Maintaining a fleet of elderly cars is, in many ways, more cost-effective than purchasing a new vehicle. Hubby and I review the numbers periodically, and always come to the conclusion that until we can save a few thousand bucks and pay for a newer used car, we are better off limping along with our two sweethearts, Rhonda and the Goose. Both will hold a large number of people (seven and eight, respectively), and both are relatively low mileage for their ages (18 and 8, respectively). And because they are old, the insurance is a deal.
But every now and then you get one of those runs of bad car Karma that make you shake your head and wonder if this is actually the best plan.
Both cars needed air conditioning repairs AND new starters this summer. Rhonda has needed an assortment of minor things from light bulbs to tires and to a new windshield (that one, at least, was covered by insurance). The recent electrical outage was an affordable alternator replacement. While Hubby was picking Rhonda up from the shop from THAT repair, we were merrily driving off in the Goose toward an amusement park.
Twenty minutes after Hubby drove away from the mechanic, he stopped at Walmart. When he came out and began to drive, the brakes failed ENTIRELY at the first stop sign in the lot. He's a quick thinker, thank God, and he managed to corner quickly without hitting anyone or anything and drifted to a stop. One tow truck ride to the mechanic later, it was discovered that the master brake cylinder had failed. Aside from the cost, there is the pure terror factor.
We could have fit everyone into Rhonda for the trip down. The only real reason we needed the extra seating was because of my nephew's car crash - we needed to be able to give him and his sister a ride to and from the park instead of having them drive themselves. Twenty minutes down the road in the direction we were going would have been on the highway, going 70 mph.
We could easily have died - me, Babygirl, the grandkids, all of us.
Hubby is still having trouble sleeping.