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January 2004

The Saturn

Over the last few years, ever since I got the Saturn back in 1995, I’ve said I would keep it essentially until the wheels fell off. Over the years my formualtion for what that REALLY meant has changed a bit.

At first it was “I will get a new car when the annual maintenence bill is more than the value of the car”. But that passed a couple of years ago I think. And I wanted to keep the car.

Then it was “I will get a new car when I take it in and get a single repair estimate which is more than the value of the car.”

Well… that just happened.

Took my car in for regular service, and because the cigarette lighter adapter had fallen inside the dashboard, and the battery was dying on me, and it was burning oil. They also found some other stuff that was wrong. Without the oil issue, there is about $600 of work that needs to be done. But they couldn’t find an obvious oil leak, so that means finding what is causing my rapid loss of oil. In order to investigate more, they would have to start ripping apart the engine. Estimated cost… another couple THOUSAND dollars.

The car is only worth about 2 grand last time I checked the Blue Book.

So we have reached that point. I ordered the $600 of work, but told them to not do the other. For now, I will just check the oil more often and add oil when needed. But I think this marks the point I had always said would be the “new car” point.

Of course, I also still don’t have a job. That may change soon though. (Watch this spot for updates.) But it looks like I should RATIONALLY get a new car soon after the job situation is resolved.

On the other hand, I love my Saturn. I am also tempted to just spend the money, get a new engine if needed, whatever, and keep it running forever. There are still Model-T’s running today. No reason my Saturn couldn’t still be going when I retire!

Hmmm…. or a nice new car doesn’t sound bad. :-)

Oh well. Once I have a job and am all settled in it, then I will consider these things more.