Desu-San-Desu aggregate this account with us in the comments a while back. If you do annihilation abroad today, sit down, cascade a cup of coffee, and apprehend his words of woe. This adventure is continued and added than a little sad — in so, so abounding means — but it’s additionally appealing abuse amazing.
In October of 2008, I was active a 1994 Hyundai Excel that was missing all the windows on the right-hand side, forth with its aperture panels, speakers, heater, etc. It ran abundant and got batty gas breadth (50-plus mpg), but winter was advancing and I bald a car that would accumulate the algid out.
I looked about boondocks and assuredly activate a 1997 Saturn SC2 that looked to be in appealing acceptable condition. Five-speed manual, acceptable exoteric and autogenous and the motor and accompanying apparatus all looked accomplished afterwards a little dabbling around. I traded in my Hyundai and an old 1988 Corolla with a bad torque converter, additional $500 banknote for the Saturn.
The banker gave me the bill of auction and the cancellation and told me to appear aback in a few canicule for the title, aback it was in Conway, about 30 account away, and he’d accept to get it from his accomplice banker there. I had a bill of auction and a 45-day plate, so this seemed accomplished to me. He additionally warned that the car hadn’t been apprenticed in some time and may be a little amour at first. Already again, I ample that some cars get like that and collection off the lot… pokily.
Well, the aing day, aback I got a adventitious to absolutely drive it around, I noticed it acquainted added than pokey, it acquainted absolute amputated. Afterwards experimenting a bit, I accomplished that alike admitting the about-face arrangement said I was activity into aboriginal and additional gear, the agent didn’t feel like it. It acquainted like I was starting in third accessory and abandoned accepting third, fourth, fifth and reverse.
My dad approved to beachcomber this off as “maybe it’s aloof not that fast of a car”, but I’d apprenticed a ’98 SC2 and knew that they were appealing abuse quick for a banal four-banger. Alike my Hyundai, 0.4 liters smaller, would bake tires up to fourth gear. So I knew article was off.
I got my dad to drive it and he accomplished that I wasn’t aloof authoritative actuality up. In fact, I’d alike mentioned that the brakes didn’t feel absolutely right. Lo and behold, as we’re affairs to a stop, advancing from about 35 mph, he presses the anchor pedal and annihilation happens. Accumulate in mind, this isn’t a Toyota. So afresh he slams all his weight assimilate the anchor pedal and the rear drums lock up entirely. This car is declared to accept ABS (and in fact, does). We accept to bend about the car in advanced of us off the alley and cull the e-brake to accumulate from activity into the ditch.
After that, we collection alike added boring than accepted and got home and popped the hood. Turns out the anchor band had massive amounts of air in it and the about-face bond was missing a C-clip that keeps the cables secured. Now, the brakes were accessible abundant to fix and we alike replaced the drums, pads, rotors, and shoes aloof to be sure.
As for the C-clip, none of the aliment about us has one in stock, so we had to go to the Saturn dealership the aing boondocks over and pay $8 for a little tiny allotment of metal. Anyways, that blow anchored the bond and that little car collection like a bat outa hell afterwards.
One would anticipate aggregate would be okay, but no. I had a 40 mile drive to assignment every night and came aback in the mornings, casual the lot area I bought the Saturn aloof as it opened. I would stop in already or alert a anniversary and asked for ‘J.T.’, the guy’s name, and if he was there, which was calmly rare, he’d say the affiliation bottomward in Conway hadn’t gotten about to accepting the appellation up here, yadda yadda yadda.
I was accepting understandably affronted and abashed about this and afterwards about a month, he’d never be on the lot aback I absolved up. During this time, the car had been active excellently, admitting I’d replaced the wipers, headlight bulbs, bench covers, attic mats and tires. But I still didn’t accept the appellation and in S.C., afterwards the title, I couldn’t get a abiding plate.
So with about a anniversary to additional on the acting tag, I drive to the lot and the lot is empty. The cars that ran are all gone, the appointment is empty, the boutique is bald bald and afar and bodies are starting to appearance up, best of them attractive angry.
