NBR - Car dead, still owe, what do? — The Bump
March 2012 Moms

NBR - Car dead, still owe, what do?

Okay, so on top of being sick, and having to work tonight anyway, AND having midterms this week and next week...

My beautiful 2000 jeep grand cherokee, Jeep, bit it.  His motor is dead.  There isn't a bone yard motor to match in the entire state, and a rebuilt OR having it repaired will cost 5k or more.  I still owe 4k on the loan.  I really REALLY loved this car.

I'm a starving returning student with a Master's student for a husband, and a baby on the way.  And this was our good car.

I have no warranty, no gap insurance, and only $1500 in what was supposed to be baby savings.  The mechanic (most reputable and least expensive in town) says a  wrecking yard will typically pay $300 for it...but the title has to be cleared.  I can't afford the rest of the loan up front.  What do I do?

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Re: NBR - Car dead, still owe, what do?

  • Is it possible to get by on 1 car?  I think your only option is to cut back as much as possible, continue paying the payments plus whatever you can, get extra income to put towards it, and save up for another vehicle after you get that one paid and gone.
  • First off, I'm very sorry this is happening. I think you should call your bank and see what the next steps might be with the loan (they may be able to reduce the payments). I don't think you should have it rebuilt. GAP insurance would not have helped you so don't worry about that and who knows if a warranty would have. Do you need a car? If so, you may have to get a $1k clunker to get you by. 
  • Wow.  That's quite a conundrum.  Not always my favorite option, but do you have a family member who can help you out with either the repairs or to pay off the loan?  OR can you look out of state or online for the part?  My husband has done that before to fix things on his truck...

    I have an '02 Jeen Grand Cheerokee that I bought used, but I LOVEEEEE it.  It'll be paid off soon, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed it holds up for another couple of years since I just paid $1,200 for maintenance on it and need to pay another $1,000 to get the heat fixed.  I think I've had to fix more things on that car than I care to think about and yet it's still my favorite of all the vehicles I've had.

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  • image jules121606:

    Wow.  That's quite a conundrum.  Not always my favorite option, but do you have a family member who can help you out with either the repairs or to pay off the loan?  OR can you look out of state or online for the part?  My husband has done that before to fix things on his truck...

    I have an '02 Jeen Grand Cheerokee that I bought used, but I LOVEEEEE it.  It'll be paid off soon, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed it holds up for another couple of years since I just paid $1,200 for maintenance on it and need to pay another $1,000 to get the heat fixed.  I think I've had to fix more things on that car than I care to think about and yet it's still my favorite of all the vehicles I've had.


    Keep it!  3 of my uncles are mechanics, plus every other mechanic I've talked to says you have to put 2-3k into it to do maintenance around 100,000 miles, but after that they'll go for another 100,000.  The mechanic who gave me the bad news says these motors almost never ever die, and that I just got really unlucky somehow.

    We do have another car, and we can get by for a while...but it needs a complete tranny overhaul, tires, brakes, and its high mileage service.  We have only been driving it in emergencies.


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  • image jayleigh68:
    First off, I'm very sorry this is happening. I think you should call your bank and see what the next steps might be with the loan (they may be able to reduce the payments). I don't think you should have it rebuilt. GAP insurance would not have helped you so don't worry about that and who knows if a warranty would have. Do you need a car? If so, you may have to get a $1k clunker to get you by. 

    I wouldn't reduce the payments as that will just extend the loan.  You need to get rid of this vehicle, not keep it in your driveway for 4 more years while you're making payments.

  • Can you trade it in for something else?  Dealerships around here advertise $3000-$5000 trade-in values for cars even if you have to tow it onto their lot.  That might be total BS just to get you in the door, but it might be worth looking into.
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  • image 526SadieSadie:
    Can you trade it in for something else?  Dealerships around here advertise $3000-$5000 trade-in values for cars even if you have to tow it onto their lot.  That might be total BS just to get you in the door, but it might be worth looking into.

    The Kia dealership here does that, but you have to pay full retail price for a new kia to get the 5k trade-in.  If there are any Kia rebates, the dealer keeps them.  I gets you out of one vehicle, but just gets you upside down in the next.

  • How much is it worth if the engine was good? Is it more than what you owe?

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  • image countrygrl5533:
    How much is it worth if the engine was good? Is it more than what you owe?

    In perfect condition, I think 6500 or so.  But I owe 4k and the new (refurb) engine would be 5k.  Also, I can't come up with the money for either of those things right now, so I wouldn't be able to fix it OR clear the title, let alone both.  :(

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  • What, exactly, did the mechanic say was wrong with it? Unless the block is cracked or something, I have trouble imagining why you would need to replace the whole motor. Any chance you can get a second opinion without having it towed? Mobile mechanic maybe?
  • image makinithappen:

    image jayleigh68:
    First off, I'm very sorry this is happening. I think you should call your bank and see what the next steps might be with the loan (they may be able to reduce the payments). I don't think you should have it rebuilt. GAP insurance would not have helped you so don't worry about that and who knows if a warranty would have. Do you need a car? If so, you may have to get a $1k clunker to get you by. 

    I wouldn't reduce the payments as that will just extend the loan.  You need to get rid of this vehicle, not keep it in your driveway for 4 more years while you're making payments.

    She has basically no money. You do what you can til you get money. If the payment is high this might be a good option while she tries to get something else. 

  • Thanks everyone.  The mechanic said that he'd have to tear the motor (it's an inline V-6, apparently labor-intensive) all the way down to the pistons, which would cost as much in labor and parts and more labor to build it back up/replace the seals as it would to buy a referbished one.  My uncles seem to agree that finding a scrapyard one is by far going to be the cheapest.

    My mom found two on craigslist of all things.  So now we have to decide whether to wipe the savings and have one of these unknown guys installed, or let it rot in a driveway until it's paid off.  I'm so damn emotional over Jeep that the stupid Adele song played and I LOST IT.

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