Add Some Advice For The 1 Out Of 3 People Who Could Not Afford A $500 To $600 Car Repair Without Going Into Debt


The original question was advice to those that couldn’t come up with $500 for a car repair. We got off the track a little with poor people and trains and buses. Obviously if someone had a car repair that they needed to use a credit card for, they already owned a car. Somewhere in there I said yeah, but 76% of the people asked could pay the bill, so really that’s not too bad.

At any rate you have to start building an emergency fund even if its just a few dollars at a time. I suggested Dave Ramsey even though I don’t like him, but I know his method of buckets has helped many people. He drills down to getting rid of the excess first to get out of debt and building an emergency fund. Like I said though, part of minimizing car expense is doing repairs yourself. Up until a couple years ago, I couldn’t ever remember in the last 50 years paying someone to change my oil. Maybe it happened but not much.

So budgeting and knowing what you spend money on so you can analyze it. My high school business teacher got us started on keeping a little book and writing down everything we spent. It was pretty illuminating and I did it for years even when married. So that’s my advice for the 24% that own cars but need to charge repairs.


@Triedaq I remember those math problems, and am under the conviction it is no longer applicable as a math example because you end up paying sales tax. OK I calculate 50 cents worth of candy, get to the register, then you need 53 cents. I think sales tax ruined common math for many people. At least at the gas pumps the taxes are included at the pump and the price you have pumped so far is displayed, but then try and calculate how many gallons @ *.9 forget about it.
edit Wow just put it on the card I do, is there still a .9?
Double edit did people used to pump gas like an old time hand powered water pump?
Triple edit Music for My Holidays Yea heading on a road trip in the am Twilight Zone ie Golden Earring in the background, lyrics
Somewhere in a lonely hotel room
There’s a guy starting to realize that eternal
Fate has turned its back on him.
It’s two a.m.
The fear has gone
I’m sitting here waitin’…
…Help I’m steppin’ into the twilight zone
The place is a madhouse
Feels like being cloned
My beacon’s been moved
Under moon and star
Where am I to go
Now that I’ve gone too far


Strange, I can think of few things that are more patriotic or more American than peaceful dissent. In fact, I question the intelligence of those who DON’T exercise their rights to peaceful demonstration.

Does your position on free speech change with the political tides, or do you hold
the same disdain for Republicans who marched against Obama?

Forgive me, Carolyn. I’m unable to cleave the issue of car maintenance from those of general liberty and freedom. This gets to the issues of minimum wages, living wages, and poverty, and I can’t escape the sad irony that conservatives in this debate don’t value our First Amendment rights. Without Freedom of speech, we could all be driving cars that are as unsafe as the Ford Pinto.

BTW, people, there is a nationwide march for science on Saturday. Would anyone like to call scientists stupid and attempt to politicize the scientific method? That should be most enlightening.


This might surprise you, but I agree with that. Key word = peaceful. Protests have been redefined as almost any type of dissent. Now “protestors” block traffic, loot stores, burn police cars, and assault people and get full media coverage. Those aren’t protestors in my book.

If an event is planned (inauguration for example) or a protest (legal, with permit, like Pro-Life) there are illegal criminal “counter-protestors” who cause major problems and get full media coverage and often endorsements.

The lawlessness belongs to no particular political affiliation. It is equal opportunity.

Relating this to advice for people who can’t afford basic car repairs… Do not park anywhere near a modern “protest” and if you have time to take part in an illegal “protest” or “counter-protest”, your time would be better spent finding a way to earn more money.

I’ve always been too busy working to be able to afford things like car repairs, to protest anything!
CSA :wink:


When a car owner can drive weeks or months at a time without any repairs being necessary that is the time to save for the inevitable… repairs necessary in the near future! A budget is the best way to do this, a certain amount of money put aside each payday or monthly.

Some people consider maintenance to be a repair. It isn’t. Money needs to be budgeted for maintenance, also. Worn tires, brakes, wiper blades, and oil changes aren’t repairs! They are maintenance items and go with any car, new, used, leased, stolen, etcetera.

If one has a car payment then money budgeted for repairs and maintenance are in addition to those payments, of course.

When the final car payment is made, the amount of money that was required for payments should be put into savings, so when the “big one” (a repair that is too costly on a car that has little value left) happens, one has money for another vehicle.

Sound too expensive? You bet! Cars are expensive to own/operate.


I don’t consider those people protesters. Where I’m from, we call those folks “rioters.” That alleviates the confusion and the need to differentiate.


