Dino Bites

Dino Bites

Friday, October 1, 2010

To Fix, Or Not To Fix?

As I mentioned a couple days ago, the Green Beast needs work. Lots of it. After getting the details and doing research, Ben decided we might be able to repair the $1,500 worth of repairs for between $500 and $800 if we omit or put off some things and he does some of the work himself. A ray of hope!

Yesterday, the last day the Beast was legal, I was driving up to my mom's house. I took 1800 South in Bountiful, which is a bear of a hill. The van started seeming gutless. Then it started to shake like I was driving over washboard. The power continued to diminish, and as I turned onto 900 East, I lost all power. The engine would rev, but I would only drift backwards.

I turned it off and asked my mom to come get me. I made some more calls, and the people whose house I was in front of helped me push it closer to the curb and farther from the corner. We left it there until evening when Ben's dad helped tow it home. It will go in reverse, but no other gears will catch.

Broken transmission, anyone?

In summary:

$800 to repair lots of stuff ourselves
$175 for a new windshield
??? for a new/rebuilt/used transmission.

We bought it for $3,000 14 months ago, and we have already put almost $1,000 into it on repairs.

I wish so very much that we could get a new car, but it's just not an option. It's fix this or be down to one car. Also, Ben had his bike stolen recently, which makes that harder. And who wants to wander around with a stroller in the winter?

Even if we do fix it, with a 14-year-old car that has 200,000 miles on it, I just have to ask myself what will go wrong next and when. So far, if you average out what he have paid, it's still lower than a car payment for a new equivalent vehicle. But it still comes unexpectedly in lump sums, and we can't save up for a new car because we are constantly paying for the old one. Grrrrr...

There are 2 silver linings on this cloud of automotive doom: 1) We kept the blue van instead of the sedan, so at least we still have a car that holds our whole family, albeit a tight fit, and 2) At least we didn't have them repair the $1,500 and THEN have the transmission go out.

Any thoughts, hints, suggestions, encouragement, and empathy would be most heartily welcome. I'm really upset about this whole mess.

More Communication

Abel is really amazing me. The other day we were eating cookies, and he was trying really hard to say it. "Cuh-cuh," and "ki-ki," were among the variations. The next day, he tried to call my mom "Bama." This morning he started dropping food off his tray. I asked, "Do you want to get down?" He grinned at me, said, "Yay ," or "Yeah," and started clapping his hands. So cute!