Sunday, August 6, 2023

A Quiet, but Exhausting Weekend

Finally! A weekend as I enjoy them...almost. Let's say I'm 85% full relaxed and peaceful. Coffee, morning soccer and getting back to some writing. The 15% is due to the muffler on my car having rusted out. I'm pretty sure I just redid most of the exhaust within the last couple of years so I'm a little perplexed that this muffler (well really where the pipe attaches) went so fast. Oh well. 

The car has 260k miles on it so in reality I've been looking for the next. I'm rather stubborn though. I really enjoy not having a car payment as well as a vehicle I know how to work on and gets better than 30 mpg. I also enjoy driving a stick shift :). Similar to writing in cursive, the manual transmission has become something of a novelty these days. This is too bad as they are fun to drive; with the exception of when sitting in traffic (the key is to leave lots of space). The stick "perk" is that, due to their rarity, no one really learns to drive them anymore; making it an excellent anti-theft device. 

The reality is, with my propensity for projects, fall hauling of football pads/gear for coaching, the need to tackle winter weather and now having a couple of towables, something bigger is in order. It would be fun to find something older with lower miles that I can just pay cash. I think I'm intent on having the current rust bucket as long as I can, relegating it to being my commuter to save on gas. 

After the great longevity I've had with my little Corolla S and the Sienna my co-parent drives, I've been leaning towards a Toyota. A late '90's early 2000's Land Cruiser, 4Runner or even a Lexus LX seem like front runners. I also haven't ruled out a pickup. Still, I'm not out to buy a rust bucket with 300k miles, this makes the search a bit of a challenge. Admittedly, there is a fair amount of risk when buying old and used. Some expectations of repairs are expected. 

The other challenge is one of our time: vehicle prices are really high. Most reports point to the woes the semiconductor industry have had in maintaining supplies of all the chips needed to support new vehicle production. Modern cars use a lot of chips to do various things, from managing emissions to interior climate control and autonomous driving features. Still, this has put a crimp on supplying the new vehicles that, in turn, result in used vehicles. Inflation and supply/demand have really made prices soar. I do contemplate waiting, however, I also have my doubts that a truly significant decline in prices will occur for quite some time and, if they do happen they won't be appreciable enough to be worth waiting for. 

For now, I'll repair my car as needed. I do have the Ford Freestyle that my son drives for any bigger hauling. Not to mention renting a truck for significantly bigger jobs is more cost effective than supporting another vehicle outright. My eye will be out for an opportunity, but I'm sure at the end of  today's repair job I'll be exhausted.

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