The Paid-For Post I Would Have Written For Free.

by Lori Dwyer on May 9, 2012 · 60 comments

Allow me to begin this post with a disclaimer– I know nothing about cars. I’m happy if they run reasonably well, have a heater that works, and go from point A to point B without stopping unless I tell them to.

I once drove my ’85 Corolla around for the weeks with a blown head gasket. With respect to the Corolla, it never missed a vroom– but the engine was, sadly, irreplaceable damaged after that and she never vroomed again.

So… car knowledge, minimal. Which may account for what happened to my Suburu after my husband passed away.

Some of you know a little about this, but I haven’t mentioned it much on my blog. The car was a secondary consideration in those first few weeks After, and by the time I came round enough to be angry, I wasn’t sure where I stood, legally. And I generally try to cover my bum, blog wise.

Anyway. To cut a long, potentially boring story short… my car was in the mechanics workshop for four months in total– two months before Tony died, and two months after. For six weeks I dropped in there twice weekly, cash in hand– the work mostly paid for by my husband before he passed away, only a minimal amount owing– and demanded my car, which I could see right there in front of me… six foot up in the air, on struts.

And every time I was told “We’re just putting it back together. A few more days, and we’ll call you.”

The sense of frustration and unfairness toward this mechanic (arsehole) nearly drove me insane. With what was already going on, it was enough to push me to breaking point.

And this is where Department of Fair Trading steps in, bless them, retrieves my car and gives mechanic a good kick up the bum.

Fast forward six months later, I’m living in Paradise, and the Suburu is hemorrhaging oil all over my driveway. A–hole mechanic refuses to take any responsibility. Department of Fair Trading can do nothing. I’m up for a new turbo, at a cost of $3600.


Were living in TinyTrainTown by this time and, after much deliberation, I decide to book my car into the local (ish… nothing’s really local to here) Kmart Tyre and Auto place for some much needed TLC. By that point I trusted mechanics about as much as they respected me… I wasn’t expecting much.

KTAS service manager is sympathetic as I tell him about a–hole mechanic and promises not to screw me over. After I take quick look while I wander the massive shopping centre the workshop is attached to, blinded by lights and product and shiny things (Goods! Real goods! That I can touch and see and pay for and take home now! The instant gratification factor of online shopping is non–existent), the diagnosis of new turbo is confirmed and my bank account winces as I book the car in. It should take one week and, as predicted, cost almost four grand.

Being stuck in the sticks with two little kids and no car sucks.

Four days into Purgatory via PlaySchool and SpongeBob, I got a phone call that made my week. Made my month, in fact. It didn’t quite restore my faith in humanity… but at the very least, my faith in mechanics.

Not only was my car ready to go three days early, but it was only going to cost me a quarter of what was originally quoted. Quite simply, once they tin-canned the Suburu’s engine open, they found that the entire turbo didn’t need replacing– just a few gaskets and rubber bands and other stuff that make it airtight.

Excuse me while I genuflect at the foot of the corporate mechanic. It’s not just the fact they rescued me from three more days stuck at home with no car, or even that they saved me about three thousand dollars. It’s the fact that they could have, if they chose, replaced the existing turbo with a brand new one and resold the old one for a further thousand bucks, and, having already been signed off by Fair Trading and me being mechanically clueless, no one would have ever been any the wiser.

And they didn’t.

I think that’s all we need to say about that, yes? They gave me two hundred voucher to write this post, and one for you guys to win too. Which is awesome. But truly, I would have written it anyway. The worlds been a bit of a bitch recently– fair treatment is always much appreciated here.

I’ve got one voucher to giveaway for KMart Tyre and Auto, to be spent on whatever you like, valued at $200. Why, yes, that’s the equivalent of a free car service, and, yes, I know- how freaking cool.

Here’s the t and c’s…

To enter this competition, leave a comment telling me what your first car- or other mode of vehicular transport was, roughly how much you paid, and some of the things that were wrong with it (Not all the things that were wrong with it, please, we only have so much space in the comments section).

The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

This one’s open to Australian residents only, sorry OS peeps. Next time.

Entries open at Wednesday 9th May and close midnight Wednesday 16th May.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email, or the prize will be redrawn.

Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

melinda decker November 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I am very interested by reading this.. Many thanks for your post. It's really very well written. And i must appreciate it. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Citroen Cornwall


melinda decker November 13, 2012 at 5:37 am

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Anonymous May 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I got my first car in 1993, I can't remember the make. I paid $300 and bought it off a mechanic, which is strange as it never started, luckily I lived on a steep hill and tostart it I had to reverse in neutral then jump start it in gear down the hill. After a few weeks I went back to riding my bike!


monica May 16, 2012 at 7:38 pm

180B Datsun…$1800
There was nothing wrong…Daddo's are peeeerfect! :)
Well, when your 18!


janine May 16, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Prehistoric Toyota Crown bought for three hundred and fifty big ones back in 1980 when i was 17. Didnt know how to drive a manual, so my 2 besties and I just kangaroo hopped out of the car yard and down the highway. It had the usual assorted goodie bag of faults but it gave me some of the best times in my younger years. ahh i miss Sue-Ellen….


Sandy May 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm

My first car was a blue Vdub beetle chosen by my husband (I was a late bloomer when it came to driving). He didn't think the rust in the floor in front of the driver's seat was anything to worry about. After all, he wasn't driving it! I used to think I was going to be imitating Fred Flintstone every time I went over a bump, so I called her Wilma. The first time it stopped on the side of the road I got a terrible fright when I opened the hood to discover I didn't have an engine! OMG! Where's the engine? No wonder it stopped I thought. A kind passer-by helped me out and showed me where the engine is stored. How dumb did I feel? Wilma didn't last too much longer I'm afraid. I've always had a soft spot for her though.

Glad you found a reliable mechanic, a real blessing. I used to use KTAS when I lived closer to one. My current car (Mazda Astina) is now serviced by a home lube guy who has just discovered why it kept losing power and chug-a-lugging its way to work. Something that has stumped other mechanics. Chug-a-lugging is heart stopping in the middle of the night.


Dato Lady May 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

I bought my first car for $1500. A blue Datsun 180B with a black vinyl roof. One day as I pulled into work my boss goes "Are you really telling me you can't hear that?". I said "Wha?". He goes "You've got a great big hole in your exhaust and it sounds like a bloody V8". I was oblivious which basically sums up my interest in all things mechanical…


Ros Tadd May 16, 2012 at 4:34 am

My very first car was a bright blue 1964 Volkswagon Beetle, that I totally adored.Given to me by my parents at a youthful 18. With it's cute manual indicators and the motor in the back many an adventure we had. As a somewhat reckless driver my weekends were spent; panel beating with bog, sandpaper and spray paint.


dachlostar May 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

The K-mart near me is awesome too.

My first car was a Honda Civic. I loved that car. It was zippy and zoomy and only smelled like burning engine occasionally. I sold it to my father in law before going OS. He paid me half and he was meant to pay the rest when I got back to Australia instead I got some sob story about the radiator cap and how he couldn't sell it so he couldn't pay me the money he owed me.


Me May 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

My first car was a 1960 mini – my Gran gave it to me when I got my license on condition I took her shopping once a week. I loved that car. It was brown and my husband got it spray painted yellow (my favorite colour) – had it until it was stolen for township racing when I was 8 months pregnant – I miss that car !!


Victoria Masterman May 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

My first car was a 1984 Toyota Corona, it was bright freaking yellow, hardly a subtle piece of machinery and it went, just like any Toyota you turn the key and it goes.

It was $5k from the local country town car dealer; I paid for it by driving the header at harvest time for my dad. Never ending ever decreasing circles around a paddock dodging rabbit holes and hoping the battery wasn't going to go flat on my Walkman.

I loved that car drove it for 9 years until I killed it, heading to a meeting in the CBD, full tank of fuel and new battery and it died centre lane peak hour traffic 6 lane road 38 degree heat, all I could do was get out raise my hands up an apologise to the hundreds of cars piling up behind me. Lucky a bus driver said he'd help, he got out of his seat but was beaten by mighty fine "young" fellas jumped off the bus before him, waved the traffic to stop and they pushed my car into the driveway of Government House, and jumped back on the bus.

