The money pit strikes for the last time

So I took the old car for its Roadworthy Certificate in preparation for sale. I thought there might be minor problems to be fixed.

But no. It failed in a most spectacular way. With fireworks, a brass band, a ticker-tape parade and 20 metre-high letters.

It’s a write-off. Good for parts and scrap only. A whole raft of minor faults, but the whopper is that apparently the engine is burning oil. Which means it needs a new one. Which means spending about twice its value to get it roadworthy.

I’m a tad miffed as I had lined up a probable buyer, but that’s the way it goes.

On the bright side, I didn’t need the money, the replacement is already happily here, and I might get a couple of hundred bucks for scrap.

And of course by me switching to a more efficient car, and having this one scrapped, it means nobody who would drive it more than me will be out on the roads with it. And the parts will get re-used and recycled.

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.

11 replies on “The money pit strikes for the last time”

Engines burning oil is a machine shop job.

Change out for new heads or get them machined, new rings and a bore out, along with new seals and gaskets should do the trick.

If your car is not worth $1500, then it’s simply not worth doing this.

Personally, though, if you’re into PT because you’re a greeny, the death of a 15 year old Magna with its ancient 2.6 is actually a good thing. The metal and most of the parts can be usefully recycled as you noted, and all the fine particulates and badness pouring out the tail pipe are off the roads.

It seems a lot easier for dodgy car yards to get roadworthies than for normal people like us. A few dodgy people also have dodgy mechanics who’ll roadworthy anything too.

My philosophy with a car of that age is to sell it for parts. I know a friend sold his old bomb on eBay and someone paid hundreds for it so that they could send it overseas to be dismantled and turned into parts.

Andrew van Der Stock, not all greenies support public transport and not all public transport advocates or professionals are greenies. But yes, public transport has numerous GHG mitigating benefits.

Good stuff, Daniel. You could have donated it to science though (by which I mean me; who will use it in all sorts of obscene ways best not mentioned on a PG blog like this).

If only SA would bring in these mandatory roadworthy checks – our roads are packed with the ultimate in sh#tboxes that pump more crap into the air than an entire factory, to say nothing of faulty indicators and headlights.

The fact that South Australian drivers are also faulty, such as having no friggen idea what the term “keep left unless overtaking” means, is another matter entirely.

Stateline had an item on vicroads inspectors giving roadworthy certificates to cars that had been registered as repairable wrecks when they should have been written off permanently.

Might be worth more than a couple of thousand in parts, stripped off and sold on ebay! Alternators, pumps, steering racks, brakes and the rest. I wonder if anyone (DIY mechanics at least) does that?

Some people do strip cars to sell on Ebay. You have to weigh up the cost in time of pulling all of the parts off the car, cleaning them up and listing them. Best thing might be to shop around and see who will give you the most for it as is.

You could take the car to another inspection station, the guidelines around engines burning oil are pretty objective, I think it’s allowed to produce smoke when the car starts but it must stop within a specified timeframe.

Chris Till mentioned SA not needing roadworthy certificates, QLD is the same, on my last trip I saw a lot of people on the side of the road changing tyers which I never see in NSW, perhaps they let the tyre wear to the steel belts?

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