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car is a money pit

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My mom signed over her old (2001) Buick to me; she's not driving anymore. I sold off my Honda. No reason to have two cars and just one driver.

Weeeelllll...... this is the same car where the rodents got in and chewed up the writing harness. I had the back brakes rebuilt, etc, etc. Other various expenses last summer.

Nearly $900!

NOW - take the car for winterization... I figured the battery is about to die on me - it's original equipment for cryinoutloud so I KNOW I was living on borrowed time. I could tell it was not cranking properly. I also had been told last summer about some issues with leaking shocks and was limping along with that.

Well - front suspension, back suspension, new battery, new tires (yes also orig. equipment - I feared dry rot and a highway blowout), oil change, brake fluid flush (now I SWEAR the dealership did that last summer, but apparently it's contaminated ... crap), alignment. In the neighborhood of $1,800.

This is a local franchise of a national auto repair/tire store, not the dealer. One teensy upside is that I could get their house credit card and take 90 days same as cash. The owner also said he would work with my bill and see what he could whittle down.

Sigh...........

There is JUST NO GETTING AHEAD THESE DAYS!

I would love a new car, but cannot afford one. This one is paid off, but is at an age where maintenance and repair bills are going to be huge, like they are now.
post #2 of 24
I know that feeling I got my grandmothers car safety'd and 5 months later it was stolen.... it cost $1500 to safty it and when it was stolen the blue book replacement value of a 1991 Dinasty was $526.00

Talk about a money pit.
post #3 of 24
Should have kept the Honda and sold off the Buick!
post #4 of 24
Ive got a money pit too. Now I'm renting a car until I get the time to go get another. My dead car is a 95 Ford.
post #5 of 24
I just found out last week that I needed $1500 worth of work done to my car I have a 2004 Chrysler Sebring, but it has 120,000 miles on it so things are starting to go when you get up to that mileage... struts, exhaust, wheel bearing and tie-rod (sp?) I'll soon need new tires in the back and brakes I still have a year left to pay on the thing so I can't get a new one, hopefully after I put all this work into it it will last me a few more years so I won't have a car payment for awhile
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I just found out last week that I needed $1500 worth of work done to my car I have a 2004 Chrysler Sebring, but it has 120,000 miles on it so things are starting to go when you get up to that mileage... struts, exhaust, wheel bearing and tie-rod (sp?) I'll soon need new tires in the back and brakes I still have a year left to pay on the thing so I can't get a new one, hopefully after I put all this work into it it will last me a few more years so I won't have a car payment for awhile
Could be a mopar thing. I just replaced the struts on my Intrepid last summer and the rack and pinion needs replaced too. I can't afford it when the car has 160,000 miles on it. At least my engine and tranny are still good... it's just everything else that's falling apart.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Should have kept the Honda and sold off the Buick!
Don't laugh, Linda. I seriously considered doing that! But the Buick only had 25K on it and the Honda 120K... so...
post #8 of 24
Forget old cars, we only had our Ford F150 a year and a half when it needed $3k worth of brake work that for some reason they would not cover under warranty
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
Forget old cars, we only had our Ford F150 a year and a half when it needed $3k worth of brake work that for some reason they would not cover under warranty
Hmmmm.... that doesn't sound right...
post #10 of 24
our car finally broke down this morning, we've been having problems with it for the past two weeks but FH noticed there were problems with his car since we got back from europe. (don't lend cars to your siblings )
its going to cost over 1,000 to get it fixed
post #11 of 24
Our Subaru has had one thing adfter another too. Not much you can do when you need your car every day.
post #12 of 24
This is pretty much the reason we got rid of the "Death-van" our old '96 Plymouth Voyager. We bought it off my parents years ago in an emergency and my mom freaked out when I mentioned replacing it...because she couldn't believe we still had "that unsafe thing" on the road. It got to the poitn where payments on our new-used car were less than what it was costing to keep the van on the road.

We certainly are over a barrel when it comes to needing our cars, aren't we.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Hmmmm.... that doesn't sound right...
The brake pads installed by the dealer wore out really quickly and we had them replaced under warranty as it was way under the normal wear and tear of pads/shoes. Then when we brought it into our local place - the replacement brake pads had worn away completely and had chipped away at the brakes etc so we ended up threatening to sue them over it before they agreed to pay half. As soon as the lease was up it went back and we will never get a vehicle from Ford again
post #14 of 24
The best car we ever had in terms of reliability was our 1985 Volvo 740 GLE. It was the first car DH and I owned together. We brought Jenny home from the hospital in it.

