Help! Single mom with an upside down payment on a vehicle that needs engine replaced, insurance didn’t accept

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In May of 2007 I broke my ride and still own it. In San Antonio 2007 it rained so much, too much, it flooded out my car. So here are the chains of events which lead to my car being an issue. My car got flooded
•Was towed and dried out-worked but ticked
•Brought to an oil shop to drain water-
•Oil shop never removed oil-
•Car breaks-
•Get quoted for engine replacement and motor cost-$ 3,650
•Claimed to insurance
•Apparently was in between coverage when incident occurred (no INS coverage at time of incident)-got lawyer to lawsuit oil repair shop
•Fired lawyer (got ripped-off)
•Stuck making payments on a broke vehicle
So what can I do?
I’m a young college student, single momma all on her own, no child support or government (not by choice), and well luckily I’m pretty and it pays the bills. Yet this one I haven’t been able to fix since May, I need to fix it! Just want to know if I should fix (if so how to pay for that), trade it in with bad credit, or just pray for a miracle to help me? I need a vehicle to make income, to achieve goals, to take my son to the hospital when he gets ill; I just want my ride or a ride at a rate I can afford, how can I get that to get my life back?

The car is a 2003 Chevy Malibu with 150000 miles on estimate; don’t get to see it often as it sits on my folk’s driveway. It has an upside down loan out on it, the repairs are to replace engine and motor is locked. I’m looking for a way to fix it that is cost efficient for my status or to trade it in without having to pay monthly payments that are insane for a new to me vehicle( looking for cheap payments) I need a vehicle for work purposes, childcare, and to go to school. What are some ways to fix my predictment that what I’m inquiring? I’m all alone with no help, I’m seeking advice or actual people whom can help me achieve a better outcome than what I’m dealing with. What should I do?

How can I get a car going, in desperate need of one or some advice????
I’m looking for good heart and suggestion as to how I can fix this issue, not rude comments. Please I have already enough stress, I’m seeking advice as to how to fix mine, thats all. Not nasty comments.
Reminder I’m asking about how to fix my car and the problem I’m facing. Sorry if I offended anyone by having a good self esteem and confidence I’m not willing to loose over having problems.

4 Comments
  1. Reply
    maddog
    July 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    put on more makeup,look pretier and find a sucker that will pay that expense for you too

  2. Reply
    amateurmechanic
    July 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    The estimate you have to fix the engine is high. Ask around and find out about reputable shops in your area. Get an estimate or two from these shops. Then see what you can do.
    And when you say you are pretty and it pays the bills, you will get snide comments online.

  3. Reply
    not
    July 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    You could call some shops and get prices to put a used engine in the car, would be cheaper. If the whole car was flooded I would expect alot more trouble with the rest of it after the engine is fixed, maybe not worth fixing.

  4. Reply
    austincarbuff
    July 17, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    To begin with, ideally if your car was running, an 03 Malibu with signs of flood damage (impossible to hide) and 150,000 miles is only worth about $ 1000-$ 1200. Possibly up to $ 2000 to a private party that does not identify the flood damage.

    Most dealers won’t touch it because of the need to disclose the damage and long term liability concerns if they sold it. So even if you fixed it and traded it later you would be facing

    If you wanted to repair it your best bet is finding an engine at a junk yard from a wrecked car and someone to put it in for you. You would be looking at about $ 400-$ 600 for the engine and another $ 600-$ 750 for the work. $ 1200-$ 1600.

    I used to know a guy from Lackland that did this kind of work on the weekends in his garage and at the base auto shop. I’ll see if I can get a hold of him and if so will send you his contact info.

    If not CraigsList should find you someone to do the work and possibly find the engine for you as well.

    But there would be no guarantees.

    You said you are upside down. I assume you owe money.

    How much do you owe on the car?

    You also mentioned bad credit. How bad?

    I see a lot of people struggling to maintain bad debts when their credit is already so bad they have no chance of making it good outside winning the lottery or inheriting money.

    Sometimes it’s best to simply walk away from the old car. There are “Drive Here / Pay Here” places that will still put you in a Used car regardless of a prior “Voluntary Repo” which is what you would be doing by walking away from the car.

    If you wanted to explore this route I could refer you to someone that might be able to help you. However there are some preperations you should make prior to approaching anyone to have what they would need in order to qualify you.

    Depending on how much you owe and what you’re credit looks like it might be possible to payoff what you owe on the Malibu, and roll that amount into a new loan and put you into another vehicle.

    A major dealer with a good 2nd chance financing department would be a better bet than a Drive Here/ Pay Here place.

    DH/PH’s are rather predatory and don’t always report your payment history helping clean up your record. They will sell you a piece of crap, repo it when your a day late on weekly or biweekly payments, let you have it back after paying a repo fee and bringing your loan up to date, and then do it all over to you again and again.

    A Major dealer with strong 2nd chance financing will be limited to putting you in a certified car with some remaining warranty typically. 2004-2007 models, certified, can have as much as 100,000 miles of factory warranty on the engine and transmission

    Then you could sell the Malibu to a junk yard for scrap and be done with it.

    This scenario still leaves you upside down but if you can get a good buy on a car, you might be able dig your self out and preserve your credit.

    Depending on your credit situation and how much you owe on the car and other debts you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.

    It’s harder to do than in the past but that works for you and creditors in a way that allows people that recently filed bankruptcy and were discharged to regain financing within weeks or months of the filing date. You get a clean slate, all debt wiped off, and a fresh start.

    You can get a car loan afterwards and have your credit reestablished in a few years on average.

    But you really only get one chance at a fresh slate.

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