Eventually the cops showed up and a me and a few baddest others that apparently, this guy had a counterfeit dealer’s authorization and had been blame bodies over for months. He’d been demography in cars for aliment and either affairs them or affairs their motors. He’d additionally done bad adjustment jobs, banned refunds, kept money that wasn’t his, and so on. Eventually, aback the calefaction got to be too much, he asleep his lot and skipped town.
Now, I’d been acute and kept the titles to the Hyundai and Toyota until he’d accustomed me the appellation for the Saturn. I anon filed them as stolen, and to this day they haven’t been found. The ‘dealer’, however, was angled by one of his mnay abandoned customers, and he pulled a crowbar on them and a activity bankrupt out. He’s now in bastille on over 39 altered charges, including fraud, theft, admirable annexation auto, petty theft, advance with a baleful weapon, advance with absorbed to kill, adventuresome driving, abashed arrest, etc.
This didn’t advice my problem, though, aback I still had no appellation for the Saturn and my acting tag was active out. So I absitively to backtrack the car. Afterwards a anniversary or so, I activate the lot area this guy had gotten the Saturn. Allegedly he was declared to adjustment it, advertise it and accord this lot bisected of the banknote or barter value. Instead he’d pocketed the money and run and this lot hadn’t apparent a dime. However, they didn’t accept the appellation either.
It turns out they’d gotten the car from addition car lot an hour abroad because it bald to be repaired and they couldn’t be agitated with it. So I had to drive to this third car lot to acquisition that they had never apparent any money for it either and had never clearly awash the title. So I anguish up absolutely accepting to pay them $300 banknote in adjustment to buy the appellation to my own car, about acceptation I had to buy the car twice. There went my Christmas bonus.
I affected this was the end of my troubles, aback my car had apparent no signs of a bad adjustment job. But about a ages later, on my way aback home from work, I’m active up the Intercoastal Waterway arch in Myrtle Beach and I downshift to canyon semi-truck and I apprehend a massive bang and afresh the car starts authoritative a massive clamor, like pots and pans banging.
I cull off to the ancillary of the alley and analysis the oil level. Fine. Transmision aqueous level. Fine. Coolant. Fine. Anchor fluid. Fine. Hydraulic clamp level. Fine. Everything’s fine. So I alarm my dad and acquaint him what happened and he says do my best to get it home. So I do. But the babble is so loud that I accept to cycle my windows up due to the aggregate of the acknowledgment advancing off the casual vehicles. I additionally couldn’t do added than 35 mph, acceptation what commonly was a 45-minute drive home took over two actual stressful, loud hours.
We get it home and my ancestor listens to it and says “Well… the abbreviate acknowledgment is… it’s fucked.” We absorb the black and a canteen of vodka bitching about the brainless of a banker who awash me the car. The aing morning, we cull the car into the barn to adapt to annihilate it. My added actual problem, however, is accepting to work.
Since I was alive the night shift, we formed it out so that my dad could go in an hour backward every morning and leave an hour afterwards every day, which was accomplished with his boss, and I could booty his barter to assignment and back. This formed accomplished for about a ages during which we began to booty the Saturn apart.
But afresh his bang-up absitively that starting assignment at 10am wasn’t absolutely all that acceptable for him and appropriate my dad to alpha advancing in at his old time. We approved acceding with him and aback that didn’t worked, I bargained with my administration and approved to accept my hours confused or alike cut aback but they said that it was too abundant agitation and told me that if I couldn’t accept reliable transportation, afresh I shouldn’t bother aggravating to assignment there.
I requested a alteration to a area nearer to my house, but I hadn’t been alive continued abundant to authorize for a algid transfer. I afresh activated for an emergency transfer, but aback I wasn’t technically relocating, I couldn’t do that either. I told them that I had reliable transportation, but that I aloof bald to be out of there by 7 AM.
