Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Anyone have a spare car they don't need?

As many of you know, my main mode of transportation is a lovely 1989 Volvo 740. While I do love my car (name: Sandra), she has given me more than her fair share of trouble since I've owned her. The radio was shite and I had that upgraded, then I broke the mechanism for the drivers side window. We had some more trouble with the emission test and a nasty crack on the back glass which involved me having to replace the whole thing. Plus there's the fact that my muffler fell off (I've yet to replace it) and the windshield wipers barely work. Yet stubborn me, I've stuck by it.

Until now.

I think that the car has finally had it.

You see I've been driving around for the last little while, enduring an annoying screeching noise that often manifests itself when I brake. The brakes were also feeling a little soft. I figured it's most likely the brake pads, so I finally got around to taking it in to Midas, hoping to take advantage of their $49 Brake Pad Special. Needless to say, the estimate was far more than that.

Among other things, the calipers are shot and I'm looking at about $850 all said and done. Perhaps if I shopped around I could find a bit of a better deal. But it's not worth it. At $700 it wouldn't be worth it. At $500 it wouldn't be. I still have no muffler, the wipers will go eventually, I can tell the power windows won't last long, etc. So I can no longer justify putting any more money into this car. It's done.

So now I'm driving around a car with (more or less) faulty brakes and am going to have to lay out MORE money on a car. And I'm not going to get anything for my old one, let's face facts. I really can't be that upset I suppose. When I bought the thing in March of 2006, I paid next to nothing for it ($1200). I said then that I'd be thrilled if it ran me a year. Well, it did and then some. I guess I was just hopeful it'd last me a little longer and not have to be yet another expense. I'm weighing my options right now. Perhaps I'll try and get lucky with another beater. I'm actually strongly leaning towards leasing a used car, something a little better than what I would buy outright. Needless to say, this puts the very final nail in the moving out coffin. That dream is officially dead. I guess you could say that it dies along with Sandra.


Blogger Daphne said...

Sorry to hear about your car. I wish I had one to give you.

The leasing option sounds like a good idea to me.

July 05, 2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Buying used isn't that bad either. I got my 2002 Saturn with 40,000 clicks on it in 2005 for about $12K, including a 2-year/30,000 km warranty. The payments over a 48-month amortization are less than $200/month. It's no '89 Volvo, but it gets me around and I haven't had any major trouble with it. You could get a way better deal than that on a somewhat older car at this point - I think book value on mine is around $8K right now. Check out the Saturn dealership - they guarantee all of their used cars and offer warranty service, plus they'll give you $500-$1000 off since you're a new grad. (You just have to show them your diploma).

You could also just run Sandra into the ground and worry about it when she's fully dead, to roll this earth no more.

Another great place to look is the buy and sell - buy a used car from the elderly, they barely put any mileage on and they usually don't try and rip you off.

Anyhow, sorry Mike, it sucks, but you know there are people working the same job as you that live on their own and pay for a car. Not the greatest for saving money, but they get by, and it might be the best option for your sanity. Not to mention that you should be able to get a way better job if you want to. Office jobs suck, but they pay somewhat more and there are usually more ladies in your age bracket around to make friends with... Too bad you didn't take science, or I could totally hook you up with a science writing job at my company.

July 05, 2007 9:43 AM  
Blogger Kid Icarus said...

Yeah, I don't think I'm going to go through a private seller. I'm going to see if I can get something better through monthly payments than I would be able to buy with cash. But I don't even know that one could do monthly payments like you are having actually purchased it. I though that would make it a lease...very sad that I know so little about all this, meaning I'm likely way out of my element here.

And again, I still have one more year of school left, so I won't be earning that much come fall. Therein lies the difficulty of living alone and having the car.

July 05, 2007 10:08 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Ahh, for some reason I thought you were done with school... Yes, that does complicate things somewhat.

July 06, 2007 9:31 AM  

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