Surprise! We didn’t end up leaving for our camping trip today after all! After hours of packing, we finally finished loading up the van. Dh wanted to do a couple of errands on the way to the campgrounds, but since two littles were sleeping, I suggested he do them first so we wouldn’t have to wake them up and then start our trip by sitting and waiting in the van while he took care of things. He agreed that would be better, and after finishing his first errand, the van overheated – steam billowing out – so he stopped at the mechanic to see about getting it taken care of.
The water pump broke, and when he got a diagnostic done, we found out the radiator cracked and the thermostat needed to be replaced, too. $1400. When he got home he immediately apologized to me since I told him about a week ago that the van started making a really terrible noise and he kind of brushed it off. I didn’t think an apology was necessary since I didn’t have any negative feeling about him not giving much weight to my comments about the van. Unfortunately, the noise I heard was the warning about the water pump, and because we didn’t get it looked at right away, the water pump broke, causing the radiator to overheat and crack.
But – isn’t it wonderful that it happened when he was close to home? And only had one child with him who was old enough to wait patiently through it all? Imagine what the towing fees would have been like if it happened an hour away! I’m sorry that this happened, but it could have been so much worse.
He took it to one mechanic, who said it will be two days until he can fix it, and then to another, who said he can do it sometime tomorrow. Meanwhile, our van is totally loaded for our camping trip and the kids are wanting to know when we’re going to finally get on the road! While dh was still having the diagnostic done, I called a local mechanic who does house calls – who came tonight and is doing the work for $650 instead of $1400. Not only did he finish the repairs tonight, but discovered something else that he’ll come back first thing in the morning to replace. That’s another noise that I keep telling dh is concerning me (that started a year ago immediately after the work a different mechanic did -$2600 – no we won’t be going back to him!), that he keeps telling me isn’t important. To be clear, dh wasn’t blowing me off. We took the van to two different mechanics about four weeks ago when we had the difficulty with the starter not turning over, and asked about that noise and both told him it was nothing that would affect the running of the vehicle. I’m so glad that this mechanic realized what the problem was, so we can finally get it taken care of. It bothers me when I know something is wrong and the ‘experts’ tell me it’s nothing. That will be another $150. Oh, and it seems whatever is causing this noise is what led to the water pump problem, so had we been able to get that fixed when we were first asking about it, we would have saved ourselves the need for that repair. But gam zu l’tova – this too is for the best. I think to myself at times like this about how coins are shaped like a wheel, sometimes rolling towards you and sometimes rolling away.
I feel so happy to have found this mechanic! His prices are much lower because he doesn’t have a shop – he has a well equipped van and comes to you. And not only is that extremely convenient, he’s very nice, and he’s also very competent! Yay! A good mechanic is a good find. He’s coming at 8 am and as soon as he finishes (should take about an hour), we plan to leave for the campgrounds immediately. We’ll be staying until Friday mid morning instead of Thursday afternoon, so that we’ll still have three days and three nights. It will make Shabbos preparations tight, but we’ll be keeping Shabbos preparations simple and will have the menu plan decided on before we get home so we can jump into gear as soon as we jump out of the van!
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make this switch, since several weeks ago I had committed to pick up someone from a medical procedure she’s having done this Friday morning. My mother has agreed to pick her up so that we can stay another day, in addition to taking care of our cat and mail while we’re gone. I appreciate her help so much!
So today’s frugal tip is, when you first notice something crack, rip, or make an unusual sound, get it taken care of right away. It’s so much better (and cheaper) to deal with it when it’s a small problem! And if you do your best and it doesn’t work out, remember that you’re not the one in charge, H-shem is, and He runs things better than us all.