Saturday, 22 January 2011

Vehicle Downer!

Why is is, just when things are getting back on track, that life comes along and smacks you in the face!
It has been a year since I was rushed into hospital, and finally, after all this time, our finances had started to recover, and we were able to have the odd take-away, or trip out, as there were funds in kitty, our little red entertainment purse.
My car had its MOT yesterday, and thankfully passed, but had a couple of advisory notes that need to be dealt with before next year - No great shakes, so that's OK.
We then booked Paul's car in for it's cam-belt change. This is the cam-belt change that was booked for last January and had to be cancelled because of my hospital antics. Needless to say it's a must if we are to continue to tow our caravan.
While Paul was booking his car in for this, he also asked for a price for a new clutch, as he had noticed that it was causing problems, and once again, was a necessity for towing the van, and of course being able to drive the car in general.
£1000 !!!! Yep, you saw that figure correctly! £550 for the clutch and £450-£550 for some other piece of kit that has to be checked and changed at the same time, which Paul knew about and confirmed was correct.
Now, it's all good and well paying out £250 ish pounds for a cam-belt, but add the £1k on top of that, and then an engine chip to give it better BHP for towing, and it starts to become a bigger outlay than the car is actually worth!
Conclusion? We have had our hand forced to bring forward the purchase of another vehicle and drop this one ASAP. It is after all, only a 1.5d engine, and is on it's top towing limit with our caravan. When we drive up Hamburger Hill, we are almost stationary, despite having our foot to the floor. All of this we were happy to live with for a few more years, that is until this repair bill came along.
Having sat down at the kitchen table for a few hours last night, we have decided that we can find nearly £1k between all of our accounts and by cashing in £300 of Ernie certificates we forgot we had. If we can sell said vehicle for £4k, which is possible if it is done privately, but highly improbable if we P/X, it then gives us a maximum of £5k to spend on a replacement.......
Can it be done??? Will we find a suitable tow car for that kind of money, that does not have the same problems with clutch and cam belt that we have now??
Who knows, but you'll be the first to know, if we can't, as I'll no doubt be ranting on here LOL!
We shall now be spending our Saturday traipsing around second hand car dealerships, with our fingers crossed, instead of visiting my friends two year old son's birthday party, or doing the housework! This is not a happy face!


  1. I know this feeling well,I had the same problem with my previous car.Although it was still going fine,it had a problem that was so expensive that I decided to invest in a new one.The old one was over 10yrs old so I took advantage of the governments trade in deal and bought a brand new Yaris.This car will will see me through my driving days,I hope.!!
    Good luck with finding a replacement for your car,and hope it does not mean you have to sacrifice too much to get one.

  2. Oh dear Jo - it never rains but what it pours as they say.

    Hope you have some luck in finding something suitable for towing the caravan and that you can sell the old car privately to get the most you can for it.

    Good job Craft Day was yesterday! I expect you didn't buy anything as you now have all this expense!!!! I was good and didn't buy a thing!

  3. so sorry, car problems are a major bummer! Hope you find the perfect car for the perfect amount of money!

  4. It is always something isn't it. One step forward and two steps backwards.
    I think car shopping is so stressful. You have to be so trusting if you are not a mechanic.