The $500 oil change.
I took the old girl in for a tune up the other day (just FYI - I am talking about my car, not me, though now that I think of it, I am way overdue for a little pampering myself). Anyway, as I was saying - I took the old girl in for a $50 tune-up/oil change and much to my surprise, I came out with a $50 tune-up/oil change and...$450 in four new tires.
Crap. Didn't I just put tires on this beast two years ago I ask? The young fella behind the counter smiles big and says, 'well no Ms. Wells - our records show you put tires on four years ago and it seems you have travelled well over 80,000 miles since then. They are more than ready to be replaced - in fact, I can't in good faith let you drive home on the bald things currently holding your car up, so we need get you some new tread'.
I now realize why I had been hydroplaning a lot lately. DOH.
I have been coming to this Big O' Tires shop since I moved to the City 14 years ago so I know their records are correct - and I trust them when they say I am driving on bald tires, I am really driving on bald tires. But it doesn't lessen the surprise to have to invest money on a car I rarely drive anymore. I mean gas is one thing. And an oil change every 3,500 miles seems reasonable too. But $450 for tires on a car I have put less than 5,000 miles on over the last year sucks. Especially when I have been wanting to get rid of that car for many moons. So you couple those two items with the cost of insurance and registration, and I am left wondering if it really is worth while to own Bessie anymore. We have one vehicle, do we really need two?
As I roll this question around in my noggin, I realize if my consort is using his vehicle and I need to go somewhere, I could easily rent a car through City Car Share and/or Zip. And using one of these services would be a drop in the bucket compared to what it costs me to keep Bessie stored in the garage.
So it makes sense to get rid of her. Though at the same time - she is paid for and maybe having to spend a little to maintain her is worth the uber convenience of having a second car? I mean, the tires are on her so that cash is spent. Right? I should be good for a little while. But wait...she is nearing her 210,000 mark (we are at 208,000 and change now) and there will be major items that could be on the horizon (new motor, waterpump, belts, etc.). I am screaming over $450 now...what will happen when that number is more than what she is worth? Well, maybe that is when it is 'worth' letting her go. I don't know. I hate to make a rash decision. Guess I need to mull this one over for a little while longer.
P.S. If you are wondering what this photo has to do with anything. Nothing really. I just thought 'Fred' was prettier to look at than a stack of tires.
Photo credit: Herb Ritts (if you do not know his work, check out his website for an overview of his image gallery. He took some truly beautiful portraits in his time).