Welcome back, friends, and many thanks for stopping by twice this week.
When I left you last, I had totaled the much-despised, glow-in-the-dark-mobile minivan. Used the $$$ as a down payment on my beloved Camry and paid the rest off via use of 0% credit card.
(If you have a burning desire to be all caught up, here is the link to Part 1.)
Ten-plus years have come and gone since then. My Camry and I are quite close. It’s been very good to me—much better than I’ve been to it in terms of oil changes, fuel-injection cleaning, etc.
Not sure if other long-term Toyota owners would agree, but I’ve learned any work this vehicle needed fell under the umbrella of maintenance. Because this thing runs until it absolutely can’t (i.e., the engine started seizing when I let the oil change go for too long—oops!), I never KNEW my baby needed attention.
My baby would miss me if I let it go, lol.
This brings me back to why I’m writing this post. I toyed with buying another Toyota. B/c I’m never in the mood for adding payments to my monthly bills, new or leased wasn’t a choice. (Besides, I fell in love with the new Mazda’s styling. We’ll see, in two years when Younger Son will be wanting a car.)
My self-imposed budget suggested buying an older Toyota (or VW Jetta or Passat, both of which I looked at too, since Older Son is a “V-Dub” kind of kid). I’d be buying a vehicle right around the age it would probably start needing the kind of work mine did. And I already know my baby is mechanically sound. It’s older and occasionally needs TLC in more expensive doses.
BTW, Hubby would have hit up the 401K for me to get the Mazda. New. I declined.
So, a few weeks prior to writing this I stopped at a new garage in the neighborhood. Hubby had been there a little while before and talked to the mechanic about my car. Wanted to meet the guy myself and show him my Camry. I didn’t know Jack—the mechanic—had replaced my battery this past winter. I liked him right away.
Wouldn’t you know? Chatting with him—as question-asking writers are wont to do—led to him telling me he was a certified Toyota mechanic x18 years before he went out on his own and opened the garage in my neighborhood. He stressed over and over what a good car the Camry is.
He also saved me $200+ on the repair. Picked up my car the same day I wrote this. Feels like I bought it yesterday.
And here’s another, pretty crazy coincidence. God putting Jack-Certified-Toyota-Mechanic on my path wasn’t enough. Jack asked how I came by the car, so I told him my crashing-into-the-compressor story.
He stopped short and looked at me. “How long ago was that?”
“IDK. Younger Son was four. Maybe eleven years ago? The compressor was parked a few blocks from the school.” I mentioned looking up at the man at my passenger window.
“You mean Joe?”
“He lives in __________.”
“That’s the guy!” Jack said.
“Why? Were you there too?”
“No. My son was.” (He’s Jack’s only worker.)
And off Jack goes to confirm this story. Which his son did.
It is a seriously small world, folks, and little by little, we’re adopting Jack and his son as our go-to mechanics. They’ve serviced three family cars in two weeks and go well out of their way to keep us happy.
Tell me I met him by accident.
Have a great week,