Author Topic: Car help needed...fix old car or buy another one?  (Read 1299 times)

MVal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 839
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Missouri
Car help needed...fix old car or buy another one?
« on: October 04, 2016, 07:07:06 PM »
I have a 2003 Pontiac Vibe I've owned for 6 years and currently has 186,000 miles on it. It has always run great, but last year it finally started showing age. The front struts had steadily become stiffer and stiffer until I started noticing a lot of noise in the front end. Plus, the left front caliper had become stuck and was causing uneven wear on the brakes. I had a whole mess of front end work done including replacing the front struts, left front caliper, turning the rotors and an alignment job all to the tune of about $1200. This all happened only a couple of months after I had stubbornly turned down my dad's help in purchasing a newer Vibe model with much fewer miles (I was exerting my Mustachian muscles to hang on to a car that was working fine). Besides the "if it ain't broke, don't replace it" argument, I was putting great faith in the fact this car has a Toyota engine (the Vibe is an analog of the Matrix) and should run at least another 100K miles. I am willing to accept that as the car ages, it will need more repairs, but I've been willing to gamble any repairs over the next year or so should be less money than shelling out for a new car.

Here's the current issue. The main problem it has right now is the motor mounts need to be replaced. Per my mechanic, they aren't broken, but have "settled" and are no longer doing their job of absorbing engine vibration. As such, I get a great deal of noise in the cab at low speeds, ignition, etc. It actually sounds rather alarming at times, but he has observed it and seems to think it is not in danger of damaging any nearby hoses or other internal parts. Nonetheless, it would be best to have it fixed as it can only get worse. He said it would not be worth it to replace the mounts with new ones because he said most after-market motor mounts are foreign made and do not hold up well and I'd be back in the shop within months to do them again. My question to anyone who might know is, what would OEM motor mounts cost to obtain and install and am I beating dead horse with my 13 year old car?

I'm considering buying another used car, but I don't want to spend more than $5000 (more like $3000 if I can get away with it on Craigslist). I've pondered even not selling my old car and keeping two vehicles since having a car in the shop as a single person is a huge inconvenience. Is it anti-Mustachian to have two cars if you are a single person? I suppose if I did that I would take comp and collision off the old car and keep high deductibles on the newer car to keep the insurance reasonable.

What are your thoughts? What would you do if your only vehicle is slowly becoming a junker but you don't want to damage your growing 'stache by sinking money in it unnecessarily or shelling out for a newer car?

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1918
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re: Car help needed...fix old car or buy another one?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2016, 07:13:22 AM »
If you're only planning on dropping $3k into a replacement, just keep what you have now.

Devil you know and all of that.

Sent from my LG-D855 using Tapatalk

HipGnosis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1574
Re: Car help needed...fix old car or buy another one?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 02:01:40 PM »
Required maintenance is not beating a dead horse. It's feeding it to run for another day, or year.
The only time I've heard of motor mounts failing other than from age and miles are when stock (regular) motor mounts are used with a souped up engine.
You can get prices here: http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/pontiac,2003,vibe,1.8l+l4,1432957,engine,motor+mount,5552
OEM mounts are at the bottom.  No idea how much to install.  Most shops won't install parts not bought thru them.
Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the 'favorite' motor mounts on that page.
Is there any possibility you could install them?


MVal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 839
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Missouri
Re: Car help needed...fix old car or buy another one?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2016, 08:52:28 AM »
Required maintenance is not beating a dead horse. It's feeding it to run for another day, or year.
The only time I've heard of motor mounts failing other than from age and miles are when stock (regular) motor mounts are used with a souped up engine.
You can get prices here: http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/pontiac,2003,vibe,1.8l+l4,1432957,engine,motor+mount,5552
OEM mounts are at the bottom.  No idea how much to install.  Most shops won't install parts not bought thru them.
Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to buy the 'favorite' motor mounts on that page.
Is there any possibility you could install them?

Haha, I wish! I'm lucky if I can open the hood by myself. I'm not really sure if I need all the mounts replaced or just some of them, so maybe I will take a print out of what you found online and ask my mechanic which ones I need and see if he'd put them in if I brought them to him. I don't think he'd have a problem installing outside parts. He called me the other day and let me know he can get after market parts for $150 or OEM from a dealer for $385.

Thanks a lot by the way for doing that research for me, I really appreciate it!