They say that I should save money ... but ...

joyfulguyJanuary 9, 2007

About to offer a couple of hikers a ride just before Christmas, as I was pulling off of the highway ...

... I was rear-ended by a gravel truck.

The appraiser says that as it's only cosmetic damage, he won't condemn the car, so all I need to do to have it mobile again is have it able to be certified as licenseable.

They say that it'll cost something like $3000.00 or so to repair it, that the '93 Taurus station wagon with about 130,000 miles on it won't be worth that after the repairs (supposing the insurance co. will sell it back to me, and if for a reasonable price).

But it takes a great deal of scarce energy, that adds quite a lot of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere to build a new car. And scarce petroleum to make the substantial quantity of plastics that go into its construction.

Surely it would be better to repair an old one, at fairly low cost for materials, though a fairly high one in labour, to regain possibly 20% of the potential mileage in that car.

I'm thinking that should be the path to follow.

Possibly substantially because I lived for a number of years among refugee people who were forced to live on almost nothing, and consider it wasteful to scrap useful things.

Sometimes dollar cost isn't the most important consideration.

Have a marvellous New Year, everyone. Including being thankful for the comfortable life that you have (better than that enjoyed by 9/10 of the people in the world).

ole joyful

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So sorry to hear about your troubles......This has to be really bad for you. Thank god you are OK and without any injuries.

You are right about it being better to repair the car but insurance companies do not think that way. They are very short sighted and it is all about profit for them.

I know you live in Canada, so I do not know the law there, but in the state where I live, insurance companies legally do not have to repair an auto if the damage estimate is greater than 80 percent of the blue Book value of the car. All they do is pay Blue Book value to you for the car.

Maybe it would be a good idea to get a lawyer to make sure the insurance company does not take advantage of you. A lot of lawyers offer a free consultation for auto accident cases.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 5:42AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Sometimes dollar cost isn't the most important consideration.

I really agree with you on that one....oftentimes the bottom dollar is not what is most important and what it is all about.

Hindsight tells me that I never should have gotten rid of a certain car years ago, when I bought a newer model. I loved that car, and it got such great gas millage, it sometimes seemed to run on just fumes.

Seems you too might really like the wagon that was wrecked. What do friends say about it? My concern would be that there might be 'frame' damage (bent) if they even have frames anymore as opposed to unibody (sp) construction.

Where are you that you are posting in the middle of the night?

Sue...just curious

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 5:56AM
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So sorry abt your car and hope you can get something done. Most of all am glad you're ok.
Not to get corny or anything but you've been an inspiration to me and i've made a New years resolution to be kinder this year because of you.
Now don't get a big head. you are also "ornary"LOL

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 4:21AM
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Not to be called "figleaf", I assume.

Yes, I can be ornery at times.

When we get past 70, we call it "crotchety".

And once one passes 80 ...

... they can say anything they like.

Thanks for the accolade - it makes the time that I spend on here seem justified.

I wish that more people would decide similarly - think of how happy a society we'd have.

Have a blessed New Year.

ole joyful

P.S. Would you like to give chapter and verse on some of the ideas that you considered "ornery"?

o j

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 1:14PM
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I was posting at home, for son got my internet connection working - sort of like travelling with one gimpy leg, using a crutch/cane, though.

Part of my system is so old and slow that it takes longer than earlier to download, and blockage dialog boxes appear two or three times, or up to half a dozen, quite frequently when I change screens, so it's a PITP (Pain In The Patoot).

Son and daughtr are getting me a better system for Christmas, and we hauled several systems from son's apt. to the computer store today to have them work on one for him, one for me and one for Bruce's friend.

I'm at the library now.

Good wishes for a great weekend.

ole joyful

P.S. The library is great!

I used to carry a spare pair of reading glasses - have about half a dozen, here and there, some with broken frames, etc. - in the car, in case I came away without.

But haven't yet stashed a pair in the "new" car.

So, when I realized my handicap at the library and asked if they could lend me a magnifyng glass, the lady searched around and found a box with several eyeglasses in it, one of which I'm using now, so I can decipher what's on the screen.

This library is in the city where I used to live, but I'm part of a county system now, so don't pay taxes here any more.

I did write them a (tax deductible) cheque the other day, though, as I have no-cost inter-system library linkage.

o j

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 5:04PM
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After minor adjustment, we brought Bruce's friend's processing back to his home, and we are to pick up the others tomorrow.

So I'll be out of Windows 95 in a unit with limited capacity and I think going to XP in an upgraded unit.

Enjoy your weekend.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 9:30PM
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Through a friend I buy wrecks to drive....gosh, we all need a little patching up now & then, eh? So what, if the title says "previous damage" or totaled. Could be some puns here, joyful! I'd rather have the car I now drive & feel fortunate that this one is just 4yrs old & great gas mileage. These cars are rejected by the ins co' sad, but lucky for some of us who realize the savings & not out buying "new". Great way to recycle.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:50PM
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Great way to recycle.

