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Cory Wolfe

GA Problems

47 posts in this topic

I've decide to just start another thread about this. Anyways, I posted a much clearer story about what has happened over the GAOC. I'm just going to link to that the thread over there.

http://www.gaownersclub.com/forum/showthre...&threadid=50583

So guys... what should I do? Is this a calling for me to replace it or is it worth fixing? I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm out of a car as it stands, now, and with out one I don't have transportation to get a job so I can afford a nice car. I... just don't know. :( Edited by blackviper8891
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Those guys are right. Do some simple diagnostics before you give the car a death sentence. Draining the oil is a great start. If there are any metal parts in the oil, your engine is toast and needs to be rebuilt or replaced. If it has coolant mixed in, it'll will look like milkshake-ish. If that's the case you either have a blown head gasket or a cracked block. I would also do a pressure test on the cooling system. That'll force it to leak wherever the weak points are. It's basically just a hand pump with a PSI gauge on it that attaches to the radiator (or wherever you pour coolant into the GA). One of you can pump the pressure tester while the other looks for leaks.

Head gaskets aren't that expensive, but they're a lot of work to change...expect to spend at least a full day doing it, more likely a full weekend. While you have the head off, it's probably a good idea to have it checked for warping or cracks. Remember, the car did overheat, so the head may have sustained some damage especially if it's aluminum. Some minor warping can be machined out at a machine shop. Anything more severe, and it will need to be replaced.

Just throwing this out there, but I'll bet you can find a Quad 4 in a salvage yard for a pretty reasonable price, with probably less mileage than yours. The more reputable yards may even offer a warranty with the engine (usually 30 days or 3 months). Here's one with 100K from a '95 GA. Earlier I saw one with < 50K for $650. Who knows...this may be the route you want to take anyway...you still had that ticking sound to deal with, which could mean more major work down the road even if you repair your current problem.

To put things in perspective, for the money that it's gonna take to fix up your Grand Am, it's going to cost you a heck of a lot less than finding a car that's going to be any more problem free.
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It sounds like a head gasket may be out because of the severe drop in coolant. Interested to find out what you find when you drain the oil.
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IDK... I'll be sure to try some of those things. I just don't know whether it's worth keeping. I mean, the engine was never an issue with it. Yeah, it ticked, but it ran excellently. When I considered selling it, it wasn't because of the engine. It was one of it's few bright spots, actually. Now that there is an issue with, I'm not sure I see a reason to keep it. Even if I get it fixed, I'm still going to be dealing with the same problems. That and I don't have the money to fix it. The money for a newer car would have came out of it and my ATV ...and if I got a job, which relies on a vehicle to transport me to it. That's gone and to fix it is extra. I don't have extra... My dad's wondering if he could find another one in a junkyard, as Z mentioned, but that's still money that neither of us really have. He knows it too and is disgusted about the whole ordeal. I guess all of this is the result of finding a "steal" at $1000, which, has so far turned out to be the opposite. Anyways, I know about looking for milky oil. I've kind of had to watch out for that since the headgasket was supposedly leaking. But I'll have to check for metal when I draining the oil... I guess it sort of works out since it was time to change it. :P
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I'll be sure to try some of those things. I just don't know whether it's worth keeping. I mean, the engine was never an issue with it. Yeah, it ticked, but it ran excellently. When I considered selling it, it wasn't because of the engine. It was one of it's few bright spots, actually. Now that there is an issue with, I'm not sure I see a reason to keep it. Even if I get it fixed, I'm still going to be dealing with the same problems. That and I don't have the money to fix it. The money for a newer car would have came out of it and my ATV ...and if I got a job, which relies on a vehicle to transport me to it. That's gone and to fix it is extra. I don't have extra...


Now, I'm not normally one to tell anyone how to spend their money, but I think at this point, for you the ATV has to go...no spare cash + no job = need to sell something to get cash. Fix whatever things you mentioned in the other thread and get what you can for it ASAP. With that cash and some sort of diagnosis as to what is wrong with your GA, you can better determine how to proceed. I honestly wouldn't expect more than, say, $500 for your GA in its current condition. The engine is doing too many things for a prospective buyer not to notice that there's something wrong.

