Car Repairs

I was having trouble with my key mechanism in my car. I had broken it myself by using both a trunk key and a door key in the ingnition. What’s weird is they both worked, but not very well, and in the process of using the trunk key in the ignition, I had damaged the lock mechanism, so I needed to replace the lock mechanism. I ordered the part, $130, and paid my brother, $40, to fix it. Cost: $170.

I just got my car smogged. We have to do this in California regularly. Cost: $80.

They told me that I needed to change my tires because one was down to the metal showing. And it was in the front. Metal showing is very bad. And a tire about to blow in front is extremely bad. Rear is not nearly so bad. So I took it to a tire place and replaced both rear tires for $220. And I knocked them down to $60 for the realignment because the car was out of alignment. This had caused uneven wear on the tires. You need to realign your car every time you replace tires if it needs it. Total: $280.

They told me I needed to replace my rear brakes. My mechanic told me I could let it go for maybe a month. I had money at the moment,  so I chose to just get it done. If your money situation is bad and you need to spend big money, say on car repairs, spend the money when you have it because who knows when you will have it again? Both brakes: $280.

I do need to replace my rear shocks right now. My mechanic is Guatemalan, so he lets me buy my own parts and bring them in to him to fix, and he only charges me for labor. Cost of shocks: $235. Cost to replace them: $240. I really do not want to spend this money and my brother has told me to not do it on the basis that it costs more to fix that stuff than the car is worth. I’m not sure if that is true, but it’s a bad argument because to replace my car with a decent used car will cost me minimum $5,000, and I don’t have it. So I need to keep pouring money into my car, which has 107,000 miles on it.

Total spent just recently: $810.

I really don’t want to spend the money and the shocks do not need to be replaced at the moment. You only need to replace them when you start noticing obvious problems with driving like braking, steering, or turning and I’m not having those yet. But I have the money now and God knows when I will have it again, so I think I should do it. Total cost will be: $475.

He wants to also look at struts, but I won’t replace those if they need to be replaced. Shocks are in the back, struts are in the front. I will only replace them if they are broken and leaking. You only need to replace your struts if your car is literally bouncing up and down when you drive or if you are bottoming out when you go over railroad tracks or potholes. Otherwise don’t bother, and it’s another $500 anyway, which I absolutely do not have.

Total needing to be spent at minimum: $475.

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3 thoughts on “Car Repairs”

      1. I was in the same situation (car costing more to fix than it’s worth), with a Toyota, too. Mine is a 2002 with 170K miles. I did the minor repairs, then convinced myself I should buy a cheap used car. Got an ’07 Civic with 80K, and it broke down the second day I had it. Brought it back to the dealership who repaired it at no cost, and two days later, I was stranded roadside again.

        I was furious. Told them to take the Civic back and give me back my money and Camry. Thankfully they hadn’t gotten rid of it yet. I talked to two different mechanics in my family who unfortunately live in the opposite side of the country, but both said to just repair the Camry, and I should get two more years out of it minimum.

        Writing it out on paper, I don’t feel too bad about repairs costing more than the value, because it will be cheaper to fix it than a monthly car payment for a good car, and I don’t want to go through the stress of buying a cheap used car that I don’t know the history of and risk having things go wrong with that. I started putting small amounts of money aside weekly to work towards a new car in the future. I’m investing it into (stable) crypto instead of a savings account, which is working out really well. Cars can be such a pain in the ass.

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