Tuesday, September 11, 2007

He was bound to visit sooner or later...

Murphy, that is. (If you do not understand who Murphy is, click here.)
The story goes like this:
I finally received the check in the mail from Volvo for the $630 recalled part I had replaced previously. So, being that I was just over 60K miles, I took this money of opportunity and took the car in for its factory scheduled maintenance. This is the service where they basically change your oil, spark plugs, and cabin air filter and inspect EVERY part of the car from the dome light to the transmission. Then if repairs are necessary, you go from there. I have already established that my local Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo dealership is inept in the area of customer service, a phrase which here means, they have a tendency to steal large amounts of money from their customers with little shame in doing so, so I did not take my care in to them for this inspection. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the Snicket-ism.) I have a mechanic, who much like my father, explains to me all the hows and whys, and will not release me from conversation until I assure him of my understanding. Said mechanic performed this factory scheduled maintenance today, and called me with the news that repairs are indeed necessary. I was aware before my purchase of this vehicle that repairs to European automobiles tend to be more costly than most other makes, and so I am not complaining about that exactly. My complaint is more that the previous owner decided to neglect maintenance and therefore I am being stuck with a larger number of repairs than I should be. I'll give you the short version: front and rear brakes and rotors, tie rods, shocks and struts, flush of my blackened transmission fluid and service of my cooling system so that my transmission fluid does not become blackened yet again from the heat. Sounds like I'm driving a junk heap, doesn't it? Well, it's most certainly not, but it will be if I don't make the proper repairs to maintain it. It is making these "proper repairs" that has me waving good bye not only to my recall check, but additionally to my ENTIRE emergency fund and also the next two months of paying down my car debt.
The term "a lot of money" can mean different things to different people. So when I say that $3300 is a lot of money to me, while it may not be so to you, imagine an amount that you would consider "a lot of money" going for car repairs, and you will certainly be able to feel my pain.
However, if you can imagine, there is a bright side to this automotive misfortune/financial beating. The bright side is that I even had an emergency fund at all! The bright side is also that I do not owe a car payment until December of 2008 because I have paid in excess of my monthly minimum, so I can now choose to skip payments while I wade thru this mire. If this would have occurred 7 months ago- well, it wouldn't have occurred because I would never have been able to afford to have my car serviced and inspected. But if I had, I would have had to choose to forgo the maintenance of my vehicle because money slipped through my fingers like water, and I basically had none to spare.
It's nice to only hurt a little when Murphy shows up, rather than his visit being equal to sudden financial death.
We'll be doing a couple repairs at a time over the next two months, so we won't be putting up all the money right away. I'll let you know how we fare as things progress.

3 comments:

PJ said...

Oh man...that's...painful; downright painful.

Very sorry to hear that, but as you say: it's manageable! Doesn't that make you feel good?

(And for the record, I think $3,300 is a lot of money for just about anyone-even those who have tons of it).

Deanna said...

Ouch!! yep that is ALOT! of money. Hope all goes well. =}

Katie Booker said...

OH WOW!!! That bites! I'm so sorry to hear about that. Thank God for the E-Fund!!!
We will say a "Ramsey" Prayer for you..and pray that you fully recover quickly!