Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Help! Repairs cost more than the car is worth!!



  • dsattlerdsattler Posts: 135
    The NHSTA posts them, as does, as I recall.
  • NHTSA, not NHSTA - don't want someone misgoogling.
  • dsattlerdsattler Posts: 135
    ...sorry. Damn Internet: spelling counts. When I become king...
  • Not that I have anything against the New Hampshire School Transportation Association or anything. :)
  • Sounds like this "national chain" has pumped up the price on this repair. Unfortunately, I wish you had come to us first before laying out the inspection fee, because that is the trap right there. If you think about it, what can you possibly say to a shop when you've already "invested" $500 and they ask you "what do you want to do?"

    With a bad transmission, this car is practically worthless. I have no problem with the donation route as long as you have a good printout of your car's retail value. Even IF you deduct the price of a used transmission installed (about $1,500), and thereby being perfectly honest, you will still show a KBB value near $5,000.

    That is correct, you must have an appraisal if you declare over $5,000, so try to stay under that.

    Depending on your tax bracket, you might end up with $1,500 in your pocket for a donation approach, which is probably more than you'll get trying to sell the car as is.

    Speaking of used transmissions, have you explored that route as a cost-saving compromise?
  • hjahja Posts: 8
    My 1998 Mazda 626 loses power when the A/C is on and the driver changes into Park. When the car is in Drive or any other gear, there are no problems with the A/C. As soon as I switch to park with the A/C on, the RPM's go way down (the car almost dies) and barely stays on. Any suggestions?
  • thelthel Posts: 767
    I'd suggest posting this in the Maintainence and Repair board or on of the 626 boards. I think you missed the point of this thread...
  • koolkatkoolkat Posts: 2
    I bought 98 626 1.5 yr ago for 6.5K at 50K miles in pristine condn 1 owner.
    Thought it was good deal. Has been giving AT check
    engine light occasionally. TOok to Natl AT chain,
    came up with 1.8K min 2.6K (with Torq convt) estimate. Have it in today in a indep AT shop for 1.8K rebuild. Wish I had read this post and gone the put in used AT route. This car sucks and is
    not a good buy even w/ lower price. Especially since I have had Toyotas that ran 160 and 130K w/o any transmission problems.
    So donation route or repl with used is way to go. Also in Nor CA I dont see any ads for cars with prices as low as what is in TMV or KBB midpoint.
    (see Priv parties seem to ask
    for more than TMV and are getting it in this area.
    SO u can use slightly higher valuation of u document current listings in newspapers or online
  • This might possibly be the wosrt scenerio that you have heard.....
    Our credit is not good... Around the 500 mark. We had a BK back in 2001 and since have struggled so much its been nearly impossible to raise it much. My car just died and it will cost around $4000 to fix it. Here's the real kicker... We still owe $5000 on this car! So fixing it is out of the question, even if we did have the money. (Which we don't!) So here is what I have to walk on a dealership with:
    *Bad Credit
    *No $$ for down paayment
    *Exhisting vehicle for possible trade-in not running
    * Still owe $5000 on this car
    *Can't afford a payment more than what we pay now, which is $250.

    **So basically its like, "We need you to pay off our exhisting loan, take this car that needs fixing, and give us a new car, all while keeping our payments around the same. ($250)

    Is there any hope at all for us? I have read other questions on this forum. Some others are in better shape than us, and have been told there's not much hope....

    Would a dealership possibly discuss a lease with us? Should we give up now?

    Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks for your time.... I know this is probably the worst anybodys ever heard....
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Can you get another opinion on how much it will cost to fix your current car? Did the $4,000 figure come from a trusted mechanic? Make sure you aren't getting gouged.
  • nornenorne Posts: 136

    you can always get a Kia Rio and keep the payment at $250/mo. Heck Kia approves anyone if they have a beating heart.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,602
    I agree that we need more details about what the 4K consists of. Sometimes there are options (a used engine/tranny vs. a new one, etc.). It's also important to consider what the car is worth (or should be worth) post-repair. If it will be worth at least 4K, you are better off fixing it, especially if you can get it done cheaper.

    maybe you can get some help from the local Votech auto shop? try a different mechanic?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • But if you can't come up with the $4K, it doesn't matter HOW much better off you'd be fixing it - it's not an option. If poor credit is an issue, the last thing tweety3 wants to do is to put an additional $4K on a credit card. That's a poor long-term solution. Getting a new loan and making on-time payments could improve the credit score rather than do further damage.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 13,602
    gonna finance something somehow. If the car is scrap w/o the repairs, you are still paying on the 5K note, plus whatever you are paying for the new car.

    the best hope is a cheaper fix for the old car. Otherwise, you are looking at payments stretching way out on a cheap car, if you have to hide most of the 5K negative, plus whatever you buy.

