Strickler Family Emergency Car Repair
Organized by: Amy Strickler
Our family needs your help to cover our car repairs. It'll also help ensure that we can stay in our apt, so we'll have a stable living situation. We're asking for any kind of financial assistance, including donations, additional paying work opportunities, or loans (terms negotiable), whatever it takes to get this handled ASAP:
We've been down to one car since Amy's auto accident in Sept of 2015 that totaled her car. Geoff's car is a 2003 Acura 3.2TL-S, old, but reliable, aside from a known issue with the transmission design, and it's long since paid off, so no car payment.
In late June of this year, our family was taking a weekend trip when our transmission went out, which left us stranded about 100 miles away from home. We got a rental car and found a repair shop to send the car for repairs. We were told that the repairs would take about 2 weeks and cost about $1850. Not a problem, Geoff had a good job and we could afford it, at that time.
Well, life doesn't always work as planned. Geoff got a new boss on July 5th, and got laid-off on July 15th (that's a story in itself, but not for this post). His car ended up taking 8 weeks to repair, it kept stretching out because the shop was having a hard time getting the correct parts.
Geoff found temporary work that is nearly enough to pay our monthly bills, and is notably more than unemployment would pay. However, we needed to keep the rental car for Geoff to get to and from work, plus run typical family errands.
Finally, after nearly 8 weeks, the Acura is repaired. However, the rental bill was $2000, and the car repair is $2000. That means, we paid the $2,000 that we had saved for Geoff's car, to pay off the rental, and we now need to raise $2000 to pay Geoff's car in full. This is very critical and urgent. The repair shop will give us some additional time on paying off the labor on the repair, if we can pay the ~$1000 in parts costs up front. We only have until October 10, 2016 to pay for his car in full before it's sold by the mechanic and Geoff's car is too good of a car to let go of, or else we wouldn't have sent it in for repairs.
How are we getting around now since we don't have the rental or Geoff's car?
A friend offered us a great deal on an old 2000 Chevy Blazer, that we can pay out over time, and that's been our transportation for the past 2 weeks, and until we can get Geoff's car. However, it has some major issues and we can't continue to drive it indefinitely. In particular, it's a real problem for Amy with her back and shoulder issues. It'll make a decent emergency backup vehicle, but we can't really rely on it as our primary. Even if we could rely on it as out primary, we still owe the money on the furniture and Geoff's car, so it keeps Geoff working, but it doesn't solve the issues. The estimated cost of fixing the Chevy would cost us around $2,000 in additional costs on top of the $2,000 in paying for getting Geoff's car back from the repair shop.
Wouldn't it have been better to buy/lease a new/used car rather than repair a 13 yr old car with a problematic transmission?
In theory, maybe. However, since Geoff had been out of work for so long before getting the job he was just laid-off from, we don't have good enough credit to get anything decent, and even if we could, that would increase our already stretched monthly budget expenses by the amount of the car payment and the higher cost of full-coverage insurance. Good theory, just not viable. Even with the known transmission design issues, Geoff's car should last another 1-3 years, giving us more time to rebuild credit and find another permanent job.
We also looked into title loans, interest rates would kill us and we can't afford the payments on our already stretched budget. Bank loans aren't an option on a car that old with that many miles on it. And neither of those would bring in enough to pay for the car and furniture, so we would still need more money. Simply not a workable alternative.