The feds are still determined to get my car

Ben Swann benswann at
Wed Aug 12 06:20:47 PDT 2009

Put things in to perspective and itemize costs and more imprtantly TCO - Total Cost of
Ownership (over time),  you may find it is worth keeping.

I find it interesting that folks think $4500 trade in to buy a new car they can't really
afford is a great investment.  If you need a new car then this may be reasonable since
the car as is has little resale value.  It is worth more to you as a useful vehicle than
you will get for it.  Consider what you can actually buy new with this deal, since you
really can't buy a newer used car ( that would make some sense).  What can you get for
$10k, $20K?  Will you actually save money over time - I doubt it.


[Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2009 07:25:02 -0400
From: <alancordeiro at>
Subject: The feds are still determined to get my car, they added in
	more money,	my wife is still determined to see it gone.
To: <200q20v at>
Message-ID: <186472FE682443489580517D5312EF5C at alce3100>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"

I need some practical advice from all of you.

When the cash for clunkers first opened up, I toyed with the idea ( spurred on by a
relentless persuasion by my wife) of finally getting a new Jetta TDI. However it
appeared all of them were long gone, swept up by the first group of early birds. And
when the Cash for Clunkers ran out of money, I breathed a sign of relief, my decision
was made for me, thanks to my earlier foot dragging.

Now that someone found out my car had been saved, they decided to pump in more money to
make sure that my wife would continue to have a reason to keep reminding me. Here is the

1) Wife wants to see the old Audi out of the driveway...even though its a daily driver
on cooler days (no Freon).

*** Envirosafe is inexpensive substitute and works well.

2) Rust starting to appear on the tip of the hood, and over the wheel wells.

*** That can be dealt with, but probably the thing that will make the car hard(er) to
sell if you need to.

3) Rear suspension needs two upper control arms  (yes it actually clunks)

*** 3 hours and about $150 in parts?

4) It needs four new tires before winter......tread down to less than an eighth.

*** From $300 to $700 to replace them and this is something that is done even on newer

5) Two more brake flex hoses need swapping, a few of the rear brake fluid hard lines
should probably be changed as well.

*** Do while replacing the Trap links!  $75 in parts and 3 hours - bleed system and
brakes like new.

6) Timing belt has 80,000 (mostly freeway) on it, was going to do it before winter, may
just swap the belt and WP, since I did seals and idler as well last time.....this time
it may not need to go as long

*** Even if you have deler or shop do it it is under $800.  $150 in parts and 8 hours

Pending repair in the near future, since the car presently has 278,000 on her:

1) Original muffler, 
2) Original heater core...and some coolant hoses ( right at the turbo for example)
3) Rear brake rework, new pads and rotors before winter.
4) original fuel pump
5) Drive shaft is still all original
6) Brake master cylinder still original
7) A/C control head is moody
8) both rear windows do not work.

**** As you let deferred maintenance pile up, it becomes more difficult to keep up.  Fix
things as needed and the car will last indefinately.

What is this car worth.....are there people still willing to buy these cars for the
engine and transmission for a reasonable price? I would rather take a smaller amount and
save her from being crushed, but the $4500 is a hard number for me to argue with my wife
with against a much smaller number.

*** It certainly qualifies as clunker under law.

And of course, I can just keep her......but it will be a continual fight to spend $$ on
the car if something more than a hundred or two needs to be replaced in the near future,
or she uses up a few days or week of warm garage space during the peak winter days. We
live in Michigan, a snow and ice free car means a lot in January and February.

Thoughts from the collective???  I know what a few will say right away.....but hoping to
get a reasonable spread of opinions,


Alan Cordeiro
200q 20v, 278,000 miles, ]

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