They absitively that there were affluence of bodies they could assassin who would accept no problems authoritative the appropriate agenda and accursed me, two weeks afore I would authorize for unemployment. It turns out I wasn’t the aboriginal actuality they’d accursed aloof beneath the 6-month mark all-important for unemployment benefits. However, I was able to align it that aback I was because enlisting in the Civic Guard anyway, instead of advertisement me as actuality accursed for busline issues, on cardboard I was listed as “Resigned due to Relocation”, so at atomic Wal-Mart accustomed me to save some face, for what it’s worth.
Anyways, so now this Saturn had amount me my job and was sitting in the barn in the average of an ever-growing accumulation of genitalia and anatomy paneling. Over the aing 3 months, during which I looked for assignment aural walking ambit and activate none, we absolutely dismantled the advanced end of the car and bald the motor bottomward to the bald block. It turns out that the crank shaft had been beat bottomward by over 5 mm and Mr. J.T. had put ‘Magic STP’ in the oil to adumbrate the ruckus. The bearings were basically bouncing off of it with every revolution. Two agent active had holes in them, all the rings were fried, and we had to get the absolute block and arch apathetic and polished, forth with replacing all the bearings, seals, two accomplished pistons with rods and heads, agent rings, oil pan, a new crankshaft, crank pully, timing chain, timing alternation cover, and the added associated $.25 that go forth with a complete rebuild.
Not abandoned were these genitalia expensive, best of them were additionally absurd to acquisition anywhere added than the dealer. Over bisected of the genitalia had to be bought from the Saturn dealership, at the accepted dealership markup. Why? Because cipher carries Saturn genitalia and there is no aftermarket allotment alternative to allege of for Saturn. The guy at the dealership absolutely offered us his condolences aback we told him we were rebuilding it ourselves. Allegedly the SC and SC2 alternation accept a bit of a acceptability for actuality tempermental at best aback it comes to rebuilds. Absolute amount of parts: $988.43. Not to acknowledgment the $800 banknote absolute for the appellation and the two absent trade-ins.
So, afterwards three months of my dad afire every additional dollar from his paychecks and every black and weekend he had to advice me adjustment this motor, we assuredly get it reassambled. Now, anyone who’s anytime formed on a Saturn knows how choosy they are and the timing abandoned took us 4 hours to get right, forth with the compression. In fact, there’s a video on my Facebook folio assuming us accepting the motor to about-face over with the block sitting on the arena with no arch in it, application the array and two screwdrivers to about-face the starter, aloof to accomplish abiding the activity was bland afore putting the accomplished affair aback together.
The car bit it in the aboriginal anniversary of February, 2009. We assuredly drive it bottomward the block in the aboriginal anniversary of June, 2009. It collection great. Affluence of torque, acceptable about-face action, bland idle, all of the things you appetite to see. We’d somehow done the absurd and rebuilt that brainless car in our barn with annihilation but a Haynes chiral and ropes, chains, and a 400-pound agent hoist.
I anon began attractive for work, but by this point the recession was in abounding beat and over bisected the yards on our artery had ‘For Sale’ signs up. In fact, the boondocks of Marion, SC has absent about 30% of its residential citizenry aback January, 2009. There were no jobs aural two hours of the boondocks and any jobs that were accessible were ashore with applications. The aerial academy put up a apprehension that they were attractive for two custodians. They had over 600 bodies appearance up for applications. The umemployment amount was over 50%, but bodies like myself, who didn’t authorize for unemployment benefits, and bodies on welfare, don’t go on the civic unemployment statistic. It’s abandoned for bodies accepting unemployment checks. Those who didn’t comprised such a huge block of that ratio, that the official accomplishment abandoned declared a 19% unemployment amount for the PeeDee arena of South Carolina. Yeah, MSNBC didn’t acknowledgment the accomplished credibility of that statistic, did they?
So while I’m attractive for work, my father’s hours are cut bottomward to part-time and he now abandoned works for 4 canicule a week, acceptation we’re no best able to accomplish the bills. I accomplished that afterwards me award assignment any time soon, we’d apparently lose the house, so I absitively to move in with a acquaintance in the aing boondocks who would let me assignment about the abode for my allotment of the rent. So, I confused out of my dad’s abode and in with Eric, acceptation my dad was able to pay the bills and accept about $50 additional every month. Not much, but enough.
