Car Repair Fund To The Rescue

One of the great things about owning an older car that’s completely paid off is that you don’t have monthly payments.  However one of the bad things is that things go wrong.  As the car gets older, those things seem to get more and more expensive.  When you have older cars, a car repair fund is not just a good idea, it’s a necessity.

The Unfortunate End To An Otherwise Great Trip

We did a long weekend camping trip about 2 hours away, and pulled back into town Tuesday afternoon.  We pulled onto the street in front of the house, and I got out of the car to let the kids out and to get things ready so that I could back the RV into the driveway.  I immediately knew something was terribly wrong when I walked around to the passenger side and saw that the camper was red.

Further inspection showed that everything on that whole side of the car and camper was covered in a fine red mist.

Knowing the layout of the car, I immediately suspected that we were leaking transmission fluid.

So, backed the camper in, turned everything off, and took a quick peek.  Unhooked the camper, made a couple of phone calls, and added some fluid.

Popped it up to the service station right up the road and found that yes, we had a cracked fluid line.

Our Car Repair Fund At Work

Initial reports are that the transmission itself seems to be undamaged.  They really can’t do a thorough test on that until they fix the line, flush the remaining fluid and get it back to where it’s going to go.  That alone is going to cost $600.

And, that’s assuming that the transmission still works.   If there are any problems there, well, I don’t even want to think about it.

On the bright side, this seemed to happen at about exactly the right place.  Based on how quickly things were leaking, I think it probably happened very soon before we got home.  Had it happened around when we first left the campground, I’m thinking that the damage would have been far worse.  Plus, we’d have been stuck pretty far away from home.

So, as bad as it is, it could have been worse.  I’m just hoping we are past the worst.  Keeping fingers crossed!

Will know more soon.

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11 thoughts on “Car Repair Fund To The Rescue

    • I’m still pretty nervous that the other shoe is going to fall. We’re actually looking at options to get something different. We’ve been thinking about it for a while anyway, but this is a definite catalyst.

  1. Good thing you found out after your trip! We have an older Honda Element and each year there seems to be something that we have to fix; first it was the alternator, then it was the starter. I’m just waiting for the transmission to go…..

  2. Kudos to you for taking the glass-half-full approach to all this. It can be easy to moan about expensive car repairs and you’ve shown all that is avoidable with a little bit of foresight (i.e. emergency fund)!

  3. Car repair fund is on the job. When my dad paid off his car loan a few years ago, my mum told him to put the money that he was paying for his car in a separate account for savings. He was already surviving without the cash, so putting it towards savings would have been easy. Now that his car is a lot older I can see how that money could help when the car needs repairs.

    • After this incident, we are looking into doing something.

      Typically, the repair costs, while high, happen very infrequently, so that we’re still paying very littler per month compared to a payment. It’s worked out though I think we’re near or at the tipping point.

  4. Welcome home!

    Have you ever noticed that as you drive back into the city after a nice weekend in the sticks, you can feel your stress level rising? Argh.

    O’course, you’d have been a lot more stressed if you’d discovered this little surprise while the RV was parked under a pine tree.

    The emergency fund is so huge. I’m about to spend mine on resurfacing the pool (maybe…depending on how cheap I happen to feel when the weather gets cool enough). It sure is a godsend to have something stashed to cover these fun little surprises.

    My son was able to get 0% financing on the car he’s driving now. He’d saved enough to pay for it in cash, but since they made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, he kept the money in the bank. It’s a bit of a strain for him to pony up the car payments every month…occasionally he thinks he should use the money to pay off the loan, so that he can have a life. But…really, it seems to me he’d be better off to keep the savings to cover car and house repairs, and then replenish the fund after he’s paid the incredibly cheap loan.
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