I was then left waiting for the RAA, until the hilariously camp guard at Government House, invited me in gave me a cool drink, shifted one of the camera's that was supposed to be watching the perimeter of GH onto my car so we could see when the RAA pulled up and we watched Dancing with the Stars (his choice) until they arrived announced it was dead and needed to be towed.

Loved my '84 Corona


Renee7179 May 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

Renee7179 not sure if you have it


Renee7179 May 15, 2012 at 9:18 am

I had a 4 wheeler walker when I was 9mths old, not sure how much it cost and there was definitely nothing wrong with it unless you call hot pink in colour something wrong with it


Lauren A May 14, 2012 at 12:43 am
Lauren A May 14, 2012 at 12:38 am

My first car (back in 1974) wasn't actually mine, but my boyfriends, so it cost me nothing. It was a Mini panelvan, complete with twin carbies, extractors, racing steering wheel and mags, and No, I don't know what most of those are, but everyone went "Oooh" when told, so they must have been good. My contribution was sewing the curtains for the back! And my only real complaint was… well have you ever made out in the back of a Mini?


Zoe Paige May 13, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Ugh, I had a 1986 Honda Civic that i paid $2500 for,whose head blew as well! I had to tap it with something to make it start until I got it fixed (around $1000 I think). Also broke the windscreen wiper arm thing which cost $1200 to fix (this included a service). Ridiculous!!!!!


spog777 May 12, 2012 at 10:16 pm

An S Series Valiant for $250 back in 1973. The wipers didn't work, chassis was twisted, hoses rotted and body filled with car bog but damn I loved that car!!


wildecrafted May 12, 2012 at 8:41 pm

1974 VW kombi. It was an early 21st present from my Dad. Mechanically it was pretty good since I replaced the engine early in the piece at a cost of $3500. The main thing it had wrong with it is that it had a pop top and leaked like a sieve!

After I met my children's father, had one child and decided we wanted to try for a second baby we realised we'd have to sell the kombi because it didn't have enough room for two baby seats with the camper set up. I advertised it for sale for $4750 thinking I'd go as low as $4250 if offered, then someone offered me $5500 for it anyway!

With the proceeds I bought a sensible family car…

A kombi with seats instead of a bed and fridge!


Megs May 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm

That is GOLD!! And good on KTAS for doing the right thing…

My first car was a Ford Telstar.
It was a car I went and saw late at night, with my mother's current boyfriend (who I learnt shortly thereafter is completely useless). I spent about $300 a week on the car just to keep it roadworthy. I think 3 days after buying the car, we noticed a rust hole under the passenger seat that was big enough for the passenger to potentially fall through – so I could only carry passengers in the back seat.
The car held water. In the doors.
So slamming on the brakes would make this sudden gush of water run from one end to the other and make me feel as if I was in some capsule riding a wave. Not the case.

But the icing on the cake?

I had the car 3-months. The night before I got rid of it, I am sitting at a set of traffic lights and the engine caught alight. Like flames alight. I was in the middle of traffic, alone, and 18-years old. Can you imagine the drama?!

The next day I happily traded it in and bought something much more reliable, and I have sworn to never touch a ford again :)



Sarah May 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm

My first car was a cream corona, which my brother was trying to 'help' me buy for $2000. I got sick of the go between and went straight to the seller, turns out it was only $1700. Arse of a brother was trying to make $300 off me. I named him Norman. He had a terrible pull to the left that no wheel alignment could fix. Many great adventures in that car were had, then I got a grown up proper car. I didn't name it, had no soul…


declutterer May 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Now to the self-interest element…my first car was a 1979 Honda Civic – such a cute car – the only photo I have of it is out in the paddock with a goat "photo bombing" via the passenger side window.

Drove it to work on my first day in a new job, radio blaring so loud that I couldn't hear that I'd left it in 2nd gear as I throttled down the highway at 100kms/hr…stuffed the head gasket…drove to a distant uncle's house nearby (who I barely knew) and he lent me $700 no-questions-asked to have it fixed.

There is still good in this world. Years later, I am still so grateful to that man. I didn't even have my first pay-cheque yet and he lent me the money to have my car fixed :) – Fiona


Fiona May 11, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Do you know what? Our local KMART Tyre and Auto is awesome as well; I will freely say that without even entering the competition. A friend of mine who is a single parent with limited means took them CHOCOLATES last week, because they also "did the right thing" and didn't rip her off when she had car issues. Sorry your car conked out but glad it worked out better than expected!


