I'd previously determined to get a trailer hitch put on my car and tow a small trailer one way to Petaluma. I actually installed the hitch (and found out the drop and ball would be extra, which I haven't purchased yet, assuming I'd get it the day I picked up the trailer.) Then the car problems became pretty bad, and I had that whole crisis over new car/ no car/ fix the car... where I really didn't have enough money to do any of that. All I knew at that point was that I'd sunk a lot of money in the car, but even more upsetting was the idea that I'd put the trailer hitch on... So when the options were narrowed down to no car/ fix the car (LONG story, with loads of family drama, history, disappointment, dangling carrots and the eventual slap of the stick) I fixed the car.
I knew the amounts I had to come up with at that point: $700 base security deposit, $500 pet deposit, about $150 for the trailer and ball, $35 apartment application fee, two trips to Santa Rosa to meet with the Sonoma Housing Authority and to submit my application at the complex (estimated at $500-$600 for gas and one night hotel each trip) and gas for the move at $100, Total: $2085
As of Friday, I'll have $1100 of that. Then I have 60 days it'll take to actually process the move after that before I move.
The down side of that plan is that I can't take my dresser (because I can't move it myself) and I don't have room for everything in the tiny trailer, so I thought to leave my entire bedroom behind (since I can sleep on the futon until I get a bed, and the futon packs small.) If I sold the bed, dresser, and side table, I could probably get about $250- $300... which only leaves me about $600 short.
So as of 6am this morning, that was pretty much the plan. That and hope for a tax return for my summer job that would fill the gap (I'm filing electronically tomorrow, so I'll have a number)
Then I went out to move the car for street sweeping today, and the groaning and grinding was really painful to hear. My immediate thought was, I really can't keep driving like this, I need to get the car to the garage. Followed by I might as well have it towed for scrap now, but how am I going to get to Petaluma three times?
So after sitting here agonizing for hours and coming to some peace with the idea of NOT having the car, I decided I had little to lose by taking it in and having it LOOKED at. I figured if it was going to cost me about $60 to have some leak testing done, at least I'd know, and, considering that I'm still so short on what I need to move, $60 isn't going to be a major disaster.
The long and short of it is that things look and sound worse than they are. The coolant leak can be fixed with original parts for $288. I think we should be able to do the work cheaper than that if they just used heater hose and clamps instead of those stupid GM quick release hose couplings (which are the problem) This is actually a re-emergence of the same leak I had a couple years back, only now adding a little Stop Leak to the radiator isn't going to fix it. The leak is still pretty slow, however, and I can keep refilling it for now, at least.
The steering is also leaking, and I'd have to replace the whole unit to get it to stop, and that is about a $1200 repair. That's something I simply can't tackle right now. The mechanic says it's more "seeping" than "leaking" and it shouldn't be too difficult to stay ahead of it by periodically adding fluid, and added that my car has some years in it yet.
So no car repairs in the near future unless things get much worse, a little investment in fluids, and back to Plan A for the move.