Keep on truckin'
The brakes went out in our 1999 Mazda B2500 truck this week while Deanne was in Terre Haute. She got it to Spencer, and I brought it home, and I've been babying it about while waiting to get it into the shop. I took it to Pep Boys today and the estimate for repair was a staggering $2750. I declined to have it fixed today and nursed it home. I called Deanne and consulted with her briefly. We will discuss our options tonight and go looking for alternatives tomorrow.
The first option is buying another truck, so we'll go looking tomorrow. If we can find something suitable within a thousand dollars of the repair bill on the old one, we'll probably get it. Selling the old truck for salvage would bring the two costs into near-parity, and I'd end up with a newer truck.
On the other hand, if we don't find anything really much better, then we'll take this truck out to Zach Abrams's shop (he's a young man renting Kleindorfer's old garage, just getting started on his own) and let him give us a second estimate.
What would make keeping an 18-year-old truck with 260,000 miles on it make sense? Well, the body is really in pretty good shape, for one. For another, we have been the sole owners of this buggy, and we've put every one of those miles on it. We've taken good care of it, and it still gets 22 mpg. So the question is, How much longer could we make it last? Seven more years at 14,000 miles per year or so (our average over the life of the truck so far) would be about 100K more miles. Could we make it that long? Well, our old Plymouth Breeze had 380,000 miles on it when I finally sold it for salvage, and I wish I'd repaired its brakes and kept it unto this day.
In the end, there is no automatic Right answer. There are only trade-offs to judge and probabilities to guess. So, prayers for wisdom would be appreciated.