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GT Braintrust: Need car advice (ATTN Devildog and Rabbi)

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Cooper, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. Cooper

    Cooper

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    Subject should read "Need car / financial / moral advice."

    My 2003 Subaru Forester (147k miles) has a coolant leak from a head gasket, a separate oil leak, a cracked windshield, and tires that are so worn they make the car thump driving down the road. Estimated repairs: $2-$3k.

    I had just come up with a six-month plan to save enough cash to buy a new car outright (with the Suby as trade) when this SHTF. Now I'm in a fix.

    As I see it, I have the following options:

    1. Fix windshield and tires, clean it up, sell it to an individual with full disclosure about the issues.
    2. Fix windshield and tires, clean it up, trade it in at a dealership which may or may not specifically ask about the issues.
    3. Set it on fire and roll it down a hill.

    I'm not so sure #2 is moral. It seems to me that in a dealership transaction, it is understood that both parties are trying to screw each other. I certainly wouldn't lie, but should I offer the information?

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  2. skorper

    skorper harborrat

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    You need those two guys to figure this out?
     

  3. Cooper

    Cooper

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    Yes. DevilDog is the evil mad scientist, Rabbi is the moral compass, and both have experience in the industry. Between the two, surely there will be some pearls of wisdom.
     
  4. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Jive Tiger

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    Which issue was the SHTF moment for you?

    Not either of the experts you mention but I'll see if I can break it down and help as I am in a similar fix:

    1) Are you leaking coolant into the oil, into the combustion chamber, or on the ground? In the combustion chamber is rather bad ("oh boy", in the oil is worse (oh ####), and on the ground is almost a non-issue (oh well), at least for 6 months. This assumes the leak isn't so bad that you can't keep up with it. If it is a leak onto the ground you could conceivably get it fixed and drive the car for a while longer. As a general rule fluids leaving an engine aren't nearly as bad as them staying in the engine and going places they aren't supposed to.

    2) How much oil do you lose between changes? Can you keep up with it? For the cost of fixing an oil leak you can buy a whole lot of oil. Subaru's are also supposedly pretty easy to work on.

    3) How much are the tires going to be? My truck runs about $600/set but it has 16 inch wheels and it's a truck (and not one of those jacked up ridiculous looking things either). 15 inch should be a good bit cheaper. "Mom and Pop" tire shops tend to have better prices as well.

    4) Does your insurance cover a new windshield? In SC it is mandatory for all insurance carriers, regardless of coverage.

    5) What is the condition of the rest of the car? Is it in good shape mechanically or trashed?

    Either way, if the buyer knows about the engine issues, as far as they are concerned your engine is lunched. Therefore, if you sell it I would not spend money on tires unless you can get a good set of used ones or some cheap new ones.

    Assuming you do not fix and keep it, I would trade it in and not mention the issues unless asked. However, go ahead and figure that they will find them if they examine the car. Most likely they will auction the car anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  5. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    Get windshield fixed, put used tires on it, and get an oil change/coolant top off on the way to the dealership. I have a couple of dealerships in mind that you could take it to.
     
  6. CitizenOfDreams

    CitizenOfDreams

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    I am not a moral compass or a science genius, but I wouldn't spend money on fixing your old car. You will unlikely get your investment back when (or if) you sell it.

    I would count the money I have saved so far, set $1000 aside and buy the best car I can with the rest of the money. Then use the $1000 to get it in shape.
     
  7. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    :rofl::rofl:
     
  8. TalkToTheGlock

    TalkToTheGlock Zombie Hunter

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    Set it on fire and roll it down a hill.

    A few years ago when I first started undergrad school I wish I would have done that instead of dumping 5k into my expedition.
     
  9. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

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    You have to ask? I believe you already know what the honest answer is.
     
  10. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    Me? I'd fix nothing and take it to a dealership and offer it to them as trade-in with full disclosure. You are likely not going to recover any money you spend on it. If you want to do a private sale I'd still sell it as is where is with full disclosure.

    I did something similar once but wanted a cash sale. I had an old 1971 Ford station wagon that I had bought to haul stuff since my other vehicles were an MGB and a motorcycle. Around mid 1980s it became clear that Old Blue had to go. I drove it to a dealership and got a salesman to come look at it. It wouldn't start when he asked to hear it run. I said, "Come on, it can't be too bad you saw me drive it in here". He chuckled and gave me $500.00. I was happy I didn't have to pay someone to haul it off.
     
  11. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Jive Tiger

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  12. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    I have no idea. I've never owned a Subaru.

    My default solution to most problems is to google a forum and see what the folks who really care about a particular topic have to say about it.

    Actually, that's how I ended up on GT. I had just bought my first Glock and was having trouble taking it apart.
     
  13. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    Get rid of the lesbo vehicle now and get yourself a Vespa.
     
  14. SC Tiger

    SC Tiger Jive Tiger

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    I actually saw a Subaru at lunch with an NRA and US Army sticker on it. Doesn't prove anything but I always thought of them as hippie-wagons until then.

    Personally I'd take an Outback at the right price.
     
  15. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    Also not folks you spacificly asked for. #3 is a crime (esp if you mean to collect insurance) We all know you would NOT talk about a criminal act (violation of TOS) :0
    As said window is normally a insurance fix. (and I have basic ins) Tires. Go to junk yard and ask if they have any decent tires on rims. I got full set of good tread for my car for $65 These are mounted/balanced/read to mount (had them even throw in couple extra lug nuts)
    As said WHERE the fluids are going matters. Some "products" actually work. If exterior leak I would try them.
     
  16. Bill Keith

    Bill Keith

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    No, burn it, and post the video on YouTube:faint:
     
  17. 427

    427

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    Having worked at dealership(s) my advice is to keep your mouth shut. They know what they are doing. They are going to go over your trade and test drive it before they lowball you.

    They'll probably wholesale it out anyway so I wouldn't worry. If you want to spend money, its up to you, but I'd buy used tires and let them deal about everything else.
     
  18. PrincessCelica

    PrincessCelica

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    I feel for you. I just spent $$$$ on a new fuel filter, new timing belt, new tires on my '01 Focus. Then yesterday, the cylinder head slipped and fell into the engine. We're paying someone to take the engine apart to see if all it will need is a new cylinder head or if the engine is grenaded.

    Fiance called one place to see how much they'd give for it in current condition... $125. :crying:

    I've owned this car for 9 years--it's my first car. My family bought it for me just before my senior year of High School. I'm heartbroken. A) Because I never really wanted to get rid of this car and B) now that I have no choice, I don't have money to replace it with anything that wouldn't have just as many issues...
     
  19. Detectorist

    Detectorist

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    Huh? is that really possible? Sounds terrible, though.

    :wow: