My Car Is A Money Pit

I’m off to Seattle later this week, so I’ve spent the past few days with my butt glued to my desk chair and pounding out work. I put together a few posts to publish while I’m away, wrote my Health posts (I’m writing for them twice a week now), and finished up my last few NuVal posts and a couple of other freelance projects. Basically, I’ve been getting ish done!! My plan is to have everything wrapped up by Thursday afternoon, so I can totally unplug while I’m away. I {heart} Seattle. I can’t wait to be there.

Lunch

Around noon yesterday, I broke for lunch, which was reheated leftovers from the previous night’s dinner: Broiled chicken with red bell pepper, onion, green beans and Sunshine Sauce. It tasted just as delicious as it did the night before. That Sunshine Sauce is ridiculous! I just want to put it on everything!

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Snack

I called it quits with work around 3:30 PM (I started at 7:00 AM) and took Murphy for his afternoon walk. Before we headed out, I snacked on a Paleo Morning Glory Muffin.

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When I returned with Murphy from our walk, Mal was home from school, so I asked him if he could drive me to the auto repair shop to pick up my piece-of-crap car, which was fixed earlier in the day.

On Friday, when I took Murphy into Boston for his pug photo shoot, I put the windows down in the backseat so he could put his head out and sniff away (much like the photo below).

Well, when I tried to close the windows (they’re automatic), one got stuck 3/4 of the way up. I tried to shimmy it up with my hands while pressing the button at the same time, but no luck. The motor was dead. Grrrr. And, of course, it rained later that night, so Mal, the wonderful husband that he is, went out in the pouring rain and rigged up a plastic bag contraption to keep the inside of my car dry.

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I drove around with plastic bags flapping from my back window all weekend long (and felt like a total tool), so I finally caved on Monday and brought my car to the shop to be fixed.

I’m glad my window is working again, but, man, my car is really becoming a money pit! Let’s hope this is the last repair for awhile now.

What’s the most ridiculous jerry-rig/repair job you’ve ever seen on a car? When is it time to stop putting money into a car and just buy a new one? 

Dinner

Last night’s dinner was Skillet Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Spinach Hash and, boy, was it a good one! I’m a fan. Sweet potatoes, apple, cinnamon, sausage, onion, and spinach… yum! I also threw in a little bit of minced garlic. Definitely try this one, guys!

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Health News & Views

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love everything about it””from the brightly-colored foliage to the smell of sweet cider donuts””it’s a season that brings me great joy. Once that slight chill in the air arrives, I immediately start to crave all of my favorite seasonal dishes. Farmers markets and my local grocery store are bursting with fresh produce right now, so warming up in the kitchen is that much more appealing. Here are some easy and delicious ideas to get creative with this season’s produce.

I’m off to my doctor’s appointment. I have a whole slew of questions for him, so, hopefully, I’ll have some answers soon. Wish me luck!

66 Comments

  1. I had a client that backed into something and her side mirror fell off (well hung by wires) so she used 1 piece of duck tape to pull it back upright. Duck tape = a southern man’s toolbox.
    As for a new car, when my husband’s car broke down it would have taken over 2000 to fix it, he realized it wasn’t worth it. he was only able to get 50 bucks for it when he sold it to the guy at the garage (for parts)… that was a sign it wasn’t worth the 2 grande! New car the next day (new to us I should say)

  2. We had a 15 passenger van at one point. The latch for the hood broke and would fly up as we were driving so we had to bungee it down till it got fixed. I also had a van with a broken sliding side door that would come open while driving. And a car that had electrical issues. If you turned the headlights on the radio shut off!! Haha…. I have a great car now=) Sooooo thankful!!

  3. I really need to work on making dinner big enough for lunch the next day, because that looks delicious and easy! or at least packing lunch the night before… Haha I tend to be a mess throwing something together as I head out the door!

  4. I say whe you take your car to the repair shop and the repairs cost more than the worth of the car… or close to it, then you are ready for a new car.

  5. We had someone sideswipe us in Allston (crazy college student not paying attention) and knocked our sideview mirror almost completely off (in addition to causing other damage). I could prop it up most of the time, but it would ALWAYS fall off again and bang around after 10 minutes of driving. Such a pain!

    I hate putting money into a car that’s almost “done” too. We replaced the brakes in our old car after a slew of other issues and I immediately started doing research about new cars. The next time there was an issue (another brake thing…) I drove it right to a car dealership and bought that car! Start your research now so you’re prepared!

