Update on my New Used Car

Personal Finance
Personal Finance (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

Some days I think I should change the name of this blog to “Never Going to Get Out of Debt Again.”  It wouldn’t be that hard to make a new logo…

It was finally time for my little car to be taken out for a test drive.  My coworkers needed to use the company van, so we made the necessary arrangements. I was to drive the van to my coworker’s house, drop it off and Mr. A was coming into town to pick me up.

The carpet had been cleaned and put back in, the seats were installed.  The intake manifold had been replaced, the water pump had been changed.  Everything was good to go.

I had no concerns, I had no doubts that Mr. A would be pulling up any second.  But then I got the call.  The car was overheating and there was a problem, something serious.  Mr. A had the car towed home and a few days later we had a local mechanic come over to confirm the diagnosis.  The engine had failed and would need to be replaced.

The mechanic said he could put a used engine in for $1000.  $600 for the engine, $400 for his labor.  At first we were actually considering it… but then I started to feel really uncomfortable.  The engine was used, and there was no information on it.  How many miles were on it?  No one knew.  The warranty was 6000 mile or 6 month warranty.  With Mr. A’s luck (I refuse to accept all this horrible bad luck), the engine would blow at 6001 miles.

At this point I felt my choices were: 1) Ditch this car and buy something else 2) Invest more money in this car and hope it pans out.

We did some research and found that a re-manufactured engine would come with a three year unlimited mileage warranty and is basically a brand new engine.  I liked the sound of that a lot better.

The cost: $1974. The mechanic said his rate would go up to $600.  Apparently there would also be additional charges for any other things that might need to be replaced, like worn motor mounts, and fluids.

I feel stuck in this path. I don’t feel like we have much of a choice at this point.  I guess I should have just said let’s just ditch the car, take the loss on the $1750 (plus another $300 for the repairs that were supposed to fix the problem).  I should have gone to a dealer and bought a brand new car, or at least a certified used one.

But instead, we made the decision to buy the re-manufactured engine.

So we have paid the mechanic $400 so far and then my husband gets a text that the balance due when the car is done will be $862.48.  This means a grand total of $1262.

Maybe instead of his rate going from $400 to $600, he said it would go up an additional $600?   Otherwise that is one huge jump.  He says he will be providing an itemized receipt.

So here is the cost of my used car.  And I have not even driven it other than during the test drive, when it drove just fine.  Also, it has been towed four times in the short time we’ve owned it.

$1750 Car

$300  Replacement of intake manifold and water pump

$1974 Re-manufactured Engine

$1262  Mechanic

Total $5286

$2072.75 has been paid so far.

$3213.25 charged to a credit card and line of credit that are at 12% interest.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, I just feel stupid. I hate making mistakes, and especially expensive ones like this. I am fully admitting that buying a car off Craigslist was a huge mistake.  I also officially hate buying cars.  Now I can understand why people choose to buy new cars. I mean, if you can afford it, why not?  At least you wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking down every five minutes.

Can you please tell me about the time you made a huge mistake so I don’t feel so stupid?  Thanks.







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5 thoughts on “Update on my New Used Car

  1. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that, it is very frustrating. We went through something similar in 2005. We used every last dime of our honeymoon money to buy a new car – off Craigslist. 4 days later the radiator blew up. Fixed that and less than a month later the transmission went out. $4000+ down the drain and made me skeptical of ever buying a used car again! So I bought a brand new car and that turned out to be an expensive mistake as well! But we have bought used on CL again, and those times were successful. We just bought another car of CL this weekend and I feel like I’m still holding my breath hoping it all works out!! I feel like every time we get a head and on track with paying off debt, life happens and knocks us back down.


    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Angella, thank you for your comment and your sympathy. My car is finally back together and we will be picking it up tomorrow. I am sure it will work out, but I am just so frustrated about having to spend so much money. I don’t know if I will trust CL ever again, but I’m glad you have found some good purchases. I hope your new car from CL works out, and I sure know how it feels about finally getting on track with paying off debt and here we go again!!! I hate it. 🙁 Thank you for visiting and commenting. 🙂


    Angella Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability, You’re welcome! I’m a long time reader, but shy comment-er. 🙂 So far our recent CL car is good to go, got an oil change and the mechanic even commented on how well maintained it was. Hope your car is still up and running!


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