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Bah. Took the vehicular device to the garage of doom today. It began to overheat on the drive to work the other day, so I worked from home the rest of the week and waited till today to take it in.

I was hoping that it was just a bubble/air pocket in the radiator, but alas. Besides the numerous other things I already knew needed to be addressed, I was given the bad news that the head gasket is going on it. Basically, all told, to fix the various and sundry things that should be fixed to make it driveable and safe, we're talking on the order of 4K. At least 2K just for the head gasket and related issues.

Yeah, well. The car isn't even worth 4K; I could probably find a new-to-me car for less that was in better shape. Of course, I don't really have 4K to spend on a new/used car either.

So here's the thing. I've looked in auto trader and auto catch and all the other sites I could find. I am the person who would be scammed because I just don't know enough. I know that sometimes you can totally luck out and get a dream of a car on craigslist or kijiji or whatever, but sometimes you basically get taken for a ride, and left on the side of the road naked with no kidneys. I don't even know where to start. I don't feel the least bit confident and I don't trust any of them - not the big dealerships, not the little used car lots, not the private sales, no one. I believe that, when it comes to cars, they are ALL OUT to GET ME.

Probably not a good attitude, but there it is.

I could probably manage to scrape up $1500 to buy a new to me car - it would mean raiding my RRSP, but I think it might be worth it. Between work and errands and shuttling the kids around for stuff, even with gas and insurance, I am not saving any money on transit, especially because I live on the edge of transit zone one and work in zone two, so I'd have to buy a 2 zone bus pass.

Faugh. I so did not need this right now, but I suppose there is never really a time when I would say, "Yes! Now is a perfect time for unexpect car issues, bring it on!"

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
enigmaticblues
Nov. 22nd, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
Cars and computers, man. When they work, we love them and can't live without them, and when they go kaput, it's hell on the bank account. Here's hoping you find the right deal.
shaddyr
Nov. 25th, 2014 04:49 am (UTC)
Wordy McWord.

I found something that might be a good deal, or might just be insanity that drains what little money I have and leaves me hanging.

We shall see.
hsifyppah
Nov. 23rd, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
Nooooo I'm so sorry. Car surprises are never cheap, are they. :(

Have you tried the modo car coop thing? It's no good for commuting, but nice for errands, and VERY nice for having the maintenance, repairs, gas, insurance be Not My Problem. Don't know if that would make sense for you because you'd still need transit to get to and from work.
shaddyr
Nov. 25th, 2014 04:55 am (UTC)
Car surprises tend to be exceedingly pricey, I have noticed.

Funny you should ask that - I've been a car co-op member for years and years, probably 10 now. I never got around to swapping over my old keys when they change the lock box system as I had a car; I believe in co-ops, so I've deliberately kept my membership.

I should really get the new keys; doesn't help with commuting but goof for many other things.

Happily, capnblackberry was willing to come look at cars with me and I shall be taking a stab at getting a new-to-me car that I am hoping is not a lemon. We shall see.
ladyniko
Nov. 23rd, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
Does Carfax work on your side of the border?

It's a way of checking to see which cars are lemons or not. Also, look at Kelly Blue Book and see ratings on vehicles and resale value.

Take whatever car catches your fancy to a mechanic and have them do an inspection on it to make sure there are no hidden surprises with the engine, suspension or brakes....

I honestly don't know what consumer laws you have to protect you from unscrupulous salesman, but be firm and stick to your guns on pricing and know your rights.

Don't let them pull the bait and switch on you - advertise a car for one price and when you get there, they try and say, "Oh no that was a typo...." (That's what happened on my first Mazda. The second one, I was the one snapping my fingers and sticking firm to the price my dad was willing to pay. :-p)

If I could, I'd be up there in a heartbeat to go shopping with you. I like scaring car salesmen now, knowing how much of a mark up there is on cars. (They were only willing to give my like $200 for my old car - I sold it myself for $1200! :-p)
shaddyr
Nov. 25th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
We have something like carfax.

I have found something and I talked to the mechanic about it - he knows I'll bring it in Tuesday night and shove the key through the letter slot. The used car place says I have a 48 hour warranty and bring it back, so I will get it checked out. If the tranny is ready to give out or the ball joints are shot or whatever, then back it goes.

I took it for a test drive on Sunday and I think it's got about 30% on the brakes, so it will need new ones probably next year, BUT my current car would have needed them too... we'll see what the mechanic says.
peteralway
Nov. 23rd, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC)
Ugh. I can't tell about cars. At the mechanic's I basically use the fact that I'm male as a bluff, hoping that they don't assume that they could pull the wool over my eyes. As far buying goes, I've been fortunate enough to be able to buy new, and chosen to do so at considerable expense, because I need my kidneys.
shaddyr
Nov. 25th, 2014 04:59 am (UTC)
I've been fortunate enough to be able to buy new, and chosen to do so at considerable expense, because I need my kidneys.

HAHAHAHA!

I hear that.
sgamadison
Nov. 25th, 2014 01:32 am (UTC)
I feel your pain. I had to buy a car within the last two weeks: mine had 274 K miles and a cracked head gasket. I have no idea how I will make the payments. Worse, my mom's car blew up at the same time. Now that's a blessing in disguise because she needs to NOT BE DRIVING but she is determined to get another car and I need to get her license revoked. :-(
shaddyr
Nov. 25th, 2014 05:03 am (UTC)
Ah, dude. Sucky. Sorry to hear that. And unlike me - where really, I am spoiled and if I had to, could live without a vehicle and just complain about it a lot, you NEED a car for your livelihood.

Bah, I hope the mom-sitch gets sorted. It's terrible when people who should not be driving for safety reasons (safety of everyone around them as well as themselves) but insist on doing so anyway.

I am picking up a clunker tomorrow and promptly dropping it off at the garage for an inspection. If they say OMG no, this is a nightmare, DON'T DO IT! then it's going back to the used car lot and I'll ask for the $ back. The guys at the lot seem honest, but don't they all?

We shall see.
sgamadison
Nov. 25th, 2014 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I had no choice. I've only had the thing 2 weeks and I've already put 500 miles on it. *headdesk* However, that's far less than I used to drive--I used to have a 100 mile daily commute.

The smart thing for my mother to do would be to sell her home and go into an assisted living situation in town, but that would require giving up her little dog (she isn't capable of walking him on a leash, and her yard is fenced). Frankly, I'd fight tooth and nail against that too.

Good luck on the clunker! I'm afraid I've become so cynical about salespeople (who can blame them, if their income depends on making sales?) that I don't trust anyone trying to sell me something. But I hope the car will serve your needs!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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