4 hours ago in Articles
Christina Lam went from the sidelines to full-on track enthusiast in 8 simple steps.
Boring new car procured. Old car must go. Long winded stuff follows.
Got it at 65K in '07. Now at 100K miles. V6 w/ manual transmission. Manual heated seats. Leather in decent shape, though there are two small tears in the driver's seat. Bone stock, currently sitting on good snow tires with plenty of life left in them. No rust to speak of. My wife and I both have the option of walking to work, so this has primarily been our long trip and her 'around town' car. It runs great and gets decent mileage. When I got the car I immediately did a full timing belt/water pump job. Always received 3K-5K Mobil 1 oil changes. Brakes are all in great shape (ATE + stock pads). I did the rears in '08 and the fronts in '09. I put in new axles in '08.
Car is solid except for the following:
-It leaks water BAD. Needs a quart(ish) every other week (150 miles or so) and it's easy to see it's coming from the water pump if you take off the engine covers. The coolant lines are all original as well, as is the oil cooler, so those should be done while it's in the service position. Several lines are weeping a little bit.
-It needs a battery. If you let it sit for more than 4 days it won't start.
-It needs at least one control arm on the passenger side. It's got an audible clunk over there somewhere (though you can't feel it). I did all the arms, sway links and tie rod ends back in '08. I made the mistake of buying non-Lemforder/Meyle parts because my parts guy had a good deal. Several ball joint boots look iffy already. This is the one area I went cheap on the car and I regret it. Good news is I put a LOT of anti-seize on the pinch bolts and ball joints so things should come apart well.
-Cosmetically it needs some love. It's got a couple scratches and dings, including a kinda nasty one on the passenger side from when my wife rubbed it against the retaining wall in our driveway and then when she did the same thing to a column in a parking structure. It's missing a center cap on one of the wheels (which are pitted from brake dust). It has the aforementioned tears in the driver's seat. We have two kids, so it needs a deep cleaning. It's missing a few trim clips on the wheel liners so they can flap about. The plastic belly pan is in sorry shape.
-Headlight adjusters are busted so the lights aren't properly aimed.
-One of the brake light bulbs is out.
-Throwing a CEL with lots of ground fault stuff in the codes, probably due to the battery since the car runs absolutely great with no electrical weirdness.
-Slight oil seepage out the transmission somewhere. It's always been there and never been a real problem.
-Snows are still at 80%., but it'll need summer tires.
-Blower motor makes a ticking/humming noise when it's cold. It's done this as long as I've had the car and hasn't gotten worse.
-Seal around the antenna looks pretty nasty.
-Driver's arm rest cubby lid keeps falling off
-Dome light doesn't come on when the driver's door is opened
So, the thing is the car needs to go into the service position for the water pump, but if I do it I'm not going to do the extra $250-$300 in "while you're in there" jobs (snub mount, serp belt, full timing belt job, front engine seals, etc). Just the WP and whatever hoses look iffy. If I'm the one to do the front suspension job I'm not going to replace everything that looks suspect, just the stuff that's actually broken. I'd probably replace the battery with a decent used one rather than new.
I'd much rather sell it to a DIYer as-is and let them do their own repairs. The car is solid enough that it'll be around for another decade if the next owner puts a few hundred bucks in. I'm only getting rid of it because I dislike working on it and this is a good time to get it away from me. It's a lovely car otherwise.
The car will come with all the coolant lines/o-rings and the oil cooler. I bought them and haven't installed 'em since it makes more sense to do it with the WP. It'll also come with a greasy Bentley manual. Maybe an oil filter or two if I've got some sitting around still. Also new plugs I never installed.
$2K grm "just take it without me having to wash it" price, not negotiable. Car is in Ann Arbor.
Also would make a dumb challenge car if you so choose.
Photos here: http://flickr.com/gp/paanta/A35V68
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