Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Car Gods are Angry Again

The Car Woes of 2014 continues here at Chez Sluggy.

When we got my minivan inspected in March the auto shop said we needed body work done(a rust/corrosion issue underbody)sooner rather than later.
Said issue would definitely fail our annual inspection next year and take the minivan off the road.

So we bit the bullet and took the car up to our "Auto Body Shop Guy" on Friday.
The news is bad and badder.

IF once he gets it up on the lift and can bang around under there AND he only has to patch the ends of whatever he is repairing, it's going to run $1500.
IF once he gets it up on the lift and can bang around under there and AND the "whatever" can't be patched and the middle has to be replaced, it's going to run $3000.


I would have no problem sinking that kind of money into the van since it only has 98K miles on it and it's a 2003.
But it's a 2003 and only worth about $3500 anyway.
Can I justify putting $3K into a car only worth $3500 after it's fixed?

So we have 1 car that needs potentially $3K in repairs, 1 car that has major issues to repair(but keeping the oil and transmission fluids checked and capped is working to keep it on the road w/out sinking the $3K it needs to fix those issues)we have to address eventually and 1 car that is aok right now and needs no work.
The only car without issues is the one #2 Son drives.......our kid has a better car than both his parents at this point. lolz

Once #2 Son goes away to college, we were going to get rid of a car....not the one he drives.
Hubs was going to get rid of his "leaking too expensive to repair mess of a car" vehicle and take over the third car. 
But now my van is on the table for discussion do we ditch the van instead, since Hubs car is drivable for the foreseeable future with the tweaking he does on it?
Or do we ditch 2 cars come August and become a 1 car family?

I don't need a car except for errands-going to the grocery store, gas station, bank and post office.  I don't commute to a job.  All these can be done when he gets home in the evening and/or on weekends.  It becomes a little inconvenient with the bank and PO, but still doable.
The problem would arise if I had a medical appointment or emergency.

So what would you do in this situation?

I hate these blasted machines' associated costs!




  1. hmmm I'd let your hubby take your son's car since he drives to work, ditch whichever you don't want to drive/cant drive(minivan probably) and maybe keep hubby's car for you to drive in emergencies unless you can get a good chunk of money for it as-is. I have no patience for a vehicle that's not reliable and also stop sinking money into one after a point - coworker has a hundai that had been a great car - she had 160k miles on it and hadn't done the timing belt (dunno why because she said she knew but just put it off) well it damaged the engine whenit broke and by the time it was said and done she had sunk over 4k in a car with 160k plus miles on it and a bluebook value half of the repairs. and she's still being nickled and dimed over that car. I sunk too much into mine and it was my first brand new car :-(

  2. don't do it (sink good money into a crappy car).

  3. go to one car the sons car

  4. Personally, I'd dump 2 bad cars, let DH drive college son's car. Stockpile whatever $ you get from selling those off. Start a new Sluggy car fund and watch for a used car with low miles (that's how I recently acquired my Prius)and pay CASH. Plan your appointments (just may keep you out of stores and also be a means to saving $). Can you drive DH to work on days that you'd need the car? have a friend who'd drive you to the MD if needed?

  5. Having lived in the South for my whole life, I am unsure about the car rust Why does the state care? I know you have salt rust issues, but, okay, you have salt rust body issues. Did you notice the "issues" on the road in your trip to the South?

    Today, the black, belching smoke from other cars made me ill because my ac is not working all the time. We have no inspections. If it rolls; it's good.

    TN does have inspections.

  6. I would ditch two cars, unless you absolutely need one for errands. But I agree about starting to save for a new used one for you. 3 grand in repairs for a 2003 minivan sounds a bit too steep. Could you get a second opinion somewhere?

  7. Your van is becoming a money pit. When a car is going to cost more to repair than its worth, ditch it. One reason I manage to keep vehicles going is because I can do almost all the work myself with the help of friends. When that isn't an option, drop it like a hot potato. I find it hard to believe that van is actually worth $3500. Is that Kelly Blue Book on it? Condition taken into account? Not trying to insult you, just being realistic. Perhaps it's time to bite the bullet and get a nice, gently used vehicle, and when #2 Son leaves, you'll have two reliable, cheap to run vehicles that will outlast the college days for #2S even if you do have a small payment for them. I'd bet that will work out cheaper than a butt job on the van, and continuous tweaking on hub's car (which is a pain in and of itself, I'm sure). Just trying to be realistic.

    Peace <3

  8. Most college towns have great public transportation and are bike friendly...dump the 2 bad cars and use the third good car. Buy the son a bike and/or scooter...Greyhound to come home for visits.

    1. I know UAH and UAB don't have public transportation systems. So, it would depend on the school, I suppose. Grandson goes to school in a tiny town that has everything he needs within walking distance. I think that if he has to go to WM, it is further. His parents take him to school at the beginning of the year and will pick him up at the end of the year. Otherwise, he takes a bus the three hours home for holidays.

      If you have an emergency, could you drive? I do think you need a car. Since you drive so little and gently, your new car will last forever.

      Exbf's car is roaring but he puts oil in before and after work and is going to drive it until it blows up. That is scary.

  9. You poor, poor thing. Literally, you are car poor.
    I think that you are going to have to dump the van and soon. Drive hubs car and wait it out til son leaves.
    The problem with going down to a one car family is that you may feel a bit isolated. I know that would be the one thing that would get to me. I would drive the snot out of the cars and let them die a violent death. It is time to stop dumping money in all of them. I guess, If hubs is going to retire soon, then try to go with one car until then. But if it is going to be a while before he retires, I think I would buy a good car for you. Then when he retires, sell the crappiest of the cars and use the money to visit me and the liquor store.

    1. This is great: "I would drive the snot out of the cars and let them die a violent death." YEAH, BABY!!! I drive 'em til the wheels fall off, though I admit I got rid of the Jeep when engine parts starting falling off while driving down the Interstate!

      Peace <3

  10. I agree with the suggestions to dump the money sucking vehicles and put the money that the repairs would cost into a good reliable vehicle.

  11. Feeeeeeeeeeeling your pain!! I'm having some truck issues too but I plan to fix them myself with duct tape!!


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.