I got bored, so I figured I would write up a series of events to show what my car has been through thus far. I would write one about the purple retta, but that list would be a mile long.
I bought the car under the assumption that there was nothing wrong with it, and that the few problems they disclosed were it. The kid had swapped the aftermarket wheels for the stock ones. He also said that the cat was 3yrs old, and that he had a custom exhaust from the cat back that was only 1yr old. He also informed me that the brake pads and rotors were only a few months old.
The odometer had just rolled over to 100k miles, and to this day, 3yrs next month, I have only put 12k miles on it.
I assumed that because the kid had swapped the wheels himself, that he would have noticed other obvious problems & brought them up. Apparently I was wrong. I bought the car Feb of 2004.
1. After the first few months of driving it, the brake pads already needed to be replaced. I just ended up replacing the pads & rotors while I was at it to save future hassle. Cost: $30/rotors, $20/pads
2. While replacing the pads/rotors, I notice that the sway bar end links are both rusted to crap, one completely snapped (half gone), and the other dented & hanging by a thread. They had been snapped/damaged for quite some time judging by how it had rusted after breaking. You would think he would have noticed this.
3. I buy new end links. Of course since the car has the upgraded suspension, each one costs $15 (poly bushings), instead of $8 (ones for the basic suspension; w/rubber instead). These get installed same day as the rotors/pads. Cost total: $30
4. The hood release cable snaps. I discover the source of the problem; the corner of the battery. So I bought a new one from GM; $20.
5. I end up replacing the spark plugs and wires just as routine repairs since he didn't mention if or when they had been done. I installed the new hood release cable the same day. Cost: $18 plugs, $30 wires
6. Things went smooth until winter. The heater core went. Car was fine. I parked it. As the system depressurized, the coolant started pouring out through the A/C condensation drain. Cost: $50/aluminum (they didn't have copper in stock)
7. Low coolant light kept getting stuck constantly, thus unreliable, and with a failing LIMG, I needed it to be reliable. So I bought one from GM. Cost: $12
8. Between gathering money and waiting for ordered parts, my car sat on ramps for 2wks before 6&7 were finally done. Getting the old coolant sensor out was a pain, but replacing the heater core was an even bigger pain; it was cold October weather. My helper broke the heater core cover/vent, so I had to buy a new one. Cost: $36
9. I go in for an inspection about 3wks early. I'm told my driver side lower control arm is cracked, needs to be replaced asap, and won't pass inspection. So I buy a new one from GMPartsDirect, and make mu sppointment for the very last day of the month. The part arrives only a couple days before. Cost: $110/parts, $110/labor, $30/misc parts (bushing, bulbs, etc) to pass.
10. They also discovered one side of the E-brake cable had snapped. So to pass inspection, they had to replace it. Cost: $100
11. Everything went fine until spring. Berettafest '05 was quickly approaching. So I figure it's time to replace the brake pads again so I'm ready for the long drive. Cost: $20
10. My cat is on its way out. Not only is it rusted, but it starts smelling & rattling. So I had midas replace it. My appointment was the day before we had to leave for Berettafest '05. They installed a catco high flow cat. Cost: $150
11. Not long before Bfest, I had notice my car was surging, stalling, and being extremely sluggish at times. On the way to Bfest it was terrible, but I got 500mi to the tank. I found out why when one of the guys scanned it & tested the coil packs. One was completely dead, one was only reading about 3ohms, and the third was fine. Cost: $30/pack, thanks goes to Dave for buying one of the two coil packs. :)
12. During Bfest I also noticed my brakes were being really picky. Sometimes they grabbed immediately. Other times I just barely avoided an accident because they took so long to grab fully. Only a few days after we got home, one of the brake lines burst. Total cost of the weekend event: Somewhere around $800.
13. The brakes were good for only a few pumps after that. Our tow guy killed my fluidless drum when he was moving it into a more accessible position. Then it was off to Midas. The drum had seized to the point where they needed to replace it along with the line. Cost: $270
14. Inspection time again! Only needed a couple bulbs, and they had to replace the whole rear/tailight panel (the metal) since water kept leaking in and causing the one socket to short out. I also had them replace a fog light that went out. Cost: $16/inspect, $20/bulbs, and $16 for the metal & welding they had to do.
15. The tires were so old (90kmi judging by reciepts; they were the original tires) that they were becomming a hazard. I bought new Kumho Ecsta ASX tires from tirerack. Cost: $360
16. Berettafest '06 was getting closer, so I took the car to a tire place to have the tires mounted, balanced, and to get an alignment. Cost: $50
17. The tire place told me my strut bushings were done for, so they couldn't do the alignment. With new tires on, and a long trip ahead, I needed the alignment asap.
