Here we go again!

Hey folks. Shelbygt69 (aka my husband) has bought a 1997 Ford Taurus GL and thus promised to either fix the van, or replace it. That is not the issue here, though I would like to say thank you for the interesting, and colorful suggestions on my previous post. What I would like to discuss further here is this: He had PROMISED to do the regular upkeep of the car himself, and refuses to get a mechanic or even a grease monkey to do it for him. He has not made any efforts to do so since purchasing said used vehicle, and he still had not done a thing to the van. I am thinking, that I should go to the local garage and get someone to do the plugs, oil and whatnot, so the car does not end up in the same situation as the van. I do not want to interlace maritial struggles betwixt these words, I only want your thoughts on what I should do. I know, the answer is staring me in the face, but I figured what the hey I would ask you guys if I should do so, and if you have any further suggestions as to where to get the oil and plugs and whatnot routinely serviced. Thank you for your utmost patience and most esteemed opinions on this matter. Yours most Humbly, @$#Van;)

Dear Brokenvan. My wife has several friends who are married to automotively dysfunctional husbands. They often ask my advice and I suggest to them an honest, competent mechanic who does not overbill and they get the right amount of work done to keep the car operating safely.

Your rationale for all this is 1) Safety, 2) Having a vehicle available when needed, and 3) Lowest cost over the life of the vehicle.

Waiting for something bad to happen is dumb, expensive and dangerous.

So plan the care and feeding of you car/van the same as you plan it for your children!! My wife would do exactly the same if I fell down on the job of taking care of our vehicles.

Good Luck!

If I’m reading your post correctly, you are wondering if you should take your vehicles to a mechanic for some basic maintenance if your husband won’t do it himself. I’d say that sounds reasonable, but what does your husband want to do? Does he say he’ll do it but keeps procrastinating? I’m not familiar with your other post.

In any case, you need to figure out a way to get the preventive maintenance done at the proper times (or close to them), either by your husband or someone else. I’m sure your husband will work with you on this?

The husband has already demonstrated he does not care whether the cars get maintained or not. As Nike says the time has come to “Just do it!”.

Taking the cars in for proper maintenance and then feeding him Kraft Dinner instead of steak for a few weeks to pay for the maintainance may drive home the point.

P.S. The term dysfunctional does not mean incompetent.

If you don’t have maintenance records for the Taurus, it would be prudent to do an oil change, antifreeze drain and fill, plugs, air filter, PCV valve, and ATF filter, and fluid drain and fill. That establishes you a base line from which you can start to calculate what future maintenance needs to be done, based on the owner’s manual maintenance schedule intervals listed.

Without knowing your husband’s personality, it is difficult to predict how this will sit with him, but I firmly believe proper vehicle maintenance takes precedence over feelings and unfulfilled promises. Good luck…

Hi BV2000,

Sounds like your husband is a graduate of the IIABDFI school (If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It). This may work for his ride but won’t do you a bit of good. You note that he “still has not done a thing to the van.” So I gather from this that he is also driving the Taurus. Is the Taurus showing any current signs of problems? I suspect that an 11-year-old car with probably 100K+ miles is flirting with stuff that will soon need attention; starter/alternator/water pump/shocks/exhaust system/ etc., etc, etc. Make him a deal, no "fix’ee the van, no NEWkey to the Taurus’.

On your last question about local servicing, plugs & tune-ups are nearly non-existant maintenance items anymore, even with your 1997. I would not recommend using the quickie places or dealer garages to do the oil/filter changes. Instead I would suggest finding a local garage/grease monkey to do that work. I would also suggest finding a garage with a young good-looking mechanic and make sure your husband knows about him working there. Then whenever something seems to be going wrong with the Taurus, tell him that you’ll just have to go the the garage to have the problem looked at. :slight_smile:

I agree with the other posts. If your husband is too busy, or just not inclined, to make sure that maintenance items get done then it would benefit you to take care of them. From your previous post it seems like what he does/doesn’t do about car maintenance impacts you, so the more you can do to keep your cars running the better. I would also suggest that when other things break, such as power windows, that those be fixed as well. If not, eventually so many things will be in need of repair you’ll never want to do them because of the cost, but if you take care of things as they come up it’s easier on the wallet. You may have to go to go though several shops before you find one that you like though. A good place to start is probably going to the “mechanics files” on this site see whose been recommended in your area.