Last night I was up until 2 researching transmission stuff. I was hoping that it was the torque converter because that would be less expensive than a transmission. This morning I had DH take the car to Auto Zone and get them to use their computer to pull codes off the car to tell us what was wrong. There were three--one a minor emissions thing, one something to do with auxiliary systems, and one that said something about the torque converter. So DH took the car to Certified Transmission and had them check it out. They came back and said that the transmission was shot. Completely. The fluid that had just been put in yesterday was already black, there were pieces of metal and debris inside the transmission that had basically ruined it. The ideal would be to replace the entire transmission. A transmission with a three year warranty is $2000. A transmission with a five year warranty is $2500. It would be possible to replace just the torque converter and have it run, but there were no guarantees. Just replacing the torque converter would probably make the car drivable, but there was still the possibility that it could die and we would then need a new transmission.
I don't know what to do. The place offers financing, but we don't have the extra money per month to pay anything. If I drain savings, we have maybe $500. We are expecting a check at some point in the (hopefully) near future that should be over $1000. My mom owes me $1000 (although I owe her a lot more). If we could get the financing to hold us over until all this money comes in, we would be OK. But if we had to pay monthly we'd be screwed. We are already upside down on this car, now we're tacking another $2000 onto what we already owe. If there was no loan on the car I'd say take it to a dealer and trade it in for $500 but we owe $5000.
We are considering moving in with my mother. It is the last thing that DH and I want to do, but I figure we could probably save $900 a month doing that. That would let us pay off the transmission, pay off the car, and save some money to buy a house (if our credit will let us). DH says that if we move there he wants to stay for at least six months, to get us to the point of our next tax return. I have to say that the last thing I want to do is move in with my mother. Everything just seems so overwhelming right now. I don't know what to do.