How do you decide...

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by CaliTerp07, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
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    ...when it's not worth it to keep fixing your car?

    I drive a 2000 Mitsubishi eclipse. I love it. It's fun to drive, the hatchback gives me tons of space to haul stuff, it's cute, etc. But I just got a quote (from my mechanic that I love and trust and is very reasonable) for nearly $800 worth of work.

    At what point do I decide "not worth it", and go buy a new car? This is the first car I've ever had--I bought it used for $6000 in college, and have driven it for almost 6 years now.

    I have the cash saved up for a new (used) car if I need it, but it's tough to swallow. The price range of cars I'm looking at is $12-15k, which is an awful lot of money when my car only has 93k miles on it...
     
  2. katielou

    katielou Slave to the Aussie

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    I was in a similar position to you and I ended up upgrading to a new car because my mechanic told me it was down hill from here out that the repairs where not just a one time thing and it would then be good.

    And this weekend I just upgraded again :) only because the other car did not work for my lifestyle at all.
     
  3. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    I was always told that when the cost of maintaining a car outpaces what you would spend on a new one that's when you should upgrade. Is the $800 a one time thing - like after this you should have no more repairs for awhile? Or is this going to be an ongoing thing with this car?
     
  4. shazbot

    shazbot not so newby

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    When the fix is more than the vehicle is worth it's time to get a new vehicle. I'm in the same boat right now. I have an '01 Grand Cherokee that I love. It's perfect for the dogs, sports and any other thing I can think of. There's a few things on it that need to be fixed, but I think the fix is worth more than the Jeep itself. We're going to get a new Jeep instead of putting more money into the old one.
     
  5. zoe08

    zoe08 New Member

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    This is the question I would ask. Is it just $800 and the car will last you a few more years without anymore big expenses (other than normal maintenance) Or in 6 months is it likely you will be needing more work?
     
  6. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I don't know--I mean, it will fix the problems that need fixed (parts are rusted/cracked, so replacing them solves the problem entirely). Living in a cold climate sucks, because you drive over the gross salt and crap they throw on the roads in the winter and it accelerates deterioration of the metal pieces.

    I guess that's a good question for the mechanic.

    Regardless, I'm doing the $800 fix now, because I'm not prepared to buy a car in the next few days and my car won't pass inspection without the fixes. I guess that may be my summer project though--car shopping.
     
  7. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    It's 13 years old now...my guess is that parts just start to wear out. We replaced the clutch in November, but that was the first big fix I've had since I bought it.
     
  8. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I just spent almost $800 fixing up my '96 Jeep last month (alternator, radiator, and windshield). Other than when stuff blows up it's in great condition with about 193k miles on it. I've probably put more money into the jeep over the last two years than what I paid for it, but then again I don't have monthly payments.

    I think it really depends on what the condition of the car would be afterwards.
     
  9. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Yeah...I mean, I guess even if I spent $800 every 6 months, that's still wayyy cheaper than car payments would be.

    I looked it up on kbb and it says the value is only $2k. Which isn't bad, I guess. I have driven it for 6 years and it's only lost $4k of value.
     
  10. -bogart-

    -bogart- Member of WHODAT Nation.

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    I am so very thankful my hubs works on cars. Seriously 600 for a radiator , alternator and windshield? WOW , if he wasn't we would so be screwed.

    My answer was going to be after 300,000 miles , but with those prices to fix little things maybe a car payment with a warranty is a better option.

    The last 3 or so vehicles we owned all have went at least over the 300,00 mark . They where retired cabs though with police packages . The trucks we have now are both under 200,000 and 94's . Thanksfully the previous owners took excelent care of them and we should be able to hand them down to the boys in 10 or so years.
     
  11. RedHotDobe

    RedHotDobe aka RedHotBabe

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    I'm not sure, because we have a car that can easily eat $1000 in repairs every month or so. :eek:

    My car is 13 years old, too, with twice as many miles as yours and I have no desire to get rid of it. I'm too attached to it. Luckily, it hasn't needed anything major replaced. I'd rather just continue to gradually replace all the worn parts than invest in something newer.
     