We just had routine maintenance while we had but, of course, had to do some more expensive repairs as the car got older.

We donated it in 1994 when it had a little over 240,000 miles on it! You could still drive that car. It was just awesome.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
Could be a mopar thing. I just replaced the struts on my Intrepid last summer and the rack and pinion needs replaced too. I can't afford it when the car has 160,000 miles on it. At least my engine and tranny are still good... it's just everything else that's falling apart.
You're probably on to something there, my mechanic said that in Chryslers everything starts going downhill after 100,000 miles

oh and you all do know what Ford stands for, right?
Found On Road Dead
or
Fix Or Repair Daily
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Don't laugh, Linda. I seriously considered doing that! But the Buick only had 25K on it and the Honda 120K... so...
25k on the buick?? And all that work needed to be done? Wow! Did she do dirt track with it?

I will never buy another American car again. All the imports that I have had have given me next to nothing in problems. My best car was a 1979 Rabbit.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whisky'sDad View Post
25k on the buick?? And all that work needed to be done? Wow! Did she do dirt track with it?

I will never buy another American car again. All the imports that I have had have given me next to nothing in problems. My best car was a 1979 Rabbit.
Yeah, that's my mom - the drag racin' granny!

Just crappy parts I think... It has 27,900 right now. both back shocks were leaking, the struts in the front needed work - something about the bearings and the front end not tracking...(I'd have to go look at the bill) also a front end alignment, new battery, new tires, oil change, brake flush.... and on it goes.

ETA: Oh, Domestic cars are supposed to be engineered for the 10 year/150,000 mile limit... but seldom ever get there...
Hooefully (knock on wood) It won't need anything for quite a while. But it certainly rides and handles much better now. As much as a wallowing land barge "handles".
post #18 of 24
And we wonder why the Big 3 need bailing out?
post #19 of 24
Sounds like a lemon to me!
post #20 of 24
The problem with the Buick may well be age, not mileage.

Rubber and plastic parts DO go bad while a car is just sitting.
post #21 of 24
Something sounds fishy about having to have the brake fluid changed after only a year. If it got contaminated that quickly, it could be something as silly as the cap on the master cylinder (where you add brake fluid) being loose, or it could be somewhere along the brake system there's water and/or dirt getting in. Things also go bad from a car sitting and not being used.

Did your mom have all the regular maintenance done on this car? 2001 really isn't an "old" car! Maintenance goes a long way in keeping problems at bay. With only 27k on the car, there really shouldn't be all those problems with it. I have a 27-year old Buick with 114k on it. It runs like a top.

I know this sounds silly, but never be afraid to question your mechanic. And be informed (if only a little) about how your car works. It really does help. Not all mechanics are on the up-and-up with women sometimes. It took me going through 3 mechanics once to find one that actually respected my opinion about my car.

My dad was a mechanic, and I was always around cars growing up, and I've always worked on my own cars when they needed something (so long as it wasn't something really major). My hubby is the same way. I can't mess with cars anymore because of my back, but hubby does most of our routine maintenance (oil, brakes, etc), and it saves us a lot of money. Also saves a lot of headaches from worrying about what someone else is actually doing to one of our cars!

Hope you get it all sorted out and have a long, trouble-free stretch after that.
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLoneWolf View Post
Something sounds fishy about having to have the brake fluid changed after only a year. If it got contaminated that quickly, it could be something as silly as the cap on the master cylinder (where you add brake fluid) being loose, or it could be somewhere along the brake system there's water and/or dirt getting in. Things also go bad from a car sitting and not being used.

Did your mom have all the regular maintenance done on this car? 2001 really isn't an "old" car! Maintenance goes a long way in keeping problems at bay. With only 27k on the car, there really shouldn't be all those problems with it. I have a 27-year old Buick with 114k on it. It runs like a top.

I know this sounds silly, but never be afraid to question your mechanic. And be informed (if only a little) about how your car works. It really does help. Not all mechanics are on the up-and-up with women sometimes. It took me going through 3 mechanics once to find one that actually respected my opinion about my car.

