Daily Reads

Monday, July 01, 2013

It's dead, Jim.

I have tried, and maybe succeeded, in killing my car.

Today on the way into work it started making tick, tick noises, almost immediately followed by thwuk, thwuk, and then THWAK, THWAK.  I pulled over to the side of the road and called GEICOs roadside service number, which is in my contacts, though it's never been to the point where I felt it needed a speed dial.  An hour and a half later I was at the dealer's repair shop waiting for a ride into work.

It turns out I haven't had an oil change in 9 months. (!Ack! And I'm the one always nagging my husband to get his car done, because he works at Sears, and it's so hard for him to leave it at the in-house auto repair while he's there.)  In my defense things have been pretty crazy the last five months, and that wasn't high priority, especially as it's really inconvenient for me to get it serviced.  And as with many low priority things, when you leave them alone long enough, they turn around and bite you in the ass.  This particular ass-biting involves having destroyed the engine.

I'm waiting to hear from the repair shop with an estimate on how much a used engine is going to cost, parts, labour, and taxes.  If it's under $3K it will still probably be a good idea, since I doubt we'd get a car for under $300 a month in car payment, and with a new-to-us engine we should be able to nurse the Santa Fe along for at least another year.  It's only a 2003.


The only thing that makes me feel a little better about it, is that my mother did exactly the same thing to her first Camry.  So it's not like she can say anything.

Update 7/2:  It will cost between $4K and $5.5K to put a new-used engine with 100K miles on it, or a refurbished engine in the car.  And even in pristine condition, if we were buying it from a dealer it would only be worth about $5K anyway.  So today (Tuesday) I'm starting the car hunt.  At least our credit should be better (we have a house), dealers are starting the "Get rid of the 2013s!" sales push, and there's a chance we may still be able to get something as trade in for the Santa Fe.  If nothing else it should be worth something for parts.

Again, sigh.

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