A good mechanic can be a blessing or a curse. A good mechanic can keep an old car running forever. Vince sees that as a blessing. For me, I’m wanting to get rid of the 20 year old Honda, so I see it as a curse. The mechanic said “It’s worth keeping!” You know that you can phrase a question to get most any answer you want and Vince is a master at phrasing questions that result in answers that cost him less money.
Vince hasn’t gotten an estimate yet for the damage caused by the tire. He wanted the mechanic here to go over the engine and make sure the car isn’t about to fall apart before he does the body work, which will have to be done before it passes inspection.
Based on the cost of fixing my car last time we hit a deer, my guess is at least $2,000 in body repair; add $700 for five new tires and a new rim. I haven’t heard the estimate for the engine repairs but the timing belt needs to be changed again, the water pump needs to be replaced. It needs brakes and shocks. I’m thinking $3,000 so that’s close to $6,000. The value of the car is between $4,000 and $5,000.
I wouldn’t put more money into a car than the value of the car but Vince looks at like this: He knows the car. He knows the history. We save by not having full coverage insurance. In MO, we pay taxes on or vehicles each year based on value. We’ve spent a lot on this house with the house in Texas not even on the market yet, so we don’t need to be buying a car right now. I understand his point and I’m thankful that, if he’s going to keep it, he’s willing to have everything fixed. Then again, he’s going to spend this much on it so he isn’t going to be willing to get rid of it for at least five years probably.
Some days I don’t understand his thinking but he probably never understands my thinking so I guess somehow there’s balance.
One reason that will probably have me wanting to keep our old cars is that as we’ve been considering different vehicles, so few have full size spare tires and quite a few really have no spare at all. Call me old fashioned, or stubborn, but I’m just not willing to drive a car that doesn’t have a spare tire. The next generation of drivers will probably think it’s absurd that the “old folks” carried a spare tire around with them. We stopped using the popular road service company because of the amount of time it takes them to respond in town! Out on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, I’d better have a tent and sleeping bag! I can’t imagine being on the side of the road and having to wait for a service to arrive with the right size tire for your car. No matter how new your tires are, short of the no flat tires (which I’ve never seen that weren’t loud), and they really can have a flat, there just aren’t any guarantees that you won’t have a flat. There are so many ways to damage a tire. I was really concerned about Vince driving 8+ more hours Sunday without a spare and to think . . some people are doing it all the time. In my opinion, that’s one of the things car makers have done to save money, save space, and reduce the weight of the vehicle to meet fuel standards and I’m not sure it’s a compromise I’d ever be able to live with so . . I guess I’m thankful for the good mechanic who can keep our vehicles running forever.