My dad was a mechanic, and I was always around cars growing up, and I've always worked on my own cars when they needed something (so long as it wasn't something really major). My hubby is the same way. I can't mess with cars anymore because of my back, but hubby does most of our routine maintenance (oil, brakes, etc), and it saves us a lot of money. Also saves a lot of headaches from worrying about what someone else is actually doing to one of our cars!

Hope you get it all sorted out and have a long, trouble-free stretch after that.
I don't disagree with you. And I do happen to know something about cars. What they told me, for instance, about the rear shocks I already knew. Well, I knew one was bad b/c the dealership had informed me of that in August. This was the local Firestone outlet. I could also tell from the way the car was riding that something was definitely wrong. The struts were a big and costly surprise. I don't know enough about that except that the handling of the car is now vastly improved... It had probably deteriorated slowly.. and I didn't notice it.

Other things, like battery and tires, well that was original equipment ( 8 yrs). I replaced the tires b/c I feared dry rot at that age. I could tell the battery wasn't cranking properly. Didn't want to get "caught" ... or have it take the alternator with it, as it did in my Honda.

Originally, mom was taking the car for regular maintenance. Then less frequently. Then, it was only when I could take it in. Then, the car became mine. She will help me with the cost, because I am her "wheels."
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
I don't disagree with you. And I do happen to know something about cars. What they told me, for instance, about the rear shocks I already knew. Well, I knew one was bad b/c the dealership had informed me of that in August. This was the local Firestone outlet. I could also tell from the way the car was riding that something was definitely wrong. The struts were a big and costly surprise. I don't know enough about that except that the handling of the car is now vastly improved... It had probably deteriorated slowly.. and I didn't notice it.
I'm so glad you know something about cars....I know too many people that don't and unfortunately they get yanked around by some mechanics. I really hate to see people spend their hard-earned money on either things that don't work right or weren't necessary.

As far as shocks/struts, I've had so many GM cars with bad shocks over the years, and some were so bad that I didn't even realize it until I had them replaced! I'm just wondering why they charged you so much....struts for your car should be around $60 apiece in parts for the front ones, and they shouldn't be much more for the rear ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Other things, like battery and tires, well that was original equipment ( 8 yrs). I replaced the tires b/c I feared dry rot at that age. I could tell the battery wasn't cranking properly. Didn't want to get "caught" ... or have it take the alternator with it, as it did in my Honda.
Batteries are good for about 5 years, depending on where you live, and I've had cars that have sat before I bought them that needed tires (I bought a car once whose tires were so bald they all went flat in the same day). Also, sadly, have been through my share of alternators....my ex-fiance's Cavalier decided to strand us like that one day. Having to ride back from what was supposed to be a nice weekend in the flatbed truck wasn't any fun!

I'm crossing my fingers for you that you get all caught up with the car and it gives you lots of trouble-free miles ahead.
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyLoneWolf View Post
I'm so glad you know something about cars....I know too many people that don't and unfortunately they get yanked around by some mechanics. I really hate to see people spend their hard-earned money on either things that don't work right or weren't necessary.

As far as shocks/struts, I've had so many GM cars with bad shocks over the years, and some were so bad that I didn't even realize it until I had them replaced! I'm just wondering why they charged you so much....struts for your car should be around $60 apiece in parts for the front ones, and they shouldn't be much more for the rear ones.



Batteries are good for about 5 years, depending on where you live, and I've had cars that have sat before I bought them that needed tires (I bought a car once whose tires were so bald they all went flat in the same day). Also, sadly, have been through my share of alternators....my ex-fiance's Cavalier decided to strand us like that one day. Having to ride back from what was supposed to be a nice weekend in the flatbed truck wasn't any fun!

I'm crossing my fingers for you that you get all caught up with the car and it gives you lots of trouble-free miles ahead.
Well, each thing they did just added up, but the largest line item was the front end -- the bearings were also shot. I have been using this Firestone on and off for about 15 years. They are pretty fair about the mechanical things. I never felt like I was being taken for a ride - no pun intended. I haven't always gotten that impression from auto repair places. I had one place tell me the back brakes on that Buick were fine and charge me for an inspection. Well the brakes WEREN'T FINE. They weren't working. The mechanic was just lazy and didn't really check.
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