Author Topic: Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car  (Read 1315 times)


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Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car
« on: June 16, 2017, 07:18:49 AM »
Hello fellow car-mustachians, I need advice for giving advice :-)

Situation is like this: A few years ago, a relative of mine went through a tough phase in life and on the turning point, he totalled his car. After getting back on track he bought the next car he could afford for getting to work, which was a 2006 Hyundai Atos Prime for 2200 that now has 87k miles on it

So now the repairs on this old small car are coming up. He has very little saved right now as he just finished paying for the aftermath of the car crash, but has a budget surplus of 1000 per month now and a very stable job.

In 5 months from now, he has to get the MOT renewed. Things that need fixing:

0. Fixing right now: Camshaft sensor corroded
1. Tires 250
2. Flex pipe 250
3. Brake pads (300?)
4. Windshield repair (small crack, which is covered by insurance)

He is not the DIY-guy on car repairs. We used my bluetooth OBD2 adapter to figure out number 0 was the reason for the engine light flashing and engine attitude.

What do you think, should he get the tiny car fixed for another MOT cycle of 2 years with hopefully no additional repairs, or look for a newer used vehicle?

I am very unsure about what would be the best economical solution at this point. Safety is another concern. If you get hit by a SUV in this tiny car, you're more likely to suffer severe consequences.
He drives about 9k to 10k miles a year.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 07:25:15 AM by BobTheBuilder »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 08:48:03 AM »
2006? Only 87k miles?  I'd definitely fix it and keep driving.  My last two cars died at 261k miles and 200k miles.  Every car will need new brakes and tires eventually.  The other issues aren't indicative of larger problems, so I would have no issue getting them fixed.

No idea how the pricing for repairs is though for your area, so certainly shop around if it makes sense.  300 seems high for brakes, but I'm just an ignorant American.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 08:53:51 AM »
I'd keep it going. I know your MOT is a lot tougher than our state inspections (not all states even have inspections), but it's worth spending the money to get it fixed.

My parents (in Ireland) have a '99 Toyota Yaris with approx 75k miles and a '99 Ford Focus with approx 160k miles. The Focus usually has to have something fixed when inspected, but it scrapes through every year so far. Not bad for old cars that live outdoors by the sea.


  • Stubble
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Re: Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 12:27:53 PM »
Hey, thanks for the advice. You're right, tires and brakes are recurrent expenses. So it seems to be safe to assume that this car will use up the new tires/brakes before it goes down hill, which just leaves the exhaust pipe. And giving up on a car just for that would be madness.

More than 200k miles is impressive, yes, so we should still have some miles left on this one.

Btw I wasn't exactly sure about the brake pads, so this one might come cheaper too.


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Re: Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2017, 12:40:50 PM »
Tires and exhaust work (and body work) are fairly uncommon to DIY anyway, so he's not missing much there.

If you are so inclined (and owning an ODB2 scanner suggests you might be), why not offer to lend a hand changing his brakes with him? I've done that for several of my friends, some of whom turn wrenches, some of whom aren't at all interested, but are willing to rake leaves in my yard while I fix their car. Have him shop the job at a local mechanic, then have him buy the parts (with your help, so you get the right parts), let him see how easy it is to change brakes (probably the easiest job, maybe tied with an oil change) and how much he can save doing it.

Cam sensor change is also probably an easy DIY, but is also likely to be only 1 hour of charged labor, so not a ton of savings there unless you can buy the part substantially cheaper than the shop.


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Re: Non-DIY repairs on an oldish cheap car
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 11:39:16 AM »
I did not do brakes myself so far, but repaired a burning indicator lever in my 17year old 95 Hyundai Accent once :-D Although funny story now, it was not so much fun when that **** thing started fuming like hell whilst driving. Some metal spline made a short in the lever, and the battery was happy to supply several amps and heated up the plastic. After coming to a stop, I figured that turning on the warning lights bypasses the switch in the indicator lever and made it home. Took it all apart and fixed it later.

We'll see how much we can do ourselfs!