Got to love life’s timing. I finally get a promotion.. and a pay raise that will make life a bit easier and the car freaks out. Battery charge light comes on same time the alarm for over heating comes on. I am out in the middle of no where. I slow down, turn off the air and the gauge backs off a bit. I get in a bit closer to town and on the access road and find I can not steer the car. At a stop light I Google nearest Dodge dealership and luck out with one 1.5 miles up the road. At the next light now the alarm for over heating is constant. The steering was also almost impossible. I pull through the light and barely get the vehicle into the Dodge dealership service area and parked.
I am at this time a bit shook up because of the inability to steer the vehicle. I talk to a nice Service Writer and he states they are 5 days behind at this point. He would see what he can do. I now have to rent a vehicle and it is a good thing I am in an industry where I get a discount on car rentals. It got me a compact for $20 a day. Already my head is spinning with the thought of 5 days in the rental being $100 and I also had to agree to two diagnostics at $108 each. We are $300 in the hole and I still need to know what is wrong. My brain is scrambling to figure out how to pay for all this.
My Service Tech gave me a call that afternoon and told me he pulled in a favor with a tech and asked them to have a look at the car. It turns out I need a new water pump, belts, hoses and thermostat. I was also told the battery was bad and needed replacing. I told him the battery was a recent purchase and should be under warranty and I would not authorize them replacing it. Everything else ..Total cost .. $1250.00.
This could not have happened at a worse time. It took everything I had in my account and my little “stash” of cash in case of SHTF stuff and I need cash money. The stash is no biggie to lose.. but the money in my account was for my house payment, electric and cell phone bill. It would be months before I recover from the hole I now found myself in. Ugh …!
Well, we called the cell phone company and I explained the situation and got an extension to pay. I will mail the house payment a few days before the next check hits and that should be ok and not show as a late pay. Electric is due on the next pay date. Where I thought I was going to finally feel some relief I am still going to be seriously tight and scrambling to keep things paid. We are now considering donating some plasma just to have a few extra bucks if needed.
The good thing is I have been dehydrating and stocking up a few things here and there. About all I will really have to purchase food wise is milk and my Pepsi. There is enough here I can get by if needed. The garden is producing a lot of tomatoes and I can make bread too. My day old chicks are set to arrive in a few weeks so will need to have money available for that as I am charged when they are ready to ship. Will also have to get a small bag of chick starter.. but outside of that I can I will not need to spend money on anything other than bills. Hopefully I will be caught up by September.
I must admit my car is running a bit better. My Service Tech was really nice and after telling me how well he took care of me encouraged me to get further work done at the dealership. However.. when I drove to Auto Zone where I purchased my battery, and had them test it, I was a bit ticked off. I was told the battery was bad by the Service Tech at the dealership and it needed replaced. But after testing it three times and each time Auto Zone showed the batter at 100% and good I now don’t want to do business with them.. EVER. I also have to wonder if all the parts they said were bad really were and if they really did almost $800 worth of labor. I feel totally ripped off.
I understand there is pressure for them to sell parts. I would have been happy to bring my business to them if they had really taken care of me. But what they do not realize is what some people have to do without to pay for their repairs. Times are tough for a lot of people. If I did not have some food stored up I would be going without food for a month because that is the only variable I can reduce. I do not have any other area to trim. Sure I can can rid of a cell phone but I need the navigation it provides plus have a contract. And internet may not be a necessity but I don’t have dish or cable for entertainment. The net serves several purposes for me and I have the cheapest and slowest option out there. So this repair is really putting me in a bind and I can only hope I paid for what I needed.
I have no issues with fair and right. But getting ahead at the expense of others and putting them in bad places is not acceptable. I can easily see how a run of bad luck can put people on the street and homeless. If nothing else this has made me a bit more sympathetic of those holding signs at busy intersections looking for some spare change. I now can totally relate.. and hope and pray I am never in that position. In the mean time I am a bit more thankful I could at least pay what was needed and we will be able to cover all the bills and eat. Maybe life’s timing was not so bad if it showed me how much I do have and gave me a chance to refocus on what is really important.