Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cars - money pits on wheels

Even if you have a good car, the ones that don't break down and strand you, that aren't always in the shop, cars cost money - big money - to keep up. This is in spite of attempting to be an conscientious car owner who sticks to the schedules, maintains the vehicle as recommended, watches out for problems.

I just dropped over $600.00 for tires. I can't type the number without wincing. I had to buy new tires just two years into the life of the Dunlops I last installed because the car is out of alignment and ate them. What I had was rough ride and enough road noise to make it hard to hear the radio! It's caused by the tires not being oriented perfectly parallel to the axis of the car, causing the tire to go down the highway slightly skewed relative to the track of the car. It does nasty things to the tread, and drastically reduces the tire life.

Now, the question is: why is a car that is only driven in a moderate manner on well-paved roads that badly out of alignment just two years after the alignment was supposed checked and corrected? I haven't hit potholes, I haven't bumped curbs, I haven't driven on gravel or dirt. Well, if I had that answer, I would be one of the "Car Talk" guys. I suspect that it wasn't correctly aligned in 2006 when the rear differential was replaced under warranty. (Names are withheld to protect me from accusations of slander - but the work was done by a place that should really know Subarus - clear enough?) I'm not bouncing around on dirt roads and climbing over rocks. This problem shouldn't have occurred.

So, in addition to the cost of the tires, I have to take it to a frame shop and get it aligned and the suspension checked tomorrow. I also need to get the oil changed. There's another $125 gone.

And, oh, yes - I started hearing a noise when the air conditioner was running, and it wasn't a belt, pully or bearing - it's the sound of the compressor slowly going south. I'm going to run it until the a/c dies - this is enough money for one month.

1 comment:

Suzan said...

I hate to spend money are car repairs so badly that the last time I needed brakes and tires, I just bought a new car. Hope the a/c finishes out the summer for you!