I just took my car into shop for my regular LOF service.

As I was driving to the shop I noticed a low humming noise while applying the brakes. The car must have known it was going in for service and it decided to start moaning about all that ails it.

After dropping it off and asking the guy for the LOF service, tire rotation, and, by the way, the brakes started making a noise this morning I was off to work.

The shop called later in the day with the news, the experts recommended the following services:

  • Complete front brake job (including new pads, new rotors-they assured me that the rotors were beyond turning, cleaning and adjusting the rear brakes, and a flush-n-fill of the brake fluid): $440.94 + tax
  • Tune-up (including plugs, wires, distributor cap, & rotor): $311.93 + tax
  • Fuel system tune-up (what does that mean?): $89.99 + tax
  • New fuel filter: $84.99 + tax
  • Replace steering/suspension/drivetrain half shaft (what does that mean?): $407.98 + tax

All of this for a grand total of $1361.32 + tax (this includes the service I actually brought the car in to receive).

Before “the drive” into work, I was planning on spending 50 bucks for LOF and tire rotation. Not only is all of this wonderful news not in the budget, but the cash-flow is pretty tight right now. We had just started the process of eliminating debt the Dave Ramsey way; man this puts a major kink in the system.

Background on the car: this is a paid-for car; a 1995 Honda Civic DX Hatchback w/ 105,000 miles. The LORD provided us with this car our first year of marriage (that story to follow…). We have been planning on this car lsting us to either 200,000 miles + or when Jesus returns, which ever comes first. The blue book value of the car is $0, but driving it is better than a car payment. This car keeps me humble.

I told the guy to only do the LOF and rotation and that I would have to “think about it.” That was yesterday.

This morning I took it to Midas, since I trust them more when it comes to brakes, and asked for an estimate. The good news is that I don’t need new rotors; Midas said they are still within spec and can still be turned.

The final bill from Midas-just for the brake job-is $389.91 + tax.

I need to keep better records.