THAT IS THE QUESTION.
Last week I finally took my vehicle to get new tires. I was running on three bald and one with a little tread left. It was time. After they were installed, I was informed that the alignment could not be done because the front end needed parts: ball joints, tie rod... and something else. The quote I was given was $1476. After I picked myself up off the floor, I paid the $520 tire bill and headed straight to my mechanic, Shifting Gears. They were able to get me in two days later, fixed my problems and saved me $500.
I was feeling pretty good about my Explorer. The feeling that I might get stranded with a flat tire, and the horrific squeak was gone. A couple days later I pulled into the boatyard where I work, proceeded to pull around behind the work truck to park... and the boatyard employee started to backup and slammed into me. Obscenities were loudly shouted (by me) and I jumped out to find a deep gouge in my driver side rear quarter panel. My vehicle is far from new and it does have a lot of character, but it didn't have dents, until now. And I wanted it FIXED, so the boatyard manager told me to go get a couple repair quotes.