When things break

posted by Jeff | Friday, October 27, 2023, 11:38 PM | comments: 0

Last weekend our problematic air conditioner broke again. This is the one that we've already put a few grand into in the last six years. The outside unit just wouldn't start, and my first thought was that it just needed a new capacitor. Cheap part, I tried it, it still didn't work. Tech came out two days later, first found that the control wire inside had come loose, but also that the control board outside was apparently fried. He was able to bypass it (it controls the reversal for heat, and enforces a delay when restarting it), and a few days later replaced the corroded part.

Then on Wednesday, Diana's car starts throwing up all kinds of errors. Yesterday I observed that the 12V battery (which drives the computer, contactors and stuff) is only putting out 11V, so I assume that maybe that's the problem, which has happened before. I run out to Tesla early this morning to pick up a new battery. The car is totally dead by the time I get back, so I have to use the cables in the bumper to pop the frunk, and the new battery brings it back to life. Only the high voltage system won't engage to drive, charge or run the AC. So I had to have it towed to the Tesla service center. Looks like whatever is broken is still a warranty repair, as the "battery and drive unit" must include the high voltage system. That's 8 years/120k miles.

I'm surprised at how much these things breaking brings me down. It's the cost, partly. The AC repairs cost over $300, and the car battery was $90 plus a $378 tow. I've become a very good saver, so it's not that I can't cover it, it's just that I hate having to spend saved money on stuff like this. It reminds me of when I was younger and this sort of thing would just set me further back on repaying credit cards. Those negative feelings are still there despite being older and further along in my career, and by extension not financially hosed when something like this happens. Money doesn't make it better.

What a strange process that is, too. We spend years wishing that we made just a little bit more money, because things would be easier. Then you reach that point where you think it should be easier, but some things just aren't. I can't buy my way into being a better parent, or eliminating my anxiety.

I know, poor me, right? But as my therapist says, your lived experience is not less real to you just because you're "better off" than someone else.


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