  6. The cooling fan went out on my minivan and my dad refused to let me pay $250 to get it fixed (he knew the price from experience…apparently it had gone out a few years before that…way to go Dodge), but he’s pretty “creative” and works on cars as a hobby so he rigged the fan to a flip switch that he installed in the dashboard. It became routine. I turned it on when I started the car, and had to turn it off when I turned the car off. He initially tried to rig it so it would start and stop with the engine, but he couldn’t bypass the breakers to make it happen, so toggle switch it was! I thankfully don’t have that car anymore. I “upgraded” to a ’78 Nova 😉

  7. I quit putting money into my car a couple of weeks ago. Every time I needed a sticker it was like $400 in repairs. This last time I put $864 into on a Friday, the check engine light came back on on Saturday and when I brought it back in they were like “Oh, catalytic converter. $2600 please.” So, naturally I cried in the waiting room and the parking lot, realized that was the down payment on a new car (or 9 months of car payments) and went down the street and bought a new-to-me car with an awesome service plan. So so happy.

    PS Best Chevrolet in Hingham is a great place to get a new or used one!

  8. I absolutely hate dealing with car issues, which is probably why I lease and get a new car every 3 years. I just can’t deal otherwise. I know that is stupid money wise, but I rather pay each month then pay 1000’s at one time when something serious goes wrong, ha. Good luck at the dr’s and I hope you get answers, and also have fun in Seattle.. unplugging is hard to do but the best when away!

    1. @Eva @ Committed2Nutrition: I’m the same! I had a 2003 hyundai elantra, it was my first car and i bought it used in 2008. I had it 2008-2012 and i bought it for $2400…I decided to finally get rid of it when I realized I had put nearly twice the amount I paid for it into repairs!! The last time I had to get a repair done I decided to just turn it in for a lease. Yeah I’m gonna be paying a month payment every month, but I think its worth it for the peace of mind that nothing major will pop up! Aside from regular maintance I won’t need to go to the shop!

  9. I totally understand about the car thing. I was driving a Dodge Durango up until the end of July. It wasn’t even 5 years old and didn’t even have 100,000 miles yet and we still traded it in.

    It had been in the shop 10 times in the previous 9 months I kid you not. It was always one thing or another. In the spring my Dh asked if I wanted something new and I said no, we had put so much money into it already that it seemed silly to get rid of it now. We had just put brand new tires on it also and I don’t know if you’ve ever priced SUV tires, but they are expensive!

    The end of July came and the Durango started shutting off when I would back up. Dh called our local Dodge dealership and said we needed to bring it it cause it was shutting off when we backed up. They said and I quote “Oh, ONLY when it backs up”. My DH was like huh, what do you mean only. Apparently they are known for just randomly shutting off while driving down the road, forward.. as in no control of the car. That was on a monday, the Durango got traded in on Wednesday of the same week and we haven’t looked back. I’m now driving a Chevy Traverse and I love it. We hadn’t planned to buy a new car this year, but sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do. So basically i’m saying when it becomes a safety hazard, it’s time to get something new.

  10. If it hadn’t have been for us moving across the country and knowing my car would in NO way pass the out of province inspection, I would have kept it. I loved that thing and had had it for 6 years. It was a clunker though, even when I bought it. I never saw the point in spending too much time/energy/money in making sure it ran perfectly. I would rather buy a blender than get Winter tires. Priorities!

  11. Oh bummer about your car! One of our windows (passanger side) broke too –it wouldn’t roll back up–SO annoying. Luckily it was in August, so no rain or snow & we just crossed our fingers that no one would steal stuff out of car. 😉 My husband fixed it, actually (he just had to find time). He’s a gem!

    Yay for Fall foods!

  12. Both visors in my car are broken. The passenger, just won’t go down, but the driver’s side will just hang there if I don’t have my handy-dandy, rubberband holder. Pain in the butt, as the rubber keeps snapping, so I have to keep replacing it. It’s $103/each to fix them, and I don’t have that kind of cash around me. Maybe someday I can fix the driver’s side, as that’s the one that actually matters to me. I completely feel your pain on car troubles.

    PS: Best Murphy pic EVER!

  13. just wanted to tell you that while we may disagree on advocacy of the paleo diet, your amazing sense of humor and perspective on life (including food/exercise) keep me coming back to the blog! it’s hysterical!

  14. worst thing ever- same thing happened to me in the dead of winter at a toll booth on the turnpike! always picks the worse time to die.

  15. Touch call on the car, I’ve been debating on that with mine a lot lately since it’s 11 years old. Been a great car for all 11 years with no problems, but I wonder if and when the problems might start and should I wait for the expensive repairs to start before replacing.

  16. Cars are always money pits! And BOATS too! Grr!
    That hash looks amazing. I jsut emailed myself the link, and plan to make it asap. Thanks for sharing.

  17. I decided to buy a new car when they gave me a good price for mine as trade in and 0% financing with a monthly bill that was lower then the average maintenance bill on my old car.

    For a while (till this car needs mayor things) i am spending less then when i drove the old car.

