First, I spotted 2 E46 M3's, 1 MB G63 AMG, and 1 silver GTR this morning on my commute into Nashville. No pics because truck needs an alignment.
Now let us get to the meat and potatoes of this post. I am currently taking a financial and debt management course. This course has other people of varying demographics, middle-age, 20-something, and some folks just passed middle age. The concept of the course is eliminating all debt from your life. Great concept, easy to conduct if you have discipline, very easy for me, although the ensuing anxiety I now have when purchasing A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G is really putting a strain on my marriage. We both make enough to cover our bills and pay down the debt, but now my wife has the mindset of "ket's do this as fast as possible" which I attribute to the general American desire for instant gratification. I am well versed in the concept of earning your way in life, so I am mentally and financially prepared to continue paying down the debt, and abstaining from any other opportunity to acquire more debt.
*Take a look at my avatar name and you might understand just a bit*
So, my wife has the idea/opinion about my love for cars, that I want to just buy a whole bunch of car stuff irresponsibly. She is very wrong. My vehicle, although and unreliable beast, is paid for, in cash 7 years ago. For 3 of those years it sat in front of my dad's house not running, only being started every other week. It is an 11 year old Land Rover Discovery 2. Queue up the "you should have got a Land Cruiser". But here is the thing:
1. I didn't want a Land Cruiser
2. Even when I entertained the thought of buying one on my dad's advice, I could NOT find one within reasonable distance or budget.
I hunted for my Disco for 6 months. I wanted a facelifted 03-04 with under 50k miles. I got it for a steal, they wanted $12,999, I took it for 10k. Granted I know and knew then that they require EXTENSIVE maintenance. I was mentally prepared as I really didn't need to drive it everyday, had access to a very well appointed military mechanics shop with all necessary tools, and had expendable income with no debt.
Well, flash forward to 2013, the front drive shaft locked up last November; $388 replacement double u-joint upgraded heavy duty driveshaft and a couple hundred dollars for labor as I worked a job that took up all my time for very little money. All the while, the rig had the ACE system:(http://www.landroverclub.net/Club/HTML/ace.…)
Despite what the forums may say and what some Rover folks believe, this system is a GIANT piece of shit, it draws power off the motor by being on the belt, is guaranteed to leak continuously (either by breaks in the lines or overpressure through the pump, hoses, or reservoir). I have wanted to remove this system since I bought the truck, but I did not have access to the diagnostic tools to flash the computer after I removed the pump and put on a shorter belt. So, I had a Rover mechanic do this, as well as flush the transmission, diffs, reseal the transmission, and assess all other troubled areas. One day later the upper radiator hose went while I was on my way to work. So back the shop it goes for a quick upper radiator hose replacement.
The truck ran decent for the next 3-4 weeks. Minus the NVH from front tie rods that needed replacement and what I suspect is the rear driveshaft Rotoflex coupling. And then one night the power steering pump started to whine something fierce. So the following weekend, I jump into the motor to assess what needed to be done, armed with my RAVE manual, several youtube videos detailing how to accomplish this repair. I applied a "band-aid fix" and also removed the ACE pump (it had been deactivated but not removed, add lightness), all the ACE hydraulic lines to front and rear axle RAM shocks, and the rear bypass pump. I now knew exactly what she needed next, a new power steering pump, a fluid flush, and possibly new hoses (11 year old rig that has had hydraulic fluid constantly leaking on it for 11 years). But due to marriage strain I was not permitted to use my weekend to accomplish this relatively easy task. So instead paid right at $500 to get just the pump done at the dealership my wife runs finance for. So, this means that some point the hoses need to be replaced, possibly the actual power steering box because someone wants instant gratification.
BAND-AID FIXES DON'T WORK!!!!!!! EVERRRRRRR!!!!!!!
