This Monday the low coolant light went on in our car. Early Tuesday the car went into the shop, and by mid-morning, the car was ruled dead. The car is leaking coolant from the radiator and the water pump, and shows signs of a leaking head gasket as well. Cost of repair would nearly amount to the value of the car. We decided to get rid of the car in the state that it was in. Who ends up with the vehicle has yet to be determined.
We knew a vehicle replacement was coming, but I had hoped it would wait for a year yet. We both dislike the idea of a car loan, so we will be running on one car for awhile. Depending on who you are, that can be seen as a blessing or a curse. One less vehicle to fuel, insure, maintain, (an ironclad excuse to go by bike)-or a serious limit in mobility and flexibility in planning. My job is ten miles away, and my morning schedule makes commuting by impossible. Thankfully I have a carpool that is easily available four days out of the week. I also have an older motorcycle that will be coming into use as soon as the morning commute temp clears 40 (below that, it stops being fun). My wife is more than willing to run errands by foot or bike (I love her dearly, just we're clear) as soon as the temps get kid friendly.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to spring.
I've admired those who have made do without cars, and envied those who lived in places where transport by bike was the enjoyable and obvious option. We are very fortunate to be in a situation (and an approaching season) where using a single car is really pretty easy. Aside from work, our daily errands can all be run within the confines of our small town.
I feel that so many of us own multiple cars for that one time when they will all be "needed." I've owned a jeep for nearly a decade, and its four wheel drive and cargo capability are utilized maybe a few times a year. The rest of the year, I pay the fuel bill that those capabilities demand. This single car business is forcing us to consider needs vs wants, and it will be interesting to see what survives as a need on the other end of this.