Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Car Repair Blues

One of the ways we keep our expenses down so that we can save more is keeping our transportation costs low.  I drive a 2006 four door car, which was purchased with cash in 2008.  Mr. Sam drives a truck, a necessity for our rental properties, which was purchased with cash in 2004.  The truck is of the late 1990s vintage.  So, I've had my car for six years and Mr. Sam has had his truck for 10 years now.

This year the average price of new car was $31,252.  Additionally, Americans are keeping those expensive cars for more years (due in part to longer car loans).

Last year, my car needed a fair amount of work.  The work was done, about $2000, and I was hopeful my car would be good for a few years.  No such luck, I've just put another $1200 into my car and I have an outstanding transmission problem that needs to be addressed by a specialist (which means expensive in my mind, but its an unknown at this point).

While we were talking transmission for my car, Mr. Sam's truck has reached its end.  He either needs a new engine or a new vehicle and the mechanic who looked at it said it really wasn't worth putting a new engine into the truck. The truck is also only two doors and we really need another four door vehicle for a variety of reasons.

So, we are on the hunt for a used four door truck (with a shorter bed).  Interestingly, the prices on used (2010-2013) trucks are close to the price for a new one.  I mentioned financing a purchase rather than depleting our savings account (which has already been battered by prior unplanned expenses this year), but Mr. Sam is strongly against having a car payment (I've trained him well).  Which means that we will need to look for something that is older or figure out some other plan.


Anonymous said...

we had to replace our truck last year too. After looking for used ones in the 3 - 5 year range and finding not much of a price break off new ones, we went new. Its been awhile since we bought new but the cost justified it this time. I was going to pay cash, like you we hate car loans but the rate was so cheap and a $1000 rebate off the price for financing that we financed about 60% of the cost and paid it off over 6 months and came out way ahead with the rebate vs interest expense. I would have paid off the loan with the first payment but feared they would come back at us for the rebate amount. Our weekdays cars we bought in 2007, both luxury cars that are 2002 and 2004 models, bought as a package deal and plan to drive them for many more years.

Cayla Maggio said...

I know it’s hard to let go of those cars that have served you for years, but I believe if it’s the right time for them to take a rest, then it might be best to retire them. Those consecutive problems are the signs of a depreciating quality of the car. It could also result to additional expenses in the long run, or worse, accidents. On the other hand, it’s nice to know that you have an established requirement for the new car. I just hope you’ll be able to replace your autos as soon as possible, to avoid any hassle with your rental business. Keep the updates up, Sam!

Cayla Maggio @ Nowthen Transmission Service & Repair

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Jaime Mcgee said...

Oh no! I’m sorry about your car problems, Sam. I believe you’ve been taking good care of your cars, but we have to keep in mind that their quality depreciate as the years pass by. Anyway, I do hope that you'll be able to find the right car that will suit your needs, as soon as possible. I’ll be looking forward to reading an update. All the best! :)

Jaime Mcgee @ Michael's Auto Body

Edward Taylor said...

How unfortunate that your car has reached its end, just as when you’re trying to keep your expenses down. Despite the mechanic’s verdict that she’s not worth putting a new engine on, I still hope that she’s somehow savable. But if that wasn’t the case, I guess it’s about time to replace her instead of draining your bank account trying to prolong your car’s life. I hope you arrived at the best decision!

Edward Taylor @ Niguel Auto Center

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