So today's success story was fixing Megan's car. She'd been hearing some noises and took it in to the shop. They told her that the air conditioning compressor was going and would eventually seize up. The repair would be $1000 which was more than we wanted to spend right so we asked if we could just not fix it. No AC but that wouldn't be too bad right? Well yes but the same belt also runs the alternator so that would be a problem.
Given the mileage and age of the car we decided we still didn't want to spend that much money on the repair which meant spending even more on a new used car. We started looking online and even test drove a few from dealers to start figuring out what type of cars we could afford. It was starting to look like to get the age/mileage of car that we wanted was going to cost around $6000 unless we found a steal somewhere. Meanwhile the noises on Megan's car were getting worse so she was getting more anxious that it was going to seize up any day.
On a whim, we decided to call O'Reileys (car parts place) and see if they sold an idler pulley. Basically it would replace the compressor pulley to allow the belt to function but not be connected to anything. They didn't sell such a part for Megan's car but they suggested just getting a shorter belt and not going around the compressor. Genius, pure genius! Jason had thought about this idea but figured it must not be possible since the car mechanic that diagnosed the problem hadn't suggested it.
We got the old belt off with a bit of work and measured the length for the new one with a piece of string. Megan's little hands came in handy since there wasn't a lot of room to work. The new belt slipped in without any problems. We were a little nervous starting up the car afterward but it purred just great. Megan was elated that the grinding noise was gone. No AC but summer is mostly over anyway, right? Of course we still need to do a test drive but we don't expect any problems.
So with 2 hours and $11 we were able to postpone purchasing a new car! Now that's a good time.
Other news: We have our decking on order and today we marked where the footings will go. We're hoping the local gnomes will dig them while we sleep. Otherwise Jason will start them in the morning.