89 VW Jetta GL

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Okay, so, here's the whole deal with my car, and a couple of questions spread throughout:

Recieved the car as a gift, title still isnt complete because of smog issues. Suspension is mostly toast, everything is worn out, its missing a lot of things cosmectically: the little strip of plastic that looks line around the bottom outside of the car, dont know what its called, is missing on one door; the back seat ceiling is missing its liner, can see the insulation; paint's cracking all over; interior of the vehicle is falling apart from being left in the phoenix sun; windshield wipers dont work from being driven through big bear snow (previous owner put it through hell basically) as they have been stripped (the motor still works fine, its the blades that need replacing); radio, although it has great sound, is missing any indicators (am/fm switch, presets, all rubbed off) as well as missing the nobs for tuning and such (still has the rods, wreaks havoc on my thumb trying to get the speakers evened out) as well as being barely in the slot where it belongs, having lost its face a while ago (basically i can pull the thing out whenever i want); two of the four doors dont open from the outside, and one of the two that does only does so occasionally and with much effort; knobs on the locks inside are busted, so if i were locked out and couldnt find the key (the right key: three keys for the car, one for the ignition and the trunk, the other two for the doors, I dont know why, they just are)... stupid things that I could car less about, I need the car to run, and that's about it.

To finish the title change, car needs to pass a smog check, which it didn't. Estimates were that it needs a new catalytic converter, and new spark plugs to bring down the nitrous emissions. 600 dollar estimate, which brings us to question number 1: Does that sound reasonable?

Had a bunch of tire problems. Hit a curb shortly after getting the car, and busted the front right tire. Didnt have a spare, didnt have a jack, didnt have jackstands. Got all those, put the spare on, drove the car, not knowing I bent the axle so that the tires ran toe-in. Lovely little process that fried another 4 tires, both left and right front. Finally got that repaired, and got a bunch of new tires. So now I have two spares, a good jack, and a couple good jack stands. Cost of around 500 for all of the tires, wheels, and repairs over a 6 month period.

Had a problem with glass. Windsheild was cracked when I recieved the car. Not a big deal, except the crack kept widening across the car. Also, shortly after I began driving the vehicle a random passerby busted out the rear passenger window, for, really, no apparent reason. Possibly trying to steal the radio, which as you've read, is a pointless gesture, although very easy to steal if anyone really wanted to. Don't know why they broke the glass, the doors were unlocked... Then again, can only open the driver's door from the outside most of the time, but anyway, back to the glass! Got pulled over for the tags being out of date, and got a fix-it for the windshield as well. Got all the glass fixed for 200.

Now, the final problem: Oil. This car burns oil like gas. I pour in quarts, and they are gone within days. No point in changing the oil, cause there's no oil left to change. So I've gotten used to the light coming on and yelling at me. Was driving to school a couple of weeks ago after having put in two quarts, and the car sputters, and starts spewing smoke, almost thought the thing was on fire. The smoked wreaked, absolutely awful smell. Thought perhaps I'd blown a valve. Tried to restart, wouldnt go. Got it towed back home, where its now sat for a couple of weeks. I can now turn the car on, it runs, but sputteringly, and still spews the smoke. Second question: Any idea as to what this problem may be? 3. Any idea as to the cost of repair? 4. Should I even bother, based on the hours and $ I have already invested (700 or so), or is it time to sell off the parts and get a new car?

posted by  Lightofdarkness

Ok....first of, are you sure your car actually has a cat? if so, $600 is a more than reasonable price to pay as catalytic convertors dont come cheap :thumbs:



Ok....What colour is the smoke?.....as different colours could mean different things, chances are, due to the loss of oil it's burning it, it could be something like a headgasket, if it's burning oil the smoke tends to be blue. Also, is it a permenant thing? or does the most smoke occur more on start up? as this would more than likely be valve stem oil seals. Either repair will prove costly and as the milage is high it wouldn't be worth any more of your time

posted by  Cliffy

good to know, thanx.

dont know for sure whether the car has a cat or not, but the report i got from the smog place said thats what it needed.

the smoke is white/gray color, and tends to smoke up when i hit the gas, as well as a lot at start.

posted by  Lightofdarkness

Being white would more than likely indicate that the headgasket has had it, now this might take a while to get, but I'll explain as best I can. The white smoke, although it does indicate a Headgasket, wont indicate burning oil, but instead, water/coolant mixing with the oil. So in tern the loss of oil is still evident, but not through clouds of smoke. I'd check for a headgasket first, the easiest way to do this is to check the oild level with the dipstick, and if there's oil in the sump that shows up on the dipstick, is it the usual black colour or is it a horrible brown/chicken soup colour?...I hope you understand that lol. :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Also, to add to my previous post, when you try to start the car, does it feel like there's no compression there?...this is also hard to explain lol. If a car has a lack of compression, when you crank the engine over it sounds like it's.....flat....for want of a better word lol...it just seems as if it's lazy, not like a flat battery though...the engine will turn over easilly it just doesn't sound as though anything's connected :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

havent done the dipstick thing yet, but it does feel lazy. like i could just die at any second type of feeling, so i dont wanna drive it to the nearest repair place thats 10 miles away and have it die.

posted by  Lightofdarkness

The more you post the more I'm convinced it's the headgasket, does it feel gutless to drive...like it's holding back?.....maybe even miss firing?...

posted by  Cliffy

This car is in dire need of a compression test and/or a leakdown test done by someone who knows what they are doing to determine if the problem is a blown head gasket, a cracked block or cracked head.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

And if our worst fears are realised...I vote for the almighty scrapyard in the sky :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

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