As long as you are willing to risk that the damage incurred in the accident did not weaken the safety systems for any future accident. Today's cars are built so the entire body takes the brunt of the energy of an accident. Anyone who has ever bent metal repeatedly knows it weakens the metal at that point. Will that be critical in an accident? The odds definitely are with you. But you are trading something for that cheap price. Just so long as you are consciously making that choice....

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:44AM
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I'd had the little Colt, with the 1.5 litre engine and standard tranny, that sipped gas, for over 8 years, so had become quite attached to it - after nearly 200,000 km. (about 120,000 mi.).

As some of you know, during the nearly a year that I travelled out to Uncle's place daily to make it look lived in after his death, I found that I could coast 16 of the 20 km. out here - if anyone had told me that I could coast 80% of the time, I'd have laughed in their face.

The Taurus was larger, and I took it mostly because it was recommended from the long term body shop owner friend from whom I bought it. It was much larger, which helped with packing son's entertaining stuff, had a 3.8 litre engine, so used somewhat more gas, though was not too hard on it; automatic tranny. Plus my first car with cruise control, which I used occasionally.

I had it less than a year, so too short a time to get really attached to it.

Seems a shame, though, to scrap a car that's 90% in good shape, with the 10% not crucial to operation, though it probably has a slightly bent frame, but the frame is sturdy enough that it can stand rebending without making it risky.

But it'll cost probably about double what I paid for it a year ago, to fix it. And some serious issue could turn up a week or a month after I repaired it - it seems that those cars have trouble with engine overheating, which was fixed on mine, and transmission, which I doubt has been.

But it takes a lot of polluting energy to build a new car, and if one can repair one that could have a substantial number of miles left in it, it seems a reasonable thing to do.

No word from the insurance co. as to what kind of settlement they may offer. Which depends somewhat on whether they assess that I was partly at fault.

And don't know whether they may refuse to sell it back to me - some insurance cos. do that.

That's about it, for now.

Hope you're all having a great week, one of the first in this brand New Year.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 11:33PM
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The insurance co. offers what I paid for the Taurus wagon about a year ago (plus tax).

They'll sell it to me for $150.00, scrap price.

It'll cost about double their settlement price to repair it.

Makes no sense financially - but maybe it's worthwhile from the viewpoint of saving energy, and avoiding pollution and another contribution to global warming.

I don't think my friend that runs the body shop wants to fix it, and I've been looking unsuccessfully for someone else.

There's an aboriginal settlement nearby and some of them do auto mechanics, but I don't know about auto body.

Or competence.

Or price.

Looks as though I don't know much ... well, what's new about that?

Isn't there just such a huge amount of knowledge that we have no inkling of?!

And knowledge is doubling ... in about 18 mos. - well, that's the time that it took a short while ago.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 7:20PM
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The insurance co. paid me about what I'd paid for the Taurus, as it was decided that the accident was not my fault, and it was scrapped.

The rate went up on renewal, of course.

I bought an '88 Mazda323 hatchback (not as convenient as the Colt's) from a friend of my friend that runs the body shop - former owner an auto appraiser who had some plastic decals looking like bulet holes on it, asked if I wanted him to remove them, I said, "No - just leave them there".

It had a standard tranny and, though it was 5 years older than the '93 Taurus, cost me more. My friend said that it was in good shape.

I had good results with it ... but ... it appears that I ran a red light about May and another car clipped the back end, twisting the driver's side rear wheel out of line.

I decided to repair it, and the body shop guy said that made more sense with the Mazda than with the Taurus ... it cost me somewhat more than I'd paid in the first place.

It's been going well since, and I've had it for a little over a year.

Got a message from the Transport Ministry a while ago saying that, since I'm over 70 and had an at-fault accident, that I must take a (no fee) vision, written and driving test ... and to bring a licensed driver with me to the driving test.

Took the vision test - acceptablefor general licence, not for one to drive a regular rather large sized truck, which I've had up till now.

I'm studying up the "Driver's Handbook"!

Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news.

Good wishes to all of you for safe journeying: morethan I can say for myself, sorry to say.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 10:18PM
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Good luck on the test, Joyful, I'm sure you'll do fine. Accidents are a pain. Figuratively, and all too often literally.

I'm going through my own vehicle woes. Several years ago I bought a van from a friend's son's estate. Since then I've put about $5,000 into it... (heavy sigh) Transmission & starter ($3k) and about $1500 in brakes several times and different parts and many same ones over and over. The brakes would drag and last summer finally got it cured (a brake line believe it or not). About a week ago the pedal was going to the floor. So I was hobbling home putting fluid in at several stops. Both wheel cylinders in the rear were bad and leaking and soaked the linings so my recent full brake job had to be done again to the tune of another $300.

But then I think that I've gotten what 2 1/2 or 3 years out of it and so all things considered, it's not been as bad as it seems. The things that made me put the money into the transmission were:
1) It starts SO well in ANY weather, even sitting outside for days in sub-zero temps
2) It runs SO smooth
3) It drives great (when it goes!) Front end is tight, drives nice and straight down the road
4) Reasonable gas mileage and doesn't burn any oil
5) Quite comfortable
and these days what's very important
6) Comfortable to get in and out of. Since getting busted up, that makes a big difference.

