Thank Goodness for the Complimentary Carwash

by Debt Destroyer on May 28, 2009

We’ve hit the road each of the last three weekends.  The weather was gorgeous and we had fun destinations to look forward too.  But one thing we didn’t have was air conditioning.

Luckily it wasn’t too hot yet, so the suffering was kept to a minimum.  But I knew I wanted to get it fixed the next time I went in for an oil change.  I figured it would just need a freon recharge and that would be that.


car-wrench-socketWe ended up having a relatively large hole in the A/C condensor.  Price tag $650.  I of course didn’t think twice about it, because if you remember, I thought A/C was a necessity. Me without A/C can be like Bruce Banner when he gets angry.

Then wouldn’t you know it, my alternator belts were cracked and I also needed new break pads. All of this combined had a total price tag of $989.40.


Now I understand why Trent @ The Simple Dollar decided to go with a new car.  Used cars are great, but in a trade off for the decreased depreciation, you get the wear & tear that goes along with it.

Oh well, we still love our van.  After 75,000 miles I should expect to have to put some money back into it. The repair guy said getting a hole in the A/C is a fluky thing.  He said maybe a rock got sucked up there or something like that.  A $1000 fluke.  Hopefully there won’t be anymore flukes, just general routine maintenance.

Good thing there are emergency funds (and student loans).

Since misery loves company how about you share some of your favorite “fluke” stories. I’m sure The Happy Rock readers have some doozies to share. I guess you can also share stories on how you do everything perfect and never have to spend money on this kind of stuff, I just don’t really feel like reading those right now.

But feel free :)

Until next time,


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Car Insurance Phi May 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm

While I feel for your situation, I’d still always get a gently used car over a new one. Depreciation is ridiculous on most new cars. What kind of van did you get, if you don’t mind my asking? Makes and models could make a huge difference in your experience with used cars. But seriously, don’t you feel better now with AC?


Peter May 31, 2009 at 11:31 am

While paying $1000 may stink, just remember that you’ll be wasting thousands more than that by buying a new car. So even though there will be maintenance to your used car, just remember when you drive that new car off the lot, it drops several thousand right off the bat.

My wife had one of those “fluke” things happen last year where her entire left leg clotted up, and she had to spend 3 weeks in the hospital – and had over $250,000 worth of medical care. Thank God for health insurance! Those little “flukes” sure can be expensive can’t they?


Debt Destroyer June 1, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for the comments.

Settle down, I’m still a fan of used vehicles. I’m just saying that I can see why people buy new.


Khaled Van leasing June 2, 2009 at 4:50 am

They do say things happen in 3’s and hopefully that’s the 3 over and done with. A couple of years ago I was out and about in a van when the route took me to a low down bridge, then van in front was a small transit, and I was in a large high roof Mercedes van. The Transit went through no problem, so I slowly followed, just as the van nose was about come out from the bridge, there was a bang and the van stopped abruptly. When I got out and looked I had indeed hit the bridge ceiling, but because it was an old stone bridge there was no damage, just some loose vegetation and stones has cushioned the impact. I couldn’t go forward and had to reverse, but by now there was a build up of traffic behind who had reversed back but not quite far enough to comfortably squeeze out. Being in a bit flustered I rushed and reversed straight into a bollard. Unfortunately it did plenty of damage to the van, but fortunately no one was hurt apart from my pride.


Debt Destroyer June 2, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I’m sorry to hear that story Khaled, but at the same time it brought a smile to my face. I could picture the same thing happening to me.

Thank you for sharing.


Mortgage Calculator Man June 2, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Man that blows… I’ve been looking at new and used cars for the past month. Decided to go with the new car 1) because I’m going to likely be driving it for the next 10-15 years (as I always do) and 2) I don’t like not knowing how the car was treated prior to my getting it. I’ll deal w/ the depreciation in return for the peace of mind.


Kristy @ Master Your Card June 3, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Usually the flue stuff happens with the pets. My cat George is a medical disaster just waiting to happen. I swear, there’s always something wrong with him. He gets ear mites really bad, especially in the summer (and he’s an indoor cat), he has serious stomach problems, he’s extremely sensitive to scratches, the list goes on. But, usually all his problems flare up all at once. It’s rather annoying and expensive. I had to take him in not too long ago for constant vomiting and oh by the way, he’s got a nasty scratch that’s infected with this horrible smelling pus and needs surgery to clean it out…thank god for emergency funds! But, his issues only have my groaning to the tune of about $300-400, not nearly your $1000 price tag. But anything over $100 has me groaning like it’s the end of the world.

Glad you were able to get your van fixed, though! It’s better to do it now then wait until it gets worse!


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