I’m Avoiding the Used Car Market by Reviving a 166K-Mile Saturn Vue

About four months immediately after shifting out of a 1-bed room rental with a singular lined parking place and into a quaint Georgian with a two-auto garage and a driveway, my family not too long ago grew to become a two-auto residence. My girlfriend’s parents dropped off a 2006 Saturn Vue in our driveway and handed in excess of a keychain with Sears and Jewel Osco membership cards and a lent pendant that cites Isaiah 53:5. It was her grandmother’s previous experience, but now that she just cannot generate in her elder decades, it was passed down to us.

This is not a mint very low-mileage treasure, however. It is a exhausted and badly cared-for orphan with 166,242 miles on the clock. Even with its low price, I’m leaning towards having it to rehab somewhat than allowing it rot. The truth of the employed auto sector is that, actually, I would instead toss a grand or two and some weekends into this previous Saturn than scour Craigslist and possibly have to do a bunch of repairs on whatever affordable matter I can uncover in any case.

When we acknowledged the Vue, I realized it had some challenges. It has fresh oil, a new battery, and a clean air filter, but I was told it essential at minimum a person motor mount, potentially a transmission mount, and two wheel bearings. There’s an undiagnosed mess of oil in close proximity to the prime of the motor, the air conditioning doesn’t work, the rear hatch struts are weak, a headlight is out, and the windshield wipers and front tires want to be changed (indicating, I must probably switch all four). That’s the obvious stuff—I haven’t truly pushed the factor however.

As soon as the Vue arrived, it proceeded to depart a puddle of brake fluid on the driveway. Soaking it up with paper towels and a swift scrub with Dawn cleaned it up properly, but this was not an auspicious start out to our romance. Upon further inspection, the rear drum brakes glance like a moon surface area produced of rust. At a minimum, I’ll require to switch some steel strains, footwear, and wheel cylinders. The knuckles are also in lousy shape, but I have to have to scan individuals and the rest of the suspension more to see if everything requirements changing. So much, which is the checklist that I know desires operate.

Tony Markovich

Cosmetically, this ‘06 Saturn is wonderful, with the caveat that it needs a liberal application of elbow grease. The unpleasant inside will have to have a Mariana-Trench-amount deep clean up like you see on those people fancy YouTube channels, but that will only demand the price tag of cleaners and brushes. It’s possible I’ll buy a damp upholstery vacuum, steam cleaner, and/or a power washer, but I have not resolved still. The exterior has the typical dings, scrapes, and wheel scratches, but rust places are minimum (shoutout plastic Saturns!).

I have run a tough estimate of the first bills, with everything saved economical but safe and sound:

  • Tires: $355 for two, $622 for four (Hankook Kinergy ST H735 with installation)
  • Motor mount: $40
  • At minimum just one transmission mount: $25
  • Bare minimum two wheel hubs: $80 (possibly $160)
  • Rear wheel cylinders: $12
  • Rear drum sneakers: $23
  • Rear metal brake strains (not hoses): $20
  • Entrance brake pads: $25
  • Spark plugs: $35
  • Headlights: $5 
  • Front and rear windshield wipers: $35 entrance + $15 Rear
  • Brake fluid: $10
  • Freon: $30
  • Inside and upholstery cleaner: $20
  • Drill brushes: $20
  • Stiff interior brush: $10

Full: $760 ($1,027 with two extra tires)

  • Bissell Minor Green Transportable Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner: $124
  • Bissell SteamShot Surface area Cleaner: $30-35
  • Force Washer: $100-200
Tony Markovich

Even if the true price tag ends up doubling that, it is not a terrible total of income for a practical getaround automobile in 2022. And the Vue could not be a long run basic, but it is not a negative next car or truck and pet hauler. There were many versions of the first-generation Vue with combinations of an inline-four or a V6, front-wheel push or all-wheel travel, a handbook or automated transmission, and Ab muscles or no Stomach muscles. There’s also a Red Line overall performance edition or a Environmentally friendly Line hybrid version. This Vue is at the base amount.

It’s a front-push model with a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder motor and a 4-speed automatic transmission. When in accent manner, the Ab muscles light-weight does not occur on, so I do not believe that that was optioned on this car or truck. According to Kelley Blue Ebook, it is well worth $1,080-$2,489 in truthful problem for a non-public bash or $1,364-$3,003 in excellent situation. According to the Carfax valuation device, it is worth $1,940 in honest affliction for a private social gathering or $2,760 in excellent situation. The Carvana give is only $300, and the CarMax present is the same. I still really do not have a gauge on the engine ailment, but I guess I could get the motor vehicle into the fantastic classification soon after all this work.

In theory, I could possibly be ready to uncover a marginally far better car for an inexpensive price, in particular if we sold the Vue for $2,000 to $3,000 soon after cleansing it up, but I wouldn’t rely on it in this higher-priced utilized current market. On everyday Craigslist combing, I see an all-wheel-travel 2004 Purple Line with $172,244 miles on it for $5,999, an all-wheel-drive 2007 V6 with leather with 162,729 for $4,000, a 2008 2nd-technology 4-cylinder base with 147,016 miles for $3,999, a soiled entrance-push 2004 V6 with 170,000 miles for $2,000, or a cool blue 2006 4-cylinder with 101,000 miles for $3,300. I would not limit myself to Vues in a car or truck lookup, but it’s not a hugely sought-immediately after automobile, so I really feel it decently represents a selling price floor of sorts.  

This left me with a selection. When I very first noticed the situation of the rusty suspension, rusty brakes, and the dirty interior on our Vue, I was set off and questioned if this thing was even value the effort. But as I evaluated the predicament and figured out where I could revamp alternatively than swap to preserve on expenditures, I assume I’m heading to do it. With a new-to-me previous property that involves its individual perform, time and effort and hard work are additional important than ever, and a utilized-car or truck lookup drains a lot of strength. 

How a great deal strength the Vue will actually have to have continues to be to be identified. Very first up will be altering the spark plugs and refreshing the brakes with new pads and shoes, new rear wheel cylinders, new metallic brake strains, and a fluid flush.

Any aged affordable car or truck is likely to require some really like. If you can inherit anything or get some wheels for pretty much-cost-free, there’s a good possibility it’ll be worth the sweat and expense to get it operating ideal once again. At the very least, which is what I’m hoping for listed here.

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