Please Note: This was written on Wednesday of last week.
As I type this article, I look down at my left hand and notice a shiny diamond wrapped around a greasy finger with dirt lodged under its nail. The dirt is from my car.
This morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m., got out of bed at 6:15 a.m., and headed out to my car at 6:30 a.m. After starting her up, I immediately shut her down because it sounded like an animal had climbed under the hood and the engine was chopping it up. I ran out and pulled the hood up (this explains the dirty fingers), and lo and behold…there was no animal! It was the car making that noise! I started the engine again, and this time, the noise was slightly less, but there was a new vibration I could feel. Granted, my car is old and has a low-grade churning noise that never ceases. But these noises and rumblings are definitely not the ordinary ones, and I know something is wrong.
Before this morning occurred, I knew that I would most likely have to purchase a car within the next year. We had hoped that it would be after the wedding. But ofcourse, one week after closing on our new home (and thus draining much of our savings), and before spending any money on the wedding (of which is only 8 months away), the car looks like it might die.
If you’ve checked out my other post, you know that this car really owes us nothing. I bought it six years ago at 160,000 miles for $1500 cash. Thus far, nothing major has gone wrong with it. I’ve replaced some tires, a windshield, the brakes, Freon, a few belts, a muffler, and a bearing. Other than insurance, gas, and oil changes, it really has been easy to maintain. But wow it would have been great if the car had made it to 250,000 miles (currently it is at 228,282). That was my goal, and I am definitely coming up shy.
Paul drove to the house from work to picke me up, and we started to discuss our options on the way to my office. Here are a few we came up with:
- Fix the car (we have not yet determined what is wrong with it, but if it will only cost a few hundred dollars, then this will be well worth it)
- Buy a new car with a loan (not another loan!!)
- Pay for a used car from someone with cash (though we must admit, there is not much of that left in the emergency savings fund!)
- Figure out a bus route to my office (Houston is not necessarily the most public transportation-friendly city)
- Take a cab (oh the cost!)
- Live off of one car
Hopefully in the next few days we will know the diagnosis. I’ll let you know how things turn out.
Out of curiosity, which option would you choose for your household if you were in the same situation?