Today after work, I drove to my daughter's workplace to pick her up. She gets out an hour after I do. While waiting, I smelled something very distinct, like chemicals. I just wasn't sure what the scent was. It got a bit stronger before my car beeped and shut off. Normally, this would not worry me too much. However, I drive a Prius, which is different enough from most cars that you can't rely on your knowledge of cars to troubleshoot.
Then, it occurred to me, the smell was burning plastic. I sniffed around inside the car to try to figure out the source. The closest I could get was that something burned out near the engine. The car doesn't start. I could not get the car to even go into accessory mode. All the electrical, except for 12 Volt items, is out.
I called for roadside assistance to tow the car to the dealership. However, they close at 6 pm. So, there was no chance of being able to drop off the car. I cancelled the order and had Mrs. Mata drive us home.
It's funny. Earlier in the day I was pondering what to do with some crypto that had just become available from a 3 month deposit to earn interest. I guess I have a use for it now. I think, probably, the repair may cost me all my savings. Hopefully not.
My intent with my savings was to pay off credit cards. We are trying to buy a house. So, the less debt we have, the better we can deal with the mortgage.
I also worry because we have been fortunate to avoid getting sick with the pandemic. Chances are that we will get sniffles and then be back to work in no time. However, there is always the small chance that we are one of those people for whom hospitalization is required. If that happens, then we are definitely going to have a rough time. Having credit cards emptied out would help weather that problem.
I am thinking that I should probably have the car fixed and then immediately sell it to cover the cost of repairs. I only need to borrow my wife's car for a couple of weeks while my daughter finishes her job training. After that, she will work from home. With summer coming up, we only need one vehicle for the family. It would also reduce our car insurance. Before school starts, I could start looking for a newer car, probably another Prius. Or maybe a Nissan Leaf. My personal driving needs are only about 5 miles per day to get to work.
We haven't made firm plans. These are just ideas I had earlier while pondering how to get through this. Tomorrow, I need to arrange to have my car towed to the dealership for a repair estimate. I suppose that will determine my next move, depending on the cost.
When I was younger, something like this would have been devastating. We are fortunate that we have jobs that afford us more than just basic needs. We are able to handle the inconvenience. Even the timing is not that much of a surprise. When it rains, it pours. Obviously, when we need good credit, life conspires to prevent us from having it. It is amusing, actually. Surprises like this are to be expected. No point being upset.