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Perhaps it's time to go car shopping.
I got the estimate from my mechanic today (finally). It's...not good. I'm thinking it might be a better idea to stop by my Credit Union and talk to them about what sort of car loan I can get.

The front brakes -- pads, rotors, and labor -- come to $284
The rear brakes -- pads, rotors, calipers, and labor -- come to $542
The left front wheel bearing (and labor) is $152
The exhaust system -- parts and labor -- is $526

That's $1500, plus tax.

The transmission is another $1055 ($375 for a used transmission, $80 for lines, $600 for labor).

The car is a '96 Oldsmobile, wanting $2500 in service. Is it worth it? I'm not sure.

Glancing around, it seems I might be able to get 7.25% on a 48mo loan from my CU for a 2008 or newer car. There are currently 23 used cars on cars.com within 75 miles under $10K that are 2008 or newer and sold by dealers.[1] (I expect that number to change before I'm ready to buy).

I guess I'm not getting a new phone soon like I wanted.

[1] 5 of those 23 are 2008 Chevy Aveo's, two yellow. Is there something about the Aveo I should know about?

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If I remember the Aveo has not so great fit and finish.

The indestructable corrola may be a good choice for you.

PS there are other things that will start to break, and since you don't work on your own car it's a downhill slide.

And I don't do transmissions, but for that price it's tempting to attempt mine when it goes.

That tranny job is cheaper then the Buick that blew up on Wolf and I about 8 years ago.

I would use Edmunds.com for price and spec comparisons. Wolf used that site religiously when he was browsing cars. I think Car and Driver are a close second.

Please keep in mind that while NY reports to Carfax every month, NJ only reports twice a year and I can't speak to the rest of the Mid Atlantic and New England.

Please also keep in mind that Kelly's Blue Book is a load of crock regarding pricing.

cars.com showed more local (75mi) cars than Edmunds.

I hadn't thought that I needed to worry about how often NJ reports to Carfax. Can you elaborate? Would that be important because of whom I buy the car from, or because of whom my dealer bought the car from?

Come to think of it, I oughta pick your brain about the used car dealer aspect of buying a used car. I recall you talking about having to get cars from far away for customers.

Well, that's Mercedes Benz. The Boss sometimes has to roam far and wide for good late model specimens and have them shipped.

The reason I bring up Carfax is because it's turned into this OMGMUSTHAVE!!! item asked from dealers AND private owners. You can't sell a car on Ebay these days without a clean Carfax. The downside of this is that if the car has been in around in its life (multiple owners in different states), the report can very easily not match the car. Unreported accidents, modification work, stuff like that. Carfax also tracks maintenance, if the state in question is diligent. If not, well, then you have to weigh that risk too. The Boss has been caught 2 or 3 times now with a clean Carfax and we found serious frame damage once the car was on our lot.

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