Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Vehicular Summer

Not long before we headed north this year, I told Susun, "This is going to be a "Vehicle Maintenance Summer."  We've repeated it often enough to morph that sentence into a "Vehicular Summer."

It seems as if we've connected a large hose to our checking and savings accounts and we are simply hosing money at each of our vehicles with not end in sight to the cash outflow.  It seems that our five vehicles are like a bunch of baby robins in the nest begging for food from Ma and Pa Robin.

A hundred here, a hundred there adds up real fast, especially when you throw Marvie into the mix.  Counting purchase price and so forth and we're up to $2,000 into Marvie.

Snappy's off at the mechanic's today awaiting an assessment.

Meanwhile, we still haven't got Samantha started.  She's been the ultimate Garage Queen, sitting in stately repose in the same spot since last November.  The whole fuel pump issue became so frustrating back in May, we threw up our hands (and tools) and decided we'd rather mess with Marvie than Samantha.

And, meanwhile, Annie just sits out in the backyard grinning from headlight-to-headlight.  For whatever reason, Annie's gas mileage plummeted this year.  Maybe "dropped off a cliff" would be a better word.  With the proper driving, it wasn't that long ago when we could get 14 mpg out of Annie even with the camped mounted onboard.  Now 8 mpg is lucky.  Trust me, 8 mpg is intolerable and, if we can't elevate the mpg, Annie better start worrying about finding a new home pretty pronto!

SuziQ has so far been our most reliable and least cash consuming vehicle but we know certain maintenance needs are ticking inside the little Samurai, waiting to explode soon into a cash-sucking black hole.

The trouble with vehicles is that they are really expensive these days.  Any of you who have priced late model or (God Forbid) NEW vehicles knows what we are talking about.  Vehicle prices are astronomical.  It's not at all uncommon to see new truck prices pegged at or above $50,000.  When you look at used vehicles prices on the street-side lots, seeing $15,000 10-year-old trucks is commonplace.

The idea of buying anything decent for $2000 that doesn't need a ton of work is laughable.  Therein lies our problem and why it is that we are locked up in a "Vehicular Summer."

What would be better?  Would it be better to put the money into vehicles we know and trust or would it be better to buy a totally unknown vehicle and wait for the shoe to drop.  It's simply not worth the risk of buying yet another unknown vehicle.  We might as will fix and keep what we have.

Note that Marvie wasn't truly an "unknown vehicle."  We watched it for 9 years before acquiring it.  That makes a difference.

So, we gleefully continue to pour money into our vehicles.  Oh, what fun.

Snappy for example, could have a lot of life left with an investment in maintenance.  What do you expect for a truck that has a quarter million miles on it?  Bottom line, though, is that the truck will outlast our own lifetimes so why not fix it?  We could probably sell Snappy to the Mexicans here for $1500 or more.  Mexicans love Old Nissans.  Heck we might even get $2000.  But what can you get for $2000?  I know we couldn't get even half the truck we already own for $2000.  It's crazy in the vehicle market now.  The soaring cost of new trucks has made any old decent, workable truck worth a lot of money.  Amazing but true.

We are going to sell Samantha after we get her running.  This is the Samurai we bought from Natalie a couple of years ago.  We're going to sell it for what we have "in it."  we need the garage space and it's time to reorganize the fleet.  Our Vehicular Summer continues.

Well, enough whining and moaning about vehicles!  Many Cheers, jp

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