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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Entry for March 30, 2008

The relationship has grown tired. I hate to call it quits, I hate to give up on it, but there may be no choice. We have been together for eight years, and she becomes more trouble and higher maintenance with each passing year. I seem to be putting more into this deal than I am getting out of it. I no longer trust her to be there for me when times are critical. She no longer performs as well as she used to, and sadly she is beginning to show here age. When I am inside of her, there is no longer the same comfort and excitement. Therefore, today I bare my soul to you all and ask, “Is it time for me to buy a new truck?”

My 1999 GMC Safari all-wheel-drive van has over 147,000 miles on her, and is promising to cost me at least another $1,500 soon. The transmission sometimes slams during shifts between first and second gear. If it needs more than just the minimum rebuild, the repairs could be in range of $2,000 - $3,000. Every year for the past few years, something major needs fixing. In October of last year, I spent $2,800 correcting problems and providing preventive maintenance on the brakes, fuel injection system, ignition system, emission control system, transfer case, and both drive axles. A scant 6,000 miles later, even more repairs are staring me in the face.

General Motors no longer makers this model, so I need to rethink my needs. One downside to purchasing a new (or nearly so) truck, van, or SUV will be the added expense of full insurance coverage. My old GMC Safari only carries the requisite liability insurance because there really is no “replacement value.” Though it is quite large, it is in the Mini-Van category, which has a lower insurance cost than a truck, SUV, or a full size van. The cost of new (or nearly so) vehicles is sobering. Replacing the old van with something that provides me the same utility service puts me in the $20,000 - $35,000 ballpark. Whether I finance or stretch the safety net and pay cash, those numbers make putting this old girl in for routine repairs look quite affordable.

Relationships are never easy or inexpensive to maintain or to end.

Lustfully looking elsewhere,

James A. Zachary Jr.


Steve said...

Sorry Zack . . . it's time.

I still remember parting with a couple of my favorite vehicles. One was easy; I totaled it. But the other was the kind of problem you're having . . . it was bleeding me to death. Plus it was no longer reliable.

But I still wish I had that car.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Guys our age are grabbing at some last feelings of youth by buying vintage cars; make and models they once had, or make and models that they just could not afford back then. My dream back then was 1967 Corvette, which will remain a dream forever; I still cannot afford one.