So I just talked to my mechanic. The shorts fried three control modules, and some wiring. Worse, they can't find the cause of the shorts; which means they can't confirm if it was water damage which caused the shorts or not.
Which means the insurance company may try and weasel out of paying.
The damage they can find so far is the three control modules, the wiring, and the two stripped seat cables. Total is somewhere around $1200; and I just don't have it right now.
A month from now, it'd be a different story, but I've been on half a paycheck the last two pay periods; and rent and bills are taking up all of this paycheck. I get paid again on the 19th, and we're golden, but why this had to happen right now... damnit.
Not only that, but the car is worth maybe $3500 when all the repairs are done; that includes the AC which I haven't fixed yet and which is going to cost something between $800 and $1400 to fix; and the front shocks, which should be about $450. I'll do the rear brake pads myself for $50.
So $2500 to $3100 in repairs for a $3500 car... and thats assuming the electrical work doesn't run over; which isn't a safe assumption.
Of course with the repairs, and a new set of tires ($400 right there), the car will be in pretty good shape for another couple of years; so effectively we'd be writing off the remaining value of the car in repairs to have a runner.
I've pulled three years of solid transportation out of the car which only cost me about $6k ($6800 with tax license title fees etc...), and has only cost me $800 in repairs and maintenance since (fuel pump, fan clutch, belts and hoses), not including the $1200 stereo and $400 alarm.
So, $9,200 total for almost three years; or about $3100 a year; and to make it run for probably another three years without major repairs we need to spend about another $3500...
Of course that assumes it WILL run for three years without major repairs; which is a major assumption; but not unreasonable given the current condition and repair status. Also, it may still be worth doing the engine swap I was thinking about.
Mel would be perfectly happy with the current car (in a newly repaired condition of course) until we have another kid; which we forsee is at least two years off; so it may be worth that $3500 just for that time.
I bought the car specifically TO BE a project car anyway; I was planning on dumping 15 grand into the car to completely rebuild it as better than an M5. I love to still do that, I'm just not sure it's worth doing anymore.
Also, what about towing, and hauling, and the dog etc... That's why we've been thinking about an SUV in the first place...
So we can spend the $3500, or we can just take that $3500 and go out and buy another car; and sell our current car for parts (probably get about $1500 out of it)
Unfortunately, as I said, this doesn't help our situation right now. Right now, we can't afford to go out and buy another car; we can't really afford to fix the broken car, we can't afford to not have a car, and we certainly can't afford to keep paying for a rental at $40 someodd a day.
Even dropping into a cheaper rental is going to be $25 a day (with taxes etc...), and that car is going to be tiny and uncomfortable... the situation will be livable, but not desireable.
Now, if the insurance company covers this, as they should, it won't be a problem, so that's what we're hoping for; otherwise this is a shitty situation.
Better, if my friend would get off his ass, sell his current overpriced car, and pay me the $4000 he owes me, none of this would be an issue. In fact if he does, then I can fix the car, sell it to him, and still end up with not too much wasted; and a friend with a decent car instead of the shitbox he'd buy for himself.
... but I'm not holding my breath.
I say again, AARGH.