If It’s Broke, Then Fix It … or Sell It

Yesterday was a craptastic day. Seriously. It was like we were all … off or something. Dude, Kevin and I all snapped at each other (Jazz was actually in pretty good spirits and steered clear of us) and before the day was out, I felt like I had a big sign taped to my back:

“Bite my head off, please”

At any rate, we’re all better today .. I don’t know what the deal was yesterday, but anyhoo …

In addition to everyone being “sensitive” (that’s code for difficult), Kevin went to the doctor.

It didn’t have anything to do with his accident. In fact, the man is doing really well, he still waddles a bit when he walks, but he’s truly getting better and better every day and he no longer has to take pain pills – now he’s just really sore and even that is not as bad as it used to be.

No. He went to our family doctor because he’s tired of being hungry all the time. And when I say the man is hungry all the time, I mean all the time.

Kevin has a pre-breakfast, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, a post-dinner snack and then often times gets up at 2:00 in the morning to eat something again.

It’s insane. I have stressed for years about his constant hunger – which is another reason I love cruises – I don’t have to stress about where his next meal is going to come from.

I’m not kidding folks, it’s really a problem. It’s like he’s never satisfied. And if that wasn’t bad enough, his blood sugar drops and he starts shaking and his usual good humor takes a nose dive – he’s an outright jerk if he allows it to go on for very long.

He’s been like this for years. Ever since I’ve known him, he’s always been a bottomless pit. And the man never gains weight, which is infuriating, at least to me. Because HELLO!? That’s not normal!

But since he’s grown up with this “condition”, he thinks it is normal, so he doesn’t understand how I can gain weight so easily just snacking on a chocolate bar.

In fact his entire family is like that – they can eat and never gain weight. If I didn’t like them so much, I would totally hate them because WTF??

He said the straw that broke the camel’s back for him was when we were on vacation. We would be out touring St. John, New Brunswick or Halifax, Nova Scotia, and he would complain about being hungry, every fifteen minutes. It got so bad, even our boys, our TEENAGE BOTTOMLESS PITS, started teasing him about being hungry all the time.

In addition to being hungry all the time, he doesn’t sleep well. He never has. He goes to sleep okay, but he doesn’t stay asleep. We did figure out that he has sleep apena and he now sleeps with a CPAP machine, which has helped, but he still wakes up to pee or because he’s hungry. It’s a vicious cycle and he’s a walking zombie because he never stays asleep long enough to get some solid REM sleep.

Anyway, he went in, had five vials of blood drawn and is having a series of tests done; I’m most interested in his thyroid. I think it’s overactive, but I only know what Google tells me so …


This car?

Looks nice, right? But it’s turning out to be a major pain in our butt.

It’s a ’99 Chevy Cavalier. And it has a moonroof and is really a pretty cool little car, but it’s not running very well.

Wait. Scratch that. It’s not running AT ALL.


First, it was the ignition system. It shorted out and we had to replace the whole thing complete with reprogramming the computer so it would accept the key and yadda-yadda-yadda.

Then, yesterday, (which only added to the crap factor that was yesterday), Dude and I drove up to Wal-Mart so I could buy a few things, including eggs because we were planning on having breakfast for dinner that night.

Remember that I have eggs.

Dude wasn’t that happy to begin with. He was tired. He had homework, but I assured him we would make a quick trip up there and back – fifteen minutes tops. AND, I would buy him some poptarts.

He agreed. (Like he had a choice).

We got into the car, the car started. No problems so far. He drove us to Wal-Mart (and really should have honked at the moron that turned right in front of him). We did our shopping. We walked to the car, he unlocked the trunk (because I thought it might a little cooler in the trunk since I also needed to run over to Staples and buy Jazz a folder with brads because Wal-Mart didn’t have any [yeah, Dude wasn’t happy about that little proposed detour]) and we got into the car.

And the stupid, freaking thing wouldn’t start! AARGH!!

We tried several times. We probably spent nearly ten minutes trying to coax the thing to start.

We only succeeded in flooding it.

I called Kevin and he came up to rescue us. He tried to start it, no go.

By this time, I’m picturing all of us sick with salmonella because I’ve got eggs in the trunk of the car. And it’s 85 degrees outside. And Dude has homework and he’s getting impatient to get back home to do it so he can get on his computer (kids have to do homework first before getting on the games). So, we took Dude back home, I put the eggs into the fridge and we went back up to Wal-Mart.

Kevin called AAA (by the way, HIGHLY recommend you become members of AAA – we met our membership fee just in the two tows we’ve had to have in the past few months because towing is free if you’re a member) and waited for the tow truck to show up.

He arrived about twenty minutes later and towed the stupid car away.

We took it back to the same garage that fixed us up last time (Kevin really likes them) and heard back from them today on what the problem was.

Apparently, the actual ignition switch is bad.

WAIT a doggone minute here! I thought we just paid them boo-coo bucks to fix this problem before??!! Well, they said that they tested it and it appeared to be getting power so they didn’t replace it, trying to save us money.

