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It’s time to repair the Toyota Celica. Before I get into the numbers, let me catch you up on how we ended up with a large car repair estimate.
Air Conditioning Out and It’s a Heatwave
In case you’ve been missing it, it has been extremely hot where we live, with temperatures reaching 100 and the heat index much higher. Well, my husband car had the air conditioner just stop working. Great timing, right?
He’s been busy at work and my schedule was bit hectic as I’m trying to get everything ready before the baby.
Last week we dropped off the car in the evening so the mechanic could look at it first thing the next morning. He was going to call my husband with an estimate about why the A/C was broken and how much it would cost to fix it.
Looks to Be More Complicated Than We Thought
My husband called me during lunch to let me know that the car needed more repairs than we anticipated. Here’s a rundown of the mechanic’s diagnostic:
- New A/C Compressor and Clutch Need
- Replace Serpentine Belt
- Replace Radiator
- Replace Head Gasket
Total estimated cost for parts is about $2,000 and then there’s labor. So we’re looking at $3,500 to repair a car that cost less than that. It definitely soured my husband’s mood. He didn’t think that his car needed that much repair and having it so close the baby’s due date is a bit stressful.
However, we’re not going to just accept this estimate, we’re going to see if we can get a second opinion.
Hunting for a 2nd Opinion
First thing I thought was we needed a second opinion from someone familiar with his car’s make and model. We also wanted to check out the itemized bill a little bit more.
We also started digging around to see if we could find parts at much more reasonable prices. Using Advnaced Auto’s site with my husband’s car information we found part for approximately 30-40% cheaper than the estimate. For example, we were looking for an A/C compressor and clutch, the repair shop quoted us $560 and Advanced Auto said it would be about $250-$350.
I then went on Facebook and asked friends if they could recommend mechanics. I called and found a shop that could check it out this week. Hopefully we’ll get some good news with that.
Thoughts on Big Car Repairs
For now, we’re going to share my VW Jetta as much as possible, especially with this horrible heat. Since the baby is due any day now, I’m not really driving around town as much anyways. Hopefully we’ll find a solution this week and get my husband’s car fixed.
What has been the biggets car repair you’ve made? How much would you put into your car before you decide to look for a new one?
Photo Credit: RJL20
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