"If it has wheels or heels, it's gonna break your heart" one mechanic told me as I pondered the fate of my Buick Rendezvous. So far, the bushing to the rear wheel spindle is worn out, but that's nothing to sweat about. The other issue is the transmission is broken inside somewhere and either way; it's going to hurt. It has nearly 150,000 miles on the clock and the body is decent and the engine runs okay. Soon and very soon, this car will strand me because the part that connects the gears to the drive shaft will fail and leave me with no forward or reverse. I've done nickel and dime stuff here and there. A bulb here, a brake pad there, a few everywhere but it beats a payment. After all, the worst car is the one you make payments on.
I've called several places to get estimates and one guy quoted me $400 to do the work; if I find and bring a transmission. When I went to get a firmer quote, I found the part for $700, but the guy upped his quote to $900 and then $600. I ran from that place. Well, I found a mechanic to do the work for a reasonable price. And he stressed the need to inspect the vehicle and switch over the fluid from Dextron 3 to Dextron 6 to help with the longevity. I'm also going to splurge and have this guy change the spark plugs, the oil and even that pesky bushing in the rear.
So why not just buy another car? For one, when you buy a used car, you always inherit someone else's problems. Even if you buy a service contract, eventually you're going to have to fix it yourself or pay to have it done. If you're making payments, that service contract will run out long before the payment book does and you'll be upside down on a paperweight if a major repair is needed. Regardless of what you own, it's going to wear out and need work. If the ride you have is halfway decent and you're sure of the condition, why not fix it? If you've put on new tires, a battery, done the maintenance and kept it in working order, who's to say you won't have to do the same things to next car you buy? I've never bought a vehicle that didn't need tires or a battery eventually.
The other choice is a new car. The average price for a new one is $25,000 and in my case, we would need an SUV. This means, at 6% interest per year on a five or six year loan, we'd have doubled the price. Not to mention the value would drop 20% the moment we drive it off the lot. It's a horrible investment to boot. Besides, I'd rather pay a mechanic than a banker any day.
So, we drove it to the mechanic today and dropped off the key. Maranatha!