Thursday, October 6, 2022

Cheapskate Ways

 During the car biz years my mantra was, “I give car payments, I don’t make them”.  In fact, the last time I had a car payment was 1984.

Over the years so many cars and trucks have passed through my paws I can’t remember all of them. Being a white trash mechanic, making repairs was what kept me from spending real money on something to haul my ever expanding butt down the highway.

Another factor was my 26 year marriage to a complete mechanical nitwit.

  “Honey, the red light came on in the car so I turned around and came home while it was still running. I made it but the car sounds funny”.

Location where she first noticed the light was nearly fifty miles from our house.

    “Honey, the car isn’t running right. After I stopped at Sinclair and filled the tank it barely made it up the hill”.

 That happens when you put gasoline into the tank of a diesel powered vehicle.

 Should I mention her night blindness? Her dozen pair of glasses she could never find? The wrecks she had driving at night without her glasses?

Age has caught up with me and I no longer can physically do much in the way of repairs. Add I am more of a parts changer than a mechanic.

I use a mobile mechanic now. Last weekend the rear brake pads needed replacing and the caliper pistons were frozen. It took two days to get new calipers. Gee, just because the car is 27 years old is no reason for the parts store not to have parts sitting on the shelf!

Total cost was less than one month’s car payment.

With only 198,000 on the odometer I should be good for many more miles. That GM 3800 V-6 has to rank high among durable engines. Too bad many of their other engines are crap.

Cheapskate that I am, I still adhere to my Dad’s words of wisdom.

   “Grease is cheaper than machinery”.

Sisty recently stepped up and bought a Kia Sorento off the showroom floor. As an insurance adjuster in demand for her skills investigating truck accidents, she needs AWD and the ability to go at all hours and weather conditions. She has written wavier from Wyoming to travel on closed highways. Too many times she needs it.

Her new ride is impressive and I’m happy for her. Also, happy I don’t have the monthly stroke.

Yes, from time to time my cheapskate ways bite me in the ass. I’ve learned to live with it.

 As always, YMMV



LL said...

I like Sisty's car better than yours...

I like your car payments better than Sisty's.

Life is like that.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Much of life is choices.

Greybeard said...

Agree, mostly.
My '97 Ram/Cummins hums like a baritone singer and the body is still in great enough shape to gather compliments from people who know pickups.
I like performance and I'm willing to pay for it. The Taurus SHO out there is without question the fastest car I've ever owned, (and that includes several muscle cars and the '70 Corvette 454 cu. inch/390hp now in our garage). AWD, my only complaint with it is that it's SO fast while not attracting attention at all.
And one last thing-
"Adaptive Cruise Control", for those of us that spend considerable time on the slab, has to be one of the most wonderful invention God ever allowed. I'll NEVER buy another vehicle without it.

Sisty said...

I am getting used to the various "toys" on the Sorento. I too like the Adaptive Cruise Control and the "stay in your own damn lane" warning. The one thing that bothers me is how close oncoming vehicles are before the Auto Dimming kicks in. I learned to dim my headlights when I saw the oncoming vehicle, not when it was almost on top of me. I tend to over ride that feature on a regular basis. I also like the 10yr/100,00 mile drivetrain warranty. Then I don't have to go through the drama that WSF does. I have done that too many times over the years.

Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and will scratch a payment for a few years. The trade off is worth it to me. I am also NOT as cheap as my Bruvver. He sees his cheapskate ness as a virtue and I see it as an annoyance. He is more like our mother than I am and I don't have a problem with that.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I enjoy fast cars. Being in the car biz meant I could play with them without owning them. For awhile I worked for Roush testing pre-production and European cars that will never be sold in the US (Boss explained they needed high altitude testing and kidnapped drivers wasn't an issue in CO). I used checklists for all the high tech stuff. OK for those who want it. I don't.

I'm truly happy for you. You are far more tech savvy that I ever will be, or want to be. In my dotage I want A/C, self shifter, and cruise. Any more is an annoyance. Riding in your Sorento is a treat. Mother's child? Probably. Think of our age difference. You came along when our parents were making progress having pulled themselves up from wretched poverty. Different perspectives.

drjim said...

My Dad used to say "Lube Is Cheaper Than Parts", and I agree. I've seen way too many examples of "Maintenance Deferred is Maintenance Denied"!

Good for Sisty. She needs reliable transport and AWD. Might want to look into some Winter tires, like Blizzaks or Hakkapeliitas. Astounding tires, and I didn't believe how much difference they made on my Grand Cherokee.

My Mom was very frugal, too. She lived through the Depression, and remembered the lessons very well. Even after Dad started making some good $$, she'd still shop for bargains. It came in handy because she always had a few bucks squirreled away to feed my radio habit, and my sister's book appetite.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

With you on tires but I do fine with my Firestone M+S. A lot of my work takes me on dirt roads so the Mud in M+S is very important.

Old NFO said...

It is always about perspectives, and our age is certainly a driver and “selecting” our perspectives! :-)

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Too true. Doing my routine fluid checks today I discovered a 10mm wrench the mechanic overlooked when bleeding the brakes. While tempted (10mm!!!!) I drove over to his house and dropped it off.

I'm set on 10mm - he might not be.

drjim said...

Roger the M&S tires. That's what's on the Colorado, and they work very well. I had to TRY and get stuck just to see if I could (yes, slode to home, but on 8" unplowed streets), and I gave up. Just put it in 4WD LO, and away you go!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Last winter I had no problems getting around rutted un-plowed streets. The last time I had a 4WD vehicle I had studded snow tires. Mitsubishi Mighty Max diesel pulled out my son's 12,000 lb 2WD plumbing service truck down an alley with 2' of snow. Surprised both of us. Still regret selling that truck.