About four months after moving from a one-bedroom condo to a quaint Georgian with a single covered parking space and two-car garage and a driveway, my home recently became a two-car residence. My girlfriend’s parents left a 2006 Saturn View in our driveway and handed over a keychain with a Sears and Jewel Osco membership card and a pendant citing Isaiah 53:5. It was her grandmother’s old ride, but now that she can’t drive in her older years, it’s handed to us.
it’s not a mint low profit treasury, Although. This is a tired and poorly cared for orphan who has 166,242 miles on his clock. Despite its low value, I’m taking it to rehab rather than letting it rot. The reality of the used car market is that, honestly, I’d throw a grand or two and a few weekends at this old saturn scrape by Craigslist And will probably have to do a bunch of repairs on whatever cheap thing I can find.
When we accepted Vue, I knew it had some problems. It has fresh oil, a new battery, and a clean air filter, but I was told it needs at least a motor mount, possibly a transmission mount, and two wheel bearings. There’s an uncontrollable gush of oil near the top of the engine, the air conditioning doesn’t work, the rear hatch struts are weak, a headlight is out, and the windshield wipers and front tire need to be replaced (meaning, I probably need all four). change). This is obvious stuff – I haven’t actually driven this thing yet.
As the Vue arrived, it proceeded to leave a puddle of brake fluid on the driveway. Soaking it with paper towels and a quick scrub with Dawn cleaned it up pretty well, but it didn’t bode well for our relationship. On further inspection, the rear drum brakes look like a rusted lunar surface. At a minimum, I’ll need to replace some metal lines, shoes, and wheel cylinders. The knuckles are also in bad shape, but I need to scan those and the rest of the suspension to see if anything needs replacing. So far, I know this list needs to work.
Cosmetically, this ’06 Saturn is fine, with the caveat that it requires a generous application of elbow grease. The dirty interior will require a Mariana-trench-level deep cleaning, as you see on those fancy YouTube channels, but that will only require the cost of a cleaner and brush. Maybe I’ll buy a wet upholstery vacuum, steam cleaner, and/or a power washer, but I haven’t decided yet. There are typical dings, scrapes and wheel scratches on the exterior, but rust spots are minimal (screams plastic) saturn,
I’ve put together a rough estimate of the initial expenses, keeping everything affordable but safe:
- Tire: $355 for two, $622 for four (Hankuk Kinnerji ST H735) with installation
- engine mount: $40
- at least one transmission mount: $25
- Minimum two wheel hub: $80 (potentially $160)
- rear wheel cylinder: $12
- rear drum shoes: $23
- Rear Metal Brake Lines (Not Hoses): $20
- front brake pads: $25
- spark plug: $35
- headlights: $5
- Front and rear windshield wipers: $35 Front + $15 Rear
- brake fluid: $10
- freon: $30
- interior and upholstery cleaner: $20
- drill brush: $20
- hard inner brush: $10
gross: $760 ($1,027 with two more tires)
- Bissell Little Green Portable Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner: $124
- Bissell Steamshot Surface Cleaner: $30-35
- Pressure Washer: $100-200
Even if the actual cost doubles, that’s not a terrible amount for a viable getaround car in 2022. And the Vue may not be the classic of the future, but it’s not a bad second car and pet vehicle. The first generation Vue had a number of variations with either an inline-four or V6, front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, manual or automatic transmissions, and a combination of ABS with or without ABS. There is also a red line performance version or a green line hybrid version. It is at Vue base level.
This is a front-drive model with a 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. When in accessory mode, the ABS light doesn’t come on, so I can’t believe the option was given on this car. According to Kelley Blue Book, it costs $1,080-$2,489 in fair condition or $1,364-$3,003 in good condition for a private party. according to Crossroad Evaluation Tool, it’s worth $1,940 in fair condition or $2,760 in good condition for a private party. Caravan offer is only $300, and Carmax The offer is the same. I still don’t have a gauge on engine condition, but I’m sure I can get the car in good grade after all this work.
In theory, I might be able to find a slightly better car for a cheaper price, especially if we sold the Vue after cleaning it for $2,000 to $3,000, but I’d rather not find this in this highly priced used market. But I will not trust. On casual craigslist searches, I see an all-wheel-drive 2004 Red Line For $5,999 with $172,244 miles, one all-wheel-drive 2007 V6 162,729 for $4,000 with leather, a 2008 second generation four cylinder Base with 147,016 miles for $3,999, a dirty front-drive 2004 V6 for $2,000 with 170,000 miles, or a Cool Blue 2006 Four Cylinder With 101,000 miles for $3,300. I wouldn’t limit myself to the Vues in a car search, but it’s not a highly sought-after car, so I think it decently represents a price floor of sorts.
This left me with a decision. When I first saw the rusty suspension, rusty brakes and dirty interior condition on our Vue, I was taken aback and wondered if this thing was even worth the effort. But as I evaluate the situation and figure out where I can improve rather than change to save costs, I think I’m going to do it. With a new-to-old home that requires work of its own, time and effort are more valuable than ever, and the search for a used car sheds a lot of energy.
Exactly how much energy Vue will need remains to be determined. First the spark plugs will need to be replaced and the brakes refreshed with new pads and shoes, new rear wheel cylinders, new metal brake lines and a liquid flush.
Any vintage cheap car is going to need a little love. If you can get some or get some wheels for almost free, there’s a good chance it’ll be worth the sweat and expense to get it running again. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for here.