If you end up getting a newer car, might I suggest....I can't believe I'm saying this.....a late model Hyundai Accent. Those things have no resale value -There's an ad for a 2002 3dr near me with 60K for $3995 (click). Honestly they're fun little econoboxes, plus you got the balance of a 10yr warranty which should get you through college. Remember, you just need a car for getting where you need to go while saving up for your dream car. I'm speaking from experience....I had a POS 1984 Dodge Colt throughout my college years. It had 85 champion thoroughbreds under the hood, half of which were taken away when I used the AC. But it ended up giving me minimal trouble and allowe me to bide time until my Blazer was ready.
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Those guys are right. Do some simple diagnostics before you give the car a death sentence. Draining the oil is a great start. If there are any metal parts in the oil, your engine is toast and needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

[post="41368"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Sage advice right there.

Or if there's coolant in the oil or vice versa then you have a blown head gasket.
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Now, I'm not normally one to tell anyone how to spend their money, but I think at this point, for you the ATV has to go...no spare cash + no job = need to sell something to get cash. Fix whatever things you mentioned in the other thread and get what you can for it ASAP. With that cash and some sort of diagnosis as to what is wrong with your GA, you can better determine how to proceed. I honestly wouldn't expect more than, say, $500 for your GA in its current condition. The engine is doing too many things for a prospective buyer not to notice that there's something wrong.

IDK... what would give me more money? Selling the GA in its current condition along with the ATV -or- Selling the ATV, using that to fix the GA, then selling it? I'm too f**ked up at the moment to seriously think about it, but the first seems like a greater payoff to me. I mean... how much money would need to be put into the GA and how much would it be worth afterwards? I'd say it's actual worth would probably be $1500. If I'm lucky and able to fool someone by hiding a bunch of its problems, I might be able to get $2000 out it. I don't really see a payoff. I think selling it for what I can get, which is probably somewhere around $500 as you mentioned, would either have the same or better payoff. Wouldn't it? IDK.. :unsure:

Hmm... wonder about a loan? Perhaps I could see if my parents could get a loan for me to get a car now. Then I could get a job and after everything is sold and I would have a source of cash flow to pay my parents to pay off the loan. Or I am misinterpretting the whole idea of loans? :huh: If not, what do you think about that? Ehh... my parent's probably wouldn't go for that anyways...

As for the Hyundai... I'm sadly too picky to do something like you did. I can never treat a car as an appliance and don't want to. That's probably going to bite me in the ass later on... :P
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If you end up getting a newer car, might I suggest....I can't believe I'm saying this.....a late model Hyundai Accent. ...Honestly they're fun little econoboxes, plus you got the balance of a 10yr warranty which should get you through college.

[post="41520"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



WRONG!

That's what we all assume. First off taht warranty is BULLSHIT. There's about threee components covered for 10/100,000 an the other 90% of the car is covered anywhere from two or more years.

IN 2003 our friends Chris and Izabela bought a used '98 Kia Sephia and when it immediatel;y had tranny trouble they were told they were covered for NOTHING!!!! NOt one thing. ZIP.

First off the warranty only aplies to the first (original) owner. Second the original owner? Their pasrticular problem would have been out of coverage anyway.


