You ever have one of those days where one thing after another went wrong?
During Super Bowl weekend, we planned an impromptu road trip to San Diego. My wife worked extra hours that week to so that she could get Friday off.
Friday – leave LA early in the morning to go to San Diego Zoo. Relax at the hotel afterwards
Saturday – Seaworld
Sunday – spend the day in Downtown San Diego and go home in time for the Super Bowl
When Things Don’t Go According to Plan
On our way to San Diego, my beloved used Honda CRV Handy died. We were 50 miles away from home on the freeway near Oceanside, and the car stopped accelerating. As I realized that my vehicle was losing power I was able to go to the shoulder. When we were on the side smoke started coming from the hood, and then came through the vents. My wife pulled the baby out of the car and got safely away from the vehicle on the side of the road.
We called AAA and got picked up over a half hour later. Fortunately, the smoke subsided and we were able to wait in the car until the tow truck came.
Being away from home, we were at the mercy of the auto shops around the area. After Yelping a few places we decided to take it to a place that had good ratings and good reviews. We assumed that at worst we would delay our road trip for a few hours, get the car fixed and be on our way.
You know what happens when you assume things right?
We ended up spending ALL DAY Friday at the auto shop. One problem led to another. The radiator hose had a leak. It took a few hours to repair that. Once that was fixed the car wouldn’t start. By the end of the day Friday, the car was not done and we ended up renting a car to continue our trip.
That day Addie was great. She was on her best behavior. The owner’s grandkids were off from school that day so they spent the whole day playing. The day would have been awful had Addie been miserable.
Another thing that happened during the weekend – my trusty iPhone 5s stopped charging. So I get to spend a couple hundred on a new phone!
When it rains, it pours.
Meanwhile, at the Auto Repair Shop
We ended up having to leave the car in Oceanside for a week while the auto shop worked on the car. Turns out our engine overheated and there was a whole domino effect in our engine. The radiator hose leaked which led to the gasket opening up, which led to coolant going into the cylinders. Etcetera, Etcetera. They had to take apart the whole engine to fix everything.
After the repair was done, the auto shop said that the engine had sustained significant damage. While they were able to get the car up and running, they didn’t recommend us driving the car that much longer.
Awesome! Who doesn’t like to buy an unplanned new vehicle?
Didn’t I just write about how I loved my old Honda CRV? I still stand by what I said – what happened with our car was a freak incident where one small thing created a whole mess of problems. Lesson learned Vic. Do a better job of maintaining your car and Handy would still be alive. While I do the scheduled maintenance and make sure the tires have air in them, I really should spend more time looking over the engine and the other parts of the vehicle.
We ended up buying a slightly used car, which we were able to pay for in cash, thanks to the awesomeness that is an emergency fund. Now, that HURT. To be discussed in a future post.
The Bright Side
That was definitely a tough week and weekend for our family. We wasted a whole day at the auto shop and didn’t get to fully enjoy our trip. If our car died somewhere closer to home that might have saved us a lot of money as well since we had to have a rental for a week and couldn’t take the car to our mechanic. There was even a moment before we left that I thought we should take our newer Hyundai, but ended up taking the Honda.
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.
As a personal finance blogger, it’s easy to stay positive and give advice when things are going well. But not everyday is going to be sunshine and roses. Some days are gonna be shitty. It’s how we deal with these crappy days is what helps define us. There’s no sugar coating it – the week sucked. It costs us a lot of stress and money.
But you know what? Things could have been a lot worse.
If the car died under a different circumstance we could have gotten into an accident. I was fortunate to still be off of work to be free to pick up the car as well as spend time looking for a new car. Since we’re pretty frugal with our money we were not only able to afford to pay for the cost of the repairs, but were able to pay for a new (used) car in cash. While our emergency fund took a hit, we didn’t completely deplete it. There are still funds available in the event of any other emergency might come up.
So while this incident will set us back in our finances for awhile, it won’t destroy us. Like my layoff, we’ll get through it. The most important thing is that our family is safe and sound. We’re very fortunate.
In next week’s post I’ll talk about a brighter day 🙂