    Maybe a cheap used car, but then you have repair worries again.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • Thank-you for all your responses.... I forgot to mention that we live about 20 minutes out of town in the foothills. Our home is basically on a mountain, with a mile long bumpy dirt road all the way back. This car (95 oldsmobile cutlass) was not made for driving up and down this road everyday... Thus making another reason why what we really need is a car with better susp. I hope I don't sound really dumb, but what is a kia? Might it be good for my situation? (the road) Also, where would I begin? Just show up at a dealership? I must say that this is my fear... Explaining our situation to someone at the dealership and being laughed at or told they could do it but our payments would be triple..

    p.s. as for the repairs on our car, it is a very trusted mech. and friend who gave us the bad news. He is shopping around for some used parts but ultimately, even he agrees that its probably not worth it... And the car would fetch $4000 at absolute best.... More than likely around $2500-$3500. Although a dealership probably wouldn't even offer a $500 credit since its currently not running.... (well it is, but not enough to be driving it anywhere far as it would burn up..)
  • A Kia is a brand of automobile. Many people on these forums who own them really like them.

    And if you decide to explore the possibility of getting a different vehicle, no salesperson worth his salt is going to LAUGH at you. A reputable salesperson would prefer to actually sell you a vehicle, and laughing at you won't help. Most salespeople will work hard to find a good way to put you into another vehicle, if it can be done. If you decide to go look at Kias, we can point you to areas of this website where other members are recommending good dealerships, hopefully some in your area.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Hi Kirstie,
    I knew it was an auto, but what kind? Is it a car or is it that small jeep looking thing that I am thinking of.... I'll do a search...

    I would LOVE to get some info on a good dealership in the Fresno/Clovis area... If you could point me where to get this info I would greatly appreciate it....
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,075
    Don't buy a Kia! Those cars values drop precipitously as soon as you drive them off the lot and their reliability is spotty. You will find yourself buried in the car loan. They will roll the negative equity of your Olds into the new loan which is pretty much the entire $5K since the car isn't running. If something happens the the Kia, (likely) you will be in much worse shape.

    For now, I'd check out places like auto auctions and see what kind of car you can purchase outright. Forget being in the "book of the month club." Do this until you can either raise the funds to repair your Olds or your overall finacial situation improves.

    What is it that happened to your car that it needs $4K in repairs? I would go to another mechanic for a second opinion. Avoid dealers for they are the most costly. Avoid places like Pep Boys for they are often third-string mechanics who flunked out of Vo-Tech. A reputable independent mechanic is the best choice.
  • morehpmorehp Posts: 30
    I would second lemko's opinion on the Kia. It sounds like you might be better off in a second hand truck or small SUV of some sort, given your driving conditions.

    Before going down that road, I would have another look at the Cutlass. It's hard to think of what single problem could cost $4K to fix on a 10 year old midsize domestic. Correct me if I'm wrong but I would think even a new engine or trans should be less than that.
  • OK, maybe I'm incorrect about the Kia - BUT, if you're looking at keeping it for many years to come, resale value doesn't matter much, if any.

    There are tons of Kia automobiles in different styles, so you'll want to click on the "new cars" tab at the top of the page to find a list of all Kia vehicles if that's what interests you.

    If you don't decide to repair your Cutlass, then talk to EVERYBODY - call dealerships, talk to your bank or credit union - be honest about your situation, and see what options are available. The best advice we can give you is that, whatever you purchase, purchase with the intent to keep it til it's paid off. That's the only way you'll avoid a situation like this again, and it will improve your credit score.

    Once you work with a bank/credit union/dealership to figure out what you can afford, we can help you better to decide what vehicle is right for you.

    If you look at the search tools at the left, you see a "browse by message board" feature. If you select the Prices Paid board, you'll get a list of topics in which people are reporting their good & bad experiences with different dealerships, listed by make/model.

    I did a quick search on the keyword "Fresno," and found only a few references - mostly for Mazda dealerships.

    Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

This discussion has been closed.