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Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Frugal Miracle: Automotive Edition

Mr. FS and I always spend a lot in the summer. This is because we are teachers and the rhythm of our lives means that we do all the stuff in the summer that we don't have time to do during the school year. Some is necessity: visit to Aged P's on both coasts with children (around $6000/year for flights, car rentals, etc); fix roof. Stuff like that. Other expenses are optional, but eagerly anticipated, like my new kitchen cabinets of August 2008.

This summer is almost over for us. Then the IMA and Engine Lights went on in our Honda Civic Hybrid (2003). This was under my watch and I forgot to say anything! But Mr. FS noticed last night. So, he took the car in to Honda. When the courtesy van brought him back, he said, First the bad news. We need a new battery pack. They cost $2000.00.

Pause (a la Harold Pinter)

The good news is that the batteries are under warranty up to 80,000 miles.

Silence (a la Samuel Beckett)

And we have 79, 698 miles on the car!

Oh boy! What should I spend my $2000.00 on?


Duchesse said...

How aboput spending some (or all) on something Mr FS would enjoy, in celebration of what a frugal sweetheart he is for not carping about your driving with those warning lights on?

Funny about Money said...

Whoa! That IS interesting.

SDXB has spoken some disparaging words about hybrids, claiming that the batteries have to be replaced during the car's reasonable lifetime and that it's an outrageous expense. I'd poo-pooed him, since he badmouths anything he imagines has a whiff of the liberal about it. Huh. Looks like the old buzzard was right this time!

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

New computer maybe?

Frugal Scholar said...

Duchesse-Mr. FS is due for a new bicycle.

@Funny--According to Mr. FS, only 200 out of 100,000 Civic Hybrid batteries have needed replacement. So we did get a dud. Luckily, we got in under the wire/warranty.

@Cubicle--It's so irrational, but we were planning on a new computer anyway!

SLF said...

Not to nitpick but according to my research ( which mentions that the numbers come from Newsweek) only 200 batteries out of 100,000 cars have needed replacing AFTER warranty. I would guess that even fewer have failed BEFORE warranty so we just got exceptionally unlucky (from a battery life point of view) or exceptionally lucky (from a battery failure still under warranty point of view).

--Frugal Son