In Virginia, you are required to get a safety inspection on your car every year and an emissions inspection every other year. This weekend Corey took his car in for the safety inspection - later that day we get a phone call from the auto shop saying he needed new front brakes and new windshield wipers in order to pass inspection. So instead of paying $16 for the inspection, he paid over $200. Ouch, right? Well today I took my car in for an oil change. As I was waiting I got the dreaded question - "Who owns the Mitsubishi?" I followed the mechanic to my car in the service bay where he proceeded to show me my cracked and leaking radiator. Great...just what I didn't need. Ouch again, right? Oh wait, there's more. I wait a few minutes then head to the desk to find out just how much this radiator is going to cost to replace. The friendly guy behind the desk informs me it will be $400 for the radiator (including labor) and, oh by the way, I needed my front brakes replaced too! He told me they would possibly get another 5,000 miles before it was metal to metal....Awesome. And he suggested I get a coolant flush to top it all off bringing the grand total to $870! Are you serious?!? I was practically in tears - you know what that much money can buy a grad student and her underpaid husband? So, of course, I tell the guy I need to call my husband. After a few phone calls between Corey and I, we decide to go ahead and replace the radiator and brake pads but forgo the coolant flush. We also are able to get a minuscule discount on the brakes, tell them no on a $60 air filter than can be bought at wally world for $20, and get him to lower some BS "shop supplies" charge. What's the grand total now? The low low price of $660 (hey its $200 less than the original, right?)
So, in the span of less than one week, we managed to drop almost $900 on our two cars, when we originally intended on spending only $45. But I'm trying to look on the bright side - at least we realized the radiator crack/leak before it got to a point where it messed up my engine or left me stranded on the side of the freeway to or from work.
Now I'm at home without a car trying to get everything in order for our trip tomorrow. Unfortunately I need to do things that require my being able to drive around town - guess when Corey gets home we are taking a field trip! After this week we are definitely looking forward to getting out of town for the weekend :)