I’ve had a wide variety of cars in my life. I’ve driven my parents cars, an old junky pickup truck, an old Oldsmobile with no AC, a nice little Mazda that was in a huge wreck. All of those cars were either free or under $500. My current car is the first “new car” that I’ve purchased solely on my own dime and that I’ve now successfully paid off. The car is mine, in total, and I’m fairly proud of that.

That’s why it hurt so much to bring it in for brake work today. Since it was a new car, I’ve yet to put any major maintenance into it. Normally it’s just $25 for an oil change, or $8 for a headlight, or something little like that.

Today I had to drop $350 for a complete brake job.

I’ve ridden that car pretty hard and recently had a series of brake-slamming incidents that lead to the brake light being on and a faint scratching/whirring sound every time I slowed down. Drivers here in Texas refuse to use any sort of turn signal and have a habit of turning into places at the last second or even from the wrong lane. I’ve had to avoid dozens of collisions since I’ve been here. I blame the drivers from Mexico. If you think that’s somehow racist, I assure you it’s not. It’s simply an observation that the driving laws, or lack there of, south of the boarder and many of that regions residents coming here to visit/work/live, etc leads to poor driving habits by a large portion of the population. They drive the same on small dirt roads in the country as they do on our freeways. I’m sorry if they can’t handle going faster than 35mph on the correct side of the road.

I can’t be mad at them any more. There’s far too many of them and they simply suck at driving. There’s not really any nice way to say it.

So, I’ve had a few close calls and had to put a bit of extra pressure on my poor brakes.

All four pads and shoes needed replacing, and all four routers got machined. They also bleed and refiled the brakes lines and rotated the cylinders. They were also concerned with one of the rear calipers but it turned out to just be stubborn and not stuck or broken. That cost me $350 and half the day.

I don’t really mind, it’s not like brakes are something you can live without. They’re kind of an integral part of the car. Being able to stop is fairly important and I’d rather be safe than rear end someone because my brakes gave out.

I think after my first paycheck at the new job I’ll put a set of new tires on as well. Other than that, the car has been relatively maintenance free so far. I can definitely deal with oil changes and tire rotations if this baby will go 200,000. We just got 150,000 out of Lauren’s car without any major maintenance. At that point, the cars reliability has more than paid for itself.