We've been dealing with broken stuff all month long and by "broken stuff", I really mean car repairs.
Our old car, it was the one I purchased when I migrated to the US, has started needing a lot of repairs. Not surprising, really, since it is 12 years old and already has 120k miles on it so the wear and tear is expected.
Thankfully, there is a Pep Boys just across the street where I work so it works out well for me if we need to bring the car in to the shop for repairs. I drive whichever car it is that needs something done that day and drop it off in the morning and it will be fixed and ready to go by the time I leave work in the afternoon. Before this, we'd have to wait till the weekend before we can bring the car to the shop and then we'd have to contend with the weekend rush.
3 weeks ago, hubby asked to switch cars because the car was misfiring and the check engine light is on. Upon checking, I was told by the shop that the spark plugs and ignition coil needed replacing (this confirmed hubby's suspicion as well) and since we also asked for a health check, we were informed that the brake pads are wearing thin, the tires are wearing thin and that we also needed a new drive belt and some stuff flushed and fluids replaced. We had everything done, except for the tires. Damage to our wallet was $1.5k, I went home telling myself that we should be good for a while (trying to make myself feel better).
The following week, hubby asked to switch cars again because the car was making a metallic whirring sound. It turned out to be a bad idle pulley for the fan belt and that was another $400.
Then this week, hubby drives the car to work and had to pull over because smoke started pouring out of the engine. When he opened the hood to check, the entire engine was wet as if something had burst and splashed fluids all over - this turned out to be the radiator. He called AAA for a tow and had it brought to a nearby shop, the repair cost $600.
Now, while talking to big sis about this, she gets all worried because the car doesn't seem to be safe anymore and she can always front me the money for a new car if I find ourselves strapped for cash (my big sis is so sweet and generous!).
I pointed out that technically, it is "almost-new" because we've replaced the innards already and all those repairs are really maintenance-related jobs that needed to be done and aside from that latest one where hubby had to get a tow, we were able to schedule properly and have them fixed at our convenience. Yeah, it's a bummer that we have to spend all this money and if we had a new car, we wouldn't be spending so much money getting it fixed but we would have to spend money paying for that new car anyway.
This is when I realized how spoiled we are. It's not like we always have brand new cars and haven't driven old ones. Yeah, this car is old and needs a bit more TLC but I remember being back in Manila and driving my hatchback civic 6 km to the office - the radiator was leaking so bad that it needs to have the radiator filled in the morning before I leave else I'd risk overheating the engine. At one time, the brakes slipped and I had to do an engine break and turned the wheels towards the sidewalk so I could slow down and stop. I didn't hear anybody say that it wasn't safe.
Anyway, we're on a holding pattern now so far as big purchases go. Let's see what 2015 holds for us :)
On a good note, the ceiling fan in the master bedroom has not worked in months. Last night, the power in the whole house went off for a few seconds and then turned back on again. When I stepped into the bedroom later that night, I found the ceiling fan working :) It just needed a kickstart, apparently. Now, am glad we didn't get it replaced yet.