No not this V-Dub. That one has already driven the Highway to Heaven. Meaning I sold it to a fellow compatriot in need (newly divorced, had no car, wife took all his money). He ran it for a few months before he was sideswiped and the car was totalled. He sold it as parts for a tidy profit, so in the end, even though the car didn’t last him long at least it was able to help him out.
No the car in question belongs to my lil bro, AKA Herman AKA “Van Wilder” AKA “Dancin’ Macheene”. The car originally belonged to my Dad who bought it new way back in… 1993. Yes, that little white VW 2.0L automatic has been chugging around the east coast since 1993. That’s FIFTEEN YEARS. The last several years it has been down in Florida with lil bro as he attempts to stay in school without graduating for as long as humanly possible. Personally, I think he just like to pick up freshmen girls with the pickup line “Hey, I can buy beer”. Soon, though, his line will be “Hey I can buy Viagra. Wanna hold my cane?”. (Actually, that last one is my line, he stole it. Er, will steal it.)
So over the weekend, it finally gave up the ghost. The dashboard has been out for months now, all the lights and switches just don’t work, but occasionally they come on for a few minutes. Well, when they came on this time it showed the engine temp sky high, over 230. He pulled over immediately, and when he came to a stop there was smoke. I’m hoping he took a picture of the smoke, cuz that would be entertaining. However, the shock of being stranded in hill country and the death of a legend probably had him debating whether or not to step into oncoming traffic or curl up into the fetal position and cry like a baby. Since there was no traffic (hill country, remember), he chose the latter, I think.
The mechanic said “As soon as I opened the hood I saw the head gasket was blown”. So the choices are thus…
- Repair the engine, and hope the damage isn’t too extensive. And hope that as they repair stuff, further troubles don’t show up along the way. Cost at this mechanic is $1000 and up
- Replace the engine with a used or rebuilt one. Cost is $100-200 to tow to a place that can do the work, then $1000 and up, probably reaching at least $2000 for a new engine. The positive of this scenario is potentially a new engine that should last another 50k miles without worry. The problem is the rest of the car is still fifteen years old…
- Buy another beater. Cost is as cheap as possible. The perk is it will hopefully be running. The downside is you really have no idea what else is wrong with the car. However, Florida is full of “little old ladies that only drive to the grocery store”. Maybe purchase a bike in the meantime so he has some mobility until we can find a good deal on a beater. Cost is $100-$500 for a bike.
- Buy nothing and let him walk. Cost is $20 for some Converse All-Stars to walk in.
I’ll see if I can scrounge up some photos of the old gal.