Friday, November 13, 2009

Little by Little

I think all of my juggling of the household is finally starting to pay off :). My ex and his siblings, as they do with all the kids, have arranged for our 3rd graduate to get his first car. They are contributing $2300 towards a little used car! I think this is fabulous! My son has been looking at various small car dealers. Though he will not make a move without me or their father, he has learned so much about purchasing a car. I am so impressed with him.

Him and his brother had one car picked out and wanted me to take a look at it. I immediately knew when I looked at it that it had been in an accident. Both the front and rear bumpers had been very poorly repaired and painted over. The hood did not line up with the fenders either. When I spoke with the salesman, he was a very nice and honest man who admitted that the car was not a good choice. Needless to say, my son was very disappointed because this meant starting his search all over again.

On the way home, we stopped at Gabe's house, my mechanic. We asked him if he had a small car the he would allow us to purchase. Our timing could not have been better! He had just received a Jetta that he was currently working on as we approached him! He specializes in German made cars like VW and Mercedes which is why he is my mechanic because I have a Jetta :).

He said he had just received the car and it was in good shape but needed a few adjustments. He said he had wanted $2500 for it, but would let my son have it for $1800! The Blue Book price is $2754! We are soooo excited! He called dad and his uncle to get everyone on the same page. At this point, we are waiting for Gabe to complete the car.

More good news is that this same son of mine has applied to go to UTI Automotive college. We took a tour a few weeks ago and we are in the application process. I've never seen him so motivated about school! I love the school and the staff. It even has an employment office on the campus because they like the students to have employment in the mechanical field as they learn to work on the cars. The classes are quite extensive from oil changes to ownership of your own busines. They have options that go from everyday economy cars to high performance race cars! By the time they graduate, they will have a job in their field. Very impressive!

As for my own car, that was supposedly having significant mechanical issues... The car was pulling to the right and I figured it only needed an alignment. It also had a fairly bad oil leak. Gabe doesn't have the equipment to do alignments. As for the oil leak, he said it appeared to be the rear main seal costing $600... whatever that is :).

Well, I took it to get the alignment done at another place called Express Tire. Now you know me. I know my car very well. I know nothing about mechanics, but I know my baby very well. I have every receipt from purchase to repairs, every one. This man told me I needed "cambers" at $300. Have no idea what they are. However, this happens to me most of the time when I go to get an alignment. He kept asking me had the car been in an accident, which it hasn't. Upon my departure, he tells me it will only get worse. Needless to say, I left.
Later, I took it to Firestone, which they said the same thing and offered a lesser price.

I chose to contact my mechanic from years and years ago who, fortunately, is still in business. We took the car to him, an hour drive away. He concluded that the alignment only needed adjusting and that the oil leak was just the oil pan gasket. Total cost $354! He saved me about $550! We will pick up the car on sunday when I take my oldest son back to dad's house.

Little by little...:)