Car(s) Situation
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  1. #1
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    Default Car(s) Situation

    As I try to get my family back on track financially, we keep coming across car troubles. First, my husband's 2006 SUV....we've already replaced the engine in it once and now it needs another engine. Its been sitting in our driveway for a couple of months while we fruitlessly try to come up with the money to fix it. The trouble with this one is that we still owe money on it and have about a year to go on its financing.

    In an attempt to keep my husband's SUV's troubles from keeping us from getting to and from work, we bought a used 2004 car outright, no payments. .....and we've replaced the engine in it once already and now it needs a new engine AGAIN. So, our spare car ended up costing us far more.

    My car which is paid for as well is a 2002. So far its still running, without the need for an engine replacement (finding wood to knock on right now as I type). I do basic maintenance on it and fix what needs to be fixed. I have a good auto shop that doesn't charge and arm and two legs to fix things. I'm really hoping that it lasts until we get the SUV paid off but it appears that we now need another car.

    My thought is to sell the 2004 spare car to someone to use for parts as I really don't want to keep putting engines in it. Eventually though, we're going to end up with another car payment I didn't want. I jokingly told hubby that we need to send him back to school to learn how to fix cars but....well that would just put us out even MORE money. LOL. I'm stressed over the car issues and the knowledge that hubby currently doesn't have a car to get back and forth from work in.

    Any suggestions for the murphy riddled cars we have?

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    Tell your husband to learn to drive properly. 4 blown engines on 2 separate cars has the same common denominator......your husband. It wasn't the same shop that has replaced 4 engines is it?

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    I hate car repairs- they are always huge and always surprising. Our 2 paid off cars, thankfully, have given us very little grief thus far even though they are getting up there in age. They were both in the shop for the first time in a couple of years last month to the tune of about $1500 (for both), but I figured that isn't so bad after a couple of years. Our prior vehicles gave us so many problems- we had some lemons. We had purchased them with around 30,000 miles on them, so fairly new, and they all fell apart by 75,000 or so and were costing us tons of $$ every few months. We recently got to a point where we needed a third car. We planned to purchase a junker. But after looking around we couldn't find a thing that was even decent in our price range. Everything appeared to be a money pit quite honestly. We ended up leasing. I know so many people are so anti-leasing, but the cost per month was so low (under $200 a month) and knowing that there would be no surprise repairs is so worth it for us. Basically it was spend $2400 for a year to have a dependable car to drive- and no more- or spend $3000 on a junker knowing it will need repairs soon. So, no real advice to you, but good luck!!

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    I am so sorry you are having car problems. There are no easy answers or quick fixes when you just don't have thousands laying around for car repairs.

    Have you tried a junk yard for an engine? It is the only suggestion that I have.

    We are juggling 2 vehicles for 3 drivers right now. My grandson's father decided to take back the car my dd was driving even though (when they were together) she sold her car and put the the $1000.00 a way incase it needed repairs. The car did need repairs so the most of the money is gone. Now they are not together and she has no vehicle. Nice.

    My husband drives his police car to work thank goodness so that is a big help. The rest of the time we suck it up until she saves more money to buy a used car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elimax View Post
    Tell your husband to learn to drive properly. 4 blown engines on 2 separate cars has the same common denominator......your husband. It wasn't the same shop that has replaced 4 engines is it?
    I'd have to agree, this is very, very unusual. But, will be a difficult subject to bring up to your husband. More information would be helpful, does the oil get checked/changed? Why do the engines need replaced? I'd be a little suspicious if the same shop is replacing the engines each time.

    If it were me, I'd sell the one car as-is if it is running and get what I could and us that money to fix the one you owe on. Or sell both as-is, pay off the loan, and get by for a while with one car until you have enough money to get another one. Of course, I don't know your situation to know if this is feasible. If you end up sharing a car, YOU should drive. If he's not doing the basics of car maintenance (especially checking oil), he needs to do so, it's not hard....and not hot rod the cars he drives. It's really hard to blow a modern day engine, unless you let the oil go dry, or push it as hard as you can every time you drive.
    Last edited by Pianolady; 10-09-2011 at 11:40 AM.

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    I have to agree with the folks who pointed out that it may be your hubby who is the issue.

    There are vehicles that are know for a variety of issues whether engine, transmission etc. but two engines in two different cars in such a short time period, is pretty unlikely to be something that is completely an issue with the vehicles.

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    Hubby needs to learn to do an oil change, basic maintenance, make sure antifreeze changed, and figure out why he is blowing 4 engines on two cars. That is very hard to do on 2 separate cars, without a total disregard for the car or how to drive it. Sorry hope things get better. Unless it is a bad mechanic but well........

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    We've owned cars since 1960's and only had one blown engine in all those cars/years. It really seems strange you'd have so many in such a short time. I would look at driving and maintenance habits and maybe go to a class on auto maintenance. Fluids need to be checked regularly. Also, if one of you is driving a vehicle into the ground it needs to stop. Stupid has an expensive penalty.

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    I'd also be a little suspicious with the auto shop/garage, if it's the same one every time saying you need to replace the engine. The engine's a pretty big thing to just "replace". I would definitely suggest that BOTH of you learn very basic car maintenance, ie checking the oil and fluid levels, oil change, etc, as others have mentioned, so if one party forgets, the other can pick up the slack.

