My Talon: Finally the End? posted

My car has been running horribly lately. The engine sounds horrible, it idles bad, etc. I mean, what can I really expect from an engine with 175,000 miles on it.

Well... Monday I pulled into the garage, shut the car off, and heard a new *CLUNK* noise. I thought, "great... something else is broken" However, I sort of just brushed it off for the evening.

The next morning, I tried to start it up and got an awful awful noise. Not like a dead battery or anything. Just this loud whine and the engine never turned over or anything. So I was basically stuck working from home.

Throughout my work day I made periodic trips down to my car to sort of mourn and gradually check things out as I thought of them. One of the first things I did was take the timing belt cover off - sure enough, the timing belt was loose and off it's teeth. Now, if you don't know a whole lot about cars, my car in particular, you might just think, "just throw a new belt on, what's the big deal?"

Well, it is sort of a big deal. See my engine is an interference type engine, which means that the valves enter the cylinder when the piston is out of the way. The problem with this is, if the timing is off by just a little tiny bit, the valves and the piston will run into each other, thus bending the valves and possibly damaging the piston. This is what happened to my car.

Basically, something broke externally near the timing belt to cause more serious things to break internally.

What it means is - taking my engine apart, replacing the head, replacing whatever broke externally (most likely a $100 pulley), and also replacing the timing belt - which involves unbolting the engine and jacking it up a bit. Oh, and I'll need new gaskets on everything while I'm at it.

Basically I'm dealing with several hours of dirty labor and at least $500. For what? To possibly get my crappy car running again.

I don't know what to do. I mean, no matter what, I have to borrow a car until I get something figured out. So, my options, as I see them, are:
  • Fix my beater (again), so that I can keep driving my crappy, degrading car
  • Buy another beater to get me by until Kari and I can afford the car i want (probably next year)
  • Buy a truck. Practical. Everyone can use a truck. Plus, they retain their value well and we could just trade it back in later. However, this will require a loan - and more debt
  • Buy another Eclipse with low miles and use my car as a parts car. This requires a loan, but I'd get a fun car to drive... I dunno. If I mod it, it'll lose value fast.
  • Try to get an older M3 or e36. It'd require a loan as well, but it'd be a fun car to have. But then again, older cars may mean more repairs - which I am super sick of.
I just don't know. I don't have much money for a down payment, and we really don't have much extra income for car payments... but we could maybe swing a $10,000ish car for a minute. Advice? Suggestions?
Tags: Auto, Broken


  • Forget the expensive cars. Buy a Mazda 3.

    Chad Kraus posted

  • i've never had much interest in mazda 3s.

    if i get a car, it'll either be something cool/fast, or a beater.

    derek posted

  • >any suggestions?

    yeah, debt is bad and do your best to avoid it.

    Iturro Gonzales posted

  • thanks iturro. you have no idea.

    derek posted

  • however, there is a big difference between car debt and credit card debt. car debt is more of a necessary and unavoidable debt, no different than a student loan or a home loan.

    zach posted

  • I would beg to differ with Zach. Bethany and I have two cars both that are both paid off. Debt will kill you in the long run. Sure your going to have some debt but everyone who I have ever talked to, old and young, professional or not, says to get out of debt as fast as you can. My suggestion (because you don't to give you my advice) is to weigh out how much money you have and go with the solution that will cost you as little as possible. That might mean fixing the new car or even getting a new beater. No matter what you do put money aside after it's fixed or a new beater is bought and learn to (here it comes...) SAVE money. Then take that money and get something you really want.

    Personally, I have an $800 dog and a $600 guitar all because I waited until we had the money to get them. Sure I wanted them real bad at the time but we just couldn't swing it so i had to wait. It almost killed me but i had to be patient.

    Take the time and learn to save. It pays off. Another thing you might ponder is praying about it. God will open things up. He has showed Bethany and I amazing things when we went to Him.

    Hope that helps.


    Jordan Muck posted

  • jordan, you're preaching completely to the wrong person.

    i've always been taught and have tried to live that way.

    also, i'm not asking for debt help. i'm already taking care of that. i'm asking about a car.

    derek posted

  • I'd split the difference, buy something economical that's not a beater but also not all that cool, and drive it like crazy. Might mean you take out a smaller loan, but you won't worry about it breaking down, you'll have less debt than if you went for something cool, and it might actually hold some value so you can sell it when you get more cash.

    Maybe a smaller used truck that gets good gas mileage? Or if you're not hauling that much, a car with a decent amount of space in it.

    p.s. pray for money-saving tips, it can't hurt

    mh posted

  • @Jordan - Your car was free. Sometimes when you need something, like a car, you don't always have the time to save all the cash for it.

    Also, I agree with mh about getting the economical car or small truck. We were able to sell our S-10 for just a little under what we bought it for.

    zach posted

  • As all the guys on the thread Eclipse thread said..."Just pull the engine out, it's so much easier to fix." Hahaha Buy something you can pay off in about a year. Then you can trade that heap in for the car you want when you're ready. We've been driving our poor ass cars for years dude, what's another year. When we're 30, then maybe we can have a midlife crisis. Of course yous will be having a kid and I'll be paying child support for my illigitamants.

    Nathan posted

  • I would still say to go with the cheapest option. Maybe that's the fix or maybe that's a new car. All I'm saying is go cheap and save some money.

    Then (my opinion) buy a new car that goes fast so you can come visit me!

    Jordan Muck posted

  • I say buy a new car! ;)

    I saw you mention an older e36. I've got a 94 325i Sport, 51,000 miles (no typo), wheels, intake, exhaust, chip, pulleys, mp3 player, alpine amp, speakers, etc. Just getting it ready to put it on the market. Ask Ru about it

    Shane posted

  • Jordan, congrats on your expensive dog and guitar.

    kevi posted

  • Hey man. You know what kind of car you want. buying beater is good and all but is kind of like a band aid helps for a bit but then it sucks getting rid of. New cars are just dumb cuase you take the hit on the first year of dep. I'd shop around and try and find a good shape used car or truck. as far as debt yeah it sucks but when it's a car it's what ya have to do most of the time.

    Turbo posted

  • Get to a junk yard and buy a engine for less then $500 and then swamp it out with the talon engine.

    timmy posted

  • Hmmmm... Tough call. As a "gear head," I often think with emotion rather than practicallity when it comes to cars. I had two cars (whilst living in the city of Chicago) and it just wasn't paying. I've decided to be a "one car guy" ... to save money. I agree with the general sentiment of your other posters... Do what you need to get by at the moment, and when you can afford it, get the car of your dreams... It'll still be there waiting for you -- They always are.

    Adam Pilon (Mitch's Bro) posted

  • The Honda D engine is a family of inline 4-cylinder engines used in a variety of compact Honda models, most commonly the Honda Civic, CRX, Logo, Stream, and first-generation Integra. Its displacement ranges between 1.2 and 1.7 liters and is available in SOHC and DOHC versions; with some SOHC models equipped with VTEC. Power range started from 62 hp (46 kW) to 130 hp (97 kW). The D-series was introduced in 1984 and ended production in 2005 with the introduction of the 8th generation Honda Civic.

    lilytekJDM posted

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    Eduardzwlc posted