Sunday, May 11, 2008

When to throw in the towel?

(My Husband and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (PART 2))

The value of my husband's car, based on age, mileage, and condition is under $800. Add in some of the things that need to be fixed and you'd have to be a real sucker. It runs and has A/C, so it has that going for it. It also has fumes so bad that 1) my child is not allowed in it and 2) if it's parked in the garage the door needs to be cracked for a few hours because the whole house will stink. On top of that something is wrong with the airbag. It starts... almost... every time he drives it though sometimes he needs to try a few times. Those are the basic issues, anyway.

But again, it runs. And he only needs it to go to work. However, in order for us to feel safe with that we need to:
  • Pay the dealer $110 for a diagnostic of the airbag system.
  • Pay to either repair the system (the least expensive option according to one mechanic is the clock spring which is $300ish. Since the horn works, this is probably not the case. However, my research on the internet says it could be a few other things in the $60-$80 range.)
  • Or pay to disconnect the system (and no, he does not have an airbag on/off switch as some cars do)
If the work that had to be done to make it drivable was $1500 on a $600 (or so) car, then I feel like the better choice would be more clear. (He is driving it right now as his bike is in the shop for about a week. He may decide he's okay with the conflicting advice, but I don't think it's likely.)

At what point do we throw in the towel? When do we say, "You know, I don't want to put half the value or all the value of this car back into it when we know it needs at least another thousand dollars of other repairs within the next year,"?

We have $400. It's sitting in our account. Heck, I saved $125 this month towards automobile repairs, so we'd only have to dent the rest of our savings.

I hate his car. I really really hate it. I haven't ridden it in several years. It stinks, it's noisy, and I'm always terrified that we'll be somewhere and then can't leave because it won't start.

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