Constant Overheating From Our Car
The car is in the same condition that it was before – it’s overheating randomly. Many times the temperature gauge will jump up to the warning zone and back down within a matter of seconds.
We are still not sure what the problem is and we have already spent $2,300 to find the answers. We are not willing to put any more money into the vehicle in order to find out!
The car seemed to be doing fine when I would drive on the local streets, for the most part. However, going on the highway would almost instantly cause the gauge to shoot up.
For instance, my wife and I had to drive to the doctor’s office recently and we had to use several highways to get there.
SIDE NOTE: I am actually driving right now, and speaking into a voice recorder in order to dictate this article, and the warning light for the temperature just went on to tell me that the car was overheating. By the time I just finished that sentence, the gauge managed to jump all the way up and drop back to the middle of the dashboard! This is exactly what happens about 85% of the time – the other 15% are cases where the engine actually overheats and stays hot for a while. This has the mechanics baffled, and I think it’s worth it to keep pursuing this issue.
So back to the drive to the doctor’s office where we had to take three different highways to get there. The car overheated and had us sitting in the shoulder waiting for it to cool down on each one of the highways. It seems like the high speeds really cause the engine to overheat.
I noticed recently that these opposite reactions from the car have been reversed. I can take the highway for short distances (5 miles or less) and go up to at least 65mph without the car overheating. Oh the other hand, I run into trouble when I take the local roads and have to wait for slow drivers, pedestrians, and traffic lights. So the car is becoming a lot more unpredictable and unreliable.
Unfortunately, driving in New Jersey means dealing with a lot of traffic and congestion (both on the highways and local roads), and although I usually do a great job of avoiding these delays, I am stuck having to watch the gauge shoot up more often now.
So, because our car has cost over $2,000 to try to fix the problem, we are not willing to put any more money into it at this point.
Our Second Car Needs Lots Of Work Too
My wife drives an SUV, which also needs a good amount of work. We have been putting off the repairs and maintenance while we pour all of our money into the car. Also, a few new things have come up with the SUV, and we believe that we will have to spend about $2,500 in order to address everything.
In the next week or so, we’re looking at spending between $700 and $800 to take care of a couple of immediate problems. After that we still have to get more maintenance done which could cost another $1,500 or so.
Should We Fix Our Old Car Or Buy A New One?
We actually considered getting a replacement vehicle, just so we would have one reliable car. We thought about leasing a car, something that neither of us have done before; we also talked about financing a car. However, the biggest drawback with that idea is having monthly payments again.
You may recall, that we have recently paid off our car loan, and we were looking forward to applying that monthly payment to one of our credit cards (after building up our emergency fund). We also know that if we decide to either lease a vehicle or finance one, the monthly payments will be much higher than we were paying on our car.
So at the moment the thought that is winning in our decision-making is that we would rather spend $2,500 to get an SUV that had been treated well and has a bunch of new parts that are under mechanical warranty; rather than buy a used car which could just lead to us taking over someone else’s problem, or to buy a new vehicle and take out a loan for anywhere between $25,000 and $30,000.
So for now, we are going to put the money out to fix my wife’s vehicle, and just drive my car into the ground. I may change the oil, but I doubt I will do much else to our car. We will just prepare ourselves for having one vehicle, and enjoying life without a car note!
photo credit: Indiewench
© 2013, Khaleef “Fat Guy” Crumbley. All rights reserved.