Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tax season, Van Season. Three years running!

Literally, right at a year since the last van dance.

It goes like this:

file the taxes
pay the property taxes
pay off the credit cards
strand yourself and have to repair the van
have a wonderful friend drive your children to classes for you
run up the credit cards fixing said van until your household is flat broke
spend a year struggling
file the taxes.......

I choose not going to participate in the dance this year. Repairs are going to have to be cash.

It's better than last year, and I know it. I will hold to this, and focus hard upon it.

We know it's something (relative to replacing the engine and the transmission last year) minor. We know how it started (bad engine replacement mechanic: Eric in Port Orchard is a CROOK, people!), with a stripped flashing on the windshield that allowed water to go in during the rainy season and short circuit our wiring.
We rebuilt the brakes yesterday for 600.00. We know this mechanic is both good and honest. We just tested the starter, selenoid, battery and alternator yesterday and they all check out.
So when the van wouldn't start today-- I was frustrated. Very frustrated. But not despondent.

This is a boring entry to anyone who hasn't suffered through this van with me, I know this. I refuse to give up. It's basically a new machine now and until we can get something a hell of a lot greener than this (I am not talking hybrid, I mean greener) then I will keep it. We knew going in that the repairs would be big, and costly but the original price we paid for it more than evens out the budget. No reason to add MORE consumption and MORE money drain to our family. It basically works, it's paid for, and I will drive it until it dies.


  1. Your post was not boring to me!

    It is very frustrating when every extra penny you make goes into car repairs! Fortunately, that is not currently the case for us, although we've had this little problem with our Focus.

    Over and over, it kept hesitating and missing, especially in warm weather. We did the recall thing--that was free--but then we had a total tune-up, the spark-plugs replaced, etc.--each "repair" was at a different time and accompanied by an expensive computer diagnostic test.

    Finally, just before Passover, Bruce took the car in again and told them to forget the diagnostics because the problem was obviously not one the computer could identify. This time, they actually looked carefully at the engine and determined that the wires from the spark-plugs were the problem. They replaced those, and now this car is running better than when it was brand new.

    I just knew it came off the assembly line on a Friday afternoon!

  2. Mondays and Wednesday don't work so well for us, but we can do any other day of the week. When can I bring you your piano stuff? Can I pick up anything on this side of the bridge for you and deliver it?

  3. That sucks. I hope you get it resolved soon and that everything is bolted down properly. OY. Grrrr.