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Everyone Makes A Car Payment

June 10, 2020

How much is that going to cost?

Well, the parts are about $120. I can work on it this weekend.

I don’t remember the context, but my Dad told me

Everyone makes a car payment. You either pay the bank or the mechanic

I find myself telling my kids the same thing. Most of my kids have their own cars. And most of those cars are old. And most of those old cars are paid for. My kids hate paying for repairs. I mean, does anyone like paying for repairs?

Everytime they have a major repair we have the same discussion. My son’s Pontiac recently needed new outer tie rods and he just found out it needs a new tranmission mount. I helped him swap out the tie rods. He knows I’ll help with the transmission mount. The quote from the tire shop was $180 for parts and labor. Just parts from the auto parts store? Eighty dollars.

His sister has a Honda civic. I’ve rebuilt the front end of her car three times. Once, I wrecked it. Once she wrecked it. And once her sister wrecked it. My daughter only had to pay for the one that she wrecked, but it was the most expensive.

Recently her alternator went out. . .for the second time. I replaced it for her. $160 for a new battery and alternator from the parts store.

She really wants to buy a new car. I told her,

The cheapest car to own is the one you already have.

She believes me. . .I think. But, everytime she has to drop a couple hundred for more supplies from the parts store, she questions it.

My 17 year-old son just got his license. He doesn’t have a car. But, he is obviously very interested the car situation in our household.

Don’t you think she should buy a newer car?


So she wouldn’t have as many problems.

You mean a car like our Suburban?


You know the Suburban has a bunch of issues too, right?


I have two cars. My 1996 Toyota Carolla with 285,000 miles. And our 2005 Suburban with about 112,000 miles. Both run. The Suburban has an ongoing problem with it’s air filter. We’ve dropped $1000 to try to get it pass emissions last Fall. The Summer heat here in Utah has caused some of the interior padding to seperate. The speedometer occasionally gets out of sync. I have the parts to fix it, I just haven’t taken the time to rip apart the dash to get to the stepper motor.

My son assumed the Suburban didn’t have a car payment. Of course it did.

Because every car has a car payment. As my Dad said, you either pay the bank or you pay the mechanic.

Or, in my case, the parts store.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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