Car Repairs and Hike Plans

Although I’ve had plenty of time, I have hardly written at all the past couple of weeks. I just haven’t felt like writing. I do have some stuff I want to share though so I’m just going to put everything in this post.

I had been having pretty good luck with my cars for the past year. I never needed a major repair on my van while I owned it and hadn’t needed a repair on my Focus since I bought it in November. My luck didn’t last. My car broke down last Saturday. Luckily, it was near home and right by a car repair shop so we were able to push it into the repair shop parking lot. The repair bill came to $443 for a new ignition coil and spark plugs. That seems high to me but I don’t really know what it should cost. The car had been running rough every once in a while for the past month or so and I had been planning to have it looked at but hadn’t done so. Procrastination might have cost me a little extra money on this repair.

My car cost me even more money the next day. I renewed my tags online and had received my tags in the mail. When I went to put the tags on though I noticed they did not match my license plate. After calling the license bureau and being told I was number 55 in line, I went to visit the local fee license office. The people there were very helpful and determined that the office that had issued my plates prior had screwed up. Apparently, I have been driving around for the last six months with plates that don’t match my registration. In order to get this fixed I had to buy new license plates at a cost of $25. I will be applying for a refund since the license office screwed up and I don’t believe I should have been stuck with the cost of new plates. I will admit I was partially at fault since I never checked to see that my registration paperwork actually matched my plates.

There was one final repair to cap the car costs for the week. The fan in my car has never worked properly. It only worked on the highest setting and when I tried to use the A/C the fan wouldn’t work at all. I decided I might as well get that fixed too since the A/C would be nice to have during the summer. It cost $122 to get the fan fixed. Unfortunately, now that the fan is fixed I find out my A/C doesn’t actually work. It has been cool this week and I’m going hiking the beginning of July so I’m not going to fix the A/C. I feel like I’ve spent more than enough on the car this week. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get the cost of this car down to 17 cents a mile like I had with my Camry. At least my cars costs are a lot less than what a new car would cost.

I’m not sure if I have announced this before but I will be going on a long hike on the Appalachian Trail starting on July 1. My job hours are being cut way back next month so I’m taking that as a sign to go hiking. I’m taking a plane to Harrisburg, PA, taking a city bus to the trail from there and then hiking north. I will hike until I don’t feel like hiking any more. That is usually only 2 or 3 weeks but I’m hoping I’ll hike further this time. I need to lose weight and a long hike will help with that. Also, since I’ll be giving up my apartment and quitting my job it would seem kinda silly to have all that upheaval and only hike a couple weeks. We will see.

The next month will be spent getting ready for the trail. I don’t need to do much planning for the actual hike. I already have all the equipment I need and since I have done several other hikes I am pretty comfortable with just showing up and hiking. Most of my preparation will be getting rid of stuff in my apartment and getting my finances in order. I plan to sell some stuff, donate some stuff, throw away some stuff, and store the rest. I’ll be paying my bills ahead of time, canceling what can be canceled, and trying to spend as little money as possible. There will be more updates as the hike date draws closer.

5 thoughts on “Car Repairs and Hike Plans”

  1. I admire your ability to shed everything before you go on the hike. Seems liberating to have that kind of flexibility. I am working on being more flexible by having my rental properties managed for me. Then maybe I can take up hiking. I need to shed some fat and clear my mind.

    That sucks about your car. I had a bad experience with a Focus about 11 years ago. Toyota’s have been better to me.

    Harrisburg. I flew to that airport in 2009 for a wedding. I remember it being hilly/mountainous in that area. Should make for a good workout on the Trail.

    • If the car doesn’t have any more problems for a while it could still end up being an ok car. Since it has 188,000 miles on it I have to expect it will need some repairs and maintenance. I’ve had much better luck with Toyotas too.

      Not having much does keep things pretty flexible. I’m hoping to keep my car and store some stuff at a friend’s place. It should make it pretty easy to get re-established when I come back from the hike. I’m hoping I will lose some weight while hiking and it should be good for me mentally as well.


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