January 29, 2011

an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.

I’ve been trying to do some preventative maintenance on the automobile, so that we can avoid having some big hits on auto bills. In December, I got an estimate of different things that need to be done with the car. There was enough stuff that just the preventative stuff was going to be almost seven hundred dollars. This is smart, as the car was my wife’s before we were married and she wasn’t that good at keeping up on the regular stuff. When we had the brakes done at about 65,000 miles she had to admit that she had never had the brakes looked at. Then recently, the precipitating incident for the recent car-consciousness, the battery was dying and she want to ignore it. The old battery died on the day we bought the new battery (but before we were able to get it through a painful install).

So- doing some basic things on the car, like alignment and tire rotation and an oil change and nothing should be the problem. I wanted to get the cheap and easy stuff done. However, one tire had been having trouble holding air. Nothing easy here; the problem was bigger than I though. My rim was bent.

My mechanic said we should be able to have the thing fixed, so we took the wheel off. Unthankfully, the wheel is a special kind of aluminum. Aluminum is hard to work with because it is not as flexible as steel, but this wheel is covered in a special kind of plastic glaze that gives it a chrome look. The downside is that you can’t tool the metal without a chance of it breaking and the machine shop must have some sort of insurance reason not to do the work.

Even the fixing of the wheel would have been expensive. It was estimated for about two hundred at first for the fix. But without being fixed I have to buy a replacement wheel. I could buy one from the junkyard, an aftermarket place, or a dealership. Each choice was about a hundred-dollar step up. I’m waiting on a junkyard to call be back so that I can pay three hundred on top of hundred I paid for the earlier stuff. The lesson: sometimes an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.