    But regardless, I find it a little hard to believe that the entire engine had to be replaced 4 times. Surely a capable mechanic should have been able to narrow the problem down to a cylinder/piston, ECM, water pump, etc that would fix the problem, rather than replacing the whole thing. Seems rather strange...

    Anyway, very sorry to hear about your troubles. Not sure about where you live, or your communte, but is public transport or car-pooling an option? Also, I know some communities are starting to establish car-sharing programs. Failing that, if your commute isn't too long, you could look into investing in an electric car. There are a number of places that convert older-model vehicles to all-electric drives with few "technical" components. An electric engine has only 1 moving part, less potential for catastrophic failure...

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    Registered User Uniwolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna43 View Post
    Stupid has an expensive penalty.
    LOVE this lol I think that this is going in my book of favorite quotes ...

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    Label me a skeptic, but I'm not buying the entire post. Odds are against blowing four engines in such a short time, IMO, no matter what your driving habits are.

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    Thanks for everyone's replies. Honestly I think we got a lemon with the 2006 SUV. When we had the engine replaced...these are used engines we've replaced with, not brand new ones....the shop said they couldn't be certain how much mileage we'd get on it.

    The 2004 car was all my stupid mistake. I didn't realize when I bought it used that the previous owner was towing things with it. I was actually the one driving it when the engine failed. Out of the 4 cars I've owned I'm 50/50 on my choices.

    So far we have replaced TWO engines....not four. One in the SUV and one in the 2004 car. We just sold the 2004 car b/c I refuse to put another engine in it.

    The 2002 car I bought brand new. The car looks like crap, lol....peeling paint and a few dings but it still runs and it keeps running as long as I maintain it right. The same shop that has replaced the previous two engines told me that this one needed a new engine too and that it was going to fail about a year and a half ago. Still running!

    So as of now....we're back to two car payments as we had to get a replacement vehicle so DH could get to work. As far as DH's driving habits....I wouldn't say they are terrible. He does put quite a bit of mileage on his vehicles though. Where he is really lacking is taking care of basic maintenance. So at this point he knows very well that I am upset that he's killed 3 engines due to lack of basic maintenance.

    In regards to the SUV situation we will be looking into getting the engine rebuilt this time if it can be rebuilt.

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    "As far as DH's driving habits....I wouldn't say they are terrible. He does put quite a bit of mileage on his vehicles though. Where he is really lacking is taking care of basic maintenance. So at this point he knows very well that I am upset that he's killed 3 engines due to lack of basic maintenance. "


    I commute at least 150 miles round trip every day, and it can range up to 400 miles. Basic maintenance is your best friend. I change the oil every 3k miles, NO exceptions, and follow the service manual. Most service manuals only go up to 100k miles, so when the car gets over 100k miles start over following the manual. (ie - when you hit 120k do the service for 20k.) Some people think oil changes are expensive, but with a coupon (which can be found on the internet) Firestone will do an oil change for $23.

    I have had 3 commuter cars (I am on my fourth) and have never had an engine or transmission problem with any of them. All 3 were sold with at least 320k miles on them and were still running at the time of sale. You are right that you absolutely must maintain your vehicles in order for them to last. Hopefully you can get your dh on board too!

    As for the previous owner towing with your car, was the transmission ok? With towing it is usually the transmission that goes before the engine - just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handy Andy View Post
    "As far as DH's driving habits....I wouldn't say they are terrible. He does put quite a bit of mileage on his vehicles though. Where he is really lacking is taking care of basic maintenance. So at this point he knows very well that I am upset that he's killed 3 engines due to lack of basic maintenance. "


    I commute at least 150 miles round trip every day, and it can range up to 400 miles. Basic maintenance is your best friend. I change the oil every 3k miles, NO exceptions, and follow the service manual. Most service manuals only go up to 100k miles, so when the car gets over 100k miles start over following the manual. (ie - when you hit 120k do the service for 20k.) Some people think oil changes are expensive, but with a coupon (which can be found on the internet) Firestone will do an oil change for $23.

    I have had 3 commuter cars (I am on my fourth) and have never had an engine or transmission problem with any of them. All 3 were sold with at least 320k miles on them and were still running at the time of sale. You are right that you absolutely must maintain your vehicles in order for them to last. Hopefully you can get your dh on board too!

    As for the previous owner towing with your car, was the transmission ok? With towing it is usually the transmission that goes before the engine - just curious.

    Bold mine for emphasis, I have had the same amount of commuter cars with almost the same amounts of commutes over the years in our family and no problems with proper maintenance. So totally agree maintenance is the key to a long lasting car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyMama View Post
    Bold mine for emphasis, I have had the same amount of commuter cars with almost the same amounts of commutes over the years in our family and no problems with proper maintenance. So totally agree maintenance is the key to a long lasting car.
    We've had the same experience as well. DH drives his cars into the ground...5000 miles a month. We've owned three cars at different times, all of them got up to around 300,000 miles or more. We weren't even having problems when we sold each one. We just decided to err on the side of caution. DH is diligent about oil changes. Yes...proper maintenance is key!

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