Counting the Cost of Keeping the Bus
Wed., Mar. 13. 2013 2:17pm EDT
Our troubles with buses are like a horror-film series that keeps putting out increasingly unbelievable sequels nobody wants to see.
After our shuttle bus broke down in Kent OH on March 2, they towed it to the shop for an assessment and ... the motor's trashed and needs replaced.
The mechanic has a used engine with 120,000 miles on it, but even to get that one installed (plus new injectors) would cost over $5000. Keith shopped around and a reconditioned engine with a guarantee would cost twice that!
If you've been keeping score at home, you'll recall that last year we already spent the following on the "new" bus :
$4100 - Purchase Price (April)
$230 - Windshield Replacement to Pass Inspection (April)
$420 - Title Transfer & Taxes (May)
$900 - New Tires to Pass Inspection (May)
$4400 - Trailer Hitch Installation & Misc. Repairs to Pass Inspection (May)
$200 - Fuel Injector Module (May)
$50 - Misc. Parts (May)
$1150 - More Repairs (June)
$620 - New Heavy-Duty Shocks (June)
$200 - Misc. Repairs (July)
$160 - Radiator Repair (September)
$40 - Misc. Parts ( September)
$3600 - Transmission Replacement after Breakdown in Dayton OH (October)
$100 - Misc. Parts (October/November)
$1100 - Engine Repair & Towing after Breakdown on PA Turnpike (November)
That's a total of over $17,250. If we got the new engine installed, it would take that over $22,000!
For those of you wonder whether we're getting ripped off by mechanics, we'd like to point out that we used a variety of mechanics and companies to perform those services, and, whenever possible, Keith did them himself.
Nevertheless, we question the wisdom of putting any more money into that vehicle. On one hand, you think, "We come this far -- what if that's all that's needed to complete the process?" On the other hand, you think, "What if this vehicle is just a money pit?"
We had that happen with our last bus, but at least that one had a nice interior, with six beds, a work room, a generator, and a kitchen. This one has no frills; it doesn't even have working AC.
Consequently, we're looking into other options. We still plan to play all concerts on our schedule, including the ones next weekend. Regardless of what we drive, we're also trying to do what we can to drastically reduce the size, weight, and amount of equipment in our trailer.
Please keep us in your prayers.