Car-ma!

boomerang

A few days before Christmas, my daughter was in a car wreck. She is fine (no injuries), but unfortunately her car was totalled.

Her narc father pays for her car insurance (which is in his name) because due to her age and a few driving violations when she was younger (including driving without a license), rates for her are astronomical and I can’t afford to put her on my insurance either.

It was raining hard and a truck suddenly cut in front of her, her brakes locked up (she didn’t have ABS brakes), and she hydroplaned into the guardrail. She is fine but was pretty shaken up and it could have been bad!   Her car couldn’t be fixed so it was totaled out. The insurance company said they would pay $3,000 for a new car. She was happy because that meant she could get a better, safer used car.

The check came in her father’s name and he kept delaying and making excuses for not giving her the money for the car, or even taking her car shopping. He told her he had to wait for the check to clear. My daughter felt there was something fishy about his excuses and was starting to think he was lying to her.   She knows he’s not trustworthy, especially when it comes to money. He’s also a world class liar.

Finally, he got back to her.   He said that after bank fees there was only $1700 left, so she’d have to find something for that amount. She was very angry and upset.  She thought he’d already spent the money, and he most likely did, since he was bragging to her about his expensive new phone and other things he’d just bought. Obviously, he used her car insurance money to buy toys for himself.

Fortunately, her fiance was helpful, and also because he knows people in the area, he can get inside scoops on good cars at cheap prices. So she was able to snag a 2007 Mazda in good condition and not too much mileage for about $1300.
The car runs great and so far there don’t appear to be any problems with it.

This is when things turned weird.

The day after she got her new car, her father called her and said his truck’s engine blew out. Unbelievably, the first price the mechanic told him he would have to pay to fix it was…wait for it…$1700. He said okay, he could afford that, it be no problem. He lined up a tow truck for his vehicle and asked my daughter to ride him to the repair shop in her new car, where he would wait.

But on the way to the mechanic, he suddenly got a phone call from the proprietor who apologized for the mistake. The price, he said, would not be $1700, it would be $5,000.
Since $1700 is all he has, now he has to find a car for that amount or less.

Car-ma?

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My dead car.

my_deadcar

So my transmission just died. It was acting up for almost a year and finally gave out this morning when I tried to go forward and the car went nowhere. The only way I could go was in reverse.

My dilemma: do I throw good money after bad to have it fixed/replaced or get a new car? It’s a tough decision.

I don’t want to be locked into monthly payments which are a huge financial burden on someone with my income, nor do I want to buy someone else’s problem. Forget about buying a new car. I know my car. I know its quirks. I’m thinking that if everything else looks okay, it might be worth getting the transmission rebuilt or replaced. I have almost enough for that right now. I could save up the rest over a few weeks.

My car is a 2001 Ford Taurus sedan (yeah I know, lol) but it has an absolutely fantastic sound system that I don’t want to give up…I know that’s probably not a good reason to try to have it fixed but I really don’t want a new car right now. I like this car and I own it free and clear.

I could be set back $1600 at BEST…I already gave them permission to remove the tranny…that alone sets me back $389. I’d be hesitant to tell them to forget it now, unless they tell me it’s going to cost over $2K.

Sometimes I wish I lived in a place where I didn’t need to drive or have a car. Even when your car’s paid off, they’re more expensive than children–what with all the upkeep, oil changes, gas, repairs, car insurance, registration, etc. They’re a never-ending money drain.

My registration expires this month. So I have that to worry about too. It won’t pass inspection because my check engine light is on again. I go through this every year.