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More about the car.

So, I talked to Carl when I went to pick the car up. He says after looking some more at the exhaust system, he feels it really needs to be fixed sooner rather than later - he didn't even prepare the bill for the oil change, because he wants me to bring the car back in tomorrow. I explained, briefly, some of my concerns and asked his opinion.

He's not too happy that I want to drive the car to MA this weekend without getting it fixed, because if it snaps it will drag on the ground. But he says he'll tie up both sides of it tomorrow, so that if it does break it'll stay in place.

He says as far as he knows, it shouldn't need a lot more repairs after this one. But then, he didn't know about this a few months back. And, as my dad pointed out, cars are complex machines, there's a lot more that could break that hasn't yet.

I called my parents and talked to my dad for advice. (I did talk to my mom first, but her only suggestion was that I should talk to Dadoo...) He just went through a similar decision about his car about a year and a half ago. He said that for him, the breaking point is usually about when the cost of repairs is comparable to the trade-in value. Counting what I had done already... yup, that's now.

I took a quick look at what the local Saturn dealerships had to offer by the way of used cars, as well as building new cars in a couple of places. It looks like a used car, in the age and mileage bracket that looks like just-off-a-lease to me, might be my best answer. I really don't like the idea of getting a used car, but my financial circumstances are such that I can't afford to quibble.

No decisions are permanent yet, and I welcome opinions, although I don't promise to abide by them.

Update: I talked again to Carl about it this morning. He still feels that I should just do the repair, and that other than this the car is in really good condition and should last a while. And he thinks I should absolutely not buy a used car, that I already have a perfectly good used car.

Argh.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(no subject) - oidhche - Sep. 10th, 2004 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
collacentaur
Sep. 10th, 2004 02:36 am (UTC)
Pretty much, yeah. The '02 SL2 is what I looked at quickly, haven't put any serious research into it yet.
lurse
Sep. 10th, 2004 01:50 pm (UTC)
You might want to check and see if the person had the Saturn care plan and if so, if they followed it. Both oidhche and I have cars in good shape and we both had the care plan. I have the '02 SL1 and it's held up very well. Having ridden in your car Colla, I'm not sure the seats in mine are as comfortable, especially not for looooong drives. If you'd like, you're welcome to drive my car to get a feel for it. It probably handles about like yours.
turtle_morn
Sep. 10th, 2004 10:02 am (UTC)
You know my theory of keeping cars forever, no matter how much money they require for upkeep. I'm guessing that's not really helpful advice, though.
johnstevensaul
Sep. 10th, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
I don't know if you're completely commited to the Saturn line
But the Toyota Echo is a feul efficient, inexpensive car that from everything I've read holds up REALLY well
amy_pearlman
Sep. 10th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC)
If I knew you were really going to end up living down here soon, I'd tell you to go to CarSense (www.carsense.com) which is near here and has a really good rep and a no-haggle policy.

That being said....look at how much you're looking at spending on an off-lease vehicle. Then remember how much better a rate you are likely to get on financing a new car, and remember you can look at several models of new cars in the 12,000-14,000 range. I don't know which is the right answer, but keep that in mind. I've seen the numbers work out that the payment would end up the same...and I've seen one or the other be significantly lower.

And don't drive to MA, I'll pick you up.
amy_pearlman
Sep. 10th, 2004 03:03 pm (UTC)
And don't underestimate how much something like AAA or Costco can save you under the right circumstances.
palingyuan
Sep. 10th, 2004 03:43 pm (UTC)
My truck had developed an exhaust leak last spring, and I ended up without my truck for over a week, because after they took the system apart they found out that the needed part was available nowhere, and I do mean nowhere, they finally got it shipped from Canada. So was without a vehicle for a week and ended up paying a significant sum of money over $1,000 just before the wedding (Yay). Now my truck doesn't have quite as much mileage as yours and no offense, I do the recommended maintenance on schedule, and always have so I felt that doing this would make the truck good to go for a much longer time, but given your car's recent repair history and the potential cost of this repair, that money could also go into a down payment on a new used car for yourself depending on cost.

Having a good relationship with a decent mechanic is always good but mechanics make money fixing cars and well, your car is a good source of revenue for a mechanic currently...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )