Friday, March 4, 2011

A Car Update

As I had mentioned on Monday, one of our cars had some trouble. Coolant in the cylinders and all that. Ya know. Car breaking stuff.

Hubby and I discussed whether or not it was worth it to fix the car. Ultimately, we decided yes and we had it towed back to a local garage to do so. Here’s the nuts and bolts and whys:
  • The garage where we had it initially towed to quoted us a minimum of $1000 for fixing the cracked head gasket and maximum of $3500 if the engine had to be replaced because of worn threads. They also gave the car a thorough going over and couldn’t find anything else wrong with the car other than the head gasket and possibly the threads. Even the belts and hoses are in great condition, especially for a ’99. (woo-hoo to good maintenance!)
  • I called our local garage which specializes in Subaru’s, and which we bought the car from back in ’04. He quoted us a maximum of $1500 which would include fixing the threads (instead of replacing the engine) if needed. He got a good chuckle when I mentioned the replacing the engine bit and said that in his 15 years that he’d only seen one case where the threads were that worn, and they just fixed them instead of replacing an engine. That combined with a $300 tow is a maximum of $1800.
  • The quotes are pretty close, and both places warrantee their work.
  •  For the peace of mind of having the car down the street, at a specialist, and with some of the same mechanics that worked on it back in ’04 it’s worth it to go local. And, I know these guys. I see them at the grocery store, one of them is a fellow daycare parent, and I just trust them more than the other guys.
  • Both places agreed that with this fix the car should be able to easily go another 50,000 miles. Our flinch point, where we would have considered junking this car was around $3000. So, thankfully we don’t have to make the tough decision of buying a new-to-us used car or becoming a one car family.

So, here’s to an almost fixed car (it should be done later this afternoon). And here’s to hopefully not having it break down again, at least not for a good long while. And here’s to having a not-so-adventurous weekend!!!

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