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I see car payments...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ugh...a couple of weeks ago, my car's heater/vent/air conditioning stopped working. Nothing would blow out of the vents. I have a 1991 Chevy Cavalier, which was my grandmother's before she passed away. It has been a great car. When I inherited it in 2004, it had only 6,000 miles on it. All she did was drive to Walmart on Sundays. It still had the original tires! I had to replace the tires as they were about to blow out, but otherwise it was in wonderful condition. I've had very few problems with it, and it now has a total of 115,500 miles on it. I drive a lot obviously! Well, I replaced the fuse and the vent system started working. Until the next morning. The fuse blew again. This is not a good sign. Luckily, I had purchased not one fuse, but a multi-pack, so I replaced it again. It has worked fine ever since (the past week) except the a/c doesn't work. No cool air. In Texas, this is definitely not a good thing. Right now I can handle it, but come July/August, I won't make it! The car needed an oil change, so I brought it to my wonderful mechanics (they are the only guys who can get away with calling me "sweetie") and they looked at the a/c. My dad picked me up and brought me over to my mom and dads house for the day while my car was at the shop. I discussed the car situation with my dad, as I consider him my financial advisor. We agreed that anything over $150 (hoping that the problem was it just needed freon, not a compressor) was going to be too much for such an old car. The diagnosis was not good. It was the compressor and the cheapest it would cost was $900. I had them do the oil change, and went and picked up my car. So I'm now in the market for a new car. I'm excited about having a new car, but not excited about the payments and the higher car insurance. I knew this day was coming, so I'm trying to not get too upset and stressed. The mechanics said they might be willing to buy my car, but I'm also going to see what I can get as a trade-in.

I lost 1.4 pounds this week and am now 3.4 lbs away from goal. If I don't get a car with a/c soon, I'll be losing a lot more weight just from sweating!

I believe that things happen for a reason. I just have to scrutinize my budget and see what I can figure out. This will work out...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I second Unicorn. First, $900 and whatever small items start going now are not going to equal what a new car payment with interest would, think $5K for a good car. Paying the $900 now allows you to save for a down payment when it really does need to be replaced. Weigh your pros and cons and truly look at what the difference would be. I suggest budgeting $500 for future repairs on the car you have and if it is not used, add it to the down payment you'll be saving.

    BTW, I drove my 2002 Neon until it had 259K+ mi. The odometer went out around 140K mi and the replacement was used and never calibrated to my car so the numbers are just an estimate but are pretty close. A car with less than 150K mi is worth dropping the money into. It still has at least 50K-75K left to go before it truly needs replacing.

    Good luck with this. It's not an easy decision.
    3968 days ago
  • ENUFF81020
    Hi there,
    Congrats on the weight loss!!
    Car issues are a nuisance and you will find a way to manage it. I am glad that you have your dad to talk with about such things, it helps to have that knowledge base with automotive problems. It has never been my area of expertise.
    Keep up the good work on your health and fitness plan.
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    3969 days ago
  • UNICORN212
    As frugal as I am, I would probably fix the AC on the car you have - my brain would be chanting "$900 is only about 3 car-payments...." to justify NOT buying a new car! I drove my Nissan for 12 years and 150,000 miles before I sold it, and I have been driving my Saturn for 9 years now - but it has only about 68,000 miles on it at this point.

    You, of course, need to do whatever your heart and budget allow. Plus, you do not have to get a brand new car - there are lots of good used cars out there, too. The insurance and payments would probably be lower. Weigh all the pros and cons...

    Good luck!

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    3969 days ago
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