Monday, September 10, 2012


A friend's post about her car breaking down inspired me to share our most recent car troubles. Some time last winter, when we were in Utah, our fuel level gauge started being funky in the Santa Fe. After a day or two of weirdness, it stopped working all together. We had no reason to fix it since we still had at least six months before our next inspection so we were just tracking the mileage and getting gas when we had gotten close to what we were used to getting on a full tank.

Well, July rolled around and it was time to register the car. Because the fuel level sender was out, the check engine light was on and we failed inspection, of course. So we took it to our mechanic and he replaced the fuel level sender only. Another option would have been to replace the fuel pump along with the sender since a new pump comes with a sender. But he was trying to save us money so he just replaced the sender. Meanwhile, our driver's side window was making a lot of noise when you rolled it up or down. We tried to ignore it but it started to get difficult to roll it up. So, a few days after the sender was replaced, I was driving around Mesa after meeting with a naturopathic doctor about my hives. I turned onto a busy street when the car started acting like it was out of gas... I putt putted just long enough to get onto a side street. We were in direct sunlight and I had little Ollie with me. I called Glen and he didn't answer. Luckily we did have a second car at the time because my dad had let us borrow a little Chevy he bought from my uncle. However, Glen was not answering so I called my Dad and he was able to get out to me and told me to call the mechanic to get the name of a tow company. While we waited for the car to be towed (we didn't want to leave the keys with the car in the neighborhood we were in... not a nice one) Dad took me to get an ice cream cone and I fed Oliver. I cried a little when it first happened and I realized I would be in a very hot car with my little baby. I think Dad felt bad...

Turns out the fuel pump went out... So, we had to pay to replace the fuel pump which comes with a brand new sender. I now have a barely used sender in my garage not being used... This of course happened during the month we started to budget really seriously to prepare to live on only my income.

A few days later I went to the pool with my mom and we stopped at Chick-Fil-A on our way home. I rolled down the window and it would not go up. This would almost be okay if we didn't live in AZ. Our neighbor was able to prop it up with different wedges so we could order the parts needed and still have a closed winder for our drive to UT for graduation. Well, on our drive to Utah, the car started shaking a little bit which caused the window to slowly fall down. By the time we were about an hour from getting to our destination, the car was shaking so violently that Glen had to stop driving and my mom got in our car so he could drive hers. It was giving him a headache among other things. Glen took the car to my brother's house who said the issue was not alignment as we had originally thought. The tire on the driver's side was separating on the inside... So glad we didn't die. Of course our tires are at least $200 a tire because we drive an SUV. Luckily they were under warrantee so we got a free tire but we had to pay for the neighbor tire since you really shouldn't change just one tire and we had to pay to mount them. Miraculously, Glen had been paid one more paycheck than we were expecting. Since he was a teacher, he gets paid through the summer but I wasn't expecting this last check. Within a month's time, we replaced the fuel level sender, fuel pump, two tires and an automatic window motor. We also had to pay the $350 registration fee and the insurance. I pay insurance once every six months so that was $400. We spent about $2000 on our car that month.

Now we just have to replace the brakes and flush the engine. No big deal....

1 comment:

mlh said...

I feel your pain. I hate car repairs. I had a tire start to bulge. Luckily I noticed before it was really bad.