I'm SERIOUSLY in need of help here...
Hi, I hope this is the right place to post this...I really don't know what to do and I'm hoping someone here can give me some good objective advice.
Anyway...here's my problem:
September 2002 I bought an automatic 94 Probe...I guess it's just a plain old Probe, not GT or SE or whatever, there's nothing that says that anywhere on the car. I drive it back and forth to school about 5 days a week, approx. 30 miles each way. The mileage is now just over 120,000. I paid (after trade in) $1900 for it, then spent another $360 to have it repainted. Last Spring I had to replace the water pump and some other smaller repair was done, I don't remember what. It's run fine until recently.
NOW, I've got what may be a major problem. A few weeks ago the o/d light started blinking. I had someone who is an experienced mechanic (although not currently working as such) try to fix it, which turned out to be a mistake. I'm not sure what he did exactly, but afterward the light just stayed on and the car started drinking gas like there was no tomorrow! (And it wouldn't shift into fifth gear.) So I took it in to my usual garage for a scan, and what came up was 'excessive converter clutch slippage'. So then I took it to a transmission specialist, told him what the other place told me, and after poking around a while this guy told me it would be $1100 to fix it!!! And he did not recommend replacing the transmission for some reason. So I told him thanks but no thanks, and started making arrangements for a second opinion...except the specialist wouldn't let me take my car without checking to see if the problem was electrical. After this weirdo kept my car for like TWO WEEKS, it seemed to run fine...he said that someone had tied a bunch of wires together to try to get the o/d light to go off. ??? After about a week the light started blinking again, and it's once more guzzling gas. And on top of all this crap, it needs work done on the brakes, and I was going to replace the windshield.
I have a few options here and I don't know which I should go with. I REALLY like my car, but I spent school loan money last year to buy it, and although I will have more in a couple of weeks, I really don't want to use it to buy ANOTHER car, especially since I've only had this one just over a year. Likewise, I don't want to sink a lot of money into a car whose life expectancy may not be much longer. The specialist said that the time was just about up on the transmission, but I don't think I can trust HIM...talk about a FREAK. THere's another place in town that works on transmissions, and they said that it's possible that they can just fix the torque converter if it's bad, and it would only cost like $200 or so. HOWEVER, if this doesn't work THEN they will have to do whatever to the transmission and that will probably be expensive. I already owe my father $180 for the 'work' that the specialist did.
Is it worth it to get it fixed? I still have two more semesters + one five week summer school session to go, I was hoping that the car would last me til I graduate. Will it last me another 40-60,000 miles or so??? I'm willing to have it fixed if it turns out that the torque converter can be fixed, but how do I know if that's the problem until they've already done the work?
Any advice will be appreciated...(except for 'drive it into a lake and claim it stolen'.) I read a few other posts here, and from what I read it looks like Probe transmissions are TROUBLE. :(