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Car Stress - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
Car Stress
My car is dying, and I don't know what to do.

It's got engine problems, apparently there is something wrong with its second cylinder. They need to take it apart to figure it out, which is a minimum of $500. Basically they say the simplest thing that might be wrong with it would cost over $1000 to fix, and the most expensive thing might be as much as $3000.

I checked the trade-in value, and apparently it's only worth about $1620 trade-in. Only $2780 if I were to sell it privately (which is a pain).

So it's broken for more than it's worth, basically. The thing is: I've been thinking seriously about buying a new car for quite some time now. But this one is paid off, had been running fine, and is really a nice little car. I'm very fond of my car. It was the first new car I ever bought, I picked it out myself, and it's served me faithfully for 8 years.

The car I've been thinking seriously about buying is the new Saturn Ion Quad Coupe. Unfortunately it's not going to be available until around February. If I want to wait for that, I have to sink about $2000 into my current car. If I don't want to fix my car, I need to buy another car now. Now! But buying a new car is a huge investment, not one I want to jump into lightly. Now I feel like I'm under all this pressure to decide right away though, because I am currently without a vehicle.

This is a Bad Thing, when you live in the Motor City. You can't get hardly anywhere without a car. Right now, for example, I am stranded here at work until somebody is kind enough to come and fetch me. I hate having to inconvenience my friends and family to give me rides. Not to mention my own inconvenience! It's all just a sucky deal.

So what to do, what to do? I could rent a car for awhile. I could buy a clunker (just slightly less clunky than my current sputtering poor little car). I could just suck up and pay for my engine to be fixed. I could take tomorrow off and shop for cars, try to find something I like.

Really none of these options are very good! Especially since I'm supposed to be working all week. Mostly right now what I'd like to do is crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head, stop trying to think about it. The whole thing is just making me miserable! But I can't even do that, because I'm stranded here at work without a car, darn it all.

I do love my little car. My pretty little purple car. Now that I'm suddenly thinking about replacing it, I'm regretting not having taken any pictures of it. That was one of the things I wanted to do before I bought a new car, was take it to a car wash, get it all pretty, and take a bunch of pictures to remember it by. Hopefully I'll still be able to do that at some point, even if I have to skip the washing-part.

So I sit here at work, stomach churning away, shoulders knotted up, agonizingly stressing about something I can't do anything about. What fun!
read 8 comments | talk to me!
cynnerth From: cynnerth Date: December 30th, 2002 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know much about cars and such, but I wonder if the Saturn dealership would lease you a car until the Saturn Ion Quad was available? It's only two months away, so maybe they don't have any options for that short of a time. But maybe they'd work with you if they knew there was a sale of a new car in it for them.

Heck, I don't know. No wonder you're stressed!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 30th, 2002 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
hmmm....it's certainly worth asking them, thanks for the suggestion!
endogenousardor From: endogenousardor Date: December 30th, 2002 02:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
When you say "motor city," are you referring to Detroit? Or some city like Houston or Los Angeles where folks feel truly dependent on the auto in order to function?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: December 30th, 2002 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm referring to Detroit...I live in its suburbs. Public transportation sucks here, and everything is very spread out, so we are also very dependent on our cars to function!
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: December 30th, 2002 03:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

New Car

Have you consulted C?

The Saturn would not be a good buy as most cars have alot of problems in their first year of introduction.
Satruns as a rule are not known for their reliability.

How about a Mazda Protege or a Miata?

or a Honda Civic coupe or hatchback?

or a Ford Focus SVT or ZX5 or a red Mustang Convertible?

The latter would be a good used buy.

January is a good time to buy a car dealwise just do not let them know you need to buy a car and take C along to run interference with the salesperson and maybe get a Ford discount and play one dealer against the other to get a good price.

dreamattack329 From: dreamattack329 Date: December 30th, 2002 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree that it doesn't seem like a good idea to buy a brand new model its first year off the line. It's kind of like buying the 1.0 version of a piece of software; it's better to wait a while until a newer, de-bugged version appears.

Now actually may be a good time to buy a car. Many dealerships, like Toyota, have huge end of year sales.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: December 30th, 2002 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Time to Buy

Definitely the right time to buy, year end/ end of month sales. Many discounts, Mitsubishi is even offering 0% interest and no payments until 2004 if you buy by Jan 2nd (of course, certain people don't like Japanese vehicles). Plus I think you've got relatives and friends with some of the local manufacturers and could get a really good employee price. I wanted to keep my old vehicle (and avoid the car payments for 4 to 6 years) but decided it just wasn't worth it to keep pouring money into it. I also agree with not buying a model in it's first year - I did and never again (and yes it was an American manufacturer).
From: eviljohn Date: December 30th, 2002 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Back when my old car caught on fire I had the same conundrum, I got a $500 clunker and drove that for a few months while I went car-shopping and waited for the insurance paperwork to resolve. Six months later the engine sized and I ended up selling the clunker for $5 to a junk yard, but I got my money out of it. I'm happy that I bought it, it was cheaper than a rental and saved me a lot of stress.

Get a Honda Hybrid. It'll annoy Chad. ;-)
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