Church Assistance...


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So I have used the church welfare assistance when it comes to a Bishop's Food Order many times, and have also gotten assistance from the bishop with paying our electric bill... but I am wondering if a Bishop has the ability to help pay for car repairs? I have a 2002 Chrysler Voyager mini-van that I use to get to and from work (I use a mobility scooter and my van has the ability to transport my scooter to and from work) however recently I noticed several issues with the van... It has a slow coolant leak, front & rear brakes (discs included) need to be replaced, the cable for the hood latch needs to be replaced (so that I can actually open the hood to check fluid levels lol), and the heater core needs to be replaces so I can actually have a working heater again... especially since it's winter at the moment and 40°F or less when I leave for work in the morning... 

I had my van towed to my mechanic to inspect/diagnose the issues and give me a quote for how much to fix everything I listed above... grand total is $1300. I don't have that much at the moment so I had to go by bus with my mobility scooter and pick up the van and drive it home (luckily it didn't overheat while driving the short distance home). I think I can come up with a good chunk of the $1300 with my tax returns once I get my W2s at the end of the month so I can file my taxes... I'm wondering if it would be worth asking my Bishop if the church could help pay some of that $1300 so my van is drivable again (once I get my tax returns back so I know how much of the $1300 I can come up with and how much help I'll need from the church)?

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I'm not a mechanic but it sounds like the only issue that would keep you from driving are the brakes. So unless there are other issues you might want to focus on that first and buy some time for the rest. Some mechanic shops will try to find every little possible thing to fix even though they aren't particularly urgent. Also, your bishop may have connections to a more reasonably priced mechanic or even a second (honest) opinion.

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18 minutes ago, laronius said:

I'm not a mechanic but it sounds like the only issue that would keep you from driving are the brakes. So unless there are other issues you might want to focus on that first and buy some time for the rest. Some mechanic shops will try to find every little possible thing to fix even though they aren't particularly urgent. Also, your bishop may have connections to a more reasonably priced mechanic or even a second (honest) opinion.

The coolant leak is really what is making the car undrivable. No Coolant = Overheating Engine = Blown Head Gasket = I'd need a new engine or a new car. 💀

 

I trust my mechanic (he is a neighbor of my Dad's Bishop's 1st Counselor) and has fairly reasonable prices... He fixed a gas line on the van when we had a gas leak for $150. He also replaced the radiator & thermostat for $500 when Meineke wanted $1200.

Honestly the most expensive thing to fix is the heater core... The parts are only $80 but the labor for that is $500. I live in AZ but the winters can get cold enough to put ice on the windshield sometimes. I've had to buy a cover to put over the windshield at night to keep the ice off but then the windshield still gets foggy and without a working heater, I have no way to clear the windshield of fog except to run my windshield wipers which kind of sort of works enough that I can see to drive but I have to keep running the wipers every few minutes because it will just fog up again... Also it's not super great to have to drive bundled up like I'm in the Alaskan Tundra 🤣 and also in the Summer, not having a working AC sucks when it's over 100°F (there is no airflow at all for either the heater or AC)

Brakes & Discs are $460 ($230 for front & $230 for rear, parts & labor)

The coolant leak is just $80 for parts (I think labor is waived because that is under the warranty from when he replaced the radiator last spring)

The cable for the hood latch is $60 for parts, $120 for labor (so $180 total)

And unfortunately all that equals out to $1300... It adds up fast...

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21 hours ago, MarvelTheatreChick said:

Honestly the most expensive thing to fix is the heater core... The parts are only $80 but the labor for that is $500. [...]

Brakes & Discs are $460 ($230 for front & $230 for rear, parts & labor)

The coolant leak is just $80 for parts (I think labor is waived because that is under the warranty from when he replaced the radiator last spring)

The cable for the hood latch is $60 for parts, $120 for labor (so $180 total)

And unfortunately all that equals out to $1300... It adds up fast...

Everything you list above is easily in the bailiwick of the weekend mechanic, except maybe the heater core replacement; that's a pain in the rear. Doable, but depending on the car, probably not quick or fun. You will at least have to drain the coolant and then replace it when you're done, which is not a big deal. But depending on the car, you will probably have to take a lot of the engine apart and/or remove the dashboard assembly to get to the heater core.

If your coolant leak is under warranty, I'd say get the guy/place you bought it from to fix it. The warranty should cover faulty parts, so hopefully you can get it done for $0.

"Brakes and discs" are also called "quick and easy". Unless you have to replace the rotors (also called discs, if replacement is what you meant when you said "discs"), it should not cost you anywhere near $460 for four sets of brake pads. And if your rotors are only lightly scored, you can get someone with a lathe to turn them down for a lot less than $400. Hood latch cable should also be no problem, though it's a bummer that they charge you sixty bucks for what is in effect a ten-speed bike cable.

As I said, the heater core is a pain. Maybe you can do without it for a couple of months and just wear a sweater when you drive until the weather warms up. Or maybe some knowledgable mechanic in your ward is willing to donate a weekend to your cause.

As Grunt and others have said, talk to your bishop and/or elders quorum president.

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