Friday, May 26, 2017

Frugal or Cheap?

Poor People Have Poor Ways
Robert T. “Bob” White
1921 – 1985
Most vehicles with rubber timing belts should have the belts replaced as a precaution. Engines are either “interference” (most common) or non interference. Break a timing belt on any interference engine running above an idle and you are facing a $2,500+ repair bill. Much cheaper to spend $500 or so and replace it at 60,000 miles. Do the tensioner  and water pump at the same time. The parts aren’t expensive, the labor is, and everything exposed and accessible.

The Mighty Max was getting there, mileage wise, and summer trips are planned. What is a cheapskate to do? Buy a belt for $16 and pay an eager 17 year old to install it, with my supervision, $35.

A few years ago I would have done the work. At age 72, I don’t want the hassle. I’m literally losing my grip and the constant dropping of tools and bolts get frustrating. Then there is the pain of repeatedly bending and twisting. In the end, the frustration can only be soothed by an adult beverage. It is so much easier to “supervise” and then go to the adult beverage stage.

Should I have replaced other components? Maybe I will come to regret it. Nice to keep the funds in the credit union instead of earning reward points at O”Reillys Auto Parts.






And this is the reason you change one. Note the exposed metal reinforcement. One of the, “not if, but when,” situations.


 Note the battery. $30 at the local salvage yard with a 30 day exchange. That one has been in the truck for 18 months. At the time, no used batteries of the correct height were available. A little improvising was required.

I’m not impoverished, just a cheap prick that is damn careful with my money.

16 comments:

  1. Sadly, I'm approaching the age where I won't be able to do a lot of my own work, so I sure hear you!

    And preventive strikes on items like the belt are 100% worth the time and effort.

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    Replies
    1. See enough vehicles come into your service department and you become a believer.

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    2. Absolutely!

      I have all new belts and hoses for the Supra, along with a new timing belt, tensioner, water pump, and all the gaskets I need.

      When the engine is down for that work, I'm also going to pull the intake manifold (required) to install the new fuel injectors. The fuel filter and starter will also be replaced at the same time as they're MUCH easier to get at with the manifold off the engine, along with a couple of the hoses.

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    3. After all that, and all you have done, nothing left but to enjoy it for years to come.

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  2. I'm with you on replacing everything that shows even the slightest degree of suspicion. I guy saw me driving my FJ Cruiser the other day commented because it's 10 years old. I explained that it's literally like new because parts that wear are replaced (well) before they fail. I'm paranoid like that. It's a whole lot worse if you break down and still have to replace the worn part. You're crazy like a fox.

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    Replies
    1. Your outlook is tempered by equipment failure being literally a life or death situation. My current situation isn't as drastic, hence some calculated risks.

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  3. As someone who is on the road all day every day, I am with you to follow the owner's manual recommendations for preventative maintenance. I also like that I can plan when to replace the parts so I can be sure I have the money saved up to pay the bill right off. I hate getting stuck on the side of the road when something breaks! Never mind it always happens on the worst time, day, and place possible! I am happy to support my local service department so I don't get stuck in the hood or on the side of the expressway in a blizzard or monsoon.
    It drives DH nuts that I have the service guys "fix something that wasn't broke". My answer is 1. I'm a girl and 2. It wasn't broke YET. Lol.

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    Replies
    1. Even the late George Carlin would agree preventive maintenance recommendations aren't conspiracies to fleece you.

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  4. At 72, it is the bending over that I can't do anymore. Small of the back just wont work like it used to do.

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  5. Nothing wrong with that. Frugality is it's own reward, e.g. money available WHEN you need it!

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  6. My son is an auto mechanic, and kept me running smoothly....brake job, timing belt replaced, etc. He's since moved to Austin, but I don't mind spending a few bucks to keep my 2003 Rodeo running....it has less than 75,000 miles on it, and sure beats a car payment.

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    Replies
    1. Keep that Rodeo! I sold Isuzus for years and always thought they were superior vehicles. For instance, your Rodeo has cooling fins on the rear differential - very rare in stock vehicles. They are susceptible to rust but that isn't much of a problem in New Mexico.

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  7. Frugal is good. Cheap is bad. LOL

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