All At Once Now

I expect the mechanic will call me at any minute, to have me come pick up my car. For your edification and entertainment, I shall now tell you what it feels like to rip off the band aid all at once.  What you are about to see is about $1100 in maintenance and fixes.[1]

Despite what you may think, I’m pretty pleased with this outcome.  I always budget about a grand for preventative maintenance at the first cold weather.  Also, this car is at 120,000 miles, and the longer I can keep it going, the longer I don’t have to buy a new one.  :)

Q:  My car’s ABS and TRAC OFF lights are coming on from time to time.  They will go back off sometimes, as well.  Even though the car is safe to drive without anti-lock brakes and traction control, I’d like to have them back before it snows.
A:  Your rear-right ABS sensor is out of spec.  However, we can’t just replace the sensor.  The part comes as a sensor and hub.  And we’ll have to clear away some rust as well.  ~$390.

Q:  My fuel gauge fluctuates a lot all of the sudden.  For instance, I’ll start driving when it indicates 1/2 tank, and arrive at my destination with 5/8 tank.  This is more than it used to fluctuate.  (I refuel by mileage instead of waiting for an idiot light, so this is only inconvenient.)
A:  Dunno, but your fuel filter is getting kinda old, and is past its predicted operational lifetime.  We can replace that for you and see if it helps?  ~$80.

Q:  How do my tires look?
A:  They’re fine right now, but you’ll be sad as soon as it snows.  Four new tires for you.  ~360.

Q:  Balancing and alignment service?
A:  Lifetime rotation/balancing/alignment are still available.  ~30.

(Oh hey, he just called me.  They have to break the center caps out of my wheels… wonder how much those cost to replace?  I’ll have to get those elsewhere, of course, but I had already planned to replace them.  Also, I guess the ABS sensor was a pain, so they’ll be late.  “No worries, Mechanic, this is why I brought it to you on a Saturday.”)

Q:  Go ahead and do the winter check-up and give me my synthetic oil change.
A:  No prob.  ~$(do not recall)

Okay!  I’m off to find new hubcaps.

  1. Hilariously, after he called me and gave me all the quotes and got my approval and decisions, he called me back with an amended total because I had left a $25 coupon as well.  I wonder if he’s like me, in that he worries about how people feel when he gives them big bills… []

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