February 22, 2012

Cars Cost Money

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake.
The great affair is to move.” 
-Robert Luis Stevenson

 Thanks to everyone for their feedback about the future of the Tuckerbag! There were a bunch of comments and quite a few emails and it seems that the general desire is for me to keep this blog going as I move onto the next adventure in New Orleans. I have to say that I was kind of touched by the fact that many of you are reading this blog for my story and not just for the vehicle dwelling info.

So, onto the Big Easy! Well, not quite yet. First there's the car... Here's the story:

You may remember that I brought the Go Go Gadget Red Car to my mechanic last week because there was some grinding and other stuff going on. Dave fixed the car for about $200 and this weekend I drove up to New Hampshire. You might remember me saying that it was like riding on a thresher which I figured was in large part to the horrible front end alignment and my completely bald and bare tire.

So on Monday morning I went to Sulivan Tire in Dover, NH on my way south. I asked them for a front end alignment ($70) and a tire ($90: for the record they were the only shop in the area that carried a 195/60R14. No idea why). They brought my car in and almost immediately came back out. "I'm sorry" the heavily tattooed mechanic told me "but I can't put a new tire on this car until the ball joint is replaced." Now, I was under the impression that Dave replaced the ball joint the week before (my own fault, but I'll get to that) so I was skeptical of this guy to say the least. I actually made him hand me the ball joint so I could see for myself and, sure enough, it was rusted and the rubber seal was cracked 3/4 of the way around. So, $130 for a new ball joint and the grand total came to $330. The good news is that the Jetta hasn't been this happy in a long time, but the bad news is that I'm now out $500 total to get her ladyship road worthy (these aren't cosmetic things. These are "fix it or your tire's going to fall off").

So yesterday I called Dave's shop to see what had happened with the ball joint. The answer: it wasn't the ball joint they replaced; it was the wheel bearing, which was also falling off. It sounds like when they found that the wheel bearing was in such bad shape they didn't look any further and because they didn't have the tire in stock they never saw the ball joint. I went back to look at my receipt and indeed it did say "Bearing" right at the top.

I trust Dave, he's a good guy and just missed something and one way or another I would have ended up paying about the same amount. But I didn't want to pay anything! I wanted the Jetta to calm down and stop giving me attitude. She's fifteen now and going through some teenage rebelion and she may also think that because she made it to 200,500 miles she's entitled to some matenence. Oh well, time to pinch some pennies.

1 comment:

  1. It's still cheaper than a new car. Your engine may go another 100,000 miles or 100 miles. Junk yard engine for my 25 year old car 1750 bucks (last year), transmission 1500 but that was 10 years ago. The 19 year old Ford is in the shop. It only needed two new rods and a crankshaft...$2000. The lowest milage car we have was a cherry 1990 Nissan. Our 18 year old know it all grandson blames everything he does stupid as an accident. Then he plays the victim. Did I mention the word Stupid...oh yeah add arrogant.

    If you like your car then pay no attention to it's resale value and keep it. At least you know what you have. Having to fix it every few months is better than car payments.

    The Nissan (I call it the Datsun)uses that same tire and I found two places here in the hinterland, a gas station that had one made of pure gold and for the same price I could get two at Walmart. They are the only place I could find them in stock but they said if they didn't have any they could get it by the next day.

    Yes, there are many of us that are following your adventures and progress. Living in your car is not the only thing that make you interesting.

    When you get to New Orlean we are practically neighbors. Fifty mile neighbors which might as well be the backside of the moon in my economic strata.


I love mail so leave a message, ask a question, or give me some advice. You can also email me at Thetuckerbag@gmail.com