Is This Really Death Metal... For My Car?
December 4, 2009 12:31 PM Subscribe
While performing routine maintenance on my car, my mechanic noticed a hum coming from the (standard) transmission. He then changed the transmission fluid and noticed pieces of metal when draining the old fluid out. Crap. This car only has 85,000 miles. How many more can I realistically get out of it?
posted by Rewind to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The car in question is 2002 Ford Focus, which has had a not insignificant amount of work done on it over the years (particularly around the tires, wheels and clutch) because a) it’s a cheap car manufactured with cheap parts and b) I’m primarily a city driver who drove the thing hard in its early years (when I was younger and just as stupid.)
When I asked my mechanic how long he thought it had, he was somewhat noncommittal and said, “Maybe a year. Maybe more or less.” I understand him not wanting to give me a definite time because it’s probably a hard thing to pin down, and he probably doesn’t want me yelling at him if it turns out he was wrong. While I’ve never noticed the hum he alluded to, I also fully admit that I’d have no idea what to listen for. To me, car acceleration sounds like car acceleration. I trust my mechanic implicitly, and don’t think for a minute he was trying to get me to spend more on additional work. In fact, based on the transmission issue, I ended up not replacing my timing belt, thinking it would be wasted money if the car only has a limited lifespan.
So, I guess my question to you mechanical folk out there is if you have any type of experience with this and if so, how long did the car last, and do you have any additional insight you think might be useful? I’m actually reading some information online which says that metal in the transmission drainage is actually normal. I’m tempted to trust my mechanic on this, however. At the root of all this is me questioning whether or not I should buy a new car. Eventually, I’m going to have to, of course, and now seems like a great time to buy one given the economy and some of the deals I’m seeing, but not if my current car still has a reasonable amount of miles still left on it. Thanks in advance.