Friday, November 11, 2011

Out with the old, in with the... what?

So my car, a 1994 Geo Metro, has been having this issue where I drive it some place, go in for my errand, come out and it won't restart....for about 45 minutes. It had this issue back in May, and I called my mechanic, who has worked on my cars for 20 years, to come get it and figure out what was wrong. However, he couldn't get it to duplicate the problem, so he brought it back, but I knew the problem was still there. That's when I began to ride the bike as a commuter vehicle. I couldn't trust the car, and I'd used up all the AAA tows for the season. I could usually get one drive out of it per week, but three out of the last four times, it had had the restart issue. So a couple of weeks ago I called my mechanic again and said I thought it was the fuel injector or the fuel pump. Something just wasn't right. Again he took the car, drove it all over, and called to say he couldn't get it to duplicate the problem. Groan.

In the meantime, he has left me his 1993 Buick Regal Custom with 60,000 miles and suggested I drive it around for errands and see if I liked it because ultimately, my car had other problems too, like needing all the brakes replaced, a mob (sp?) sensor, engine/motor mounts. Then, the icing that cake - while the car was in his care, someone smashed in a back window. Okay, well, finally it wouldn't start for him and he said it was the fuel injector, but now I didn't care because no way could I afford to fix all that stuff, nor was the car even worth fixing. The broken window was the last nail in the coffin, and I considered it a sign from God to never drive that car again. Good bye car. I signed over my pink slip to him and asked him to dispose of it. I'm still waiting to hear when that is done, but that's only been a few days. It will likely go to a junkyard.

So he said he'd sell me the Buick for $3000. I looked up the Blue Book and it was only $2250 in it's condition. When I countered that, my mechanic said it also had aluminum wheels, so I redid it, and it still only came to $2315, so only a $65 increase for that. He wants the full blue book for it. Actually, he wants $2500, which would include an oil change and the smog test (all resold vehicles have to have a new smog test).

Now, I don't have $2500 PERIOD. I do have $1300 coming in commissions, and he's totally willing to work with me on the rest, pay what I can when I can, but that really scares me - not because I don't trust him but because I don't trust my income flow. And with my income being almost unreasonably tight, it scares me to tie up all extra cash in a car.

The car, btw, drives like a dream, and he said it should be good for another 200,000 miles. I totally trust him. He's been sooooo good to me over the years. The car is very good/excellent inside and out and under the hood.

Of course, as soon as January rolls around, the car will then be 19 years old. Maybe that's not such an issue with a Buick. Certainly I'd never get a Geo Metro that old. Still, part of me longs for a car that was made in this century. Then again, I have never picked out my cars except for maybe the last one, but really God was the one who put it in my path. I do not wrap my identity in any car, so whatever car God wants me to have is the one I will take.

I could get around on my bike for a while... except for my Monday cookie client whom I have delivered to for the last 5 years. I could just tell her I need pickups for a while. I can ride to the bank, there are three grocery stores within walking distance, and my only big shopping concern is when I have big items like 25-lb bags of flour or sugar for the cookie biz. The rest I can carry in smaller bundles on the bike.

Having a car would not mean riding my bike less. I would not change that at all. Having a car, however, would give me freedom to also explore other employment opportunities. It would give me the freedom to be more social. I have felt quite handicapped that way - not being able to travel far due to the car starting issue. I would also be able to take my bike places for other rides that right now are too far away to ride to and then begin that ride. Of course, I'd have to get a bike rack, but that can be done - but not if I'm paying for the car. No money for "smalls." This Buick could take me across the country and back with no problems and only act like it went out for a Sunday drive.

Is this the car God wants for me? I don't know. Do I just make the deal and trust God for massive cookie orders in December to help pay it off? Again, I don't know.

Please keep me in your prayers about this. I haven't made up my mind yet.

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