I took the car in today. The news is not good. I had to take a cab into the airport and get a rental car for the week, to get to work, and was told they would be able to take a look at my car on Wednesday, and it should take up to a couple weeks to fix it, if the worst were true. However, they couldn't imagine that Sears Automotive was correct- it didn't make sense that a loose alternator could have destroyed the engine.
Then around noon I got a call from the repair shop saying that they had actually found a whole in their schedule, and were able to take a look at it. The body shop had come over and looked at it, and had determined the accident definitely did not cause this current problem. However, Sears was correct. The alternator had come loose from it's moorings, and was no longer attached to the engine. The engine would have to be removed, and the alternator rewelded to the engine. That was a beginning- there might be more problems with the engine. Engine removal would cost $1200, and my mechanic doesn't do welding, so I have to find someone to pick up the engine and weld it for an at this moment unknown amount. There might be further problems with the engine.
Now I've got a decision to make. I'm looking at around $2,000 at least. My dad says that he finds my type of car selling for around $5,000 online, but I think he's thinking of the asking price, before bargaining. Kelly Blue Book tells me only $2,605. Edmunds tells me up to $3,500 - what the car is worth, and what one person in the US is selling it at. Either way, that's not a lot of margin, if I fix the car, and then sell it. The alternative is selling it as is, to a guy who knows how to fix cars, for around the same amount of money as I'd profit from if I fixed the car. I'm leaning towards that.
But there's not much I can do for a decent used car for $1,000 -$1,500. A scooter might be an option. I don't live on a bus line, so to get work I need to have something. The big kicker is, without a car, it'll make it very difficult to visit my girlfriend in Iowa. And this is after all the previous problems with the alternator and starter, in a car with only some 60,000 miles on it.
And this is why cars suck.