If you are like me you cringe when you throw money into your cars. Yes, they are a means to an end. If you cannot travel to your job you will have a hard time making money which could have serious long-term effects.
This issue I arrive at when looking into car expenses is that the money has no value other than transportation. That dollar I just sunk into fixing a tire or tinting my windows will never be seen again and ultimately will be followed by future dollars to again fix the same tire or tinting 5 years from now.
I am currently between two relatively large auto expenses:
Retinting my work car (1998 Mazda 626)
Fixing and/or Replacing my wife’s front tire (2008 Honda CRV)
I am still trying to figure out why my wife gets all the new toys. New cars, new ipods, new kindles, etc etc. I guess I should just consider myself lucky as I eventually get to inherit her hand-me-downs.
For the car tinting I have gotten estimates that range from $90 for just the front two windows (potential driver safety) to “deluxe” packages up to $250+ range for full car tinting. The issue I have with this entire exercise is that I am the only driver of my Mazda 99% of the year and I can see fine through the slightly wrinkled tint and by deductive reasoning no new tinting should be required. My mother and wife have instead ganged up on me and are in the process of wearing me down arguing it is a safety issue of the utmost importance and if not fixed immediately the dogs of hell could be released… and nobody wants to see that.
My wife’s front tire, on the other hand, is a necessity that will require attention immediately. My wife and I returned from a four-day trip to Indiana to celebrate my sister’s graduation to find that our car had developed a flat in the parking garage. What a wonderful conclusion to a one hour drive, two and a half hour flight and a two-hour drive left to get back home.
Tomorrow my game plan is to first take it to a tire repair shop as my brother and I believe it is but a minor leak somewhere we just could not find where. If that option does not satisfy my need for safety for my wife and our baby that she is carrying then we will look into replacing the tire completely. I will give an update to this post tomorrow with how the numbers break down.
Repair vs New
The decision my Wife and I went with was to repair the tire. I find that the concept of refurbished or repaired items was at first something to avoid. It seems that many 20 somethings, and maybe just people from large families, always want to get something new or replaced with something new. There is a negative connotation with getting a hand-me-down.
In the end by repairing our tire for $12.75 we were able to safely save over $100.00 as the cheapest price I could find for a CRV specific tire was $120.00.
In the end auto expenses are a necessary evil and one I will most likely never truly get over. I would be very interested in how others view auto expenses. Please feel free to leave comments below sharing your views on the “black holes of budgets” or how “freedom of the open roads” sets your world on fire.