Follow by Email

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Brake free from overspending with Diabetes

 Two weeks ago I was getting the oil changed in my truck.  Once it was finished the lady behind the counter let me know my rear brakes were completely worn out and I was essentially stopping with metal on metal which is never good.  I asked her how much they would charge me since I use them regularly for oil changes and other minor work and when she told me 300 bucks  I almost hit the floor with that price.
 Brake work is not that difficult even for this diabetic.  The hardest part is probably making sure your vehicle is jacked up properly so you don't cut your feet off before diabetes gets the chance.  Then just a few bolts and you are done.  In the picture above you can see what is know as the rotor, which is the part that spins around with your tire and when you push on your brake pedal two pads are squished on this metal ring and your vehicle hopefully stops.  With the tire off and a quick view I could tell my rotors were thick enough for another 50 thousand miles and they were smooth as glass so they didn't need to be turned down either.
Here are my brake pads, which are the part that slowly wears out as they get you to a stop so you can text you BFF before the light turns green.  The lady at the oil change place said I was "metal on metal" which clearly you can tell I still had a solid 1/64th of an inch left to go before metal on metal was happening.  So I caught these in time because once your pads wear out they grind your rotors and then you have more things to fix.

When I was a wee young 17 year old, my father made me do all the maintenance on my beautiful Plymouth Reliant K car.  I remember the time I had to do the brakes on the car and he had me take the rotors down to Autozone to have them turned down and they let me know the pads were to thin to be turned down.  My father was not about to spend 15 bucks on new rotors so he had me in the driveway with my car on blocks, the transmission in drive, while I used a piece of sand paper held to the rotors manually turning them myself.  The the pads I bought did not fit so I then had to take the pads to a grinder and make them fit.  Looking back at how my dad was wise on making a square peg fit into a round hole and also maybe a little dangerous but I survived.  He had me changing the oil and everything.  Then when I graduated from high school he gave me his truck which had recently blown out the head gasket, and we both sat in our driveway rebuilding that engine.  I used to ask him why we did this work ourselves and he told me that we were able and capable to do it ourselves and paying someone to do the things we can do is just a waste of money.  Now my father was extremely mechanically inclined and I have two left hands and am like a bull in a china closet.  These days I do a few of the items personally but have a mechanic perform the rest.  I think this is a balance from how my father did everything himself because he was very capable, and the other part is from a book I read in college: The millionaire next door, where the author talks about how if you do everything yourself such as mowing the lawn and fixing your car then when it comes to the end of the day you have no time left for your family.  So I try to categorize things like mowing the lawn which is something I enjoy doing so spending 25 bucks on that is not worth it.  Then getting my shirts dry cleaned costs me 1.89 a shirt and that is worth it because I hate ironing and it takes me forever.  See where the balance is, spend money on non-skilled labor items that take away from your family time and pay for those things that you consider a bad chore so a little wise money spent can save you quality family time which in the end saves money.  Now, I should quit being so lazy and start doing my own oil changes and start washing the gain.  The brake job cost me 17.99 instead of the 300 quoted and now I can take that saved money and do something else with it like buy diabetes medicines.

No comments:

Post a Comment