Okay, so this "repair" has been accomplished, and she has run very well. We decided that if another issue arises, we will sell the car, and possibly get something new to us. (stupid decision, as we will buy used and regardless of what it is, it WILL need some kind of repairs at some point, and mechanics costs are so high it doesn't matter how small the repair, it WILL be expensive, ALWAYS). We take the rig out for the weekend to Memphis to visit family, drove great the whole ride despite NVH. Once we got there, we decide we are hungry and despite being able to eat something at my parents house, we choose to buy Chik-Fil-A. We order in the drive-thru, AC running great, no radio, no indicators of any lurking issues. And then she dies. She won't restart. I also forgot to mention, she had a domestic intended battery installed and a weak starter since I came home from the military. These were thing I had intended to work on as well, however a short time in the car business took all of my time and provided little money since I was not very good. So it's reasonable that I got over a year out of a going out starter.
Anyway, we replace the battery and starter again via a mechanic because:
1. We had to have it towed to a Memphis mechanic
2. We HAVE TO HAVE instant gratification.
So, again fast forward to my Wednesday night financial course. The lesson was focused on how to react to marketing and being sold to. Some of it was helpful, much of it was very unrealistic, for most people. I believe it takes a certain kind of person so pay off all debt and to abstain from any large purchases until the debt is gone and to also save to buy all things with cash. It also takes a TREMENDOUS amount of time and discipline, some people have this, many do not. A notifier that will tell you whether a person can do it or not is "does this person constantly want instant gratification?" If that answer is yes, then that person is not mentally mature/responsible/capable of accomplishing this very arduous task.
While discussing things in our lives that upset your pre-planned budget, the topic of our recent vehicle maintenance came up. Apparently in all things I talk about they consist of these two things in the eyes of my loving spouse:
1. I give too much information (obviously, if you have read this post so far)
2. I talk about personal matters publicly, which my spouse despises and puts a gigantic strain on the marriage.
To some things you have to be realistic and ask whether or not this is a thing that is possible to change. In my case, I have a behavioral disposition to be very detailed and often give too much personal information to listeners (again obviously if you have read this far). I am mentally incapable of keeping negative thoughts inside my head. I HAVE to express them, to get them out, it's not that I really care if they change, but they metastasize in my mind and cause my mood to suffer. If I am permitted to express my emotion, then it is over, I move on, I stop being angry, annoyed, or whatever and move on.
So, after divulging "too much information" about the financial struggle with our vehicle the topic shifted to 15 people trying to advise me to read Consumer reports and find a reliable vehicle. At this moment the rage built up. I shout in my head because I have already done enough damage to my marriage this evening, "Look, fuckface, I don't buy cars because they are reliable. A car is not only a means of conveyance to another place. Any car I buy is not an appliance to me, if that is how you view them, then good for you. But do not push this idea of buy reliable, buy a Honda and put 300k miles on it. I give no fucks about how long a boring, soul-sucking vacuum cleaner will continue to do its boring, soul-sucking vacuuming. I chose ambition and the opportunity to be something greater at every turn of the road in my life over serving on my knees, crushing my own desires and will in the vain of pleasing others. I do not live for your opinion."
Why can't people who chose the safe road, the reliable road, to drive fucking Camry/Altima/Accord and not make waves force their methodology upon me. I like the fact that my car needs to be maintained often it keeps my in sync with the knowledge that it is an actual feat to repair a malfunction and a feat to go someplace, to feel the wind in your hair, to smell oil, to feel the heat of exhaust. I am not burdened by driving places, it is not an inconvenience to me. I chose to buy nice things that require upkeep because I want to enjoy every moment of the experience of driving. I want to feel the road vibration, smell worn leather, and feel the pull of torque as I accelerate to pass your fucking reliable shitbox.
I have lost my original train of thought as I started typing this around 8:35AM today and due to having to solve some network issues and other office problems I am finishing it at 9:25AM.
TL;DR I don't want boring reliable cars, I like challenge/excitement/difficulty in life so I choose to be ambitious and own a Land Rover (although, as soon as I do a bunch of maintenance myself it will be sold)