Yeah, exactly, tell him to grow up, and wait a minute...who is the crybaby, again?
The one driving the grandkid to school every day?
Maybe if he didn't have to shuttle the grandkid around every day, he wouldn't need to worry as much about his car. But when someone is helping you out with the driving, telling them that their car is inadequate isn't going to endear you to them...
If I was driving YOUR kid around every day, and you didn't like my car, and kept hounding me about it, then I would simply stop helping YOU out...and let you know that you're free to arrange alternative transportation.
I want to keep the finance part of the spoken contract out of this but since you bought it up, let me rephrase what I have written earlier:
1. I bought a townhouse for them to live in for free (market rent is around $3-4k a month), on the condition that they'll help watch the kids before pre-school age, and pickup, drop off from school after preschool age. They were burried in debt and almost got foreclosed on their home. Taking our offer saved them from that and they are now able to rent out their home and get a net $1k a month income to live on. Sounds like I've done my part as a good son in law don't you think?
2. They drive their car the way they want, and I don't really care yet if they are late (they can walk to school it is only 0.9 miles from their home). What I do not want, which happens about once a week, is that they are stranded in odd location and need me to get involved when I am at work or commuting. Places include grocery store parking lot, school parking lot, in front of my driveway, in front of my neighbor's driveway (they like to just park in the middle of odd places and then the car can't start).
3. I offered to help, they accepted the idea initially, FIL keep upping the spec of the car he wants. It went from 8k to 15k to 18k to 20k to eventually around 27k. So it looks like we are in agreement that we should just fix the Camry. The only sad part to this is FIL thinks check engine light is to be ignored and will go away if you ignore them long enough.
4. The reason I offer to help is, 10 years ago I have lots of free time to diagnose cars and I was usually pretty good at it. Now I do not have that time, and he still don't get that my time is no longer free. So he call me all the time asking for suggestion. I don't want to do that anymore for the next 15 years. He was the one keep hounding me about it and I was the one trying to throw money to make it go away.