Deb May 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

my first car was a 1968 toyota corona. It was a little tank, like most toyotas, but I broke it many times.

Once, I blew the head gasket driving from canberra to sydney on my way to see inxs at the horden. About 30 mins out of canberra, after having to turn back 10 mins in because a friend had left his shoes on the roof (i should have taken it as a sign!) I kept hearing this horn like sound repeating over and over again. I even pulled over to see… but it stopped. So my solution was… turn up the radio. finally as I was between the two goulburn exits on the highway, it ran out of puff. The temp gauge, which I hadn't looked at, was off the chart, the needle melted.

Long story short, police car came by, rang NRMA for us (long before mobile phones!), they eventually came, the first NRMA man dropped 2 friends to big marino to wait for us, another friend stayed with me and waited for tow truck. Eventually they came, towed car back 60 mins to canberra, syphoned petrol out of dead car into his parents car, drove to pick up now pissed friends in goulburn, hotfooted it to sydney just in time for first song of inxs set.


Then, a short few weeks later, after fixing head gasket with my dad, booting along the freeway here in canberra, I hear an almighty BANG and the hood flew up about 20cms. Hmmm, odd. But kept driving…. for a bit until it died again.


Turns out one of the fans fell off the fan blade, took out the battery, radiator and other things, dinted the hood (when it flew off, hence the bang and raised hood) and was resting comfortably on the bottom of the engine bay.

Best car ever.


Emma. May 11, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Datsun 1600 – probably the best car I've owned thus far, from a mechanical perspective…but it was getting old and rusty, so I sadly had to sell it. That said, I bought it for $550, had it reprayed and tizzied up – sold it for $1500. :-) Absolute WINNER of a car…but we just weren't meant for the long haul. :-(



Elise May 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm

No good story but I just wanted to also talk up K-mart Tyre and Auto! When I bought my first car back at 17, I'd had my license for two days and was about to commence the 40 minute drive to work when my car started shuddering, kind of losing control, and generally freaking me out on the backstreets. Not knowing anything about cars, I managed to get to the closest shopping centre to park it when I saw the Kmart Tyre and Auto entrance right there. I walked into the office where 5 mechanics were sitting behind the counter staring at me and told them in a rushed fashion that it was my first car, I was clueless and it was shuddering. The bemused faces made me turn bright red but two of the guys both said "Let's take a look."
They worked out that it needed coolant within 2 minutes but they gave the car a once over (took about 40 minutes) and took it for a short drive. Then they wouldn't let me pay them and spent about 15 minutes teaching me how to put coolant in, check the oil, put water in, check the air pressure…everything. I have taken my car back to them for every service since and they will always get my business. Love them :-)


The Spinster May 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Congrats on finding a good mechanic. We all deserve on eof those.

Didn't learn to drive until I came to OZ (best decision) from the UK at the age of 26. Didn't get to drive first car very much – 1st hubby a selfish bastard. In 1975 2nd hubby-to-be saw how hard it was living in a State Housing flat with 2 little kids and no car. One day he handed me the keys to his car saying, "You need it more than me." He was a keeper. The car was a sweet little Honda Civic and I was so thrilled I kept leaning out of the window of the 5th storey flat to look at her in the car park. Not so thrilled the next morning when I discovered someone had stolen all 4 tyres and left the car standing on bricks! I sat on the kerb and wept. My lovely little car looked so forlorn, 2nd hubby-to-be came round in evening with four new tyres and a proposal; he asked if we could move in together. As I said before, he was a keeper. Loved that man and the sweet Honda Civic.


