title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherry PITS!

It just gets funnier by the minute!  I am too the point where I am laughing a lot, about my car.  You know the kind of laughter--sort of on the edge of hysteria with a slight sob inserted here and there.

They found the coolant leak!  YAY.  I need a new radiator!  NAY.

In the order of what needs done:
Radiator, hoses/fluid    Parts & Labor: 394.39
Two Serpentine belts:   Parts and Labor: 152.15
Rear suspension:  Parts & Labor: 679.08
Rear brakes, wheel cylinders.  Parts & Labor  501.95

So, just as I was thinking that crawling into bed, pulling the covers up over my ears and staying there until Christmas, John called.  He had to run up to the vet's AGAIN, as Maisey has a bladder infection.

I told him all the things that need to be done to keep my car safe and he said, "I know a guy, over on M-59, who works out of his own garage.  He has worked on my cars for years, my grandkids cars.  He's great.  He can do the radiator AND serpentine belts for less than two hundred."

I started to feel a bit better.  This is what I have needed!  I was going to use the guy, out by where Pam lives, and she uses for all her repairs, but it is way too inconvenient.
I caught a ride into Brighton with Dar--she was on her way to work.  She rattled on and on about her life all the way there, never asking me one single question about my car or the work done on it or the cost.  This morning, I liked that about her, because I didn't want to talk about my car fiasco.  That doesn't mean I heard a thing she was rattling on about, but..............................

When she dropped me off she said, "How do I get back to Meijers?"

"It's only two blocks away.  Just go back the way we came."

"I don't remember how we got here."

"Look...and I pointed....see all those cars?  That's Grand River.  Your store is on Grand River.  Pull out of here, go that way...and I pointed...to the first street.  Turn right and you will be on Grand River.  Meijer's is the second light.  Turn left and you will be in the parking lot."

"I hope I don't get lost!"

So, I went in the garage to settle up.  Now get this:  Parts were 45.18, Labor was 164.00.  $82.00 an hour and they are the cheapest ones around!!!!!!

Then Kevin showed me the pages he had printed out for me, with timeline of what needs done and the cost.

I decided to be perfectly honest with him.

"Kevin?  I want to thank you for the years of great service you have given me.  You have always been honest and up front with me.  You have never tried to gouge me.  BUT...I think that from now on, with the car as old as it is, it will continue to need patches and repairs and...I don't think I need a place that charges eighty dollars an hour, with unionized certified auto mechanics."

"I agree with you.  There are a lot of perfectly good mechanics around that work out of their own homes.  All certified service mechanic garages make money on the labor, not the parts, as you well know."

So, I laid out my 10, twenty dollar bills I had saved and dug around for the extra six bucks needed.  

I now have 1.36 in my checking account and 7 dollars in my wallet, but HEY--all the bills for the month have been paid and my car has new front brakes!!!!!

Life is good!


  1. I'm glad that you've been able to find some-one who can do the rest of the work for you at a better price. We have been very lucky that Mark is capable of doing all his own 'car mechanic' work. I'm sure it's saved us £1000s over the years. As you have posted... it's not the price of the part, it's the hourly rate of the labour. All the best, Jx

  2. What a relief that John can vouch for a mechanic that works out of his own home. I was wanting to donate to you! I so want you to be O.K. One of my vehicles is as old as yours - the little RV. It doesn't have a lot of computer software in it, so a mechanic can work on it without reading its codes. But I wouldn't know where to look for a home mechanic. Around me, labor is $107 per hour. so whenever my RV is ailing (which is a lot this summer) and I can still drive it, I drive 120 miles, where another great mechanic charges only $70 per hour, and I can sleep over with relatives. It cuts the bill by a third, more than paying the cost of the trip.

    Glad this may work out for you!

  3. Okay, now I'm sorry that yesterday I was bad mouthing John. :)

    It seems like we're always having to "try" and save money, then something else comes up that needs fixing also. Part of the good life, I suppose. It's as I told Hunter last night when she couldn't find her homework (which she just KNEW she'd taken out of her backpack when she got here) as she had a huge meltdown, "HEY, nobody is sick", these things happen. :)


  4. Hope it all works out for you, Judy. Transportation worries are always higher as we age. Do you have many kids where you live? If so, have you thought about tutoring to pick up extra cash? Do also call your case worker. If there is help out there for your situation, she'll know about it.

  5. I have asked John THREE TIMES to get me the mechanics name and phone number, but I guess he keeps forgetting! Even though I can't get the work done on my car right now--I'd like to call the guy and get an estimate so I know how much I have to save up. GEEZ LOUISE!

  6. JUdy, I've been catching up. So sorry about your car troubles. I do hate car troubles. I hope John's guy proves to be what you need.

    I was glad to read that your son's MRI was good news.

    And... I wanted to tell you that I got OUT and it worked very well on my sheets and towels. Thanks for that tip.