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Auto/Truck/Other Transportation If you use it to get from here to there, this is the place to talk about it and how to fix it.

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Old 12-02-2015, 01:08 AM
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Jjr Male Jjr is offline
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Default Free work for the Daughter

The oldest daughter had two new tires installed on the front of her Ford Explorer Sport Track about a month ago. She told the tire place to also do a front end alignment with the instillation of the two new tires.

They said they couldn't do the alignment, or it would be useless because of her worn ball joints and tie rod ends. The tire establishment which also has an in house repair business too, gave her an estimate of nearly two grand to do the work.

I told her I would do the work for her if she wanted to keep the "truck." It is an '01 model, with both age and miles now, but it has never given her any real problems in the past. [We refer to it as a "truck" because of the open bed area, but it is not a true truck.]

I told her, the parts alone would probably run about half of the businesses estimate. She did a cost estimate and decided to purchase the parts. The weekend before Thanksgiving I did the work on her Sport Track. The front brake pads were worn almost to the bottom of the "U" grove, so I installed new brake pads in addition to upper and lower ball joints and outer tie rod ends on each side, front shocks and new rubber bushings on the front sway bar. All parts installed plus a pair of rear shocks, I did not install cost her approximately 2/5's of the estimate.

The upper ball joints and the sway bar bushings were over due for replacement, but the lower ball joints, outer tie rod ends & front shocks were not all that badly worn, but since she had already made the purchase I replaced them. [They are a critical handling component, should a failure occur.]

The old front shocks were not nearly as strong as the rear ones, but when I pulled the bolt from the bottom of the rear shock I was about to replace, it pushed down so forcefully, I attempted to test its strength and finally was able to push it up enough to position the jack under it with which I was able to get the bolt back into position. (My heart-attack cost me much strength, but I am not helpless. I just have to work smarter where brute force is required.) With shocks that strong, I told here they are not needing replacement, so return of the two rear shocks will reduce the overall cost of the repair parts slightly.

Her total bill was nearly $600, but that is just a couple of payments on a new vehicle or late model one, and considerable less than what the shop wanted to do the very same thing.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:59 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is online now
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indeed, its better to fix an older vehicle than to make payments to buy new every 2 years. got plently of friends who trade up every 2 or 3 years, they constantly maintain themselves in debt for $500+ per month ($20,000 or more in debt) just so they won't have car repairs to worry about, I drop $1000 on a used truck when i find one that i like in reasonable condition and do the minor repairs as needed. those repair shops charge $50 an hour or more and work on several cars at once, as long as they touch it every hour they can bill for that hour.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:33 AM
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Setanta, vehicles are transportation, and nothing more to me. They are not a status symbol or some highly exalted token or benchmark of success to me either, although I can appreciate a nice set of wheels. Dragsters & racing never interested me much, since neither has much in common with basic transportation.

Personally, I find a greater preference for a "Country Cadillac" to almost anything else the automotive industry has to offer.

As long as I have a well maintained and safe vehicle, it is much preferred to a new one with an auto loan attached to its title. That new car smell does not last nearly as long as those payments do. (I know that from past experience.)
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Old 12-04-2015, 01:58 PM
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You can make a lot of repairs for what a few monthly car payments are.
The trick is knowing when to stop throwing money at a lost cause.
Your Daughter is lucky she has a Dad that can and will work on her truck.
With all of the electronics in new cars today it's getting harder to fix them at home.
Bought my Wife a new van. Chrysler offered a lifetime bumper to bumper warranty and even tho I usually will not but extended warranties I did this time.
If anything goes wrong with her van it will be repaired and our cost will be $100 deductible.
It could save us a lot after we retire.
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