Wednesday, May 03, 2006

For those of you playing along at home, the score is now:

Our Car: 4 (as in, 4 major repairs in 4 months)
Us: 0

We've decided it needs a personality transplant. And by "personality," I mean "engine." We spoke with Marvin, our mechanic, this morning and visited the patient to view the gaping hole under its hood. Marvin gave us several written estimates for different repair and replacement options. He and Alex are out right now (in Marvin's truck), looking at used engines.

(Several well-intentioned people have wondered aloud if our "car trouble" might not better be described as "mechanic trouble" but I am once again convinced that we've got the right guy.)

They've settled on a rebuilt 1998 diesel engine (11 years younger than our current one) for $1200 (plus labor, which will be about $300). A used gasoline engine would have been cheaper by about half, but in the name of fuel prices...

I don't know, if I educated myself, where I would come down on the gasoline/diesel issue, but I'm just happy Alex has settled on something local. I do (do! Do! DO!) want him to be the one to deal with this, but I have to admit I had a bad moment this morning when he was going over the options and they included towing the engineless shell of a vehicle home, sticking it in the yard, and waiting until his (Alex's) next trip to Costa Rica, tentatively set for two months from now, when he would theoretically bring a US-bought engine with him. (How?) Fortunately, my tried-and-true method of "wait until its a real possibility before freaking out" served me well and nobody said anything regrettable.

As it is, they're buying the engine as we speak and will take it to the shop in Marvin's truck. Yup, still grooving on the mechanic and don't try to tell me otherwise.


lisa May 04, 2006 6:37 AM  

So I was getting ready to take the Honda in to check some things....and then the transmission started slipping. The good news? Transmission problem was only $375 to fix. The bad news? The "other things" added up to another $900 or so. Plus, the recommended 180,000 mile service would be over $300! So, okay. Fix the transmission, change the oil (bypassing the full 180,000 mile service) and patch a hole in the exhaust system (to pass the inspection that was due in March). And then? Move out of the Pontiac, Scott, I'm movin' in! It is a nice luxury to just, say, have a spare car lying around to start driving while we repair and sell the other one.

(sniff) I will miss my Honda. But when one car is 5 years younger with 75,000 fewer miles....


Dad May 04, 2006 6:28 PM  

Our daughters are not having good luck with their (old) cars lately, it seems!

Diesel here is about the same price per gallon as gasoline, but perhaps it's cheaper there, and/or you get a lot more miles per gallon?

Good luck to all!


Sandy May 18, 2006 11:45 AM  

Does Alex know you have this Blog page?

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