I have yet another dilemma to ponder. This one is my car. It is ten years old and about to roll 100,000 miles. According to Honda, that either makes me right on time (at 100k miles) or 3 years late to replace the timing belt. The timing belt, for those of us who are not auto-engine savvy, is a critically important piece of rubber that, if it breaks, will break the engine catastrophically. And it costs about twelve hundred bucks to replace (but hey, the dealership has a $150 coupon on their website...*eyeroll*).
I'm also due for spark plugs, which they estimate at just under $300. And the stereo, which also happens to be integrated with the heating/air conditioning, has lost its backlight (meaning, I have to guess at both temperature and radio station, and rely on my cell phone for a clock). I can have Honda fix the stereo for another $275, or replace it with an aftermarket one (which could get me an auxiliary port where I could plug in my phone instead of having to rely on CDs for non-broadcast music). According to my window ("Windows") shopping at Crutchfield.com, we're talking anywhere between $100 and $500 for a radio (depending on how fancy I want), plus another $125 for the dashboard kit that replaces the panel that has the controls for the heater (actually $250, but they give you a deal if you buy both parts from them). Plus installation (hubby and I are relatively electronics savvy, but installation in my car apparently involves disassembling most of the dash board).
We're talking $2k, give or take a few hundred dollars depending on what I do with the radio.
Or I could trade the car in and buy something new. A hybrid, possibly, to save some gas with all my commuting. Or maybe just go smaller--I bought my Accord knowing that the trunk size would accomodate a baby stroller and a few bags of groceries. But I'm well past the stroller stage now, and my husband drives an SUV that has plenty of cargo space for soccer goals and other big kid equipment. My previous car was a Civic, and I loved the size of it. A friend drives a Fit, and I quite liked it. There's the Insight, the CRV if I want to keep a larger car, or the Prius or Prius C....
New cars cost money. But then, with all this work on my existing car, it also costs money. $2000 is several car payments worth of money.
I just wish I hadn't been warned that I'm driving a ticking time bomb while I decide on how best to solve the dilemma.