18. I buy monroe strut mounts for $65/each at AAP. I send my car off to the dealer so they can replace them. The guys mangle one of the new mounts & say it doesn't fit. So I return the mounts, while having to explain to AAP's beretta expert that the dealer was the one who ruined them & said they didn't fit. I just let the dealer use OEM mounts. Cost: $240/mounts, $50/alignment, $165 labor
19. It's now June. I get alot done this month before Bfest '06. First thing I do is buy upper/lower intake manifold gaskets & all the stuff it comes with. I drop the car off at the dealer for the repair. They replaced the gaskets, seal them up good, and of course the coolant got flushed. Cost: $500
20. I decide it's time for new exhaust tips since the chrome duals that the previous owner had rusted within a month of buying the car. So I buy two nice tips from an online store for $20/each; a total of $40. When they finally arrive, they sent the wrong ones. They sent me ones that were $40/each. However, they didn't look that bad, they just took some getting used to. I made an appointment for a week later with an exhaust shop to have them welded on. If I returned them I wouldn't have new tips for Bfest. If I kept them, I could have them put on just in time.
21. A few days after #19, I notice I have a pretty serious gas leak coming from one of the metal lines that runs under the driver side door. So I make an appointment for the same day I'm having the tips replaced.
22. The day comes. I get the tips replaced first. Then I head over to Midas to have the line replaced since the dealer had no openings (the dealer has the cheapest labor around here). This is only a mere week before Bfest '06. I also picked up a set of Silverstar's for my low beams to make sure I could clearly see for the night driving (interstate+deer=bad). Cost: $50/welding tips, $40/lights, $300/high pressure hose & labor
23. The very day before we are supposed to leave for Bfest...my battery quits. I should have seen it coming. Because my alternator has been on its way out since summer '04, it couldn't even keep the car running for more than a couple seconds after a jump start. So we ran out for a new battery...one with rounded corners (my hood release cable had already started to fray again). Cost: $75
24. Berettafest '06 goes well. My car appeared fine, though there was a brake fluid leak scare at one point. It only leaked once, and that was it, so no idea what was going on there. Cost of the weekend event: Somewhere around $400 I would guess.
25. We get home & start making plans for Bfest Northeast. We all have fun over the weekend and do some racing at the track. In general, it was a good time. Jeff's oil pump (iirc) died at the track, so he had to get a tow truck to take him home a day early.
26. We set another meet date for the track. Eric brought a friend who had a Neon. His friend parked and turned the car off. It wouldn't turn back on. Everyone was troubleshooting his car inbetween runs. Eventually they found the problem and fixed it, just in time for the last run of the day.
27. We schedule yet another meet at the track. The bracket holding up my passenger side muffler snapped on the drive to the track, which also resulted in the Y-pipe breaking at the weld. I didn't notice until a driver behind me pointed it out; it was only a few inches from touching the ground. So we tied it up with a phone charger cord & some electrical wire. You would think the system would have lasted longer than 3.5yrs...makes me wonder what the previous owner actually spent on it.
28. It's October '06, and we schedule the last track meet of the year. It consisted of us being the only non-competition cars there (because test & tune was cancelled). A couple corvette guys showed up not realizing T&T was cancelled, so they asked us if they could race with our group for the day. Of course that was fine with us. Zak got asked to stop racing (lol). Will's car died on the starting line (he bought a new battery which was fine for the rest of the night). I got my best R/T thus far (0.017). They had to switch to 1/8mi racing due to the wind.
29. That night we go eat & then check out a couple strip clubs. On our way to DV, Pat's car starts smoking. It turns out that one of the coolant lines to (or from?) the turbo started leaking. The guys start checking toolboxes for a temporary fix so we can enjoy the night before worrying about it. After the club we stopped various places looking for a better temp fix. They end up at WalMart (good thing it was 24hrs) buying JB Weld to fix it enough so that he can make it back to the hotel.
30. The next morning we go eat at a nearby fast food place. Then a couple of the guys head out to a parts store to buy the pipe/cutters/etc to actually replace the busted line so he can make the ~5hr drive home.
31. After breakfast, we decide that since the track is open today, even though it's for the weekend competition, that it wouldn't hurt to stop by & see if we could get just a couple runs in. To make up for the day before when they had to stop the 1/4mi runs due to wind. They agree to let us run. Everyone does better with their times; I got my best time so far. However, Will's car dies multiple times in the lot, thus determining that it was the alternator, not the battery. My car burst a tranny cooler line in the staging lanes, so Jon & Eric ran a bypass for me.
32. Will & I swapped batteries so my (terrible) alternator could charge his battery while his car drained mine. The problem was that because my alternator was so bad, it nearly died at every stop since it was having a hard time charging his battery.
33. So now here I am. Turns out the one sound I was hearing is coming from a wheel hub/bearing. My car also still needs a new tranny cooler. I'll just go aftermarket since I can spend $40 on a cooler w/lines, or I could spend $40 to replace the busted line.
Total cost since I've owned the car:
- $3000 roughly, for the listed repairs/parts
- $500 probably in random small parts
- $1700 in car related events/meets
This year brings with it a few new repairs. I'll have to have the alternator replaced. I'll also have to get that hub replaced. I'll probably need a new hood release cable before too long. I have to repair the water leak (or just get a car cover). Plus I have to remove the passenger side muffler & pipe & patch up the hole that's left...as a temporary fix until I have the money to have a new exhaust done.
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