Hey guys. A couple of weeks ago I needed to quickly buy a used car because my employer was going to force me to rent a car to drive to a job site (over $40 a day, plus gas) and my wife also needed a car for work. I found a nice 2002 Focus SE with 140k miles on it and a clean Carfax report. The last guy to have the car was a retired mechanic for a Dodge dealership and had just put over $1,200 worth of parts/work in the car (thermometer, timing belt, 2 rear window regulators, 2 new tires for the rear, a reservoir, fresh transmission fluid, and some other miscellaneous stuff). He did some of the work himself.
Well, I was in such a rush to buy a car, I drove it and didn't hear or see any issues, checked the Carfax, then bought it for $2,300 cash. The next day I'm driving on a bumpy road and the rear end feels like its hitting patches of ice. There is no rear sway bar on the car. I do a bit of research and end up here. Then I read the worst news: SPI engines are junk. I remember looking at the engine before purchasing the car (which ran very quiet and smooth)...it's an SPI. A few days later, my wife and I start to notice vibrations when the car hasn't been running for awhile. I have a feeling the motor is on its last leg.
Here's my dilemma: do I take it to a mechanic and pay for the cylinder head swap before it blows, and also get the rear swaying problem fixed? Or do I just attempt to sell it and look for another car? Basically, if I get the work done and pay $1,000-1,500, and the car lasts me another 100,000 miles, I'll be happy. But I'm not positive that the cylinder head swap will provide that kind of security. I may even ask the guy who sold it to me to do the work (for a reasonable fee) for me since he clearly knew this was not the reliable car he made it out to be. It is my fault for rushing into it and not doing the research though. Thanks in advance for your thoughts...I'm just stressed out over the whole thing.