Ka-ching, the car strikes again

Well I got the car to the service place yesterday morning to get the smoke looked at, and the guy said he was 99% sure what it was, blah blah blah stuff I can’t remember, it’ll be about $600-650 to fix.


I ummed and ahhed for a few minutes. On the one hand, I’d like nothing better to do than to offload the car ASAP and get something nicer, and I don’t want to spend up big on repairs on a car that’s worth bugger-all. On the other hand, realistically it ain’t gonna happen tomorrow, so I need this car to keep running, and obviously I can’t have it putting out smoke like it’s been doing.

Especially not with a PTUA sticker on the back bumper.

I could keep feeding it oil (the smoke is from oil burning off), but he said that would have other consequences.

So I told him to go ahead and do it. Nothing else I could do. It ended up being $634.

Interestingly, a search of Drive shows Magna sedans from that vintage on sale for $1950 to $3999, so while it’s not worth much, it’s maybe slightly more than bugger-all. But given most of those are dealer sales, any money I’d get is probably not that much more than today’s repairs cost me.

Still, at least I can offload it before the 220K service, which I was told will be a biggie… though yesterday’s work covered some of that.

So… anybody want to buy a car?

PS. 10am On school run this morning, steam coming out of bonnet. Ring car place, go to car place, they look. Radiator cracked. Estimated cost $150 – blarrrrgh!

PPS. 11pm. Actual cost $287!!!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

12 replies on “Ka-ching, the car strikes again”

no thanks, I don’t want to buy a 6-cylinder car. They use too much fuel!
Good news that the quote you got was accurate – often they add on little things like labour, parts and GST!

Is your car a four or six cylinder car and does the A/C still work? I booked my flight yesterday and I arrive in Melbourne April 3 and I might need to buy a car eventually and it need not be new or fancy. What is actually being fixed?

It’s a 4-cylinder, 1993 “TR” Mitsubishi Magna (aka Diamante in the US), yes the aircon works. I was only joking when I asked if anybody wanted to buy it… seriously, I’m finding it to be a money pit. And just wait for the PS I’m about to post.

sorry, I thought Magnas all had 6-cylinder engines.
At about the same time as you, my wife’s car had steam coming from under the bonnet – the radiator cap wasn’t put on properly! D’oh!

Get a new car!! Like Roger I’ve experienced the radiator cap situation. Took it off to fill it before driving to Melbourne. Forgot to put it back on and it blew up at Glenrowan. $2k to fix…

Daniel the value of Magnas and 380s will be plummeting soon (if not already) courtesy of Mitsubishi shutting down its production of the vehicle in Adelaide over the next month, in addition to massive slashings to sell off remaining stock.

I will pass on buying your car. I don’t need to buy trouble. Diesel cars are rare in the USA (only Volkswagen and Mercedes offer them here) and it is interesting that many models are available with a Diesel engine in Australia. In the USA Diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline (petrol) but these cars get better milage and the engines are longer lasting. If a Diesel car is compareable in price to a gasoline one I will consider buying one.

Diesel is the only thing I would consider in a new car, and that’s why I’m delaying getting a people mover for our ‘large’ (according to the government) family.

A diesel-electric hybrid would be perfect for me. But I don’t live in Europe so I have to exist in this parallel universe of meagre car options.

Daniel just get rid of it,it has you in it’s ‘repair me’ clutches. Your car has you all worked out I feel. It knows you are procrastinating and is fleecing you while you make up your mind. (& your mechanic though he sounds quite reasonable). It sounds like you actually NEED a car at times – just accept this fact and you’ll find you’ll be able to make up your mind on something that is economical. You’ll be able to get on with your life instead of being reminded about your bomb.

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