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Being squeezed by a lemon (car)

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  • Being squeezed by a lemon (car)

    I have a complete lemon car. After the brakes failed, and repaired, drive train failed. After that repair, the radiator blew. Then the water pump. On the way home from the water pump repair, the rack and pinion took a dump and the brakes failed again. The first and second mechanics don't want to deal with the extended warranty, so they won't talk to me unless I'm paying cash. The extended warranty took care of stuff after six months, but the first 10k of repairs was on me, which I'll never get back. If I repair this latest, it should go another 150000 miles. If it were a normal car.

    I don't want to put another cent into this thing. I have not renewed the tags as I'm trying to sell it, which, if I repaired the issues, it should be in perfect condition, until it breaks something else, probably on the test drive. I don't want to pay insurance on it. I really want it gone. The last offer I had was a dealer for half of the amount financed.

    if I send it to a shop, I'll be on the hook for at least $300, it's loan payment, for "diagnostic fees" despite having a zero deductible warranty.

    if I sell it for less than the loan amount, but its FMV, will that be a preferential transfer? I'll have to pay the difference so the bank will release the title to the new owner? I'm already underwater, but not quite ready to file bk. Do I just stop paying on it while making other payments? Do I call the lender and say "send a flatbed"? And here's $50 so y'all can use the warranty to fix the rack and brakes?

    Is there some way to get out from under this lemon without damaging my credit further? Yes, my credit is in the dumps, but not the sewer. If I can somehow dump this, I may be able to avoid bk, basically by being judgement proof, or at least delaying it until the medical bill acquisition rate slows a bit.

    thanks in advance for any ideas, commiserations, and acknowledgements of ugly thoughts directed towards this citrus scented car.

  • #2
    We would really need more information in order to help you. What kind of car are we talking about? How old? How many miles? How much is still owed on it? If the car is a notoriously unreliable model, such as the Chrysler/Dodge vehicles equipped with the 2.7L V-6, then I wouldn't put another dime into it. If it's a model which normally gives few problems, then perhaps it might make sense to fix it again, even if just to resell it. It is entirely possible that some, or all of the problems you are experiencing are the result of poor work done by your mechanics, and not the fault of the car itself.

    To put this into perspective, even an otherwise good car is going to have problems as it ages, especially if proper maintenance was not done. The secret to keeping an older car running is to DIY as much of the maintenance and repair work as possible in order to keep costs down. If you are not able to do that, then you should stick to vehicles which are new enough to have factory warranty coverage, or be eligible for an extended warranty from the manufacturer (e.g. a "certified" used car). Avoid any "extended warranty" or "auto repair plan" which is not underwritten by the manufacturer itself--as you have discovered, the coverage is useless.

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    • #3
      Been using the heck out of the extended warranty, when they’ll actually deem to cover something vs. claiming it’s a non-covered piece of a covered part.

      I’m currently trying to sell it so I’ll not name names. It really has been neglected by the previous owner and I was stupid enough to buy it. It has had the exact same failures as my previous one of the same make and model, except the other one’s issues were spread over 8 years of ownership, not everything in one year.

      But, as I was planning to call the lender to come take their POS, I get a call from someone wanting to buy it, happy they’ll get a bargain with the major items brand new. The universe has a wicked sense of humor.

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