Decision time concerning a car.

Discussion in 'Prayer Requests & Praise' started by windcatcher, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. windcatcher

    windcatcher
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    I guess this may sound silly to some.... but so be it.
    My car just blew a head gasket. Real major damage, real major repair needed.

    It went hot on me .....which wasn't noticed until about 4 miles from home, whereupon there was a significant change in its response. At several points it quit on me but I 'nursed' it on home. It was so hot it melted out the back spark plug wires which were new last summer. After looking at some drops of transmission oil, I believe the transmission was also fried in part due to the over heat.... (gray flecks in the oil) and will be the next repair needed even if it suffices for now.

    Its a 98 Ford Taurus with 150,000 + or - on its odometer: I bought it in 2002, used, for $4,000.

    The thing is, I live 10 miles from any grocery store, in the country where neighbors are acers or portions of miles apart. I have no credit cards and $1013/month to live on.

    Please pray that the Lord will give me His guidance and wisdom as to whether I should junk the car and depend on the help and transport of others for a while, while saving for another used car or whether I should have this car repaired with a rebuilt or salvaged engine. I hope I will be led to the right decision but have no experience and know of noone to advise in these matters. I don't feel an urgency, but know the car shop will not hold my car for long without some decision coming from me.

    Thank you.
     
  2. jilphn1022

    jilphn1022
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    Dear Lord, Give wisdom to windcatcher concerning the decision concerning a car. We asked this in Thy Precious Name, Jesus! AMEN
     
  3. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Windcatcher, what is the estimate you have been given to replace the engine in the Taurus?
     
  4. SaggyWoman

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    You are in my prayers.
     
  5. tommie

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    Praying that the Lord would lead windwalker in what she should do.
     
  6. padredurand

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    Sometimes it is just cheaper to replace a car than repair it. I bought a Chevy Blazer on Ebay for $610. I drove it 100,000 miles, gave it to my son, he drove it another 30,000 miles and sold it to his neighbor for $500. I paid $800 for my current car. I've added 68,000 miles in a little more than two years.

    If that doesn't work for you I know this guy that sells Subarus....:tongue3:
     
  7. windcatcher

    windcatcher
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    If a salvage yard engine is used, the shop will do it the engine for about 1500. They say that the way the engine is mounted, it will require the removal of the transmission which is additional labor than with some cars. Their estimate doesn't include any transmission work, if it is required and which would have to be done at a shop which specializes in that work.


    I know this guy that sells Subarus
    Located in NW Florida, right? lol.

    Wow! This is what I'm hoping for..... Value and reliability, safe handling.

    Yet, in shopping the ads for private owner sales.... they are running close to the dealers prices. Cars that get good mpg are selling in the ballpark of 3-4 K 10 years or more old, even with dings and dents, or uncertain noises coming from under the hood, or tires with great tread... but obviously old with crazing and cracking showing failure and replacement in near future. (Plenty of military, students needing cars, economy and high unemployment, and seasonal tax returns coming in to support the prices in this area.)

    My brother and I looked at a Chevy Tracker, SUV, 1999, 78K on the odometer, foreign engine, Toyota drive train.... for 4K..... wanted 4.8K but got .8 knocked off. Dealer told brother it was 30mpg.... but dealer wasn't present to show car when brother took me to see it..... Its tires are big and crazed and there's no thickness in the doors. Spare is mounted external on rear hatch. Body and interior excellant shape. The small engine is a mechanics dream as far as ease and plenty of room.... but the 'foreign' part may be a thorn for repairs and parts.... don't know. For a car so old, with such good milage, I wonder about the low odometer miles..... and the secretary was unable to give me any info about the history of ownership, etc... which can be a red flag.... it I let it.

    I'm trying to keep patience, as I know if I wait upon God's direction, everything will work out for the good. Insurance, which is due March 3rd, can be temp. suspended for 6 months w/o losing accident free values or reinstatement fees or longevity consideration.... which is good. Also, the DMV will allow a temp suspension on the license plate and transfer to a car purchased later. So its more a concern of wisdom and patience and information gathering and waiting upon that 'hunch' which secures me with the assurance that God endorses the decision.

    I still haven't ruled out repairing my car as with 20-24 mpg and excellant performance in manuevering on road to escape potential hazards.... I feel a degree of 'affection' for the old thing..... Not to mention, God was in my decision to purchase it when I needed a replacement car for my 86 Pontiac, which was still running good, during a period of unemployment and cannibalizing my savings in 2002.

