I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this yet, but the daughter and son in law bought an old car while they were here to last them over the holidays. We worked out the cost of hiring a car, and decided it would be cost-effective to buy one that cost no more than that, then sell it at the end of the holiday recouping some of the cost that would otherwise have been lost.
All has gone well with the car (a 1990 Mitsubishi Magna) since they bought it. It looks good and handles well. Well ok it *did* do both until the other night… three days before they were due to leave… when it died. The son in law has been quite conscientious about looking after the basics. Each day before they set off he’d check the oil and water levels just to be sore there were no leaks. He was obviously ‘gutted’ that the car should develop a problem.
All that happened was that the daughter and family had gone into Sydney for the day with nothing amiss, and after a good day, set off for home. As they drove home up the motorway at around 10:00 p.m. the car overheated, the radiator exploded, the head gasket blew… and the car slowed to a crawl… and stopped, never to go again.
Consensus from the people we’ve rung is that the head has probably warped and the minimum cost for repairing it will be $500 – $600 since they’ll have to strip half the engine apart just in order to check the head. Since the car was only $1500 to begin with it seems excessive to pay a minimum third of the purchase price on a repair that might not work. If the head *has* warped… it will need skimming to flatten it again… and *that* cost could be well above $1000.
The result is that what appears to be a well maintained, attractive car is now sitting at the bottom of our drive, a mere shell of it’s former self, awaiting collection by a scrap merchant who will, no doubt, crush it.
What a waste. It’s a waste not just of the money… it’s the car itself! Other than that *one* slight problem it’s fine. 😦