Check engine light came on this morning. Auto repair guy is giving me a very large estimate and an offer to just buy the car off my hands. I know next-to-nothing about cars, so can't tell if he's robbing me or not. People who know cars, help me figure this out?
I have a 96 honda civic with 144,000 miles on it. The check engine light came on this morning, I took it in. He says both the oxygen sensors have crapped out, and that the catalytic converter is marginal, and is likely to come up dead, though he can't be sure until replacing the oxygen sensors. Also, when I opened the hood the damn handle snapped off, and he says replacing the hood release cable is expensive too.
He's giving me a total estimate of $1,700 for everything, including replacing the catalytic converter, the oxygen sensors, the check engine diagnostic, the cable, and fixing an o-ring oil leak that I already knew about. Of that, ~750 is the catalytic converter, so it might not have to happen.
Given that this is more than kbb.com says the car is worth in "fair" condition," I'm tempted to just get rid of it. He's offered to take the car off my hands for $500 + waive the diagnostic fee. I paid 3k for it off craigslist about a year and a half ago. It's kind of scratched up, some of the less important things don't work perfectly (e.g. defroster is glitchy).
(If I get rid of the car, I'll probably just use zipcar: I can arrange my life so I drive rarely enough that it's economical, especially with crazy gas prices.)
Do you think he's trying to rip me off? I'm suspicious because $250 of that estimate was for replacing the hood cable, but googling suggests that cables are pretty cheap (30 bucks here
), and also that it's a relatively easy repair
, so I wonder if he isn't inflating the repair estimate to get me to sell the car to him for less than I could get otherwise?
But I'll have to pay $110 just to take it out of the shop for the check engine light diagnostic, so it's expensive even to get other estimates. Kinda at a loss here, don't know what to do. Save me, mefi?