You can't afford a car you can't afford to fix


Over the years, I've driven a lot of clunkers. I used to think that it was just bad luck, and sometimes, I'm sure it has been. But I have noticed that the older my car gets, and the older I get, the better my cars tend to run. In other words, I take care of my vehicles far better than I used to.

In college, my parents gave me my mother's old Oldsmobile, and after a few months, it broke down on me with increasing regularity. I remember driving a few times from Middletown, Ohio, to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, knowing that anytime I stopped at a light or a sign, I'd have to keep one foot on the brake and the other on the gas. If I let the car come to a full stop, the motor would stop.

I vividly remember around this time talking about all of my car's woes with my father, who, quite concerned, asked, "Well, just how often do you get the oil changed?"

And quite confused, I replied: "Oil?"