Friday, December 05, 2008

Cars

Well I dropped $900 and change on car repairs today. Not my favorite thing in the word to do, but I'm confident that I'm still ahead money ahead with my used car vs. a new car, though sometimes I wonder. It'd be tough to do the math because you're never sure how many repairs a new car would need. But I think even if you assume that a new car would have needed zero repairs we're ahead, but probably not as much as I would like. Of course there's also the intangible benefits of having a new car. We had to buy a portable DVD player for the van, whereas they all come with them these days. And of course other kids that ride in the van can't understand why the doors on our van don't close by themselves like all the other vans they've been in.

When I went to pick up my car I talked to the mechanic about how his business was doing. I figured this was one job that might do better in an economic downturn. Since people wouldn't be buying new cars but rather trying to keep the ones they already had running. He said people were just paying for the bare minimum, which makes a certain amount of sense. He then went on to talk about the "Big Three" bailout. He was basically in favor of it, he mentioned all the jobs that would be lost because of all the secondary industries which rely on the automakers. That's the problem really, no matter the issue no matter the industry or the amount of money you'll find someone who regardless of their other convictions will firmly beleive that their personal case is different. And I'm not saying that maybe it isn't, but I think this is how we got the gigantic government we currently have.

Anyway back to the van. Apparently it was leaking oil in a fairly dramatic fashion and it was about 30 minutes from of driving from seizing all together. And the water pump was shot as well and there was a rusty pipe, etc. etc. But the car does have nearly 200,000 miles, so when you think about it, it's kind of amazing that there wasn't more wrong. I'm not sure how much longer it's going to last, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

New car? What's that?

4 Comments:

Anonymous Ed said...

If they complain about doors... ask the kids if they liked the Flintstones... 'cause they may need to start pedaling like they did! :)

6:59 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Don't forget everything that's wrong with the van that is just annoying, instead of a safety or ability-to-drive issue. Can you imagine a car with power locks that work consistently, windows that roll down, or door sensors that work?

9:54 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

I always wonder if we will have have a new car. Luckily for me Greg knows how to work on cars so we don't have to pay quite so much in repairs. Of course now that I said that our engine will seize and we will need to pay thousands of dollars to fix it.

8:42 AM  
Blogger aozora said...

I think we need an expansion on the Liz Supplement to the auto report. ;-P

Regarding the bail out. Some twenty plus years ago the Big Three got slammed by competition by Japanese makers because the Big 3 hadn't planned well or invested in the future and just spent money on pedalling gas-guzzlers while Japan bled stones to produce better quality, fuel efficient cars.

De ja vu.

Throwing money at these problems without basic solutions is a bad idea.

5:02 PM  

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