Author Topic: Stupid car!  (Read 2373 times)


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Stupid car!
« on: March 06, 2014, 12:57:30 PM »
Last July, shortly after we discovered MMM, my son bought a more fuel-efficient car and sold his gas-guzzler.  He paid $4,000 cash for it, and immediately loved it.  Unfortunately, it was somehow losing oil (although not dripping) and he wasn't checking on it often enough, and the engine went bad in December.

His father (who is the anti-MMM) immediately started pressuring him to use his savings to put a down payment on a brand new car, and promised to make the payments for him.  DS resisted because 1) he knew that as a 19-year-old male, comprehensive coverage on a brand new car would make his insurance rates go sky-high, 2) he didn't want to part with his savings, and 3) accepting money from his dad would irritate his independent streak and MMM tendencies.

DS, DH (son's step-dad) and I sat down and talked about it and did some research.  Our mechanic wanted $2,800 to replace the engine.  The local wrecking yard was having a year-end clearance and had an engine for $90.  We made an agreement that if he and DH installed that engine themselves and it didn't work, DH and I would cover the cost, so there was no risk to DS.  We also had an extra car (we had a 2000 Saturn SL2 sitting in the wings because DH's car has 250,000 miles on it...), so there was no transportation emergency as far as DS getting to campus or to work.

Well, it didn't work, and we've had to take it to mechanics a few times for troubleshooting, which has cost a few hundred dollars.  Although they made some rookie mistakes and had to fix them, the mechanics have said the guys did a great job installing was just bad luck that the engine wasn't good.  They actually had a pretty good time being grease monkeys, and learned a lot in the process.

So, three months later, DS is in the exact same position as when he started.  The options are to start over, hopefully with some sort of guarantee on another engine, or to take Dad up on his offer.  It kills DS (and me, and DH) to just scrap his beautiful little car that cost him $4,000 because we can't figure out the engine.  It kills us only slightly less to pay someone $2,800 to make it functional again.  But DS is a college student taking 16 units while holding a job (he's already got a huge load on his plate), and starting over would mean another 3 months of doing nothing but fixing the car all weekend for DH, too.  What should a good Mustachian do?!!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 01:01:10 PM by Bookworm »


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Re: Stupid car!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 04:40:17 PM »
1. Sell the car.

2. Buy a reliable car (e.g., a Camry or Accord) for $2800.

3. Use the money from #1 to keep #2 on the road for another 20,000 miles. It shouldn't cost more than that.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Stupid car!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 06:41:23 PM »
What kind of car? What are the issues they are having?
Just because mechanics say it's expensive, doesn't make it so.