Sandra May 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

My first car was a light blue Volvo…I was 23 by the time I got my licence…my dad was killed in a car accident and I just for years after that, hence the Volvo for safety. I named it Stefan (Swedish and pale blue, right?..)and had it for about six years…my little brother "borrowed" it once (before he got his licence) to go to the local shops and almost wrote it off in a four car pile-up…but Stefan was fully insured and got a facelift…I still owned Stefan when I met Hubby and when he found out I'd never had it serviced since I'd bought it he nearly died! We sold it to a young family after we got married…passed it on Parramatta Road one day – broken down and waiting for the NRMA…that's the last I saw of Stefan…I wonder…


Jenny L May 10, 2012 at 1:04 am

I got my first car when I was 20 (in '86) and it was a 1964 blue VALIANT….the car was in good condition according to the mechanic.
The clutch slipped, the gear box got stuck and the petrol guage was faulty….BUT I LOVED MY CAR anyway….so much so that me and my friends nicknamed it 'THE BATMOBILE' because of its shape & age. I still think fondly of it!
Hubby and I always get 3 or 4 quotes on any work we want to get done on our cars, and Kmart Tyre & Auto Service is always one place we go for a quote and it usually is who we get to do the work.


Sonya May 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

Mine was a wonderful cute blue 1974 Honda Civic with a start button! I loved that start button! It had a gazillion things wrong with it but the worst thing wrong with it was when the start button stopped working and I couldn't start my car anymore.


Sonya May 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

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Anonymous May 9, 2012 at 10:19 pm

My first car cost me $60 it had no seats except for the drivers and no radio or carpet. But the best thing was when my boyfriend painted it in beautiful burgundy and cream. But it rained before the paint dried. From that day on I had raindrop dents in the paintwork all over my cute Morris Major. But I was a poor student happy to have my own transport. One night driving home at midnight I was pulled over by the police. Their question… Sweetie does that machine have a switch to turn the headlights on? And they didn't book me! Yes that was over 30 years ago and times and attitudes have changed! From michelle. Mcaldwell@


Stelle May 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm

My first car was a '92 Hyundai Excel (which I bought with my own $1000 in 2006), affectionately know as the 'Excel-erator'. Witty, yes? It was probably the most reliable car ever, until some old Tasmanian dude reversed into it in a shopping centre car park one day so it had a messed up front and side panel and a googly front light hanging out by wires…

Luckily, HE had insurance, and they paid me out $1200 (their value of my car, not mine!) and let me keep the car. Which I ended up selling for $500. Score! I'm still sure the new owner was really buying it for the interesting combination of subwoofer and sparkly, pink 'Princess' seat covers. Win-win for everyone, really!


Miss Pink May 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Our first car we brought for $500 and it was an awful car. Not even worth 500 cents! It rarely started. We spent hundreds of dollars on mechanics coming out to take a look and attempt to get it going. Sometimes it would just start like that, and yep we still had to pay that call out fee. Other times it wouldn't start for a bit, they'd tinker and it'd go, and then they'd collect their money, leave and we'd drive off to where we were going and it promptly would not start again when we went to return home.

I dream of the day we can own a new, or near new reliable (at least ish) car. I openly know nothing. I've never even filled a car with petrol! But Mr Black knows some basics, and my dad knows a bit, as well as The Drunken Godfather. Still, an old car is an old car and there's only so much you can do to keep it running.
Thankfully that car was 2 cars ago. Good riddance!


Lara Daebritz May 9, 2012 at 9:42 pm

My first car was a beige Torana which my brother kindly (?) painted pastel blue for me. It cost $1000 which my folks forked out…and I paid them back about ten years later! It used to cost me almost as much in oil as it did in petrol – I'd fill it with both on a weekly basis. Sadly, some idiot stole my beloved car which had my beloved leather jacket from Bali in it (remember them? they were an awful mottled grey!), but I suspect they wouldn't have gotten too far in it!


Anonymous May 9, 2012 at 9:27 pm

Thirty-three years ago I got lucky and was given my first car. A very old and slightly beaten up little cream MG sedan with red vinyl seats and a polished timber dashboard. I didn't know much about cars then and still don't but I do know cars need an engine to go and mine didn't have one.

So a thousand dollars later I've had a reconditioned engine installed and the whole car tidied up nicely at mate's rates by a friend of a friend and I'm happily pootling about on my P plates.

She was a neat little cutie my MG but hardly a car to stir envy in the masses, yet other vehicles couldn't seem to resist running into me. I mean, I was a great driver so it was never my fault. Cost a fortune to import an MG front grill replacement from England after some nong reversed into me at the lights, they should have left more room between our cars right?

