I bought my car in January 2018, financed $10,300. Today I took it in for an oil change and mysterious ticking; the dealership called and said the ticking was an engine problem. The car is not safe to drive as the engine could cease at any moment. I’m the second owner so all warranties are gone. There is 91K miles on it, so the dealership is submitting a pre-auth to the manufacturer to see if they will take care of it anyways. I highly doubt they will, and the cost will fall on me (cost yet to be known). Whether they cover the repair or I do, they said it would take 3 months to get all of the parts they need. No matter what, I’m out a car, still owe $9,000 and continue making monthly payments. I’m at a loss for what to do. I work close to home, so my husband can help get me to work for a little while, but not for 3 months. I have next to nothing in savings after incurring some costly home repairs in late 2018. I don’t have anyone to loan money from.
This isn't legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. I'm not a financial advisor. The following is my personal opinion.
The manufacturer is probably not on the hook for the warranty and the reseller is probably not on the hook after a year of your owning it. Did you have the car inspected before buying? Did you get regular services? If not, this might have been preventable - but it might not have been.
At this point, you might see if somebody else - another used car dealer perhaps - has any interest in taking the car for cash or trade in. As part of this or separately, you can ask for an independent mechanical inspection to confirm the first result.
You will not get all your money back, but you might be able to roll your current loan into a loan for a new used car. I am aware things like debt consolidation exist, generally speaking, but I don't know the extent to which this may or may not apply to your situation.
If you need a ride to work, consider renting a car, using public transportation, walking/cycling or taxi/Lyft/Uber. Cycling would be cheap and you mention you're close to home. You might not even need to sell if that could work. Good luck!
Get details on what the issue is.
Search on the web to see if this problem has occurred before in that year/make/model whether or not there's been a recall. If so, start pressuring the dealership to make this good. You may need to call the district manager as well.
You might not be able to get the full cost covered, but might be able to get the parts covered and just pay the labor for instance.
I also suggest you get a second opinion, particularly on what the best solution is. Rebuilt engine? New Engine, a whole bunch of different parts? Why will it take 3 months?
If you agree to fix the car, and they state 3 months, you're still going to have to keep on them, minimally every week for an update, and two or three times a week would be better. In person if possible. With a list of necessary parts so you can make them update you on which parts are now available and which ones they're still waiting on. You want to make their lives miserable so they get your car fixed sooner rather than later.
The FIRST thing to do is to get a second opinion, even if it's just asking on an internet forum dedictated to that model car, or even on the StackExchange auto mechanics site. Without knowing a lot more I can't give a definitive opinion, but it does seem to smell rather fishy.