Full life cycle of a motor vehicle
14 years ago my 1984 Fiero V6 auto w/sunroof blew out its 2nd fuel pump. My son had been driving the car in high school, was starting college, and I needed to get another car.
Went to the Saturn dealer thinking I would get an Ion. They were closed (sunday) so I walked around the parking lot looking at the new cars. All the way at the end of the lot was a new 2004 Red Saturn Vue, base model 4 cylinder, manual transmission. With the end of year sale it was $3k off the sticker price, got it for about $15,000.
Yesterday I pulled the Vue into the garage to replace the rear wheel bearings for the second time. With 180k miles, I had replaced the front bearings twice, the starter, alternator, fuel lines, muffler, and ball joints. When I tried to jack up the rear of the car the lift point crushed into the frame...
I moved the jack forward a bit on the frame, put a foot long 2x4 on the jack, and lifted the rear tire off the ground. Now I could not find any place to put the jack stand, tried another spot on the frame, and as I lowered the jack that spot on the frame crushed in too. I dont mean dented a little, the jack stand pushed half way thru the height of the frame.
Its always been my plan to buy new cars and keep them till the wheels fall off. The problem is, doing your own work, there comes a point where you have to say "enough". If the lift points on the frame are that weak with rust the suspension attachment points are not far behind. Eventually the wheels really will fall off a car if you keep it long enough.
Decided there is no point putting new wheel bearings on for the slow drive to the scrap yard. Looking around the car I noticed the universal joint on the shaft from the steering wheel to the rack has sheared the pin on one side. Only one side of it was keeping the steering wheel attached to the rack and pinion. I think I dodged a terrible accident.
There is one thing I will take off the Vue, the horn on my Royal Star is pathetically soft, it needs a honk transplant.
I scrapped a 2000 Corolla last year, got $240 for it. Should get about $300 for the Vue.
14 years, 180,000 miles on a $15,000 vehicle. I have nothing to complain about.
The hardest part with getting rid of a saturn, with the plastic body panels from 50 feet away it looks pretty good, not a sign of rust anywhere.
Its 4 miles from my house to the scrap metal yard. Time for a new car.
Last edited by KCW; 12-22-2018 at 08:10 AM.