So anyway the thing about backyard mechanics at mate's rates is that you get to be very friendly with the RACV. They were on the alert every time I pulled out of the driveway. Come the day I was crossing an intersection and the gear box just fell out onto the road and I had to face facts – for all her dints of character, my little MG's guts were garters – almost literally according to the RACV. Oh but she was a beauty! Your story gave me a right good chuckle Lori and thanks for the fun of getting to share my own, cheers! Ann S. xx


Spinkled May 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I nagged and nagged for a car as soon as I got my licence and my reward for being so impatient was a $500 white ford laser that I named Oozy. One reason for the name was the number plate (OOZ cant remember the numbers)and the other for the fact that it oozed fumes into the backseat as the back window/hatch didnt seal airtight. It sure oozed style with my $500 subwoofers in the back pumping out Monifa's Touch it at every chance I had. Coolest thing was that other ford laser keys unlocked my car so after school I had to play hunt the car quite often as certain ppl used to move it while we were meant to be in classes.


angelinatailspin May 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

my first car (showing my age) was a metalic brown and white HD holden premier sedan. I brought it off my parents for $400..we didnt get cars given to us like kids today do.
Was a great car but after a few weeks it got cold and had to hit the starter motor with a hammer to get it going. My mum borrowed it and as she said a cow hit her..rolled over the bonnet and walked off the other side leaving a nice dent the size of its head on the side. Miss that car sigh!!


Bin May 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

My first beloved car was a Mazda 323 1986 model (bless it's little engine). I loved that car with all my heart and soul, even though I had to replace a water pump in the first two weeks of owning it. I bought it for $3000 from a lady who's father had previously owned it before he passed away. The lady was lovely and she even shed a few tears as we drove off.
I loved the way we had to yell over the revving engine on the F3 to communicate and its cute little velour brown seats and I even loved how the steering wheel wobbled when I travelled at speeds anything over 80kph.

My little Mazda never had too much wrong with it but I had to eventually get rid of it to get a bigger car with extra room for another baby on the way. I cried my eyes out when I sold it, I'm not sure if it was because I was pregnant but I don't think so, I think it was just such a rad little car I was extremely sad to see it go. It's now gone on to reside in Macquarie Fields with a much younger lady than myself… And that's the story of my first little car..

Bin –


Lisa Walton May 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Being a broke student – I had a variety of "bombs" held together by pure will, just getting me through sememster by semester. My favourite was a bright yellow Triumph – a really classy car with wood panelling and huge lounge like seats. You could live in that car – that is until winter when I discovered a few leaks which resulted in something like the 'wave' pool at my local aquatic centre in the front passenger foot well. It was the joke on Uni – every time I turned a corner or stopped the wave swelled. It was so deep that one day I found that someone had put a goldfish in it – lived there happily for the day – until it was rescued by PETA. :-)


Annelee May 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

My first car was a White TD 1979 Gemini.
Boy I loved that car, I named it PERCY.
Cost was $3,990.
I broke a clutch cable one day as I was taking off from an intersection…scared the crap out of me. I just go that fixed and I blew a head…that cost me $1,500.
Cheap to run…1985…$5.00 petrol would nearly fill Percy up, please, bring back those days.


kelley @ magnetoboldtoo May 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

KTAS have saved my arse on numerous occasions.

They are awesome.

My first car was my baby, I loved her. But MPS drove her from Shepparton to Melbourne with NO WATER and blew the head and then crashed it.

I still haven't forgiven him. And it was nearly 20 years ago. Thanks for the reminder… I must go and punch him again.


Anonymous May 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I had a red toyota corolla 85 model that caught on fire lol. The windscreen wipers were faulty and managed to catch alight while i was driving on the highway! needlesstosay it was very scary!!!! was alot mroe wrong with the car too but that was the worst lol


A Daft Scots Lass May 9, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Hey Lori. Great Giveaway!


Karla May 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Good one Kmart Tyre & Auto! So refreshing to hear!

My first car was a gorgeous creamy yellow, VW beetle from 1970 something. It was a fantastic little car and while I don't remember exactly what was wrong with it, all I do know is that it had to be clutch started for a while there. Nothing a downward hill couldn't fix! Loved the simplicity.

