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Off topic Car and other stress

(deactivated member)
on 2/23/12 7:29 am
In August last year my daughter got her license and I researched cars and got her a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix. I had to borrow against my 401k to get it and ever since I got it, it's been one thing after another. I've sunk at least $1500 in repairs into it and I just found out last night that the engine bearings are shot and ithey need to be either replaced or more likely the entire engine replaced. This will cost between $1500-$3000 to do, and there's no guarantees that the vehicle won't need more major repairs after that. I should have known better since it has 213,000 miles on it but it ran great until this.

I have to drive her to and from school until we figure out whether to pay for the repairs by taking out additional loans or whether to sell or fix the car. My commute just went from 20 minutes to over an hour.

To top it off, I got pulled over for speeding this morning on a remote road on my first day of driving her. I wasn't even going that fast and luckily the cop let me off with just a warning since I have a clean driving record.

My life sucks right now and I don't know what to do about her car. I just bought my first home and need to spend my money on making repairs and maintaining my home, not a stupid car for my kid. She appreciates it and takes care of it (she cleaned her car every week and babied it and gets good grades so it's not like she's an ungrateful brat). I just am overwhelmed and don't know what to do. She loves her Grand Prix and was up all night crying.

I spent most of my night last night printing out the cost of used cars for $5,000 or less on a used car website adn found a few with 90,000 or less. But to get her one I'd  have to go into even more debt.

I don't know if I'm looking for advice or just empathy but today is horrible.
H.a.l.a. B.
on 2/23/12 7:40 am
RNY on 05/14/08 with
An idea:
if she is old enough to drive...can she try to find a weekend - eveneing job to help paying the bills?   Thatmay help you...
otehr than taht - stress is really hard on us... please remember taht vitamins and minerals are so critical during that time (body uses more B-s to cope) .

H.a.l.a RNY 5/14/2008    

Need to bitch?  or Rave?  To find new R&R - 3.0 group..- send a PM -  to get included...

"Failure is not falling down, It is not getting up once you fell..."

 "So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again...." 

(deactivated member)
on 2/23/12 8:24 am
She could get a job to help with the bills, but I'd rather she didn't since she has like 4 hours of homework every night and weekend and she needs her rest when she isn't doing homework. Our plan is for her to get a job during the summer. But she has straight As and works her ass off to keep those grades. I don't want to throw her future away and ruin her chances for getting into a good college over a stupid car problem. It could affect her life. That would be my last resort. Thanks for the idea tho!
grmadeb01
on 2/23/12 8:11 am - FL
i would junk the one you have and look into getting a different car, and since she is old enough to drive, then she should have a part time job to help cover gas and such for the car...my daughter had to drive our old van and it was old and on its last leg, but she drove it while she worked and saved money, then when the van HAD to have tires since they were so bad, it was not worth the cost to put on tired, we told her, we would match what she had saved up and to get aloan to get her a newer car.. so if she had 2500 saved, we would match the 2500 with a loan and she could get a 5000 car and have to pay off the 2500 with her work money, we co signed for the loan and she had to make the payments, that way she got the credit for it...or name was on the car title also...her first car was a 2001 PT cruiser limited edition with NICE leather seats and AWESOME and i mean awesome stero system..i was very jealous of her stero stystem...well she got it paid off and had it paid off went off to college and just this thanskgving 2011, she got hit by someone changing lanes and her car was totaled..so we had to take her money from her car and get her something else, now she has a 2008 chevy aveo, it is a nice small car, not the bells and whistls she had with the pt cruiser, but its ALOT better on gas and with the trips back and forth from college and such it has been alot better...she had just started having some mechanical problems with the cruiser so we had made a few repairs, but they just kept coming....so the accident was kind of ablessing in disgues...
anyhow, i would just chalk it up to experience, and yes it is very frustrating, make sure you have a trusted mechanic check out the next car before you purchase it...we now have one guy that wont charge us anythig to check it out..he checked out the aveo and didnt charge us...
maybe you can get something for the car you have now if you sale it or junk it out to a junk yard or sell it for scraps...
good luck
debby
(deactivated member)
on 2/23/12 8:27 am
Thanks for sharing your experience! I do plan on selling the car either for parts or to one of those auction sites I found online. I've never dealt with them before and I know the blue book value for both trading it in and selling it privately so  I expect to get at least $1500-$2000 for it. The mechanic at the shop who worked on the Grand Prix said he is willing to check out any car I'm looking to buy for free so thank God for that. It's so hard to know if a car is a good one, other than reading reviews online but even then it seems like some say a car is great while others say it was nothing but problems. How can that be?

I will have to weigh all of my options and decide what to do. I am inclined not to put more money in the Grand Prix.
macortiz
on 2/23/12 8:21 am - Royal Oak, MI
I'd encourage you to look into purchasing something else. Grand Prix's and Grand Am's are notorious for their domino effects in the world of repairs.

Is your daughter old enough to help work towards purchasing another vehicle, or paying you back through a part-time job? Might be something to discuss with her, or find alternative means of travel until a reliable and affordable vehicle can be found.

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(deactivated member)
on 2/23/12 8:29 am
Yes, I've learned the hard way that  Grand Prix may look nice but they need lots of repairs. She's old enough to work but in another reply I explained I'd rather have her focus on getting her good grades in school in the hopes of getting a college scholarship. She has straight As and is a good kid and she needs her rest.

In the meantime I'll be driving her. We're not on any bus lines and her getting rides with other kids isn't an option. This is such a bummer! Thanks for your advice.
BWB
on 2/23/12 8:33 am
I hate to add to your worries but having two boys, and from experience, tell her that she dare not get a traffic ticket. Our older son had two (didn't tell us about the first one) and our insurance went sky high. His job didn't begin to cover the extra expense. You have been given some good advice in previous posts but I think I would chalk it up to a learning curve and sell it for as much as you can and wait until she can afford it.
               
(deactivated member)
on 2/23/12 9:04 am
Thanks, I'm well aware of the importance of her keeping a pristine driving record, she qualifies for a good student discount based on her grades and that's another reason why I don't want her to sacrifice her grades for a job to pay for a car. I've told her repeatedly if she gets in a crash or gets a ticket, I won't be able to afford her insurance and she will not be able to drive. The irony is that I got pulled over for speeding this morning. I wasn't even going 10 over and I guess the cop was bored but he was also compassionate. I'm probably going to sell the Grand Prix to the highest bidder and drive her for as long as we can both stand it, maybe until she gets a job this summer. It sucks really bad. I liked her being independent and me having some time away from her and not having her take my beloved car everywhere. If she crashes up my car that will be the end for me! I have a loan on my car.
BWB
on 2/23/12 11:20 am
That's a good plan. She will learn from this and carry it forward to when she has a family.