Monday, March 15, 2010

Interesting Goings On

So, I am the type woman who gets physically ill when I think about having to do things, simple things, with my car.  Oil changes give me palpitations.  Why, I do not know!  I get so nerved up at the prospect of having to deal with mechanics and people finding things wrong with the car that I just get totally worked up and find myself bent over the toilet bowl.  If I could change one thing about my husband and one thing only, it would be that he would have the ability to deal with our car maintenance issues.  Seriously.

So in December, I felt like we needed new brakes.  I put it off because we really didn’t have the money to fix them, but over the past week, I’ve felt like the time was nigh:  I’d been hearing squealing and grinding and I knew I was going to have to take action.  I’ve been reluctant to go too many places because I just didn’t want to risk it on bad brakes.  I even skipped choir practice last night.

So this morning, I steeled myself up, spent about 45 minutes in the bathroom (TMI, I know!), and finally gathered up my girl and we headed off to Midas.  I was praying the whole way, and once I got there, I started estimating how much it might cost.

Because, you see, we are taking bids on repairs to our home.  We got a nice tax return this year, and finally will be able to finish fixing up the outside of the house a little bit—I’ve hired a tree man to rip out our manky shrubs, and have gotten bids on painting.  The big bid will come in on Saturday when I get estimates on the doors and shutters.

But I was putting all that on hold due to car repairs.

Because remember how we got home from Atlanta and found ourselves a flat tire?  Yeah, we are STILL running on Fix-a-Flat.  And the other rear tire went flat, and THAT one is running on Fix-a-Flat.  Because I just don’t want to go over to the Firestone dealer. 

So anyway, the guy pulled our car in this morning and I could feel my stomach seize up as the car went up on the lift.  About 20 minutes later, the mechanic came in and asked if I’d had any trouble with the brakes?  I said I’d heard squeaking and grinding and he said, “Well, it must be the rain, because your brakes look brand new.”

HOT DOG!!!!  I can get the tires fixed!  :-)  I wanted to be sure because our state inspection is due next month, and I would have fixed the brakes anyway because I don’t want to put my little cupcake at risk.  But man is it a good feeling to know that the brakes are A-OK.  My guess now is that it’s the bad tires.

Lady Luck is shining down on me this week.  Awesome!

5 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Cindy said...

Are you a firestone person? We get our tires at Costco or WalMart. Seriously. They both do a good job for a cheap price. Jeff orders his tires off of tirerack.com - they can ship them right to an authorized tireshop to put them on your car. But he buys performance tires.

Also, if you are ever scared about something on your car, let Jeff check it out. He can even teach you how to change your oil. It's so simple I even know how to do it. :)

Kate/Susan said...

The reason we go to Firestone is that our car has a weird size tire and no one else carries it--not BJ's, not Sam's, not Walmart. So we have no choice, or at least I don't think we have any choice about where to get them. Where do you have your tires sent to get them put on? If I order them from there, where should I have them sent? That's a good idea.

Cindy said...

On the tirerack.com website, you can have them sent to an authorized tire shop. It will list the ones close to you. Then, the tire shop will call you when the tires are in and you just make an appt to get your tires on. It costs something cheap - maybe $15-$20 per tire to get them put on. So, add that into the cost when you are comparing.

Jeff's tires (he used to have a Mustang and now he has a PT Cruiser that he likes to keep "all manly and cool") usually cost something crazy like $200 a piece. So, he saves a lot using the website.

If you have a "tire place" that you like, you can have them shipped to your house and take them there. Jeff has done that before as well - he took them somewhere down Rt 1 and they did it quick.

You can look at the side of your tire, and that gives you the dimensions of the tire and then look it up. I'd try Costco - you didn't list it, so I don't know if you have tried before. I'm not sure if you have a membership, but if you don't, you can always use my card.

Talmadge Gleck said...

A little piece of advice .... while "Fix-A-Flat" is sometimes the only way out of a jam, it's not the quick way to a tire installer's heart -- I'm told that stuff is n-a-s-t-y, and leaves a big mess inside the tire, gets all over the wheel rims, and has to be cleaned before new tires can be put on.

What I've been told is, use FAF only in rare cases. (Plus, with the TPMS warning sensors on recent-model cars, I'm not sure what effect those can have)

Just sayin'....

Kate/Susan said...

Great, Russell, now just another reason to avoid going in to get it fixed--all the mechanics are going to hate me for using it on not one, but two tires! AUGH!! THE STRESS!!!