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Posts tagged ‘brakes’

In Search of the Horse and Buggy

There are days we long for simpler times, if indeed they were simpler. The last few months have been nothing but one car repair after another for my daughter. It’s hard to explain to someone with a budget so tight it squeals, that if you don’t fix it now, it’s going to cost you twice later. Where does that leave you?

It started with lower ball joints and all that affected. $900. Had to be done or the car would fall apart on the interstate and tie up the morning or afternoon commute. It was in dire condition. Mom (me) fronted the cost so she could keep working. Because daughter had waited so long to get a necessary alignment done, the calipers, brakes and rotors were totally gone. That wasn’t cheap either. Another $1000 down the drain just as she was gleefully starting to pay me back for the last repairs. She pulled out of the bay at Sears automotive and got to the signal to turn onto a major road when the car died, twice, then wouldn’t start again.

It's still pretty for a 1997 Olds Bravada.

It’s still pretty for a 1997 Olds Bravada.

Sears tried to help but couldn’t figure it out. Tow truck time. I had just signed us up for AAA the month before. Took 2 tow trucks because they couldn’t get the car out of gear and it’s all-wheel drive. So across the street to the next shop. It was the ignition and wiring. That was another $657. She had to whip out her credit card.

Then came tires and finally an alignment. All in less than six months. Last Thursday, as she was filling her tank and taking the car through the car wash, the driver’s side electric mirror fell off. They had to back her out of the wash. She called and cried. Does this sound like anything you’ve experienced? So she borrowed my car to get to work while trying to figure out the next step. Guess what happened next? Daughter ran over a nail somewhere and had to get my tire patched. Four days later, I ran over a screw and had to get another tire patched.

The offending mirror all new and shiny.

The offending mirror all new and shiny.

Thinking about the good old days of horses and buggy’s was sounding pretty good. Till you start adding up feed costs, vet bills, blacksmith for shoes and wood wheels in need repair or replacement. Then there is the dust you had to eat not even mentioning the heat or cold. My daughter’s car no longer has working AC. That would be another $600. It’s not so easy for some to just go and buy a newer car or to replace the cost of a horse and buggy.

Can you see the residue from the duct tape that held the broken one on?

Can you see the residue from the duct tape that held the broken one on?

She would love to do something where she didn’t need to commute, but right now the ideas aren’t jumping out at any of us. She talks wistfully of the day she can utilize the proper application of high explosives on her nemesis. (i.e. the car)
We all want to drive less and not be involved in a commute. Many of us are looking for the simple life and hers really can’t get much simpler. She doesn’t have TV and she’s living in 400 sq. ft. How do we get back to the horse and buggy days? Do we even want to?

I saw an ad for the new electric car. Sounds wonderful but it’s going to run a minimum of $70,000. How many do you want? I’ll take three.

Our vote is for gratitude for the old clunker for now. Lets hope next week is kinder on the budget. Is there an easy fix for this kind of problem?

Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners. ~ E. Joseph Cossman

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself