I feel like cars are similar to relationships. When you’ve driven a car for years, you become intimately acquainted with it. You know when things aren’t going well. You can feel when things are different. You take for granted the good times and can sense when it needs some extra TLC. Lately I’ve felt like things were off. Weird noises came from odd places and braking was not as smooth as it used to be.
Since I’m such a loving car owner, I could sense my neglect and took it to the shop on Monday. My mechanic Butch (real name) told me that it’s time for me to give my Honda a new makeover:
First Priority: Get four brand new tires immediately.
Then: Get new axles & alignment.
Then: Replace the belts that are cracking.
Then: Replace the brake pads.
Meanwhile: Continue changing oil.
I immediately took my car in to get new tires yesterday and it cost me $350 (-$60 rebate). Ouch! Nice birthday present. ;) I paid with a credit card, but will use my “Car Fund” to pay it off. I keep around $500 in this account for car repairs. (I don’t like using my Emergency Fund for car repairs since these are almost expected for older cars.)
The other repair items are a priority but not necessarily immediate. I plan on fixing these repairs over the next few months and am guessing a liberal $500-700 will need to be forked out from now until Christmas. Bummer, right?
I learned a long time ago that cars are high maintenance and require money and attention to keep them running. My goal is to celebrate my ’94 Honda Accord’s 20th birthday before getting a new car. I don’t mind driving a beater and would rather have a crappy paid-for car than to go into debt. However, that means by 2014, I’d like to have $10,000 saved for a new ride. Hmm… I suppose I will have to start a New Car Fund as soon as I’m debt free.
Ahhh, the joys woes of being an adult!