The Midas Touch?

I spent the last 3 hours of my Saturday morning at the mechanic. I'm driving home to New York next weekend and wanted to make sure everything looked good under the hood so I didn't end up broken down on the side of the road. I asked the mechanics to replace my burnt out headlight, change my oil, check the pressure on my tires. Routine things.

And wouldn't you know it, as usual they find that there are actually 3482850 things wrong with my car. The brakes are shot, the struts are leaking, my compressor needs to be replaced and on and on and on. It's hard to know what these things actually do, how much they should cost and if they are important to replace unless you are, well, a mechanic.

I have had piece of crap cars all my life. In high school Allison and I were stranded more times than I can count because my car decided it hated me. There was the time the key wouldn't turn in the ignition (yes I know how to start a car, thank you, it literally would not turn), the time I got a flat on the way to meet our New Visions class for a field trip, the time putting the car in drive wouldn't make it go, the time it wouldn't even shift out of get the idea.

I have had my Neon, lovingly known in my group of friends as "the Shi-kar," for going on 6 years now, and almost everything in it has been replaced since I got it. By now the inside of the car is mostly new, except for the things the mechanic decided to list this morning. Being a post grad on a budget with a crappy car is impossibly stressful. I had to decide which of the things listed was actually important to get replaced/repaired now, versus what I can maybe save up to replace in the future.

I decided brakes were important for a trip home and that struts could wait. I don't even know what they do and the very attractive mechanic informed me that I'll be fine waiting. However, I still am much more in debt to my car than I was planning on when I asked for a new headlight and an oil change.


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