Author Topic: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.  (Read 1742 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:35:04 PM »
I will try to make this as short as possible.

I currently own a 2000 Ford Taurus. Needed a vehicle right away and made a mistake of not getting it inspected by a mechanic. I will NEVER MAKE THAT MISTAKE AGAIN. Bought it for $600 dollars. I spent $1,800 dollars on it to fix it up. It's still not 100% done.

It still needs new power steering pump, power steering pressure and return lines. New brake pads and rotors in the front. No heat coming from the vents. A/C works but no heat. Heater core has been flushed. Check engine light is on and code is P1633. Transmission mount needs to be replaced and torque strut mount too.

That's all that needs to be fixed with the Ford Taurus. It has 208,000 miles on it.

My wife and I own both vehicles completely. Other vehicle is a 2008 Mazda Tribute. No issues with this vehicle right now. It has 176,000 miles on it.

My wife and I LOVE not having a car payment right now. But we're not sure on what to do. Do we fix up the Ford and keep it or sell it?

My wife wants to get rid of the Ford. Keep the Mazda Tribute and get a used SUV with a better engine, 4X4 or all wheel drive. The Mazda Tribute would become my commuter vehicle to and from work instead of the Ford Taurus.

We're expecting a hefty tax refund next year that we plan on for our next vehicle. Not all of it though. Just some of it.

Problem is currently improving our credit and we don't want a car payment. Not the best credit right now. We both HATE having a car payment. Just not sure on what to do at this point.

Thanks for reading and thank you for any feedback.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 04:03:05 AM »
You've left out some key details, but based on the info provided thus far:

You might get more approval for your plan if you didn't say that 1. You apparently have credit oroblems and 2. You're planning on compounding your error by intending to buy an SUV. WTF? Have you not been following this site long enough to know how much we mock SUV's and why? Cut your losses by dumping the Taurus, buying a used econobox and doing better research before pulling the trigger. If you have to pay interest on a small loan, consider it the penalty for buying the Taurus so impulsively.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2017, 08:56:50 AM »
What the hell? For $2400+ you could've bought a fully functional vehicle!

Why are you expecting a big tax refund? You should adjust your withholding so that you aren't overpaying. It's not free government money, it's YOUR money that you lent to the government for zero interest. The only exception being a handful of refundable credits, but even then.

After sinking all of this money into the Taurus, how much cash do you currently have available for vehicular spending?


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2017, 09:02:00 AM »
Can you get a replacement vehicle for the same price or less than it would cost to fix up the Taurus? What would the bill for the current repairs needed be? It doesn't matter what you spent already, as that is a sunk cost. Just look at what makes the most financial sense going forward.

If you don't want a car payment get a used car that is in good condition and pay in cash. Can you pay for the SUV your wife wants in cash, and without sacrificing anything else, like your savings rate? Older Honda, Toyota sedans are usually a good option. You can get one of those for cheap.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2017, 09:06:41 AM »
Do you both work and do either of you work from home? Is your work relatively 'close' to where you live? Ever considered becoming a one car family and commuting either by bike/foot/public transportation? If WFH you likely don't *need* two cars anyway. Even if you both work and don't want to commute by bike/foot/public transportation, you could work out a schedule to pick each other up; especially if either of you work and it's "on the way" to the other.  Seems you've sunk quite a bit of money into the Taurus though I would be interested to know how long you've owned it? I probably sunk quite a bit of money (well into the thousands) into my old 93 Camry (which has been donated as of several months ago). I was 'gifted' the car back in 2005 though, at which time I certainly wasn't subscribing to any sort of "Mustachianism" even if it officially existed back then. No excuse for dimwittery though, as I could have saved tons regardless when I was younger, especially on car expenses. I digress... this reminds me: if you do consider getting rid of the car, you may want to consider donating it depending on the condition of the car and resale factor. It might not be worth the hassle trying to deal with selling "as-is"

Also, I concur with what others are saying: don't get *another* SUV - there isn't really any good rhyme or reason to. Just get something like a cheap used Honda Civic, Toyota Camry or Toyota Corolla if you need something 'budget' friendly. And of course, make sure to bring your mechanic with you or meet the seller at your mechanic to get a once/twice-over done on it
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 09:11:01 AM by jeromedawg »


  • Stubble
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2017, 09:06:54 AM »
Iím sorry to hear of your car trouble.  Before you pull the trigger on doing anything I would suggest reading/re-reading the following:

It sounds like the remaining work needed on the Taurus will be expensive, therefore I would say dump it and get an economical car listed on the post above.  The Mazda Tribute is a compact SUV that doesnít get great gas mileage so not the best commuter car!  Have you questioned why you want another SUV?  Is there a reason you need an SUV/bigger engine/AWD or is it just the same thinking that got you credit issues?  A wagon/hatchback like the Honda Fit or Toyota Matrix has plenty of room when you fold the back seats down if/when you need to haul something, but has way better gas mileage.

You didnít mention how much you have saved to cover the cost of buying another car or if you NEED another car at all.  If you need another car, but donít have the money upfront, can you get along with one car for a time until you can save enough?  It would be best if you can hold out and find a great deal on an efficient car, they are out there!

Also, how far is your commute?  A hybrid like the Toyota Prius or Honda Insight might be worth a look.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2017, 09:47:02 AM »
The Taurus sounds like its situation is an expensive pain in the butt.  Your wife also wants it gone.  For those reasons, I'd dump it. 

However, in the face of replacing it with an all-wheel-drive SUV (!?) you don't have the cash for, I'd just fix the damn Taurus.

If you already have one SUV, why do you need a second?  If you have a legitimate need for an SUV at all, it's pretty hard to justify two.  Do you and your wife both routinely drive up unpaved mountain roads in the snow at the same time?  Keep the Mazda if you actually have a use for an SUV, but supplement it with something cheap and fuel efficient.

Don't overcorrect a $600 mistake with a $30,000 mistake.  The difference between a $600 car and a $2000 is substantial.  The true mistake was not getting the Taurus inspected prior to purchase, not getting a "cheap" car.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Need advice on what to do with my current vehicle situation.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 02:15:54 PM »
I couldn't imagine relying on a car with 208k miles on it. Even if there were no issues, it would be at the point where one thing, after another, after another, would failing due to wear and tear. Plus, c'mon... as a Ford owner ... even my 2014 car is going back to the dealership tomorrow for the same recall repair for the 4th time.

Advice: Cut your losses. Maybe find a place that'll give you $1k ('We pay cash for cars!') for it and put that towards said thoroughly researched econobox.