My service, rego etc is all due soon and I would be so grateful for a little assistance. Best part is that my last few services have been with Kmart Tyre & Auto, so they'd be receiving the love back again :)


Mrs S May 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

My first car was a beige 1979 Subaru Leone, I was fortunate enough that my grandparents bought it and then sold it to me for $1500 once I got my license and let me pay it off at $50 a week.
It was the best little car, its 'only' problems were a clutch replacement and the rust that my Dad cut out and bogged for me (he smashed the front windscreen during the first weekend of the rust removal operation so it ended up being more expensive than getting a panel shop to do the work). I really wish I didn't trade it in on the lemon of all lemons and 1984 VK Commodore sob.


Mrs S May 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

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Denwise aka Denyse Whelan May 9, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Hon, I hate that at the worst time of your life people tried to screw you over…bastards. I'm not entering the comp…but I am saying how wonderful it is that you have found a great place to deal with honestly & ethically. Good for KTAS


Teegan May 9, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I've always taken my cars to K-Mart and always had great service! My first car was a 1985 Holden Barina that I paid $1500 for and it's quirky little feature was that if you turned the indicator on while the headlights were on, smoke would start pouring out from under the steering wheel. No turning corners at night!


SameliasMum May 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

My first car was an old Mazda – built in 1974 – which made it older than me. It cost about $1000 and I was super proud of it.

It had a tonne of problems.

One of the most annoying, was that I had to wear stockings (tights) for work as part of the uniform. The seats inside of my Mazzy were vinyl. The car was old and sat in the sun alot. This translated to cracked, hard, vinyl seats – oh and boiling hot in the summer.

Stockings + Cracked vinyl seats = disaster!!

Great job KTAS!! Here's to happy motoring for you and your kiddies x


E May 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm

So the first ever car that was to be mine was an old Orange Datsun. It had been an old hand-me down from my uncle's mother in law when she passed away at like 80. The front seats recline was broken so they were laying 100% flat 100% of the time. And the ignition was broken so to start it you had to put the keys in the ignition, turn them, then open the bonnet and smack/short the solenoid with a large screwdriver that my dad kept in the car for that sole purpose! Wasn't until just last year when I was recounting this exact story to hubby that he pointed out that that was actually hot wiring the car! Little old miss goody two shoes me used to hot wire my first car.. or worse help mum and dad hot wire it before i was old enough to drive!

It was a dump.. thankfully we didn't keep it that long.. and I got an younger but still OLD (like older then me!) Mazda 626. One with a manual choke where you had to run it for 15 mins before you even considered driving it in winter!

LOL I sound so old. I'm really only 30!


Chrystal Cox May 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

Ah my old faithfull (not) 84 Ford Meteor. She also blew her head gasket but I just kept turning my heater on and winding windows down because I noticed if I did that, the engine didn't get as hot, only I did. Then my dear old daddy has a look about a month later, patched her up and she limped out her life with me for another year barely getting driven unless I was desperate :(


trulyblessedlife May 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

I bought my first car in 2001, a baby poo yellow, 1978 Toyota Corolla. We had a love hate relationship, noisy, clunky and did I mention baby poo yellow? But reliable as they come.

Our far newer Toyota Tarago however, is a big fat jug of sour lemonade. We've had it for 2 years and in that time replaced the alternator, had the starter motor short with lots of smoke (scary when you've got 4 kids under 5 strapped into carseats) so that needed replacing, and got stuck on the side of a freeway in the rain on grand final day when the rear diff decided to go. Yeah, that one is purely a hate hate relationship.


honeybegentle May 9, 2012 at 10:12 am

Fleeing a horrible country town, I found the beach, my first love and purchased my first car – a Kombi Van known forever more as The Bobbi Dazzler for $850.00.Stick shift *insert wince* purple and carpeted. See I decided I was going to be an awesome surfie chick, independent and fearless.Turns out "Jaws" had a greater effect on me than I realised as I clawed up my first boyfriends head after being attacked – by seaweed. So no boards on the Kombi, but many a fun road trip, music pumping, well dribbling out of half a speaker. Lost side mirror on a light pole doing a reverse park on the main drag at Broadbeach, two windows mysteriously exploded one hot day at Harbord Beach whilst I was otherwise *occupied* inside, and the engine? Just kept on going.Nary a problem. Life turn around, entered corporate dementia and sold Kombi for $850.00 to a Danish backpacker.


