Over the last 18 months I have been writing to you about the never ending saga concerning my car. Over that time, we have made countless trips to several different mechanics spending almost $2300 and spending countless hours on the road in order to try and solve the problem.
You may recall that the major problem with our vehicle was overheating. It started out as a gradual problem – I was still able to drive the car for 30 or 40 miles without having to stop too often – but over the last few months of driving it, the overheating became so constant that I could not go for more than a mile without having to pull over on the side of the road.
A few months ago my wife and I decided to give up on the car as we tried to figure out what the best option was going forward. Since we have paid the car off this year we did not want to take out another loan to buy a new (to us) car; but we also knew how difficult it will be for us to only have one vehicle, and we were leery about picking up a car for $1000 or less.
Even though we already made the decision to not put any more money into the car, we kept it around just in case we decided to purchase one from a dealership and could use the old one as a trade in. Also, since we could still drive the car for short distances we wanted to keep it around in case we faced a huge emergency.
While we were getting repairs done on our other vehicle, we mentioned the overheating problem to the mechanic once again and he suggested that he run one more test on it to confirm whether it was the head gasket or not. Since we had nothing to lose we decided to let him run the test, and of course he came back and told us that it was indeed the head gasket that was the problem and we would need to replace the engine!
Since both our registration and inspection only lasted through the end of November we were essentially forced to make a decision about the future of the car. Taking a hard look at our finances made it very clear that we would not be able to purchase a new vehicle anytime soon, so we would not need to use the car as a trade in. We also decided that it was not worth the cost of registering the vehicle, the time involved in getting it inspected, and the cost of insuring the car just to be able to drive a half-mile in emergency.
Because of all of this, we decided to sell our car to a junkyard. I guess I should remind everyone that on top of needing a new engine, the rear window had to be replaced (the heat strips that defrost the back window no longer work), the speedometer was no longer working, and the gas gauge was broken as well. In order to compensate for the latter three malfunctions, I would have to heat up the interior of the car enough so that the back window remained clear after I manually wiped it down, guess at my speed based on surrounding traffic or use the GPS in my phone, and I would just fill up my car with gas every 200 miles. 😯
So even if we would have replaced the engine, the car had enough problems that would have made it undesirable for most people. This is why we just went with the junkyard rather than trying to find a private buyer and then explain all of the problems. We received $400 in cash for the vehicle, avoided the cost of renewing the registration, and removed coverage for one vehicle from our insurance – they actually sent us a check for over $200 for the remainder of the year.
I must say that on top of all of the costs that we avoided as well as the check that we received from the insurance company, the greatest thing that we received is the peace of mind of knowing that we won’t have to worry about that car. We no longer have to walk outside every day hearing the faint sounds of laughter coming from our vehicle. 🙄
It’s been tough trying to manage with only one car, but we are trying to make due. It’s going to take time but in the end we know that it’s worth it. Of course, we will keep you updated about a car situation and we will also be letting you know exactly how this will affect us financially.
photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net
Until then, leave a comment and let us know the worst experience that you’ve ever had with a car!
© 2013, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.