    I would have placed this in general discussion.... But I do need the wisdom of you all and others with experience with used cars and/or repairs, as well as your prayers. God bless each one of you and I thank Him for each of you for sharing in this concern.
     
    #7 windcatcher, Feb 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2010
  8. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Hey, if you want a Subaru, I can have it drop-shipped to you! LOL

    Here's my opinion. Sounds like you can get your current car fixed for between $1500 and $3000. If you go this route, you have the peace of mind of knowing that this is a car you've had a while and have had good service with, and now it has a new engine and tranny in it. You could spend the same amount of money on a different car but could have the same problems in short order. Or you could buy a cheaper car, but you still don't have the peace of mind that a new engine and tranny (if needed) would provide.

    If you are up against it financially, it's almost always better to repair the car you have than to buy another one unless you know how to work on it (in which case you should still fix your old one) or unless you know the history of the el cheapo you plan to buy and know that it has been well maintained.

    In short, $3000 or less for a car with a new motor and trans is a great deal. That's what you have if you fix your current car.
     
  9. windcatcher

    windcatcher
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    Thanking you for your prayers and encouragement.

    My brother took me back to take a closer look at the Chevy Tracker. The salesman/owner was in and we took it for a spin. The odometer figures which were reported to me was lower than that on the dash.... 117K, but that's okay. I went over it as thouroughly as I knew how.... and asked to look under the hood. windshield washer dirty.... no coolant in the overflow: Hmmmm??? Mentioned these and remembered I hadn't tried the windshield washer to see if the pump worked so I mentioned that and the concern about the level of coolant..... and asked if he'd pressure check the engine? No? But he'd do it in his shop. I wait and I pray....... Lord, I'm kinda thinking about this car if the pressure checks out. If this is not what you want for me will you put it into my head something I failed to see..... or give me some strong direction whereby I wont make the wrong decision. A while later the guy comes back smiling, driving the car and spraying the windshield all over and telling me the pressure checked out great with no leaks. I ask him if we can look under the hood once more. Where's the crank case dip stick? We have to consult the book after he pulls out a stick in back which looks to me like it should be the transmission dip stick. We find the oil dipstick right on top of the engine...... OK, easy enough. How about a look at the transmission dip stick again? I had a clean paper napkin in my pocket and we wipe the transmission oil on it. Looks like crank case oil ......no color and smells more like crank case oil. Hmmmm? "Looks good doesn't it? All nice and clear," he says. I shake my head a slow 'no'. "What's the matter?" he asks. "You've picked over this car like a toothpick." I tell him that automatic transmission fluid should be a clear bright rosey color and this looks burnt to me or like it may be contaminated. He'll change it, he says. That's good, says I...... I'll have to think about it.

    .......... Still looking.


    But that's okay.
     
  10. windcatcher

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    My dad, on 3 retirements, is discouraging me from having the engine rebuilt or replaced...... but i sort of feel this is the way for me to go. He draws 3 retirements and thinks a new car ....... or if a used car.... then American made, great safety rating and well maintained.... no older than 6 years for about $4000. Well, I've been shopping, and even the New Car Dealers have nothing on their lots for less than $4000 and those are older than my 98 Ford. It seems all the small cars are now in high demand.

    I called my insurance man to suspend my auto insurance after suspending my tag....... and happened to think to question him for a comparison of safety between the Taurus and the Chev Tracker. He said the insurance on the Tracker would increase by $40 per biannual as its rating was a '5', but my Taurus was rated at '30'. Wondering how high their scale goes.... I asked him. The highest is a '40' but we don't see too many of those, he says. 'You're talking about something in the line of a Mercedes, to get that high a rating,' he adds. "Yes' he wont mind if I call him repeatedly about safety ratings on cars that I price while looking. I thank him.

    Do you know what it cost to get a duplicate replacement for a title on a car you already own? $85! and that much to transfer tag plus sales tax on cost of car.... in Florida. If you don't already have a tag to transfer...... I'm told it may cost an additional $400. The state and counties are strapped for money, so they're looking at all the special revenue sources they already have in place to increase. Well, one thing I'll say about that, even if I don't like it much.... and that is increasing the fees certainly beats adding a bunch of other new fees and having to manage the additional infrastructure of adding personnel to police and managed the new regulations and accounts.:tongue3:
     
  11. windcatcher

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    Praise the Lord....... and thanking him for the help he sent my way.
    I have a car and it goes beyond my wildest dreams.
    I now hope and pray that in my driving and in its use, I will honor Him.

    Thanking Him for the prayer partners here who shared in my concerns, and thanking all of you.
     

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