onika May 9, 2012 at 9:51 am

first car – asked my brother to help me pick it out, went to car city, first honda civic we saw he instructed me to purchase. he put through on his credit card and i transferred him the $$. later to find out that he only did it for the points!!! the day i picked it up (they had some work to do before i could take it home – RED FLAG NATALIE!) i drove out of car city, 200m to the lights to u-turn and the car breaks down. legit.

i had it three years, in the last year i put two new engines in, head gaskett, tyres, you name it and it happened. poor little zig.

i took her camping and we were driving down this really bumpy road, and my rear view mirror fell out of the holder..

my indicator fell out on kooyong road one day for no reasone at all just as i was driving.

my windscreen wipers got stolen (?) as did my side mirror!

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh its giving me anxiety reliving these tales.

haha xxx



um_v May 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

Seriously, honest mechanics are hard to find, so I'm really glad you found a good one.

I'm still driving my first car – because I only bought it two years ago when I got my license at the grand age of 28. When I was 16 and on my L's I took one lesson with my mum, who thereafter completely refused to ever give me another. Then I lived in the city for 8 years, where having a car is more of a hinderance than anything else. But after moving to the suburbs and having a flatmate with a full license who was happy to teach me to drive, I finally learned.

So I bought a car – A Mitsubishi Mirage, with a full body kit, mags and a kick ass stereo. It woas someone's 'doof doof' car, which I thought was hilarious, seeing as I am the least 'doof doof' kind of person you could imagine. But she is mechanically sound and cheap to run and also a bright and shiny red – I hear red cars go the fastest. I paid around 8 grand for her (and still paying it off, painstakingly!), which was probably a bit out of my price range – but it was worth it to have a decent car.

I treat her awfully and she repays me by being ridiculously reliable, even when I forget to check the oil for several months and she is almost running on empty. I don't deserve a car as good as she is, I tell you.


she-sleeps-here May 9, 2012 at 9:41 am

My first car was an '89 Lancer bought off my nan for $2000. In the first year I replaced the shockies, struts and timing belt and spent more than it cost me to buy! Eventually I sold it for half what I paid, but she's still the most loved car I've ever owned because she was my first (and so far, only sole) car purchase. :)


Anne May 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

What a coincidence! First car was a corolla(I think about '75) , cost me $1500 and blew a head gasket about 9 months later. I asked the mechanic approx how much it would cost to fix and was told "not too much"! Being 17 at the time and clueless, I had it fixed and it cost me nearly $600!!?& WTF? I traded it in and only got $500 for it so was still paying off the repairs after it was gone. Aw well, lesson learnt :)
Cheers, Anne


Eccentricess May 9, 2012 at 8:47 am

Oh so lovely to hear a good mechanic story.
After many years of taking my car in and ending up being barely able to drive it back to the mechanic the next morning as it was so much worse than when I booked it in… so good for the soul to hear.

My first (non-paddock-basher) car was a gorgeous, bright yellow Datsun 200b. These cars are awesome to drive and usually end up as rally cars. Dad carefully selected it for me, but I think his mind was more on ensuring I didn't end up with a car that was too powerful and would end up with it rolled over in a ditch, me still inside. I had saved $2000 by the age of 19, always intended, even from the age of 6 when I sold my first two poddy calves, to be used to buy myself (freedom) a car.
So I don't totally blame him when the engine blew up three weeks later… especially when he paid for it to be replaced.


The Patch Craft May 9, 2012 at 8:35 am

Wow thats a great story, Im glad you had your faith restored. Congratulations K Mart for your great work.


Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures May 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Count me in for this one! My car has been taken off the road deemed unroadworthy because of the tires, so I'm keen on this! Haha :)

My first car was a two door 1985 Honda Prelude!
I paid $2000 for it, and it was worth every cent. The only issue I ever had with it was the day I sat for my P's driving test. I passed with flying Colours and as I got back in it to drive home as a P Plater, my brakes stopped working so my Mum drove it home using the handbrake! HAHAHAHA :)
My Dad nicknamed it the 'BullAnt' and every morning before work I'd come out to find my car with 'antennas' on the roof made of McDonald's straws :)


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