*SIGH*. I was a bit annoyed with them, but Kevin talked me off the edge and now …

… what?

We no longer trust this car. We’re just lucky the boys weren’t out in the boonies somewhere when this happened. Or in the middle of an intersection.

It could always be so much worse.

We’re discussing our options. We absolutely don’t want the boys driving a car that can’t be trusted. So … now we’re thinking of trading it in for something a little newer and more reliable.

We had toyed with the idea of the boys driving Kevin’s truck and he would buy a car. He’s been wanting to buy himself one for quite some time now. But … teenage boys driving an F150 truck? That truck is a monster and has a lot of power. Not to mention, is about five feet longer than a car and … no. We just didn’t feel comfortable with that option.

Then I came up with an idea:

Why don’t they just drive my Vibe and I would buy a new car? The Vibe is only three years old, is in great shape, very reliable, easy to drive and … ?

We’re still thinking about it. We’re going to check out some lots tomorrow when we go pick up the Cavalier. We’re keeping our options open right now. We might actually get a better deal on a new car as opposed to a used car right now because everyone is either making their old cars last longer, or buying used cars because no one can afford a new car in this economy. (This “Summer of Recovery” economy. *snort*)

But ugh. Do we really want a car payment right now?

Not really.

At any rate, we have to do something, this cool-looking Cavalier has got to go.


3 thoughts on “If It’s Broke, Then Fix It … or Sell It”

  1. @Oregon Sunshine: All good points and all points we’ve discussed. We’re not 100% on getting rid of the Cavalier, we’re keeping our options open. This just happened, like today, so we’re really not sure what we want to do at this juncture.

    And them driving the truck? Again, we haven’t tossed the idea. It would be like driving a tank, at least when compared to the Cavalier. And you’re right, the Vibe is not invincible, but the odds of it breaking down as opposed to driving an eleven year old car is significantly smaller.

    I didn’t mention this part, but there was an odometer discrepancy on the title when we bought the Cavalier. We were rash and stupid and didn’t check the details before buying this car, so really, there is no telling how many miles this thing REALLY has on it (it’s close to 100,000 now). Parts are bound to break down at this stage, given it’s age and it’s (unreliable) mileage. We don’t want to sink a lot of money into something that isn’t even worth the parts we put in it. (Cavaliers don’t hold their value very long).

    This extra vehicle is not really going to belong to the boys – they will drive it, but it’ll be our car. If they want to purchase it from us, at a later date, then they can, but for now, it’s a “learning” car, if nothing else.

    The bottom line? I don’t want them driving around in a car that I don’t trust or is prone to breaking down. I think, knowingly putting the boys in something like that, would be irresponsible on our part. I mean sure, having a car that breaks down is part of life, but when they’re just starting out, and they’re not really used to driving to begin with (and Jazz hasn’t even been behind the wheel of a car yet, we’re just anticipating crossing that bridge in the next year), I would feel better about them being on the road in a safe and reliable vehicle.

    Kevin used to drive a Volkswagen Bug that didn’t have any brakes – he used the emergency brake to drive. He did that for months because he didn’t have the money to fix it. That was just plain stupid and it’s a miracle he didn’t have a serious accident. We can’t possibly put our boys in any sort of similar situation.

    At any rate, we’ll look around tomorrow, see what’s out there, weigh it against the logic (and possibly future problems) of keeping this Cavalier and see where we end up.

  2. Two thoughts, and neither will be popular.

    1. The Cavalier is fixed. We all break down from time to time. We’ve all had to deal with it. Let the boys continue driving the car and, if need be, learn how to deal with a break down. An ignition switch does not make the whole car unreliable. It’s been fixed, hopefully right this time. But, that little ignition is not the whole power train and does not dictate whether or not the car will remain reliable.

    2. Why can’t the boys drive the truck? Driving a truck is good experience. It gives them a new appreciation for people who drive vehicles bigger than their little car, which will (hopefully) keep them being respectful of larger vehicles that can’t stop on a dime. Yes, it’s bigger, but so what? Can’t they deal with spacial recognition?

    3. Ok, I have a 3. As you pointed out, your car is 3 years old. What proves that it will remain reliable? I have had issues with cars younger than that. A fuel pump, an oil pump, a rotor. Trust me, losing an oil pump coming down a steep mountain full of switchbacks was no fun. I seriously thought we’d have to use the runaway ramps as the car was freaking out and we also lost power. No power steering, no brake assist, nothing. And, this was in a high end car.

    Really Karen, I know you stress about finances. But in this instance, it seems like you’re willing to throw away perfectly good money because “something might break”. Isn’t that a chance you take with ANY vehicle? What responsibility is this teaching the boys? And again, what’s wrong with them driving the truck? In reality, it’s probably safer if they get into an accident than any little car will be. It at least, has a bit more mass and is heavier duty than a car. (And what’s wrong with Kevin getting something else just because he wants something else?)

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