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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 08:04 AM   #21
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Re: Car Repairs

I think the biggest thing you get from fixing the car is flexibility. That way you aren't forced to find another car immediately and have the luxury of lining something up when you run across a bargain.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 08:29 AM   #22
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Re: Car Repairs

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
I think the biggest thing you get from fixing the car is flexibility.* That way you aren't forced to find another car immediately and have the luxury of lining something up when you run across a bargain.
At the end of the day, that was my thinking. Having spent the $600 on my current car, that will give me the incentive to negotiate harder on my next vehicle to recover some or all of that money.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 08:40 AM   #23
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Re: Car Repairs

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
At the end of the day, that was my thinking.* Having spent the $600 on my current car, that will give me the incentive to negotiate harder on my next vehicle to recover some or all of that money.
Well if you will buy American, you don't have to negotiate much at all. The employee pricing is really a decent deal for the most part.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 08:43 AM   #24
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Re: Car Repairs

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Well if you will buy American, you don't have to negotiate much at all.* The employee pricing is really a decent deal for the most part.
Yeah, except that all the price cutting just trashes resale values, too.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 08:46 AM   #25
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Re: Car Repairs

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
Yeah, except that all the price cutting just trashes resale values, too.
A die-hard, LBYM ER type drives 'em till the wheels fall off. Resale value? We don't need no stinkin' resale value.....

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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 09:05 AM   #26
 
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Re: Car Repairs

Now that you've fixed it, and nothing's currently broken, maybe you should put it on the market at a nice high price, and wait around for a buyer willing to pay that.

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LBYM ER type drives 'em till the wheels fall off.
That's my philosophy, but my problem is that (1) it is 30 miles to the mechanic's and (2) every drive to/from our house involves miles of deserted highway. So, frequent trips to the mechanic's or catastrophic failures would be particularly bad.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 09:11 AM   #27
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Re: Car Repairs

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
A die-hard, LBYM ER type drives 'em till the wheels fall off.* Resale value? We don't need no stinkin' resale value.....

REW
Fer sure. *However, my post was a response to someone saying that the employee discounts prices were attractive. *What I was trying to get across is that those prices make used car prices drop lower too.

I don't generally worry about resale myself. *After 10 years of use, the residual value of most cars is so small and so hard to predict thatt it isn't worth worrying about a resale value that is likely to be rounding error on my net worth.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 12:35 PM   #28
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Re: Car Repairs

Girlfriend's car blew the head gasket over 2 years ago. The mechanic said it wasn't worth fixing and that we should sell it to an unsuspecting woman (no kidding). I bought some 'Head Gasket In A Can', added it to the coolant, ran the engine for 30 minutes, then flushed the cooling system. It's been running OK ever since.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 12:50 PM   #29
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Re: Car Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I don't generally worry about resale myself. *After 10 years of use, the residual value of most cars is so small and so hard to predict thatt it isn't worth worrying about a resale value that is likely to be rounding error on my net worth.
Again, this was a factor in my decision. No, the car isn't worth that much from a resale perspective. However, I'm not presently concerned about resale, but rather reliable (and comfortable) transportation until I decide on a new vehicle. They always say that you shouldn't be motivated to buy a new car as a result of owning one with serious (and expensive) problems requiring immediate repair. Under such circumstances, you're more likely to purchase a car that doesn't fit your needs and to overpay simply to get some new transportation.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 03:51 PM   #30
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Re: Car Repairs

I see that you've gone ahead and fixed the car (I remember DC and I'd never swelter without air in that city).* That's good.* As to gettng a new one, I see a possible answer in your comment:*

Quote:
I'd like to see a bit more improvement on the salary front before I take on a car note.*

Likewise, I just paid off the last of my law school loans, and the feeling has been great not having that monthly payment hanging over my head.
Distaste for monthly payments + longing for a newer car + $500* investment in current car = save up and replace it when you can pay cash.* * This is good for the wallet, good practice for LBYM, good practice for FIRE...

IMHO,
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 04:08 PM   #31
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Re: Car Repairs

I have always bought reliable cars and then run them until the wheels fall off; but on new wheels and keep going until the repair bills start to mirror car payments. Then I just sell it on the private market and buy a new one and start all over again.

Repair bills are much cheaper than car payments unless the car is literally falling apart. You can do a lot of repairs for what it costs in car payments in one year alone.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-19-2005, 05:02 PM   #32
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Re: Car Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
I see that you've gone ahead and fixed the car (I remember DC and I'd never swelter without air in that city).* That's good.* As to gettng a new one, I see a possible answer in your comment:*

Distaste for monthly payments + longing for a newer car + $500* investment in current car = save up and replace it when you can pay cash.* * This is good for the wallet, good practice for LBYM, good practice for FIRE...

