Bad: A few weeks ago, the transmission in Brian's van bit it (ironically, as he was on his way to the transmission place to have it checked out). Being as how the van had 125,000 miles on it and a blue book value of about $3000 on a good day, we decided it wasn't worth investing $1500+ in it to fix the transmission. This left us a one-car family, which was fine as long as I was on maternity leave (well, not fine, but doable), but I go back to work on July 10 (tomorrow, but that may be a topic for another post). We needed a vehicle, but weren't really in a position where we felt comfortable adding a car payment to the budget right now. What to do?
Good: We found a 1986 Ford F-150 extended cab for the right price, only 50,000 miles on it. Score! We paid cash, no car payment needed. The air conditioner blew but didn't cool, but a mechanic here in town fixed that for only $109.70 (that and a couple of other little tweaky things, too). And when Brian gave him a $100 and a $20, he said, "Keep the $20, I'll just take the $100 and we'll call it even." He is SO our mechanic for life.
Not so good: The truck didn't want to start today while Brian was running errands on his lunch hour. *sigh* Brian talked to an old guy at the post office (where he was when it conked out) who saw him messing around with the truck. The guy had worked on Fords for 40-odd years, and told Brian it was either the timing chain or a stripped timing gear. I called A+ (where we took it before), and the mechanic told me it would be at most $300-400 to fix. Thankfully we have that right this minute, so that's a good thing. And Brian can take me to the bus station tomorrow and keep the car to do his running around with the boys while I'm at work. It will mean everyone getting up sucktastically early, as I need to be at the bus station by 7:00 to get to work by 7:30, which means leaving here by 6:30 at the latest. That should be fun! Not. Oh well, it could be worse. We could be a one-car family all the time. That would be a big logistical ball of fail.