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Endiku 06-13-2014 01:06 PM

Well I'm in trouble.
On Wednesday, my 1998 Mitsubishi Montero Sport finally decided enough is enough. I can't complain because it was free from a good friend, and had 211,000 miles on it, but I'm in a bit of trouble now. The car nearly killed me and the disabled kids I work with, because it started screaming, then the brakes and the steering went out IN A TURN, and we went flying into head on traffic. Thankfully I somehow managed to doge oncoming cars and pull into a McDonalds, but my job (where I was) is 14+ miles away from my house and I didn't know what to do. I had it towed to the closest shop, left it (it was 7 pm so they were closed), had my dad pick me up, and had them look at it the next morning. I thought it had just broken a belt, but actually something to do with hydraulics malfunctioning in the engine, plus a pully on the belts broke, and now the alternator, AC, power steering, etc don't. Obviously it is not drivable.

So now I have a huge problem. My car is 15 miles away from my house and they're quoting me $1,000 to fix it. I told them no, because it is 17 years old, has 211k miles on it, has a huge oil leak that no one is able to repair (I've tried), electrical problems (my automatic windows stopped working two weeks ago and the brake lights are constantly shorting out)), etc. I don't think it is worth $1000 of repairs for a few more miles.

But....I have to have a car to get to work. No buses go between my house and my job, and I have no one who can get me to work. My parents can take me for about a week if I pay gas, but that's about it. It is a LONG drive. I also don't have a lot of money saved up yet. I've only had my current job since February, and while I make a great salary for my age, I have to pay phone bills, food, gas, etc so I really only have just under $4,000 saved up for another car. I've been looking for options, but unless I buy from someone personally, there are virtually no options under $7,000 with under 160,000 miles on it. There is one Ford Focus for sale that is $2,200 with new tires and 160,000 miles, but it is for personal sale so for all I know it has a ton of problems. Then a place called "Car Guys" is selling a 2004 Focus for $6,600 and with only 44,000 miles on it, but I don't know how trustworthy they are. And I don't have $7000. I have 4.

I considered trying to get a personal loan, but I have no one to co-sign for me and I have no credit yet because I'm 18 years old and just started my job in February.

So now I have my car sitting in a lot, needing to be gone quickly, and I don't know where to take it without towing costing me a ton. And no car. No money for a car, no way to get money for a car, and a job I can't get to. Fun stuff!

I guess this is a rant, so thanks for reading it. It's been a crummy week. If any of you have a bright idea, I'm all ears o.o

DancingArabian 06-13-2014 01:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I would look at the Focus and see if can either sell them your car or sell it to a salvage yard. Use your $4k to buy the car and see about financing the rest. It wouldn't be a huge loan and you should be able to get it.

I have an 03 Focus (hatchback style) and I really like it.

SouthernTrails 06-13-2014 01:23 PM


So sorry for the trouble, glad no one was seriously hurt...

6,600.00 for a 2004 Ford Focus is way too high, even with that mileage is is worth maybe 5,000.00 if in perfect condition

Here is a site that can give you values on used cars Used Cars, Used Car Prices, Used Car Pricing - Kelley Blue Book

I think that site can even help you search for cars for sale in your area


Mulefeather 06-13-2014 02:06 PM

Look for older Hondas. I have a 97 Accord that is still ticking along at 170k miles, and I'll probably get another 30K miles out of it. I'm planning on replacing it as soon as I can, but I've had it for close to 4 years now.

Maybe just look for a cheap beater car that will get you through the next 6 months, save up some more money, and replace it as soon as possible?

LemonZeus 06-13-2014 02:24 PM

Most commercial mechanics are GROSSLY overpriced. Like, insanely overpriced. I grew up in a mechanical home, both my brother and dad can take apart and put together an engine from memory, it's ridiculous. My brother started a side business called "Poor Man's Garage" and does mechanical work for people who don't want to pay exorbitant prices for that kind of thing. I'm not saying take it to some hooligan to het it fixed, but maybe ask around to see if there's anywhere cheaper you can get it fixed while you save up for a better car.

If you're set on getting a new one, look for a Honda. I've personally seen some with 400,000+ miles and still going. The one my dad just rebuilt to sell has 200,000 and still runs like the day it came out of the factory. They don't die.

LemonZeus 06-13-2014 02:30 PM

Oh, and if you go throught Craigslist, etc, take a car guy (or gal) with you. Subtle things that you or I miss they pick up on like it's nothing. Especially engine troubles, which will run you the most money to fix.

bitinsane 06-13-2014 02:47 PM

Honestly I would look for sale by owner. These dealers are incredibly ridiculous if you ask me. All of them. I found my car, a 2001 Malibu with 40k miles. Amazing condition. They wanted 6,500, but my budget was 4.5k. Ended up talking them down to 4.5k! They were motivated to sell. I've had the car for almost 2 years now and she has worked beautifully. When I was looking at a dealership they were asking 9k for a 2006 Elantra with 75k miles on it. They tried to take advantage of me and play me because I'm a young woman. I may be a young woman, but I'm not stupid. Good luck on finding a car!

Endiku 06-13-2014 09:13 PM

Thanks all. I kind of have mixed feelings at the moment. I went browsing at dealerships today with my uncle, who is a mechanic, and dad. We ended up finding this one: Used Honda for sale in Houston, TX at John Eagle Honda and bought it. It's super clean as far as the engine goes, just had its transmission fluid changed, oil changed, tires changed, etc. I noticed that the AC was running a bit warm so I told them to fix it or I'll leave, and they're fixing it now, so hopefully that should be fine. CarFax says it has never been in an accident, only had one that's all a plus. Serviced regularly, decent mileage for its age...I hope I did alright by buying it. My dad and uncle seemed to think it sounded good.

The interior is spotless which is good, and it has a radio/CD player which is a plus to me. Automatic windows and locks. Motormounts are good, doesn't stutter or anything when starting, so hopefully it is good. I was a little hesitant because of the price, but I need a car so I eventually gave in. Southerntrails, thanks for that link. I used it to look up the car and it quoted $6775-$7110 as a fair price, and I paid just under that. the base price, anyways.

In the end it was $8100 for registration, plates, the car, warranty on the interior, rims and tires (which they didn't tell me I was paying for, so that ticked me off a little), tax, etc. *Shudders*. I finally talked them into meeting the gap that got me 6.25% interest at $220 a month for 36 months, and hopefully I can pay it off faster than that. I'd LIKE to have it paid off by the time I go off for university (I'm getting my associates at a community college now) in two years, but we'll see.

So I'm slightly stressed about the money, but you gotta do what you gotta do...I had to have it co-signed too since I have NO credit, but this should build it up slowly.

DraftyAiresMum 06-13-2014 09:24 PM

After I posted, I read your last reply.

Congrats on the new car.

Make sure that there's no penalty for paying it off early. Also, I would NOT have paid for new rims and tires if they were put on after you bought the vehicle.

I used to work for a car dealership, so I know how sneaky and tricksome they can be with add-ons. I will NEVER buy from a dealership again, unless I'm buying a brand-new car with cash OTD. Otherwise you end up paying more for all the extra crap you don't need or want, plus your finance fees.

Endiku 06-13-2014 10:08 PM

They were already put on. All of the stuff that I listed was already done, yesterday, before I even knew about the car, and the price was still $6490. I also checked, and there is no penalty, thankfully. It was the warranty for the rims/tires that I didn't really want, and didn't know was separate and optional, not the replacement for them,

I'm still not sure I made the best decision, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy from someone off the street because I've had so many friends get burned. Hopefully I don't get burned too. I know there's a chance.

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