Of course it happens like this. Not more than a month after paying off our car, we have to spend money on it. It could be worse — we could still be making payments on it and shelling out a few hundred dollars for a new set of tires.
On Thursday evening, our turn signal sounded fast. I suspected that meant that it wasn’t working, and I was right. We had no rear turn signals and no rear brake lights. I was just asking to be rear-ended.
The car was due for an oil change, so I took Shirley (my car, of course) to the auto shop down the street. They replaced the bulbs, did the oil change and told me that I would need to have my tires replaced by the time my state inspection was due in November.
For those of you who don’t live in the lovely Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you should know that your car must be inspected each year to ensure it meets safety and emmissions requirements. It costs something like $70 per year.
My tires have worn past the set safety limit. I will not receive my inspection sticker without replacing the tires.
I did the penny-in-the-tread trick to see if the treads were sufficiently worn or if ol’ Tim at the auto store was trying to fool me. Abe’s head was sticking way out. Dang.
I do believe the tires are bad and I’d like to replace them sometime soon — certainly before our next roadtrip.
These tires have about 27,000 miles on them. I’m vigilant about making sure they’re aired properly, and I make sure they’re rotated when they need to be. Seems to me that those tires should have gotten a lot more mileage out of them. Sorry, Goodyear. Not buying your tires next time.
I’m going to shop around for the best deal (naturally). I want a good price on a quality tire. I’d like to get at least 50,000 miles out of the next set. A longer-lasting tire will save me money in the long run and will be less rubber in landfills.
Now, the big question: Should we save money specifically for car repairs?
Our car is three years old. Low mileage. We take good care of it. Still, we can probably expect to spend a few hundred or more every year or so.
Rather than set aside a specific savings account for car repairs, we’re just going to tap the emergency fund if we can’t absorb it in our regular budget. In our mind, car repairs are one of the purposes of our emergency fund.
We’ll use our savings and rebuild it as we can.
What about you? Do you have a separate fund for car repairs? Any tips for me as I go tire shopping?