Yesterday I got paid and I added $350 to my Freedom Fund. Go me. I was planning on writing a post about how happy I am to be working towards my #1 2011 goal as soon as I got back from my Weight Watchers meeting (I lost 4 lbs.). Too bad I decided to stop at Target to get some school supplies after the meeting. Too bad I tried to put my stuff in the trunk when I got out of the store. Too bad my trunk was stuck and I pulled just a little too hard. Too bad the plastic handle (which holds in the wiring to the third brake light) snapped off right in my hand.
After a lot of cursing my trunk – which has had a whole host of issues ever since I got the car 5 years ago – I went straight to my dealer to investigate how to fix it. I waited for about an hour and a half and was told that the handle has to be replaced and the part is a special order item, which means I have to go back. Between the part and the labor it was going to cost $250. Which would have been bad enough…but then I got the really bad news.
My poor car needs a lot of work. The battery is practically shot. As in, at any moment it might crap out. My front brakes are also really worn down and my transmission and power steering fluids need to be flushed. Oh, and I need an oil change. That one I knew.
As my blood pressure skyrocketed, I politely pointed out that the trunk issue appears to be a major design flaw in the car and really, this isn’t a wear-and-tear issue or a result of my stupidity or negligence of the car. I asked if there was any way that Scion might be able to cover the cost of the part. The technician looked into it and told me that he would only charge me for the part, not the labor. So that saved me about $110. And they washed the car for free.
So until Thursday when the part comes in I’m driving around with a taped-on trunk handle. Very sexy.
When I got home, I did some Internet research and apparently flushing the fluids in cars is controversial; since the fluids aren’t a safety issue, I can put that off for a little while. So I decided to call the place that I usually get my oil changed at to see what they would charge me to fix the other issues. After some chit-chat with the owner of the place, I committed to getting the oil changed, the brakes fixed, and the battery replaced on Monday. All this work will cost me $330.
To recap: by the time this week is up I will have spent $470 on my car. So that progress I was making on my Freedom Fund? Not moving along exactly as I hoped.
But on the other hand I’m happy that I had an opportunity to get my car troubles diagnosed and dealt with before getting seriously screwed by a dead battery and that I was able to cut a deal with the technician that saved me $110 just for asking.
I’m going to spend the rest of the weekend cooking, cleaning and grading papers – that is, not spending money :/ Hope everyone else is having a great weekend!