I spent two months active with Eric, attractive for jobs about Florence and aggravating to aloof survive aback the car began accepting agitation starting. I arrested the array and aggregate and it progressively got worse, generally accepting to be push-started and accepting the headlights cut off randomly. I arrested the base accouter and the access to the alternator and array and amateur and aggregate was accomplished but it still kept acting up. Eventually it abdicate alive entirely. Wouldn’t alpha at all and was blocking Eric’s driveway, so my ancestor had to accompany his truck, a chain, and a pole and tow it aback home, abrogation me at Eric’s, walking everywhere.
Well afterwards about a month, I was access to move in with a acquaintance in Pennsylvania who could advice me get aback on my feet, so I larboard the Saturn with my dad until he could get it working. I accustomed in Pennsylvania in September and promptly activate assignment and was application Kyle’s car to get to and from. About a ages afterwards a confused up there, my dad got the Saturn active again. Turns out the amateur and alternator AND hydraulic clamp accumulation all had to be replaced. So addition $300 or so into the car. Already it was running, I hopped a one-way flight aback to S.C., affective the Saturn and collection it up to P.A. with no problems. During the aing ages in P.A., I anguish up affairs a new set of tires (I’d been active summer elastic and Erie, PA gets massive snow in the winter) with able all-season tread, forth with a oxygen sensor, atom plugs and oil burden sensor.
During that month, I about had to clutter the Saturn because it began blockage randomly, sometimes on the artery and generally chugged and shuddered and acted as admitting it was choking. I arrested the oxygen sensor, burke body, ECU, etc. I alike had Advance Auto do a account on the computer and it came aback with aing to 16 errors, including a knock-sensor error, which fabricated no faculty to me. Ironically, on the way home the abuse affair adjourned while I was departure off the artery and wouldn’t cycle alpha like I’d been accomplishing aback it cut off while moving. So, in my frustration, I kicked the footwell absolutely adamantine and the car perked appropriate up, giving abandoned a few chugs on the way home. Already I got home I angled bottomward and took a attending and activate out the base accouter had aloof appear loose.
Once that is fixed, the aing anniversary I’m downshifting on the artery active to assignment and my about-face bulge goes all noodly on me and becomes absolutely limp. Luckily I’m in third gear, so I can still cull out from a stop and drive up to about 50 mph afterwards redlining, but I’m arena that clamp pedal like Lars Ulrich plays his bass kicker. Turns out the about-face bushing exploded on me. I’m not activity to go into detail about that. All you accept to do is attending up “Saturn About-face Bushing” to apprehend aloof how big of an affair it is with mid-90’s Saturns. I can’t accept they didn’t do a anamnesis over the issue. I anguish up activity to ebay to buy the bushing and cable end bend for $60 absolute because Saturn doesn’t advertise aloof the bushing. No, you accept to buy the absolute cable bond set at $300 aloof for the cables, not including activity and banker install fees. Screw. That. But, acknowledgment to ebay, aural a anniversary I was acceptable to go again. Admitting during that anniversary I became carefully accustomed with demography out the centermost animate and adjusting the zip ties and advance array terminal I’d acclimated to authority me until the eBay genitalia arrived.
Anyways, so Thanksgiving comes about and the Saturn has been active like a dream afresh so I accept I can drive up to New Hampshire to appointment my adherent at her academy and accept banquet with her ancestors like all boyfriends are abashed to do but charge do anyway. Afore the trip, I haversack my clothes, analysis the aqueous levels and accompany added bottles of anniversary blazon of fluid, forth with a sleeping back, alley flares, food, water, flashlight, apparatus kit, etc., about authoritative abiding my car has annihilation I ability charge in case of an emergency.
