Money Pit?


As I sit here and take in the news about my 2005 Saturn Vue I can’t help but wonder if I made a terrible decision in getting the transmission repaired. You see on one hand I could have just left it and waited for it to completely break, but on the other I could have just scrapped it and on my magical 3rd hand I could have it repaired.


Which one are you choosing bozo?


While all good choices I have to choose one. I went with repair it. 3k transmission rebuild on a car that owes me nothing and has lived a good life. Was it worth it? I honestly have no idea. Was it a smart idea? Who fucking knows. All I know is that my reasoning led me to saying go ahead with the repairs and I am now left looking under my couch pillows, in my jacket pockets, my car seats and even on the ground for some change to help pay for it.


You see here’s the thing. I could have gotten rid of it and purchased a newer vehicle w/ 3 year warranty for around $12,000. No big deal. Monthly the cost would be in the area of $225 for a car payment. That’s not a lot of money. However, that is for the next 5 years. While right now easier to swallow, in the end it is still a far cry from $3,000.



The way my brain processes this is like so,


$3,000 to fix the transmission

$3,000 / 12 months = $250 month

$225 would be the monthly payment for a newer car

$3,000 / $225 = 13 months. So if the Vue lasts me a year and 2 months I have come out even. That is of course if it lasts that long. If it doesn’t well yeah I am a loser


Let’s go a little further


Bought new tires for the Vue last year for over $1,100. These are of course paid for. So I don’t need to worry about tires for a few years.

However I would need new winter tires for a newer car. So lets say they run $800

$800 / 12 months = $66 month

So realistically a new car would cost me $291 monthly

Still not a bad price however newer car and the addition of winter tires the Vue now only has to last me  10.5 months

$3,000 / $291 = 10.3 months


So still, was it the right decision? Well lets dig even deeper.



I could, in theory, just buy another winter beater. I have found some decent ones for $3-5. No worries there, that’s pocket change. However what condition is the motor in? Transmission in? Other parts of the car in? Has it been in an accident? Whats its true story? These are things that you either take the sellers word for, a mechanics word for or you determine the condition based on your knowledge of vehicles.

There are always hidden issues whenever you buy a used car. That is the risk you have to take. High risk could mean high reward. It could also mean high repair costs. Used car with no warranty means repairs come out of your pocket as well.


Lets break this down using a Vue for reference


So lets say I were to buy a used Vue for $2,500 (about what its worth with)

I get it and drive it for a month or so. Now issues pop up. Let’s go with a transmission issue

Well we all know that a rebuild will be in the area of $3,000 dollars so we will go with that

Bought used car for $2,500 + Rebuild transmission $3,000 = $5,500

Keeping with easy numbers $5,500 / 12 months = $458 a month is what it would cost for the year

This is a way higher figure than getting my Vue fixed or even buying a newer car with warranty for an annual figure. It’s just not worth the risk for me……..



Zenon I can fix it for less though……


Oh I know you can. A used transmission would be roughly $800. Fucking peanuts.

$500 to get it installed and you are on your way for only $1,300.

Zenon are you not listening? I can do it, physically.

Yeah that’s great, I can’t. I mean I can but right now I can’t.  You see I tore my bicep a few months back and there would be no way in hell I could do something like that right now in my current condition. Thus my bicep continuing to cost me money yet again.

Want to read up about my bicep tear? Go here Bicep Injury


Whats the final verdict


Well for me the final verdict is just getting the car repaired. Easiest and also most cost effective way for me currently in my situation. Repair comes with a year warranty or 10,000km so that’s pretty decent. The only things I have to worry about then on the car are the normal wear and tear items. Sure something else could go but I am hoping this is it for the time being. Please!!!!!!!!!!


While I am sure I could have saved myself at least $2,200 if I did the install myself, this comes with zero guarantees. In all reality could also cost me a lot more in the long run, because if push came to shove I would need the tranny rebuilt anyways (if the used one breaks) thus bringing the bill up to about $4,000 dollar area.


I’ll leave you with this…….



I am by no means an expert in anything. I know a very little bit about everything. I firmly believe I made the right choice for me in my current situation. This might be the same for you or it might be totally different. Do your research, make your charts, crunch your own numbers. Do what I do.


If your car is having more than 1 or 2 issues putting money into it may not be the smartest financial choice. If it has body damage, rust issues, broken parts you should definitely take that into consideration when figuring out if you car is worth it or not. That’s where a money pit could be created.


Make a decision and go for it. If you don’t know what to do ask others for their opinions. Hell shoot me a message and I can help you make one if you like. Either way you need to make the decision and doing your homework is the most important step. If you go blind into a repair and don’t give any thought to it that’s you funeral, not mine.


Just my 2 cents………………….





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