So I drive a 97 Saab 900 SE Turbo, I paid VERY little for it as a quick beater replacement when my beloved 4runner totaled out over Thanksgiving last year. I’ve come to really enjoy this car, which is way sportier and more fun to drive than anything I’ve ever owned, but I am aware of what a poor decision it would be to pump a lot of money into repairs given its low value.
I was told my front brakes needed to be replaced, and got a quote for $380ish. Brakes are important so I figured great, let’s do it. Then the shop tells me the rear brakes will need to be done before too long so I tell them to just do them while they’ve got my car in for the front ones. Not fun but oh well, brakes are important and I so severely underpaid for the car to start with that the $700 bill still makes the car a bargain.
I go to pick up the car, and I ask if they saw anything else I need to think about. Turns out my front left engine mount is broken and I need to replace two more as well. That will cost $800 and is already a safety issue. I’ve scheduled the work to be done next week (Aug 21) when I’ll be near the mechanic shop anyway (they’re 2 hours away - the only shop where I live that works on Saabs price gouges, lied to me about other repairs that “needed” to be done, and were so rude/sexist that I was so upset I was shaking after dealing with them the last time).
My thinking is that even if it isn’t a great idea to pump $800 into this cheap of a car, it’s a very small price to pay to prevent what I perceive to be the likelihood of the engine flying out of the car and killing me. My boss, a long-time Saab driver/engineer/gearhead and a very close friend of mine, is telling me he probably wouldn’t do the repair if it were him since my catastrophe fear probably can’t even happen, and the engine would only likely drop out of the car when accelerating from a stop where it’s not likely to be dangerous to me. The guy I just started dating explained to me in detail that shifting at any speed could potentially produce enough torque to cause the engine to fly out of the car, and quite possibly right into me as I feared.
Who is right? Is a busted engine mount something very dangerous to be driving on, or does it just mean that my car might die on me as I try to pull out from a stop one day?