Author Topic: Replace old car?  (Read 1746 times)

TXScout2

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Replace old car?
« on: November 08, 2016, 01:22:15 PM »
I have a 2001 Corolla with 185K miles.  It has various problems.  Hail damage, paint is in bad shape, locks don't work, antenna is broken off/tape player broken (I have considering getting a new radio unit but I think it would get stolen considering the doors don't lock), needs new brake pads and rotors, and needs new valve cover gasket and timing cover gasket.  It serves my purposes fine right now, I probably drive it 10 miles a week.  It's just that it leaks oil at such a rate that I honestly feel guilty.  I would say it leaks at least a quart a month, and that is only driving it 10 miles a week.     

I have been debating doing repairs vs. just replacing it.  The repairs I am considering are the brakes and fixing the oil leaks.  I could probably do the brakes myself but the oil leaks are looking like about $1k for the work (which would include a new timing belt since that would be easy with the timing cover off).  I could sell it for maybe $1500.  If I would be putting $1k into it anyway, that's $2500.  Should I just take that money, and add a few thousand more and upgrade the car?  I really don't want to spend a lot of money on a car, but I have enough saved that I could use that money plus some extra to get a car for $6K - $7K. 

Am I thinking about this correctly?  Should I just repair the car despite the fact that it won't do much other than assuage my guilt?  Should I just say screw it and leak oil all over God's creation?  If I sell it someone else will probably just leak oil all over as well, and likely blow the engine shortly after if they neglect to add oil frequently. 

Thanks for your advice. 

hoping2retire35

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2016, 01:39:31 PM »
um. why do you only drive 10 miles a week?

You drive so little that it makes it hard to justify spending anything on a car. If you drove it regularly it might makes sense to get it repaired. Do some research on how to fix the doors. That should only cost time. Having one thing checked off your repair list should give you a clearer picture of your options.


If I had to guess, I would say it is not leaking a quart every 40 miles, that would be a lot. I think it is leaking a quart a month. May need to test for that.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 01:41:22 PM by hoping2retire35 »

Slee_stack

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2016, 02:00:24 PM »
With that incredibly low miles per week, would it not be more cost effective to Uber?  Can you not use a bike trailer if you really only need 10 miles worth of cargo hauling a week?

You must be paying liability insurance.  How much does this car actually cost you to keep per month?  Is it really worth it?

I wouldn't spend a dime on it.  Have someone come haul it away.

marielle

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2016, 02:23:07 PM »
If you truly do drive 10 miles a week I would say you don't need a car at all. Uber, even using a taxi would be cheaper in the long run. Rent a car the few times a year you need to go further (if at all). The car isn't worth fixing. When the repairs exceed or reach to close the value of the car it's time to let it go.

TXScout2

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2016, 04:04:52 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I guess I should say that I drive 10 miles on an ordinary week, because I live walking distance from work.  Usually I will drive if I need to go to the grocery store or some other place across town, or if it is raining that day.  But occasionally I drive further, I have traveled out of town for work several times this year, or taken weekend trips to visit friends.  So 10 miles a week for a couple weeks, then I will drive 300 miles one week.  Because of that I don't think rental cars or taxis are going to be efficient.  My insurance is $200 for 6 month so the cost of keeping it is pretty minimal.  If I was retired maybe I would consider biking everywhere with a trailer, but I work a lot and time is at a premium, so it's not something I'm willing to do.  In sum, I'm not considering going without a car as an option. 

It's more a question of the economics of repair vs replacement.  Or whether I am crazy to even consider fixing the oil leak.  Because besides that the repairs are minimal and I could do them myself (brakes, door lock cylinders).   

hoping2retire35

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2016, 06:51:42 PM »
from your other posts, it sounds like it just leaks based on time, not miles, unless it has gotten worse. In that case just keep kitty litter under where you park and 99% of it will leak there.

fix the door locks, buy a radio and fix the antenna; youtube is your friend.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2016, 06:09:14 AM »
Check your local library for a repair manual for your car. Clymer is one company that publishes these. YouTube is good, but often not thorough. Manuals are good, but often unclear. Together, they explain it all. Order the valve cover gaskets, rotors, pads, and door hardware online. Borrow tools. You'll spend $100 at most, not $1,000. Then drive it until it dies, which in your case might be another 4-6 years. 

Car Jack

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2016, 08:34:40 AM »
I have a couple options for you.  My college son had the same need as you.  His classes are walking distance but the grocery store isn't and he has a full kitchen and wants to prepare healthy food (sometimes).  He asked about a car and our biggest concern was parking since campus parking is expensive and the city has random "street sweeping" days where they ticket all the parked cars (and then don't sweep the street anyways).  The solutions?

Mine:  Sign up for peapod (Stop & Shop).  It costs all of an extra $5 for this on top of the grocery bill and they deliver it to your door.  You order online.

His:  He signed up for Zip Car and now when he and roomates and girlfriend want groceries, they all chip in and head out to the grocery store together.  No issues with parking or tickets or slashed tires or smashed mirrors that he could have run into in the city with his own (or my own) car.

Another possible fix for your car....use 30 weight oil.  Why?  It's thicker than what you're using so will take longer to leak out.  Cheap, easy extension for your car.

TXScout2

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2016, 02:27:08 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I do think the oil leak is based on time, so it makes sense that kitty litter would probably catch 95% of the leak.  I am not too big on online shopping, not sure why, I don't trust it if it isn't in my hand.  I could try it out though.  Still though I want the car to go out of town.  I didn't have a car in college either, but I'm 35 now.  I just like to be able to go out of town if I want to.  I have figured out how to fix the locks and brakes.  I will make sure I am using 30 weight oil.  Might be able to do valve cover gasket myself.  Timing cover is probably not doable though. 

ChpBstrd

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Re: Replace old car?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2016, 03:40:38 PM »
Good deal! The experience with the valve cover gasket will improve your confidence for the timing gasket. :)

I don't agree with the idea to use thicker oil though. If the engine was not designed to run on it, the wrong oil weight will increase the amount of wear, especially during cold starts when the cold oil must quickly squirt through narrow passageways to lubricate specific parts of the engine.