  18. i was the proud owner of a 1986 buick last winter and managed to lock myself out of my RUNNING car on one of the coldest nights. somehow i still don’t have AAA (seriously, you think after locking myself out as many times as i have i’d just bite the bullet and sign up) so my dad had to come and break my back passenger window with a hammer. we tried the plastic bag route as well and not only was it super loud and embarrassing BUT it also managed to fly half way off as soon as i got on the highway. thank God for full glass coverage through my car insurance! haha

  19. I had to have my battery replaced and becasue the radio has an anti-theft device it stopped working. Somehow I managed to lose the code to get it working again so I have to have the radio removed, get the serial number off of it, and get the code from the dealer so it will work again. Since I am the ultimate procrastinator, I have instead been driving around with a Sony boombox in the passenger seat. Yes, I’m that bad! Since I also lost my keyless entry remote, need a maplight replaced, and have the clock fixed (it stopped working over a year ago), I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and head to the dealership…maybe. Glad you got yours fixed, Tina, a broken window isn’t really one of those things you can put off for long.

  20. I love that picture of Murphy!
    I hit my head on my rear view mirror and knocked it clean off when I was climbing over from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat (coordination at its finest!), so I had to duct tape it back to my windshield. It didn’t look bad from the outside, but it looked pretty sad from the inside, and it didn’t even really work because all I could see out of it was the back seat! Luckily it was a pretty cheap fix.

  21. Before I got my new car last year, I was driving around with the roof caved in about a foot, the back bumper smashed (thank you white duct tape!), the radio broken on the passenger side, the trunk wasn’t watertight so I couldn’t use it, and the doors would constantly freeze shut in the winter. What made me get a new-to-me car was that the transmission stopped reversing. I had to be strategic about where I parked because otherwise I couldn’t leave half the time. I drove that way for about a month before I finally caved.

  22. Hope you get all your questions answered at your doctor’s appointment.
    Haha, I haven’t had to do my own repairs just yet (but that is pretty resourceful :P)!

  23. I’m a big fan of driving a care until it can’t drive anymore or when the repairs are more than the worth of the car. We just sold my BF’s car and car shopping is soooo miserable. Hope you don’t have any more repairs for a while!

  24. I ran into something once in my car that caused my muffler to pretty much drag to the ground. So, when I drove it sparks would be flying everywhere from the back. On my way to the repair place I must of had 20 people try to wave me down pointing to the back of my car…as if I had no idea! “duh people…I’m on my way to get the damn thing fixed!”

    Tina, YOUR picture of the sausage hash looks way more appetizing than the picture the recipe links to…so, I’m definitely adding this to my Paleo recipes!

  25. I once saw a front bumber…duct taped on. Haha I have no idea how they managed to get it to stay, but it worked!
    (Probably not the world’s safest though)

  26. My last car was a 1986 Peugeot sedan and though I loved it for being safe as houses, by the time the electronics started to crap out, I knew it was time to invest in a new(er) vehicle. It didn’t have a high mileage, was just old, and if the windows are failing, on top of other things, you’re only going to be throwing good money after bad. Repair costs suck and are really hard to budget for. For me, the upfront expenditure on another car was the right decision, and I’ve only had running and basic maintenance costs to cover in the four years I’ve had it, no repairs needed yet.

  27. I’m leaving for Mexico on Saturday and I have been doing the exact same thing this week. Making sure I get everything lined up for when I am gone because Toly told me I’m not allowed to open my laptop more than once a day. Haha, we’ll see about that. 😉

    Have an amazing trip Tina!

  28. just made the morning glory muffins and had to try one right away. total yum! swapped in craisins and pecans for the raisins and walnuts.

    my hubby is doing wheat free lately and he appreciates this. he thinks i’m doing it for him – but conveniently paleo = wheat free.

  29. I drove with my hood bungee corded shut for a while…That was pretty awful looking. I had rear ended someone and the whole front end of my car was messed up. I know how you feel about the money pit car thing, but right now my car is so reliable and I get it checked up every couple of months, so I’m not looking for a new car. It’s paid off and I love it!

  30. I can totally relate to your car problems.

    I just had to spend 937 USD yesterday to get my car window up, unlike yours which went 3/4 of the way up, mine would only come up like a fourth of a centimeter! Right at the start of rainy season where I live. Epic fail.

    Before that I had to spend 1100 USD fixing the suspension, another 400 USD the first time my window wouldn’t go up(they just jacked it up, not replaced the motor).

    I always take it to the same shop, the guy knows me by now, he saw the service history on my car and his face was priceless sooo much money over the past three years.

    I know it’s time for a car but as of now I’m a poor college kid(I graduate in May! So hopefully my signing bonus will pay for a new car).

    As for the goofy fix…. try putting a car pajama on your car to keep the raccoons and other critters out! Haha it was a life saver for sure but so embarrassing! Especially when the cute neighbor sees you whipping it out to put it on your car.

  31. I had a salvaged Pontiac Grand Am. The airbags were never fixed or replaced after they deployed so I had duct tape holding together my stearing wheel and dash board. Ugh. I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought that car!

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