So I arch out for New Hampshire. The drive goes fine, the car is behaving abundant and about 3 AM, I’m in Vermont, on Artery 9 aka ‘Hog’s Aback Road’ and accepting a blast. It’s a arced road, I accept advancing tires and a chiral manual and I can hit 70 aloof benumbed bottomward the aback ancillary so I’m extenuative gas like a dement and aloof accepting fun. But afresh I get out of the aerial abundance and into the adulate areas and afterwards about an hour the car starts behaving oddly. The oil burden sensor shoots up, afresh drops bottomward to absolutely lower and the car starts shuddering and my burke acknowledgment drops to Prius levels. I see the temperature barometer skyrocket, so I cull over assimilate the ancillary of the artery in the average of arctic Vermont at 4 am. I can absolutely apprehend moose in the copse beneath than a mile abroad aback I get out of the car. I don’t see headlights from either administration no amount how far I attending and it’s beneath freezing.
So, I’m algid and abandoned in the average of a aberrant accompaniment and my car is burst down, still two hours from area my adherent lives and bisected my carnal backing in the aback bench and abandoned $200 in banknote to pay for gas on my acknowledgment cruise home. I pop the awning and already the smoke clears, I see oil. Everywhere. I beggarly everywhere. I absolutely absolved forth the ancillary and activate oil decrepit off my aback appropriate caster well. It had attempt out of the top of the motor and gotten slung forth the base of the car by the convolute belt. Affairs out my flashlight, I apprehend that the valve awning is askance like a licorice stick and I can see beeline into the arch and attending at the cam shafts. My best assumption is that one of the valve awning ts was bald and came apart due to the pressure.
So, I cull out my map and see that the aing boondocks is. West Lebanon. So, I grab some water, a backpack, my flashlight, and my mutli-tool with a ample knife brand congenital into it and arch out bottomward the alley appear the town, abrogation my Saturn’s flashers on and the doors locked. About an hour later, I access at a gas base and I promptly buy two gallons of oil, a ample metal c-clamp and automotive RTV, electrical and automotive tape, forth with a gas can and bristles gallons of gas, aloof in case. I activate hoofing it aback to the Saturn and aback I get there, scrape off the old adhesive from the top of the head, advance the new RTV, use a timberline annex as a batten to columnist the valve awning aback bottomward and c-clamp it in abode afore RTV’ing and taping the spiral accoutrement to accomplish abiding it doesn’t beat loose. I additionally put J.B Weld on the able that resulted from the warping of the cover. Afresh I bushing the oil, bandy the added oil in the aback bench and -foot it all the way to New London to accommodated my girlfriend.
Long adventure short, I wasn’t able to allow a bus or even aback to P.A. and pay for my accouterments to get there as well, abundant beneath a tow barter for the Saturn to go to P.A. and my acquaintance Kyle and his association couldn’t appear and get me because they’d accept to booty off work. During the time I was aggravating to amount out what to do, the academy campus bankrupt for Christmas break, so I had to go to her folks’ abode with her, abrogation the Saturn in the parking lot of the abandoned above arcade centermost in boondocks and acquisitive cipher would address it.
No such luck. We appear aback three weeks afterwards and the car is gone. Turns out it was towed two nights afterwards we larboard and racked up $900 in impound fees. I finally, afterwards activity through over a year of hell, aloof said “fuck it, it’s your botheration now,” handed the towing aggregation the appellation and bill of sale, and got a ride aback into town. The academy has a two-night-a-week max for brief guests, so I couldn’t break there. I anguish up accepting to alive in a abandoned apartment in New Hampshire until a aching up abundant money to get a bus aback home.
So that Saturn amount me three homes, two jobs, and over a year of my life. The affliction part? I larboard the baby stuff, like the windshield wiper motor fiasco, out in adjustment to accumulate this beneath twenty pages.
All in all, I’ve had a buy affairs experience, bad banker experience, bad artisan experience, bad genitalia accumulation experience, bad immediate automated experiences, and bad active experiences. If that’s not an automotive abhorrence story, I don’t apperceive what is.
Dude, we feel you. And (as if we didn’t already accept a actor added reasons) we are never, anytime affairs a Saturn.
Have your own Barn of Abhorrence story? Email it actuality with the accountable line: “Garage of Horror.”
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