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.
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