It's got a few problems, a/c doesn't work and I won't spend $800 to fix it, the blower fan now only works on high, and the vacuum hoses must be leaking because it'll only work on defrost, gas gauge doesn't work, one of the speakers cuts out now and then... yeah a few other minor problems, but all of these I can live with.

But I was kind of bummed out at the last expense. So I'm looking for a decent deal on something. I asked the owner of the shop if he knew anyone who had a good used vehicle for sale, preferably a mini van, SUV or a mini to mid sized pickup. Well he has a mini van that he might get from a customer. The oil light came on and they kept driving it and siezed the engine. He'd charge me nothing for the van, only what it would cost to put a rebuilt engine into it. It's a 2001, in very good shape from what I saw and I started thinking that a rebuilt engine, I'd have essentially a new engine, the biggest problem point could be the tranny, but would be worth thinking about. He said it'd run about $2700 for an engine. It's got many more bells & whistles on it than I have with mine. But I haven't heard from them whether they got it or not. Guess I need to call them or stop by and ask. I'm kind of leaning toward buying it and keep using the one I have until more problems develop. Then I'd have a spare and since I have to drive for an income, I need reliable transportation. I was even kicking around whether I could turn around and sell it for a little profit. The book value looked like it has some room. But that wouldn't make a lot of sense I guess.


For me, a vehicle isn't a status symbol. It's to get me and my junk from point A to point B and back again, reliably and safely.

So if anyone knows of a good used vehicle at a reasonable price, let me know. I was kicking around the idea of a new vehicle, with the Kia Sportage going for less than $12k... But there's extra costs in a new rig too. My head is spinning!

Keep us posted OJ. Oh, btw, on the popup windows you're getting and especially on an older machine, if you use a browser like Opera or K-meleon, they have a built in popup stopper and both of them use far less resources than does Internet Explorer. Easier on your system, faster and stops the popups in their tracks!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2008 at 12:50AM
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Pooh Bear

I was just surfing thru here and clicked on this post.
Joyful Ed, you take care of yourself. Glad you weren't hurt.

On another message board I visit a guy has a great tag line:
A Serious Accident Is One Money Won't Fix.

Wifes car blew a head gasket. Luckily we have a vehicle
we can use on loan from my parents. But I suspect it is
about to need some work too. I keep smelling antifreeze.
That antifreeze smell is what tipped us off to the head gasket.
I was suspecting a heater core on wifes car.
Now I don't know what to expect on the Ford Explorer.
Not looking forward to working on either one.
Hope to save enough money to get wifes car fixed.

If these are the only problems I got then I can't complain.
At least I didn't get hit by a gravel truck.
Glad you are Ok Ed. We'll be back on our wheels again in no time.

Pooh Bear

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 1:22AM
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It takes a lot of precious petroleum not only to dig the metal from the ground (and the petroelum for plastics), but to smelt it, flatten the metal, shape it, assemble a car, and haul it to the dealership ... and all of that hauling along the manufacturing route.

All of that adds a substantial amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, to increase global warming.

And it adds quite a lot of pollutants, as well.

Repairing a car takes a few parts and materials, but mostly is quite a lot of (expensive) work.

I'd paid $2,500 for the Mazda ... and it cost over $3,000. to fix it. All out of my pocket, as we have no-fault insurance, incident was my fault, my insurance doesn't fix (plus higher rate on renewal).

I look upon that as my contribution to fewer environmental problems.

I passed vision test for regular driving (but not to drive straight truck, as earlier). I'm to have cataract surgery in a couple of months.

I passed the written test.

Failed the driving test - driving too slow, not looking over shoulder enough, rolling stop at a sign.

Second test - ran a yellow light, breaking the law, so automatic failure (and hit a snowbank while turning).

Third test - passed.

But I'd had about 6 weeks of being unable to drive without a 4-year licensed driver sitting beside me ... not so easy to arrange.

Had some experience of what it's like to be grounded.

I thought that, should I be unable to get my licence retreaded, I'd have to sell the car ... at far less than it has cost me!

As it is, I think that I may well get many more miles out of it.

I've felt that I could no longer live here in case that I can't drive ... and it's probably true.

I've been mobile again for about 6 weeks, and enjoying it.

I find that I'm driving less than I had (apart from as a result of the increases in price of gas).

It seems to me that saving petroleum is important.

So is reduction of greenhouse gasses ... and pollutants.

The driving instructor who advised me prior to my last two tests suggested that I'd be good for five years, now ... but sorry ... the retreaded licence is good only until my 80th birthday, next winter.

I have to take a group instuction gathering, plus written test (possibly a driving test) before that.

And I'm making a couple of major trips, this summer - to Saskatcheewan for family reunion at my retired farmer brother's farm ... and to NC for a reunion of former Korea missionaries, plus a trip to GA to visit my niece.

Possibly visit some KTers along the way - hope so.

Daughter's invited me to AZ for my 80th birthday.

Maybe I can meet some AZ KTers then.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 3:37AM
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