Vroom?

Aug. 16th, 2010 10:59 am
jessikast: (Default)

I fear I may be about to mourn the loss of my little blue car. :-(

Since I'm driving down to Welly for Au Contraire in a week and a half, I thought I'd book it in for a service before I went, just to make sure everything was running well and would stand up to a 10 hour road trip. I thought I might as well get the WoF done at the same time since it's due early next month and it would save me a trip. I also booked it in for a wheel alignment because it had that shakiness at high speeds which means things are a little out of tune.

I thought I'd be fine with the WoF - they always find little niggles, but in the last year I've had a whole bunch of brake parts replaced ($900-odd), and the entire exhaust system's been replaced bit by bit over the last few years. I know the sump is leaking but given the $4000-new to replace cost and the fact that it was only making me lose oil a bit faster but didn't impede driving, I thought I could leave that.

But, do you know what my car DOES have?

RUST.

RUST IS REALLY EXPENSIVE.

A problem with the rear brake is being repaired under the same waranty that repaired the brake problems I had a couple of weeks ago, but I also have excessive rust on the brake booster ($650), a perished-due-to-rust power steering hose ($680), the sump is apparently a rusty zombie ($400 second-hand, not actually THAT bad), and rust build up on the front cross member (I ddon't even know what that IS!) which needs to go to a panel beater and could be a quick job or a multi-hour welding job.

Plus a few other minor bits and pieces they noticed that they didn't even bother to tell me about in detail.

So, these repairs are looking to be about $2000 all-up.  A 1995 Holden Astra is worth about $1,500, maaaaybe up to $2,000 or $2,500 if it were automatic (which mine isn't) or has low mileage (which mine really, really doesn't).  Do you see the problem with the maths here? Can I justify repairing the car for more than it's actually worth?

On the one hand, I was knew the car would give out at some point, and I was expecting to need to add on some cash to the mortgage (since the interest rate for that is cheaper than a separate loan) to purchase a car. On the other, I thought that would be a few more years down the track (the car's GERMAN. It's meant to last forever!) and I'm all sentimentally attached and it makes me feel almost weepy to think about having to sell it (probably for parts). I learnt to drive in this car! It's been part of my life for the last eleven years, at least!

My little blue astra may have reached the end of the road. :-(

(On the other hand, I've just seen the eps of Top Gear where they drive across the Channel, and across the middle of Africa. I can't believe that my car can't be jury-rigged to keep going in SOME way!)

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