Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Friday, January 12, 2007


Well, the verdict is in, and the car is found guilty. Guilty of having a bad transmission, apparently. Told you it was a sabateur.

I was a little concerned when mechanic-guy told me it was the same part that he replaced a couple of months ago -- it doesn't sound like just a bad part if it fixes the problem for a matter of months. Sometimes, at least in the appliance repair world I used to grudgingly inhabit, it means something else is wrong, and that is breaking the obviously bad part -- until you fix the under-lying problem, you can go through an innumerable succession of surface fixes.

And when they went in to replace this gizmo, that's apparently what they found -- the transmission itself is on the ka-flooey route. So now, I've got to decide if this car is worth the few hundred to put in a used transmission (if a decent one can be found for a car this old) or the several more hundred to pull this one and rebuild it. If we go with the fixing-this-one approach, the car will still probably need the inner CV axle replaced sometime soon (another hundred or two). And the A/C isn't working well, which isn't bad now, but come July, that's a problem.

Fortunately, mechanic-guy tells me that driving the car as-is will only further destroy the tranny, which needs to go anyhow. I'm supposed to call him next week to find out what he's found about a used tranny. Of course, with the probably $1,000 in repairs needed to turn this into a reasonably driveable and safe car (that's not touching the A/C), we can make several payments on a new car that won't need fixing and would hopefully get a little better gas mileadge. After getting badly burnt with the last car that needed a new tranny (nothing but trouble -- between something like three transmissions we had to go through and several other repairs that followed close on their heels, we could have paid for something like a third of a decent brand-new car), I'm a little hesitant to dump large chunks of money into a decade-old car.


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