.  Thankfully, I had some antifreeze in the trunk and was make it through the day without further incident.

I dropped my car off at my mechanic and received a phone call that the radiator cooling fan needed to be replaced which accounted for the temperature issue.  He also told me that my rear break drums were warped and that was causing the vibration.  This came a mere 9 months after having new brake pads installed.  So, right before Christmas I was hit with an $850 repair bill.

It doesn't stop there.  On Thursday of last week, I was heading into work.  I was stopped in traffic when my engine shut off.  It started back up with no problem and made it to work, albeit every time I came to a stop I put the car in neutral and kept a foot lightly on the gas.  The same thing had happened last March and they cleaned the throttle body, do a tune up, and adjusted the engine idle speed.  This time, they found that an electronic part was going bad and it would cost over $400.

In addition to the $400 repair that would be facing me, I also knew of another problem that I had with the car.  There is a part called the blend door actuator which is attached to the dial on your heater that directs the flow of air from your heater or air conditioner.  I am pretty sure it also needed to be replaced because if I set the control to recirculate the air, it would make a loud clicking noise.  Because of where that part is located, I knew it would be a few hundred dollars to repair.

So, I decided it was time to bite the bullet.  I told the mechanic that the $400 was more than I wanted to pay and not to bother fixing it.  I picked up the car, and cleaned all of my stuff out of it.  Over the weekend, I finally went car shopping and ended up getting a new Kia Forte. I'm loving it.  It has a lot of features I never expected to see.  My favorites are the bluetooth that allows me to have hands free without having something hooked to my ear and the trial subscription to SiriusXM radio.  Now to make the payments.
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  1. Enjoy! It's been years since I owned a new car.

    1. same here. it has been 8 years since we bought a new car, but ever since I got married, the wife has been the one to drive the new car on a daily basis.

  2. Congrats on the new wheels. It's cute. My car is 14 years old and getting a little iffy. Sigh.

  3. thanks, my old car was 10 years old, and only had 106K miles, but it was falling apart



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