This past weekend, I got to enjoy an out of town tournament with my daughter and we had a great time as usual, however, there was one incident that marred the weekend a little, and made me wonder when do you walk away from an old car ?
The parents typically get lost easily (I include myself in that group), so we typically convoy to gymnasiums from hotels so we don’t all get lost. I had a small convoy behind me, and just as we came off a parkway in Hamilton, we came to a set of lights. We stopped, the light turned green, I turned left chatted with my passenger, looked in my rear view mirror and my convoy was gone!
That was very strange, but we went on to the gym, and I called the members of the convoy to find out whether they had turned left to go to a Tim Horton’s or the like. No, the car behind me “dropped” it’s transmission as it’s driver put their foot down on the accelerator. My heart sunk when I heard that because that is one of my pet paranoia’s (car breaking down in strange city).
This Dad luckily had roadside assistance, so he got it towed to the dealership, who declared the transmission “Dead on Arrival”, and gave him three options:
- Replace with brand new transmission
- Replace with rebuilt transmission
- Walk away from the van
This Dad wasn’t sure what to do, so he rightly decided to take a rental and figure out what to do and deal with it on Monday. Now over the next 24 hours, the Dad made a plan and decided to go with option (3) and not put good money after bad in this situation. He will find another car, and deal with it, instead of attempting to nurse this old clunker any more.
How the Heck do you Decide?
When do you pull the plug in this situation. This Dad did the right thing, he deliberated, called his wife, discussed it with her, they made a plan and are executing it, but I am always amazed when people can make that decision.
I can look back on decisions I have made and figure out whether they are right or wrong, but only in hindsight, making a BIG decision like, “let’s push the car off the cliff” causes me to go into decision brain freeze. I sit there make lists argue all sides of the decision and then usually don’t decide, or procrastinate. Luckily my mechanic is very honest and makes the decision for me (i.e., “Alan this thing is a death trap and I am not fixing it any more, go get another car”).
How do you decide when it is time to get rid of a car? When is “enough” money spent on a car?