This whole Kia/Hyundai 10/100K is a complete farse!
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Obviously, what actually turns out to be better for you depends on what is actually wrong with your car. In any case, I don't think I'd bother fixing the GA unless you want to keep it. Put it this way: You said you can probably get 3K for the ATV. Let's say you do that, get the 3K, and you find a Quad 4 in the junkyard. Between the engine and any other parts you may need to get the car running it'll probably cost around 1K. then, after fixing it, you turn around and sell it for $1500 (I think twice what you paid for the car is pretty optimistic). So, 3000 - 1000 + 1500 = 3500. Now,, if you just decide to sell the GA for $500, you have $3000 + $500 = $3500! - plus all the time you would have spent fixing it.
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Yeah... I know $2000 was pretty optimistic. :D Anyways, that's about what I was thinking, I think. It'll save me and my dad time for sure. Atleast now it'll be pretty easy telling him I want to sell since it now has problems. Before he probably would have thought I was crazy. Ofcourse, he still thinks it was a great deal for me even though he doesn't have to drive it everyday and deal with all problems. Most are minor, but they are super annoying. That and I'm a showoff... it's just in my blood. I like to impress and please people (usually). It also is probably the root of my self esteem. Ya know... why I start alot threads dealing all that crap. :P BTW, I haven't drained the oil yet, but I took a look at the oil on my dipstick last night. I had a flashlight up close to it... and it looked metallicky to me. So... Otherwise, it wasn't milky.
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After thinking... my final thoughts about it:

I think I can pretty much say that it is suffering from 3 things. The first of which is a rod bearing. The second is a leaking coolant system. The third is the headgasket leak worsening. Those make the most sense after reading comments and doing my own analysis...

Anyways, I'm having mixed feelings... still. More or less, I just can't believe this happened. I mean, there is no deciding to replace it or not. It's done. I can't keep it without giving something else up. That it's worth is gone... I came into it thinking I can get more than what I paid. Now I'm most likely going to get less. Damn...

Well... expect some farewell pics after I wash it for the last time... ya know... make it look as good as I possibly can to give a good first impression. That and remove my Clarion reciever and install the old Jensen one that came out of it. I'm sure someone would want a relatively good looking Grand Am; with a bad engine for $500. Right? Hopefully... since it does run.

*sigh*
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For $500, your car is probably a gold mine for anyone who's looking for a cheap ride to throw some money at. My dad probably would have been all over that when we were looking for first cars. I've scoured a couple of websites, and a master overhaul kit (Pistons, Rings, Gaskets, Cam Bearings, Rod Bearings, Main Bearings, Oil Pump, Freeze Plugs, Camshaft, Lifters, Pre-lube, and Timing Set, and Valley Pan (if applicable) for the '95 quad 4 is around $700. So, for $1200 and some blood, sweat and tears, they'll get a good looking car with what is essentially a brand new engine.
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For $500, your car is probably a gold mine for anyone who's looking for a cheap ride to throw some money at. My dad probably would have been all over that when we were looking for first cars. I've scoured a couple of websites, and a master overhaul kit (Pistons, Rings, Gaskets, Cam Bearings, Rod Bearings, Main Bearings, Oil Pump, Freeze Plugs, Camshaft, Lifters, Pre-lube, and Timing Set, and Valley Pan (if applicable) for the '95 quad 4 is around $700. So, for $1200 and some blood, sweat and tears, they'll get a good looking car with what is essentially a brand new engine.

[post="41993"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

It will probably need a new crank. I had that happen to a quad 4 before, I had the crank checked to see if it could be ground, it couldn't. The cheapest I found for a crank was $600. Then you have to take the engine completely apart. I did it myself, and it was a great experience, but expensive. I would have rather been putting high performance parts instead of just replacing factory parts though.
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HERE'S YOUR WARNING: I'M A BAD INFLUENCE. If you are going to put money into it, you'd be better off finding one at a boneyard, dropping it in and ditching the car. I had a '88 Chrysler Lebaron and at about 68,xxx miles, I vibrated loose the retaining clip that help the valve stem in place. It made a real mess when the valve dropped into that #2 cyl. (especially at the speeds I was going; which is probably why it vibrated loose in the first place -- what can I say -> I was young, stupid, invincible, and always poor as a result of items such as this). Anyways, I picked up a running 2.2l at a boneyard for $600 and one week later, I traded the car away for $2500 (my car had a salvage title, otherwise I coulda got more for it; this was actually engine #2 - did I tell you the young, stupid & invincible part yet?) - so you can make out ok on items such as these. I'd check the local area high schools, see if they are willing to drop the engine in and then I'd make a few phone calls to your local auto-recyclers and see what you can find. BTW, did you know you can "chicago-punch" (i.e. hotwire) a mid-to-late-eighties mopar (think Daytonna, Lebaron, etc) with your bare hands? The tilt-steering lever just unscrews and there is a plastic piece of the steering column that you can squeeze and pop right out. Reach your finger up in there and you can grab ahold of the ignition switch /wheel release assembly. Pull it down (towards the dash) and voila - car starts & the wheel is unlocked. I've got friends in low places..la la la la la.
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For $500, your car is probably a gold mine for anyone who's looking for a cheap ride to throw some money at.