IMHO,
Caroline

I could pay cash now for a new(er) car, but that would require an interruption in my FIRE plans. Likewise, at my current salary level, the amount of money required to pay cash would take a while to be replenished.

I'm not a cheap bastard, but I like to get value for my money.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-20-2005, 04:38 PM   #33
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Re: Car Repairs

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Thanks for the additional responses.* I went ahead and had the work done, more for the heat and convenience factors than for anything else.* I agree that $600 is a lot of money to repair a car air conditioning system, which is why I was hesitant to spend it on a car worth give or take $2,400.
I look at it this way: that $600 is only 2 car payments (or only one car payment, depending on the car!) on a new car; 1/2 what my registration fee would be on a new car; and 1/4 of the sales tax I'd have to pay on a new car.* Your present car may be only worth $2,400 to someone else, but could be worth a lot more to you.*
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-21-2005, 07:56 AM   #34
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Re: Car Repairs

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Originally Posted by SteveR
Repair bills are much cheaper than car payments unless the car is literally falling apart.* You can do a lot of repairs for what it costs in car payments in one year alone.
This is very true, and if you maintain a vehicle's cosmetics (either by your own hand or through semi-annual detailing) it can look reasonably nice for 10+ years. Most people are hard on their cars, and they often look much older than they need to after years of neglect. So much for caring for one's "investment." Perhaps this is why people want a new car after 5 years -- their old one looks like crap.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-26-2005, 12:01 PM   #35
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Re: Car Repairs

The other option that I would have pursued is to just add some R34 coolant to the system.

I've owned lots of older cars with slowly leaking air cond units. Even if the coolant leaks out a month later you are still ahead. You can buy a can of R34-A for around $5-7 at many auto parts stores, or K-mart/Target etc.

So even if you have to add a can every month for 4 or 5 summer months you are way ahead of the $600 mechanic bill.* And for an old clunker that's about what I want to pay to keep the air cold.

It's really a cinch to add coolant to your system. You just hook up a hose from the can to the a/c inlet and then uncrew the valve in the top of the can while the motor (and a/c are running).

After you saw how easy it was, you'd never pay anyone $600 to repair a leaking compressor (or whatever your a/c issue was)
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-26-2005, 08:13 PM   #36
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Re: Car Repairs

Masterblaster

Thanks for the air conditioning tip. My kid's car isn't cooling as much as it should so we'll try to add the coolant ourselves.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-26-2005, 09:11 PM   #37
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Re: Car Repairs

The problem just wasn't a lack of refrigerant. I know how to fill it, and tried solving the problem that way a few times last summer. Unbeknownst to me (until recently) the problem was caused by a fried electrical harness and a leaky evaporator. Thus, no electricity was flowing to the compressor motor.

Now that I've gotten the air conditioning fixed, a new problem has arisen. The bearings in the front right wheel are shot, so things are little loud at higher speeds. Naturally, my local repair shop has quoted me $278 to fix it (based on 2.5 hours of labor "according to the book"). It's amazing some of the numbers repair shops charge -- not because the job will actually take the amount of time billed to the customer, but rather because some repair guidebook says it ought to take that long (thereby giving credibility to the bill). Kinda like lawyers... :
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-28-2005, 12:32 PM   #38
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Re: Car Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
The other option that I would have pursued is to just add some R34 coolant to the system.
Usually after about $25 of that approach you discover the coolant has been leaking into the evaporator coil... along with the compressor's oil charge and an impressive stench of oil-loving bacteria.

But that's just our experience with our '90 Honda Civic.
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-28-2005, 12:40 PM   #39
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Re: Car Repairs

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
The other option that I would have pursued is to just add some R34 coolant to the system.

I've owned lots of older cars with slowly leaking air cond units. Even if the coolant leaks out a month later you are still ahead. You can buy a can of R34-A for around $5-7 at many auto parts stores, or K-mart/Target etc.

So even if you have to add a can every month for 4 or 5 summer months you are way ahead of the $600 mechanic bill.* And for an old clunker that's about what I want to pay to keep the air cold.

It's really a cinch to add coolant to your system. You just hook up a hose from the can to the a/c inlet and then uncrew the valve in the top of the can while the motor (and a/c are running).

After you saw how easy it was, you'd never pay anyone $600 to repair a leaking compressor (or whatever your a/c issue was)
This will only work if you have a VERY slow leak.* And it's R134-A.*
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Re: Car Repairs
Old 07-28-2005, 01:39 PM   #40
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Re: Car Repairs

This will only work if you have a VERY slow leak.* *

That's true. Major leaks will probably need an a/c mechanic

However many cars sit all fall winter and spring and the seal(s) dry out a bit and some of the the R134-A leaks out.

Many cars when topped off with some new R134-A and maybe a little compressor oil work just fine.

Clearly, the cheap fix is worth a try. It has worked on 4 or 5 cars that I have owned for not alot of money.
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