Thursday, June 21, 2007

I want to cry. And eat. Mostly eat.

We are having some financial problems right now (actually, always) that mostly stem from being a one-income family with a not-very-high income. There is enough money to pay the main bills if nothing goes wrong, but if something goes wrong we are screwed.

Today the car started acting up. DH realized that we hadn't changed the transmission fluid in a loooong time (the car is a five-year-old Kia; if anyone changed the fluid, probably I did it before we got married three years ago) so he topped it off for the time being. Oops, we drive a POS Kia. Kia makes their own special transmission fluid that you cannot purchase anywhere else. (Don't even get me started on this.) We did not know this and DH, being a man, forgot to bring the manual with the name of the fluid we needed into the store and decided that whatever they sold would do just fine. To be fair to him, they only sold one brand of transmission fluid. I would never have thought that it wasn't compatible with a cheapy brand like Kia. Maybe a Mercedes of a BMW would need special fluid, but not a car I paid less than $10K for five years ago.

So anyway, DH adds the transmission fluid. Car immediately starts acting up and of course we are away from home when it does so. And that's not all, oh no. A/C is also being crappy. Needs new windshield wiper blades. A truck kicked up a rock which chipped the windshield which cracked all the way across. Needs new brake pads and possibly rotors. Someone hit it in a parking lot a few weeks ago. And now the transmission.

We took it to the local Auto Zone, where the guy informed DH that you could not buy Kia fluid there, you had to get it from Kia or another mechanic. DH took the car to Grease Monkey on the Auto Zone employee's recommendation and had them flush the fluid and refill with Kia fluid. The car is now almost undriveable, probably through no fault of Grease Monkey. It doesn't reverse, it has trouble getting up even very slight hills (like the one at the end of our street), it doesn't shift gears...I didn't believe that changing the fluid on a car that needed it could hurt it but yes, apparently it can. It seems that sometimes all the grit and crap and pieces of metal in the transmission fluid is all that's keeping a crappy car running, as weird as that sounds. And having the wrong fluid in there, even for a couple of hours, was apparently devastating to the Kia's fragile sensibilities.

The more research into transmissions I do the more depressed I get. My sister owned a Kia way back when--six or seven years ago--and she trashed the transmission. My mom told me she thought it was around $300 to get it fixed. But now I read that a new transmission or even some transmission repairs can run $1000-$2000. The car has 90,000 miles on it and apparently around 100,000 miles is when repairs start getting really pricey and your car turns into a money pit. We do not have the money for pricey repairs. Even if this car was in great shape we are probably close to $1000 upside down on it. We do not have the money for a new car. No relative has the money to loan us to purchase a new car. (And by new I mean "new to us.") Even if we could get this Kia monkey off our back our credit is so bad that we probably couldn't get a loan anyway.

DH had Wednesday off, he will most likely have to call in Thursday and possibly Friday. I have an extremely overactive imagination and it hasn't taken me long to see the absolute worst outcome of this situation: no money = no car = no job = no money. And I feel so terrible for so many reasons. Obviously the prospect of living with my mother thrills me to no end (ha). But also DH had been trying to get this job for 3 1/2 years when he was finally hired, and he loves it. I am sure that losing it would be devastating to him.

I am so depressed right now. If we had a car I would probably go to Taco Bell.

1 comment:

kathyj333 said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. I wish I could tell you that everything is going to be all right. But what I can tell you is that I've been there—money troubles can make evertyhing seem so hopeless. And somehow, I get through it. You will too. I am thinking of you, and will pray for you. Know that you are not alone.