  12. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I talked to my dad tonight, and he's echoing your guys' sentiment. His thought was as long as the repairs aren't more than a car payment would be and the car is fairly reliable (it is), then it's not prudent to go buy a new one.

    I guess that gives me plenty of time to do the research on what kind of car I want!
     
  13. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I have a 2000 Chevy Impala with 83k miles on it, and it has no problems... but even if it did, $800 to replace some parts that were rusted with age/wear & tear from salt in the winter wouldn't scare me. I expect mine to go for quite a long while before I even need to START thinking about worrying... I think you have plenty of time as long as the car is in overall good shape!
     
  14. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    I put so much money into my Subaru. I should have sold it before I did. But I kept thinking...fix this and it should be good for a long time. Then something else. And over and over. I kept thinking...well, $2,000 is STILL a lot less than $30,000 for a new one. (if it were a brand new one) But it would still be way up there even if it were a year or two old. So, I'd plug along. Something kept happening to that car so frequently. Finally, the last straw was when I was driving across the desert...across Washington from Idaho to my Dad's funeral. I went a day ahead and thank goodness I did or I wouldn't have made it. I broke down, thankfully, in a town because out in the middle of nowhere would not have been cool at all. I needed and I mean needed a reliable car where I lived in Idaho...dangerous without. So, I broke down and bought a 2 year old, low mileage...almost new car....finally.

    So, I guess it's different things for different people. One can say when the repair costs top the cost of a new one. But you don't know what's ahead in the way of repair. So, you keep on dishing it out for a while. If you repair and repair and it's still less than a new one, it's really hard to decide. You can get a lot of repairs for $20 or $30 K. If there were a reliable way to figure out the prognosis for the future of the car. Once when I had it in a repair shop here when I was just visiting...when I still lived in Idaho, a mechanic told me..."I wouldn't put anymore into this car. It's looking pretty downhill from here." I think I already had my new car, but my daughter was using this Subaru at the time.

    I hope you can make a decision easier than I did. I was so relieved when I got a reliable, almost new car. I love it. I had to sell some stocks to buy it, but I'm so glad I did. It's not safe to drive a car that is at that stage where they can break down anytime, anyplace.
     
  15. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    The good news is that I never drive in the middle of nowhere, ever. I drive 7 miles to work (through suburbia), or sometimes 15 miles into DC. Anywhere further, my husband drives (or at least we take his car). If I lived in a sparsely populated area or often drove on long trips, I'd absolutely be looking at a new car now, but I feel safe about where I'm driving and my ability to get to a repair shop or have my husband/friend pick me up if absolutely necessary.

    I'm definitely going to start funneling my savings into a dedicated "CAR FUND" (so I don't feel like I'm giving up vacation money by spending it!) because the day is coming in the not-so-distant future...but right now the car isn't unreliable, it's just getting old and tired :)
     
  16. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    That's good Cali. Where I lived before, it could get down to 30 below zero and there was this 30 mile highway which was really a country road that had very little traffic on it and miles and miles between houses. That's what I needed to go on to get to any town. So, having a reliable car there was a matter of life and death. It sounds like you're not in a situation like that at least. I think that's a good idea to make a designated car fund. Then when the time comes, you won't have to take from something else. You can just save a little and keep adding to it. Good plan!
     
  17. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    We bought a Subaru, new, thinking it would a durable car and spent more money on that thing... worst car we ever bought and the last subaru we'll ever buy.

    Both the car (Honda Accord) and the van (Chevy Astro) are getting long in the tooth but it's still cheaper to fix/replace the worn parts than have car payments. One thing we did start doing last year was socking away a car payment every month to a) see how stressful it would be on our finances, especially with the always higher winter heating bills, and b) have a bigger down payment when we finally have to bite the bullet and replace the van or car.
     

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