Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A few small repairs

My pack arrived! I am babysitting quite a bit this week, while simultaneously beating back the (early, but obvious) spring-time laundry beast and making the tiny home improvements that make life better.

N-man has learned to make grits by himself and is now only eating grits for breakfast. We'll see how long that lasts! I love watching these guys learn to cook. They are so happy with their burgeoning independence!

My cell phone (which had a busted usb port) has been repaired. This was at least a minor issue, but because the phone was under warranty, my contact wanted to get it done. I shouldn't say repaired-- replaced is a more accurate statement. Shiny!

My cranky van is in the shop for its annual tax-time money-suck. No, I am not kidding. Every year at tax time, this van has had something go wrong with it that doesn't involve less than 250.00. Last year, it was my son breaking out a window and then a few months later, a fuel pump failure combined with a shorting out computer. At the time, we chose to replace the fuel pump because that was all the money we had.

This year, it is the brain. One of the ongoing issues with this vehicle has been intermittent failure to stay cranked. It always cranks, but then some kill switch is activated, as if it had an alarm (it doesn't) and it stops. Other, less invasive electrical problems persist as well, but that's the attention grabber. This season's issue involved a two week hiatus for the minivan in which it refused to start at all. Out of the blue-- the day we got our tax return-- it began to start again.

Just "well" enough to get it to the mechanic.

Some people would go along with conventional wisdom and ditch this van altogether. I can't say that isn't tempting. P-daddy had the idea to convert it into a chicken coop, and if we had 5 acres, I might even go along with it. Personally, I have been having fantasies about buying a vintage Vanagon for 2 grand and once again having a vehicle I can repair myself. But rationally, given that we can't yet finance a late-model vehicle, if we were to purchase something we could actually afford right now, we'd still be 1. paying more than this repair will probably cost and 2. buying someone else's problems. The cost-benefit ratio doesn't pay out.

Just in the 4 years we've had this thing, we have replaced so many integral components, it really is a better vehicle than it sounds like it is. The computer issue is probably going to resolve a great many of the trouble spots, and we will at least be able to have an accurate picture of what is going on under that hood. So, whatever. I can't burn energy worrying about it when our path is fairly clear. I don't want to be a one car family, but we can do it if we have to.


  1. Just put almost $500 into my Volvo wagon and she still needs about $2000 more! But it's better than a car payment and feeling like I can't spill my latte or Eli can't eat french fries in the car or, worse yet, not wanting to take the dog anywhere cause she'll get my car dirty - no worries here - this thing (at least the back anyway) is seriously carpeted in dog hair :)

  2. *snort* Love the tag "damn van." :)