Damn you... you're making me feel bad. :P Edited by blackviper8891
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BV, like wyldman said, I'd take it to shop class...... talk to you shop class teacher and make it a project to figure out whats wrong and then they can fix it. Schools can get prety good discounts on parts and you get the teachers knowledge...... Personaly, I've thought this whole time that the ticking is probably a bad valve (bent, lifter is not lifting or whatever...) and now this.... I believe you also have a failed head gasket and is allowing coolant to seap into the combustion chanber, thus raising temp due to lack of lubrication, then raising coolant temp and coolant pressure goes u and dumps more coolant in the combustion chamber.... vicious cycle that will toast your engine in a jiffy if you don't have another serious look at it before even thinking of driving it again...... If I were you, I'd do an oil change today/ tomorow THIS WEEK END to see what is up.... you could also remove a spark plug and flash a light in there to see if you can possibly notice liquid on top of the piston...... other than possibly an engine related problem.... would a clogged cat converter possibly cause the engine to overheat? I know it backs up exhaust and of course everything will get super hot and performance would diminish.... but if he doesnt find anything in the oil, could checking the cat converter also be in the books?
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Okay guys... it's pretty much ready to be sold. I'm just unsure how much to sell it for. I mean... I really think it's worth more $500. I really do.

The body is in good condition with a few dings here and there. The paint is glossy, but is chipped in the front and there are a few scratches here and there. The bumpers are slightly faded, but only noticable up close. The wheels are somewhat corroded. The windows are crack free with very few chips. The only real problem with the exterior is the lack of a driver side mirror. The interior is almost perfect; clean cloth, mostly clean carpet, no rips/tears, only one stain (rear seat), and no cracks in plastic (except the bottom of the doors aren't screwed in completely as some have broken). Everything except the horn and the A/C work. It does run but with the noticable ticking and knocking. There may be a coolant leik, too. The brakes work fine except for ABS (it's not that important anyways, IMO). The parking brake works as well (it finally started working about a month ago; IDK why it wasn't). The suspension is perfect. Also, it does have some mods including: Sony front and Visonic rear speakers, Jensen CD/MP3 receiver, DEI Viper security system (not hooked up, though - don't know how to), K&N air filter, Silverstar foglights (talk about a waste since I just bought them... ), White Cyber side-marker lights, AVS headlight covers, and a "Grand Am GT" window sticker (it has to have some affect on its worth... like $.25 :P ). Then you have to put into account all the money that has been put into the engine (probably redundant, but it wasn't cheap, damnit) including a new radiator (which can be turned on manually too), new oil pan, new timing chain, and new headgaskets (which is probably why they're leaking - thanks dad). Not to mention the $250 in new rear tires (got ripped off - thanks Sears).

I feel like I'd be practically giving it away for only $500. Especially after looking at some Blue Book values. I thought $2000 would be pushing it before the problems, but some priced it more than that. I just cannot sell it for only $500. Hands down, I won't do it. Me and my dad have too much money invested in it (I bought the car, he bought most of the parts).
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Honestly BV, with the amount of cosmetic and mechanical problems you describe, you'd be lucky to get $500. No a/c? No horn? No ABS? Coolant leak? I don't even know why you're thinking about selling it with a missing sideview; that alone makes the car worth less mentally.

Ask yourself - given all that, would you spend between $501-2000 on that car?

I'd guess not.

