The Truth About Cars » money pit The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:31:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » money pit Piston Slap: Burn Noticed! Wed, 15 May 2013 12:00:21 +0000 About to get burned? (

Holden writes:

i’m looking into purchasing a 72 charger, its almost completely fixed up and I’ve been thinking about what things to have put in the car to make it more like a modern car and what i want to know is, is it possible to put a an after market remote starter/ locker? unlocker in the car?

Sajeev answers:

If the Charger in question has power locks, any competent stereo shop can install a remote start-door opener alarm system.  If power locks aren’t factory installed, get a street rod kit and make it work. While wiring a remote start in a manual transmission vehicle isn’t the brightest idea, it is doable.

So this was an easy answer so an easy question.  Except not.  When considering the tough follow up comments your letter forces me to consider:

1. Looking to buy an “almost completely fixed up” vehicle from 1972 is a vague enough statement that it might as well be a Pandora’s box of problems just waiting to be opened.

2. Classic cars are awesome, but anything and everything will go wrong.  When you start modifying one, especially the electrics, your chances for a rolling clusterfuck just multiplies.

3. I hope you have a significant budget set aside for any and all fixes not addressed by the previous owner.

4. Start sourcing spare parts for every future restoration/repair/modification project on this car. I have several saved searches on eBay that I monitor during my lunch breaks at work.  Nothing reminds you of the stupidity of owning a classic car (never-driven museum pieces aside) than looking for the parts to make a project happen. Welcome to my world.

5. If you aren’t very handy with cars, make sure you have friends that can save your bacon when you burn it.

So consider this your burn notice, so to speak.**

**Please don’t sue me, Burn Notice TV show people!


Send your queries to Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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Have You Ever Said Goodbye To… A Money Pit? Sat, 11 Aug 2012 12:40:56 +0000  Courtesy of  Photograph taken  by hinterland-1


A 1995 Volvo 960. Supple leather that made long trips easy. Great safety and visibility. It represented what I thought would be the perfect family car.

I financed it quick enough. But then the troubles began.

First the engine coughed up a burnt valve. Took care of that.

Then the strut mounts started to groan a bit.  A quick Ebay purchase and a little labor solved that one.

As soon as that was cleared up, the rear hatch door handle stopped working.

Two weeks later the electrical issues began. Erratic turn signals. The rear lights vanished due to a worn out wiring harness. The front lights began to do their own dancing in the dark. That was likely either an ignition switch or a multi-function assembly.

I started to think this car would someday soon be worth far more dead than alive.

At this point I told my customer, “Take this!” which was a Subaru Forester that didn’t give them one lick of trouble. I shucked the Volvo to a nearby dealer auction and chalked the experience to the laws of averages.

You can’t polish a rolling turd and expect to come out ahead. Sometimes cheap isn’t. Which brings me to a question that can only induce shudders and flashbacks to the long-time enthusiast.

Have you ever finally said goodbye to… a money pit? A rolling Beelzebub that swallowed dollars, Euros and parts like Kobyashi swallows hot dogs?

Extra credit will be given if you ended up using a flamethrower, a cliff, or in my next door neighbor’s case,  a sledgehammer.

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