Exactly. Protesters are NOT the same as rioters.

But there’s a group in between. I think it was San Francisco that had the Bicyclists protest at least a decade ago. large number of bicyclists would ride very slowly in front of commuters. Instead of a 1 hour commute it turned into a 3-4 hour commute for some people. It wasn’t physically violent, but it surely was very disruptive.

Living in the Boston we understand what protests are all about. A war broke out some 241 years ago because of some peaceful protests.


Many years ago, I worked with a woman who would say, “Your car is in the shop for repair AGAIN?”, when it was being given routine service. I tried explaining the vast difference between scheduled maintenance and repair to her, but she just didn’t “get it”.


Exactly my point! However, almost daily, the national talking heads news networks run stories of these criminals (with video) and call them protestors. To me when they are given the coverage and referred to as protestors, they have succeeded in whatever it is they’re doing. They are given credibility and some sort of legitimacy.

They should be mentioned on the news as criminals and not given any “air” time.

Re-read what I wrote above. I used “protestors” (notice the quotation marks) to label these criminals, not to be confused with protestors.


Or as so often demonstrated a state Driver’s Manual.


Oh, but I did look at them, @Rod_Knox. There were a lot of ads. I kinda like the design of the time. And my poor, mushy millennial brain was so surprised to see how much text were in those ads! My, times have changed. I’ve never been in an air-cooled Franklin. I was especially curious to see how the copywriters injected a lot of education in there about how all that worked. The car ads I see now presume the knowledge behind the terms they throw around. Not that I see many car ads (no cable) and I don’t need a car (I ride the great equalizer, the New York City subway).


No doubt I am a few decades older than you Carolyn. And 50 years ago I rode in an air cooled Franklin similar to this

There’s been a great deal of change in automobiles in my lifetime and a world of change since that Franklin was on the show room.


Those Franklins were incredible cars, albeit with a curious anachronism.
Their engines were of a highly-developed alloy construction, yet their frames were made from wood.


“All new, space-age carbon-based-fiber never-rust frame!”

Just gotta think like a marketer, and avoid any mention of termites. :wink:


Wooden frames were common on pre WW II cars I believe.


The only US-made car that I can recall–post WWI era–that had a wooden frame was the Franklin.
Many automotive writers of the '20s and '30s remarked about the VERY unusual wooden frame of the Franklin.


Depends on your meaning of “frame” There were quite a lot of wooden frames between WW1 and WW2. if you mean the structure that supported the body but not the chassis - i,e, suspension and engine.

Steel frame rails was the norm but wood was still used to support body panels and doors during that period. Ford model A’s and B’s had wood frames that supported their bodies as did many other cars of the time. Heck, British Morgan roadsters still have ash frames supporting the metal bodies. The chassis “frame” is indeed steel, though.

Air cooled engines have pretty much gone away in modern cars and most motorcycles, too, though. I can’t think of a single air cooled car engine left in the US.


Trust me–I am very familiar with wood framing for the body components on cars up through at least the late '30s. And, I am aware of the anachronistic wooden chassis frame on Morgan roadsters, even up to modern times.

However, I am referring to wooden chassis frames, and–to the best of my knowledge–no other US automaker was still using wooden chassis frames into the 1920s, and without question, no other US automaker was using wooden chassis frames in the 1930s. Franklin was the odd-ball in that respect.


RE Protesters, Sure I was with groups of people looking for recall walker WI signature petition drives along a major highway, all of us have jobs but could not believe the number of ignorant people driving by in their car hollering get a job and worse was a surprise.

Also went to Madison to protest, paid thugs we were called, Farmers drove their tractors in one day to parade around the capitol, police and firemen joined together one day to parade around the capitol, and I saw no buses of thugs being bused in and paid

, Over 100,000 people protesting peacefully, and most got there by driving a car. Though my mother in law chastised my daughter for going, all those unwashed dirty hippies waiting to rape you, (Avid Fox news watcher) you should not go there

Could not be farther from the truth but not owning a car or being unable to pay for a car repair at this point does not diminish a vote or the right to protest, and agree the right to protest, not riot.


That was before there was a $40-50 million slush fund to pay these folks $12 an hour to protest legal elections. Just check CL.

At any rate can we just end this silly banter? We all agree we don’t like people to be poor but disagree on what would help. If you own a car and need to fix it, you’ll need to charge it unless you have an emergency fund. If you don’t own a car, you are on the wrong page.