First off, thanks for any and all help, I really appreciate it!
My car has under 78000 miles on it, and has started having some issues:
The steering is a bit stiff when the car is started up after sitting overnight.
There’s a loud clunking noise in the front when I go over bumps and turn corners, and I hear it and feel it through the floor on both sides of the car. The noise is less frequent and quieter when I drive over speed bumps evenly.
While driving, the whole car picks up a weird shimmy. This does not happen all the time, however it can be triggered by getting up to highway speeds.
The steering wheel also picks up a shimmy. This always when driving highway speeds, but has happened when making a sharp turn.
Recently, I had to stop hard and the car shuddered and all the lights (head lights and dash lights) dimmed briefly while it was shuddering. When I got to my destination, before I turned off the car I cranked the wheel both ways several times. The shudder and dimming happened again, but only once. I haven’t tried to get it to happen again.
The front driver’s side brake has started squeaking, and sometimes making grinding noises. The brakes pads and rotors for the front tires were replaced a year and a half ago.
It also sometimes shifts hard, winds out gears longer than it seems like it should, and shifts when it doesn’t seem appropriate.
Here are some things I’m less concerned about, but would still like some input on if possible:
There’s a squeaking/squealing when the wheel is turned all the way in either direction. (I’m pretty sure this is just the serpentine belt, but I wanted to make sure there wasn’t something else it could be.)
The radio sometimes refuses to work, like it’s not getting power. Sometimes, there’s suddenly a ton of static that sounds like the stations are being switched extremely quickly as the radio drops out, but the static continues when the radio is turned off. Related to this, the clock never keeps time.
The tachometer occasionally dies mid-drive, and has stayed dead for a few days. Eventually, it comes back.
Sometimes the car feels bouncier than it should when driving on flat, paved roads.
The air conditioner works intermittently, sort of. Sometimes it blows well and the air it blows is cold. Other times it starts slowly blowing less and less, though the air it’s pumping is really cold. Rarely, though more frequent than I like, it gives up blowing cold air entirely and just seems to be sucking in air from the engine, but this only ever happens after the blowing is significantly reduced.
This car is kind of a loaded problem, it was given to me by my grandfather about a year and a half ago. I don’t want to be rude and get rid of the car, but I’m worried I’m driving a giant disaster since it keeps developing more problems. I’ve spent a bit over $2000 on repairs and maintenance already, and I’m starting to think I should find something else.
If needed, I can provide a list of everything I’ve had done to the car.