A few weeks ago, I had noticed an unusual humming noise from my car. I had forgotten about it until my friend Jason heard it on our way to see the Transformers movie last Sunday. Being good with cars, and VW's in particular, he suggested it could be my wheel bearings, which can cost a few hundred bucks to fix (oh, and that's per bearing, of which you have 4). The next day, I scheduled a 7 AM Saturday appointment at my local dealership.
As it turns out, my rear wheel bearings needed to be replaced at a cost of $905. Coughing up that much money on a car I plan to sell in 4 months was unpleasant. And it came on the heels of $600 in unexpected dental costs a few days earlier. While the repairs occurred, I took a free shuttle to the local metro and made my way home. I worked out that if I limit myself to one vacation day per month going forward, I can resign with 3 weeks of vacation (versus my initial goal of 2). This should allow me to make up most of the unforeseen expenses I've incurred this past week.
For the record, I stand by my decision to buy a used car in April 2005, however as you can see below, car ownership is costly:
- $200 – winter 2005 – broken plastic along windshield lets water drain down on driver side; carpet must be removed to clean out ice that formed
- $550 – Oct 2006 – replaced full (fancy performance) set of tires due to dry rot and cracking after only 10-12,000 miles
- $150 – March 2007 – replaced one cracked rim (discovered when tires were replaced)
- $275 – July 2007 – replaced windshield due to rogue rock on a highway
- $905 – July 2007 – replaced rear two wheel bearings
- $2,080 in total repairs over 17,000 miles/2 years 3 months
I also decided it was prudent to skip the DC United game I was going to see last night. I watched it on TV instead. Since the only available seats for the next MLS home game (Aug 9, w/ David Beckham) were costly and crappy, I decided to skip it. Hopefully I can get back to a live game by Aug 22.
Strangely, I'm still not ready to cancel HBO! I must be going for the world record in “most viewings of You, Me and Dupree.”