Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Structural Integrity at 28%

My head is about to explode.

No, I'm serious.

It's stuffed full of unwanted new info on cracked cylinder heads, leaky head gaskets, motors, valves, coolant system leaks, repairing or replacing the same, and a slew of places to call and spit all this info back so they can tell me how much they'll charge.

The 4Runner is at a dealership shop in the next town over, its guts lying on the shop floor around it, with a bill of $700 just in tear-down time. They want either $6,500 or a starting point of $5,000 (sliding upwards from there) to fix it or put in a new motor. I've found a new motor for $1150 (with fewer miles and nearly as good a pressure test as their $5K motor!), and now I've just got to figure out how to get my ol' buddy out of the prison he's in and to a place that's friendlier.

Needless to say, I won't be telling the dealership what I think of their prices until after I've talked them into discounting my bill, I've paid for it, and the 4Runner is on it's way to either my driveway (to be sold for parts) or to a reasonable mechanic.

My dad put it this way: Dealerships are out to sell cars. More expensive repairs mean more car sales and trade-ins.

Add to that the fact that my washer has nearly the most expensive problem possible, and it has been quite the 24 hours. Thanks be to heaven we bought the "Master Service Agreement", (and for about 1/4 the cost due to a labeling mistake at Sears!), and don't have to pay the horrifyingly-close-to-$1,000 bill. The washer cost $1200, for Pete's sake. It's only three years old!

So, with my head spinning about repair options and service scheduling and wondering what this is all going to end up costing, I'm going out to forage for groceries tonight. Wish me luck. Otherwise who knows what I'll bring back.

Sardines and strawberries, anyone?