OK, I am back from lecture and prior to that having all four of my tires replaced on the Pizza Taxi. Y’all can probably guess: it wasn’t just the tires! I had a broken outer tie rod on the front driver side wheel. Since this is a potential safety issue (tie rods breaking at highway speed equals UGLY) I had to get that taken care of on the spot.
The good news is I still spent less than I had set aside for this :) Since it had been about four years since I priced tires I had about $600 set aside in the account to make sure I could cover the expense. Total bill of the tires, mounting, balancing, tie rod, labor to install tie rod, and aligning the front wheels still came in just under $400 (clocked officially at $396.38). So I still have $200 more to toss at the stupid truck note in addition to the $1500 I authorized this morning.
The even better news is I added up all the maintenance, repair, and upkeep expenses of the Pizza Taxi since I paid it off a little over a year ago … and it is still over $100 a month cheaper than the car note used to be! Over the five year note I carried on the Pizza Taxi I had almost forgotten the joy of a PAID FOR vehicle. Even though the Pizza Taxi is at that point where the upkeep and replacement starts rearing its ugly head (8 years old and about 88,000 miles) I am so not trading it or selling it because that would cost me much more per month than what I pay out for it right now.
Too many people use the repair costs of a vehicle this age to justify and rationalize the purchase of a new car. Does anyone out there honestly believe they can get a new car for less than $130 per month average expense (including oil changes and tune-ups)? Besides … within the next year I will probably have the equivalent of a new-ish car without the car note!