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    Car repairs...ugh

    I have a nine year old car that has started to give me some trouble. August was $300 in repairs, January was $115 and now Iím looking at about $500-$1000 because Iíve got a radiator hose busted and another intake hose cracked. Mechanic suggested getting all the hoses replaced because theyíre all starting to go. I bought a replacement car for this one and was only offered $500 for trade in so I kept it. It has no AC and the transmission has difficultly shifting sometimes. Before i got the new car Iíd say itís crazy to have a third car but now that we have one it has really come in handy. At what point would you get rid of the car?? Mechanic says after the hoses he doesnít foresee anything else needing to be replaced but we all know how that goes. Up until August all it has ever needed is tires and front brakes.

    #2
    Looks like you've put more into it in the past few months than it's worth.
    Might be a good time to get rid of it.

    You said you really don't need it, so might be a good idea to sell it privately and get what you can for it.
    Brian

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      #3
      I sell our cars when repairs cost as much or more than the car is worth, regardless of resale value. But then I don't need a 3rd car. I barely need a second one. If you want a 3rd car, I would pay to have it fixed. You won't find a car that doesn't need a ton of work for $1,000 on the market.

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        #4
        Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
        I sell our cars when repairs cost as much or more than the car is worth, regardless of resale value. But then I don't need a 3rd car. I barely need a second one. If you want a 3rd car, I would pay to have it fixed. You won't find a car that doesn't need a ton of work for $1,000 on the market.
        Is that total cost of all repairs,a single repair or over a certain time period?

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          #5
          We are in a similar situation like yours. We bought a new car (16 Nissan Sentra) to use my daily commute that we paid cash for. We kept my old Hyundai Santa Fe 2002 that is only worth $500 after all the repairs we made over the years. It has over 204K miles on it but it still runs well for what it's worth. I thought about selling it, but my wife's Honda Odyssey is also pretty old (bought brand new in 2005) gives us trouble from time to time. So a 3rd vehicle is handy when the other car goes on repair. For us, it's worth to keep the 3rd car.
          Got debt?
          www.mo-moneyman.com

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            #6
            Originally posted by MooseBucks View Post
            Is that total cost of all repairs,a single repair or over a certain time period?
            Our last 2 cars were sold because one had several big ticket items go at once, and the other just kept breaking. We spent $1,500 fixing it within 8 months and then it needed new tie rods, TPMS, tires, and the side door stopped working so we just gave up on it. We had a feeling that even after all that work was done, something else would go wrong with it. Our cars were only about 9 years old, too. Dodge and Chrysler are not known for their longevity.

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              #7
              Originally posted by msomnipotent View Post
              I sell our cars when repairs cost as much or more than the car is worth, regardless of resale value. But then I don't need a 3rd car. I barely need a second one. If you want a 3rd car, I would pay to have it fixed. You won't find a car that doesn't need a ton of work for $1,000 on the market.
              I guess I donít follow the math. Letís say you have a $3000 car that needs a $3000 repair. You then ditch the car? Whatís it worth without the repair?

              If you just keep the car running and pay the repair, itís certainly not losing further value. Seems like $3000 worth of repairs still represent incredibly cheap cost of ownership.

              Youíll lose $3000 on your next purchase pretty quickly - sales tax and a few monthsí worth of depreciation.
              Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

              -George Carlin

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                #8
                Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                I guess I donít follow the math. Letís say you have a $3000 car that needs a $3000 repair. You then ditch the car? Whatís it worth without the repair?

                If you just keep the car running and pay the repair, itís certainly not losing further value. Seems like $3000 worth of repairs still represent incredibly cheap cost of ownership.

                Youíll lose $3000 on your next purchase pretty quickly - sales tax and a few monthsí worth of depreciation.
                The concept of "worth" varies widely. Some will use market value to gauge worth, and then make decisions based off that value. In those cases, the person usually has the idea of eventually selling the vehicle, and wants some residual value.

                My daughter's car is "worth" maybe $1500 on a good day and with a full tank of gas. That's KBB or CL private party prices. But what is the value of having a paid-for older car? Low insurance, no car payments. Even if she has to put $400/year into repairs, that works out to roughly $33/mo. Last time I checked, car payments were higher than that (and would come with higher insurance).

                I'm a huge fan of driving a vehicle until either: some catastrophic failure occurs, or it becomes a safety issue that can't be fixed, or the frequency of repairs deems it unreliable to the point it can't be counted on.

                Cars age and need parts. If you lease or sell them after 6-10 years, you may not ever experience the situations where age-related repairs become an issue. I'd hang on to the vehicle and keep repairing it. And pay yourself car payments, so when you do have to get rid of it, you'll have cash to buy another.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by JoeP View Post
                  The concept of "worth" varies widely. Some will use market value to gauge worth, and then make decisions based off that value. In those cases, the person usually has the idea of eventually selling the vehicle, and wants some residual value.

                  My daughter's car is "worth" maybe $1500 on a good day and with a full tank of gas. That's KBB or CL private party prices. But what is the value of having a paid-for older car? Low insurance, no car payments. Even if she has to put $400/year into repairs, that works out to roughly $33/mo. Last time I checked, car payments were higher than that (and would come with higher insurance).

