I suspect there may be a resurgence of the “thumbs down” feature after this post, but I’m in a bind, and any car and/or relationship advice would be greatly appreciated!!!
I need to decide what to do with my currently inoperative car. Should I fix it and hope for a few more good years before driving it to it’s death? Or should I float it out on Lake Superior and set it alight, putting it out of it’s misery with a Viking funeral?*
* This is more of a metaphor really… I wouldn’t actually shove my car into Lake Superior, as it would be horribly toxic for our water source.
First off, here’s the situation:
I have a 2002 Kia Rio automatic with 69k miles and a salvage title. Sometime before I bought it (probably when it was wrecked), someone installed the wrong transmission (seriously, how the fuck do you install a wrong transmission?!?). Instead of using a transmission for the 2001/2002 Rio model (1.5), they used one from a 2003 Rio model (1.6).
Fast forward six years, and the “improvised” shift cable snaps loose, rendering the car inoperable. The Kia mechanic said he was amazed that it had worked that long, and said it would be $400 (parts & labor) to install a new shift cable and “maybe” get it working again. Yep, maybe.
Even if I do get it working again, it will need additional work (needs new front & rear brakes, as well as new tires). In theory, once that is all done, it might be a (somewhat) dependable car, as I had already thrown $700 into having it looked over and installing a new fuel injector & timing belt. However, I’m not sure what problems may arise from having the wrong transmission installed (other than having the shift cable snap six years from now).
So at what point do I say “fuck it” and just give up on the car? I always figured that when the car died, it would truly be dead, as in a “you need a new engine” kind of way. My car currently is like some poor animal that is down to it’s last days and suffering miserably. Do I bring it to the vet for the expensive cure, or ask them to give the permanent nighty-night shot?
So if I don’t decide to fix it, then what? I could leave it in my front yard and let some dogs live under it, but I’m sure my neighbors have an opinion on that matter. Do I drag it to a junk yard? Do I try to sell it in on Craigslist – “Shitty Kia, $5.00 or best offer”? I’ve heard that car donations are sometimes accepted by charities – does anyone know of any local ones that would find a dead piece of crap useful?
And if I decide to ditch my crappy car, then what? I’ve saved up about a grand that I could throw into a cheap used car, but then I may find myself in the same situation, just a different color interior. Due to the financial fun of divorce, my credit is about negative 240 right now, so getting a loan for a nicer/more dependable car is not an option.
So do I just ditch the car and become free of vehicular burdens? I’m about 6 blocks away from any near bus stops. Walking downhill to get to one wouldn’t be impossible, but my mouse-potato ways would recoil if forced to walk uphill 6 blocks. I carpool to work with my boyfriend, but using his car for everything would make me feel like a mooch/kept woman. Prior to the Kia sucka-palooza, he had expressed interest in selling his car, but now says he won’t, even if I get mine fixed (he said something about a “rolling death-trap”…). So if I choose not to buy a car, then I end up feeling guilty for basically forcing him to keep his car.
In the end, I feel uncertain and super-whiney. I am privileged enough to have a job and transportation to get me safely there and back. I know in the grand scheme of things, my car isn’t really that big of a deal, but nonetheless, I feel stuck and indecisive. Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!!