Feb 20, 2009

the neverending saga of car maintenance

Since buying our 2nd car, we have roughly spent $2000 maintaining it. It's not fun and I have moments of regret for ever buying it. The 1st car, sold soon after we got the 2nd car, was a tiny, compact car that going around with a baby in a car seat and his giant pram in the boot didn't leave any space for anything else. But that tiny car was fuel efficient. Yes, we needed the space but I sure didn't need the maintenance that came with it.

A couple or so weeks ago, we had to check the car in because the airbag light was constantly on for a month. We went to the brand dealer for that, which surprisingly was cheaper compared to the other shops we went to in the past. That visit cost us $150 and I was, again, surprised that they even cleaned the car in and out. Although I wonder if that was part of the payment, but it wasn't listed in the invoice. The check they did gave us a list of what needed to be done. One of which had to be done ASAP or we won't pass WOF next time at all. That thing - ball joints replacement - is around $900 mark. Ew.

Our WOF is due in early March but I suggested to J to get an early one just to see whether we'd really fail it due to the ball joints. If we fail it, that buys us some time to still use our car until current WOF expires and make the necessary arrangements. I'm just not sure if the ball joints really are in dire need of replacement, and of course it's not easy to part with $900. 3 months ago the shop that did some maintenance on the car advised us to replace the cam belt as soon as possible, but the dealer said that they are not sure whether it already needs replacing. Cam belts don't show signs of breakage or wear; they just die. When they die, that's the end of a car.

We have no history whatsoever about the cam belt. Whatever the car history book has certainly does not show any record of cam belt replacement. If it was never replaced, we definitely need to do it at this stage of our car's life. It's 11 years old and on 174kms. J has been researching for the next car to get, one that's fuel efficient and has adequate space. When we get that next car is unknown, and definitely not in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry about the car frustration. Ever wanted car insurance that completely covered repairs? I don't even know if it exists but it would be amazing! We had car frustrations ourselves and ended up selling one of our cars to take care of some of the issues. It helped but we managed with just one.