About 6 months ago I was thinking about getting a new truck. Something a bit smaller that would get better gas mileage. I nixed the idea because I couldn't justify spending a lot of money on a vehicle I wouldn't drive half of the year.
I am now beginning to look again. I had the Explorer in the shop the last couple of days to find out why the "check engine" light was on. It helped that I needed to change the oil and have all the fluids checked as well so I could take it in for regular maintenace. I have a mechanic I can trust, one who will not screw me over. Plus they give me a car to drive while they work on mine.
Yesterday afternoon he gave me the call with the problem. Apparently my catalytic converter should be replaced. It doesn't need to be replaced yet, but that is what is triggering the "check engine" light. It isn't a big deal; about $400 to have done.
But I also asked that he check the transmission. I don't know if it is the cold exactly but sometimes it can be tough getting the truck into second gear. It sticks a bit but gives in. To fix that link or whatever he called it would be a couple of grand. It was hard for him to tell me exactly how good/bad it is as he didn't drive it that much, but he says it is something that would probably need to be addressed down the line.
This is where I know I have a good mechanic. He laid it out and brought up the fact that I had mentioned I was thinking of getting a new vehicle. His advice was simple. I could toss $2500 into a truck worth maybe $3500, or get a new vehicle. He is happy to do the work but thinks I may be better off upgrading. If I get a new car, he will lose the business. But he also knows that by being honest with me, I will always come back with my vehicles.
So I am going to let that simmer for a while. I have looked at smaller used SUVs over the last couple of days. I wouldn't mind getting an Escape or a RAV4. I think they are big enough to handle my needs to carry some big items while getting me better gas mileage. As long as I can toss a lawn mower or snow blower in the back, it is all I really need. Oh and four wheel drive to get through the snow in the winter. My truck must have four wheel drive. I refuse to get one that doesn't.
It was another victory last night at trivia. Once again, the dynasty comes through and pockets the world's easiest bar tab. You know things will go well when you give the answer to the first question before it is asked. The category is Child's Literature. That alone should have you screaming "Curious George!!" Unless you are really old and thought "Cecil, the sea sick sea serpent". Long story that had us younger people confused as to what a Cecil was. It made more sense when you give it a lisp.
So we didn't go perfect this time but still pocked $50. May have to spend some of it this weekend on beer and pizza. You know, a Guinness would be pretty damn good right now.