                  I'm a huge fan of driving a vehicle until either: some catastrophic failure occurs, or it becomes a safety issue that can't be fixed, or the frequency of repairs deems it unreliable to the point it can't be counted on.

                  Cars age and need parts. If you lease or sell them after 6-10 years, you may not ever experience the situations where age-related repairs become an issue. I'd hang on to the vehicle and keep repairing it. And pay yourself car payments, so when you do have to get rid of it, you'll have cash to buy another.
                  I wish I was so self-disciplined; I am a lover of automobiles and have had over 50 since I was 16. Ford, Chevy. Ferrari, Aston, Land Rover, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Honda, Jeep, Porsche, VW, Audi, Buick, Olds, Acura, Lincoln, Mercedes, and BMW. I am sure I am leaving something out.

                  The cheapest cars I ever owned were the Ferraris: I drove all of them for a good while and always sold them for more than I paid.
                  Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

                  -George Carlin

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                    I guess I donít follow the math. Letís say you have a $3000 car that needs a $3000 repair. You then ditch the car? Whatís it worth without the repair?

                    If you just keep the car running and pay the repair, itís certainly not losing further value. Seems like $3000 worth of repairs still represent incredibly cheap cost of ownership.

                    Youíll lose $3000 on your next purchase pretty quickly - sales tax and a few monthsí worth of depreciation.
                    A $3,000 car that needs $3000 worth of work has a zero value to me. That's just me. I see it as either keeping a jalopy on life support and wasting a lot of time and money at the mechanic, or using $3,000 to pay for a year or more of car payments on a new, dependable car. I have been stranded in an empty parking lot at night and on a busy road with a thousand idiots blaring their horns at me, both times with a toddler in the car. It isn't worth it to me to save a few bucks, and I don't like driving old cars unless they are classic. I suppose it would be different if I really needed a car and couldn't afford anything else, but I don't really need one. It would be very inconvenient to take a taxi to pick my daughter up from school, but it could still be done. And I have never owned a car that stopped needing work after x amount of money has been spent on repairs. Spending $3,000 is just a stop gap until the next repair.

                    I also never factor in depreciation when buying or selling. By the time we sell our cars, they are pretty worthless. Most of our cars were sold for $2,000 or less. Driving is a nightmare around here, and I don't enjoy driving or get attached to cars. I would rather just buy a car that has the bells and whistles I want and looks nice instead of buying something because it has a better resale value and has all the luxury of an econobox.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                      I wish I was so self-disciplined; I am a lover of automobiles and have had over 50 since I was 16. Ford, Chevy. Ferrari, Aston, Land Rover, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Honda, Jeep, Porsche, VW, Audi, Buick, Olds, Acura, Lincoln, Mercedes, and BMW. I am sure I am leaving something out.

                      The cheapest cars I ever owned were the Ferraris: I drove all of them for a good while and always sold them for more than I paid.
                      I have a hard enough time tracking ours with: oil changes, tire rotations, inspections, registration, occasional cleaning, minor issues, insurance, etc. Even if I was able to cycle in a new vehicle every year, the mental overhead of everything I mentioned would pretty much eliminate the pleasure factor (for me).

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by JoeP View Post
                        I have a hard enough time tracking ours with: oil changes, tire rotations, inspections, registration, occasional cleaning, minor issues, insurance, etc. Even if I was able to cycle in a new vehicle every year, the mental overhead of everything I mentioned would pretty much eliminate the pleasure factor (for me).
                        Wasnít a big deal. Often I would trade in when the oil change is due.
                        Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

                        -George Carlin

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I suggest you check your make and model for what is generally repair issues in Lemon Aid [Edmonston] to see if it lines up with your experience with the vehicle.
                          As stated, worth is totally subjective. Cars are mere transportation to our family, get us where we're going in exchange for regular maintenance using that list supplied in the manual added to the electronic calendar on my phone. We keep it until our needs change or we no longer trust it to provide service.

                          I do my best to check recommended used cars from one of the non sponsored publications like Consumer's and seek a vehicle that meets our transportation needs. While DH was doing consulting and driving all over our western region, we needed a car that was fuel efficient. When we were taking kids to 5 AM hockey practices, we had a soccer mom's van. When we bought an old condo in need of a ton of updating/upgrading we needed a vehicle to haul DIY materials, supplies and equipment which turned into a cheap, fun PT Cruiser which was wonderfully truck-like for example.

                          Does it come down to how much do you want to spend, all in, each month on transportation? Try working out your net earnings per hour and how many hours you work to pay for a proposed vehicle, taxes, registration, licence, operation, maintenance, insurance, repair etc. that meets your needs.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            That repair estimate seems very high. I would recommend that you find a new mechanic where you can buy the parts. My guess is the mark up on that repair is at least 300%.

                            I had a similar repair 3 years ago and the labor charge was 1 hr and the parts antifreeze hoses and radiator were less than $100.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I don't know what the average car payment is these days, but I'd guess it's $4-500? for the average American?

                              My buddy always drives beaters and his philosophy is ...... so I have to put $500 in repairs 3-4 times per year. I'm still coming out way ahead of the average guy that's making big payments every month, plus my insurance is cheaper.

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