You may be better off parting it out on eBay or something. Your electronics may be worth $500 alone.
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Okay guys... it's pretty much ready to be sold. I'm just unsure how much to sell it for. I mean... I really think it's worth more $500. I really do.

The body is in good condition with a few dings here and there. The paint is glossy, but is chipped in the front and there are a few scratches here and there. The bumpers are slightly faded, but only noticable up close. The wheels are somewhat corroded. The windows are crack free with very few chips. The only real problem with the exterior is the lack of a driver side mirror. The interior is almost perfect; clean cloth, mostly clean carpet, no rips/tears, only one stain (rear seat), and no cracks in plastic (except the bottom of the doors aren't screwed in completely as some have broken). Everything except the horn and the A/C work. It does run but with the noticable ticking and knocking. There may be a coolant leik, too. The brakes work fine except for ABS (it's not that important anyways, IMO). The parking brake works as well (it finally started working about a month ago; IDK why it wasn't). The suspension is perfect. Also, it does have some mods including: Sony front and Visonic rear speakers, Jensen CD/MP3 receiver, DEI Viper security system (not hooked up, though - don't know how to), K&N air filter, Silverstar foglights (talk about a waste since I just bought them... ), White Cyber side-marker lights, AVS headlight covers, and a "Grand Am GT" window sticker (it has to have some affect on its worth... like $.25 :P ). Then you have to put into account all the money that has been put into the engine (probably redundant, but it wasn't cheap, damnit) including a new radiator (which can be turned on manually too), new oil pan, new timing chain, and new headgaskets (which is probably why they're leaking - thanks dad). Not to mention the $250 in new rear tires (got ripped off - thanks Sears).

[post="42685"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Yikes. I thought your GA was in better shape. To be honest, I wouldn't expect to get much over $500.
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Well... I can't think of selling for only $500. I know it's worth more than that especially since my dad's 77 Chevy pickup sold for $800 5 years ago and it was the definition of crap. It really barely ran, it was rusted all over (my GA has no rust, btw), it had a flat black spray paint job, terrible seats (seat cover was required basically), and on top of that... it was a bare-bones truck. There wasn't much too it. If you guys are going to tell me my GA is only worth $500, I'm going to tell you guys to take your heads out of your asses. I've seen what cars look like that sell for only $500 around here. My GA is so much better it's not even funny. I know within my heart and my brain that it is worth more than $500. So... can I buy some pot from you guys?

BTW, here's some farewell pictures:

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Number one, stop taking things I say.

Number two, you're exactly right when you say "in your heart" its worth way more than $500. In my heart, my car is worth exactly what I paid for it. In my dad's heart, his is worth at least $15,000. Reality, though, dictates otherwise.

You state your car has numerous missing parts, ill-fitting parts, and some random mechanical issues - all of which doesn't bother you because you own it, know it, and accept it, just as I don't care that my car has been in two accidents and my father's was nearly totalled. But put yourself in the place of someone like you looking for that car. Again, how much would YOU pay for it?

I can't blame anyone for not offering much for our cars because I wouldn't either if I hear the word 'accident.' The difference is - again - I know what happened, I was there when they fixed them, and I accept it. Same as how you accept your car's flaws.

Now, as for the truck. You live in a rural area, right? No crap the truck sells as long as it sort of runs. Heck, even here shitbox pickups sell quicker than better-condition cars...and often for more. People who buy older half-gimp trucks like that typically do it for parts, rebuild it, or run it even more 'till it dies doing things they wouldn't use their other, better truck for.

Its very different for a late-model car like yours. Its not super easy to mod - not as much as a truck or even a Civic - and there's not that much desire to do it anyway. People looking at your car want to buy it and not have many problems with it. Otherwise, they'll spend a few hundred bucks (no more than a grand) on a half-ass car that'll work for awhile before they can get a better car.

I would sincerely suggest you fix those problems or try to part it out.
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Well, let it go for $750. Use that as a down payment on a '99 Grand Am GT coupe with some real road time under it's belt. But, you should really consider yourself lucky. I'm still looking and saving for a car. (But I do have a job though, which is within walking distance from my school.)
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