Author Topic: Another car post...  (Read 3345 times)

Jomar

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Another car post...
« on: July 24, 2014, 12:12:16 PM »
Sorry in advance, I know there are always car posts on here!

My wife and I are trying to decide what to do with regards to our car. We have a 1998 Subaru Forester with 257,000 km on the ODO. It needs some work- it leaks oil, it makes a weird vibrating noise when accelerating (engine mounts?), the catalytic converter doesn't work anymore (not a real problem as no e-tests here- except for I'm an environmental scientist so would like to fix this), the check engine light and airbag light are both on, the cruise control, horn, heated seats, air conditioning, power mirrors, and rear windshield wiper don't work (I don't care about any of these but the CC and horn, which is maybe a clock spring issue?), it needs new tires, and it's starting to rust.

Now, we're trying to decide if we want to fix it or buy a "new" car. We love our Subaru. It's extremely reliable and has never let us down, even with all of the problems it has. And it's awesome for my job as I need to carry a ton of stuff for my field work (I had 9 full size coolers in it the other day, plus a bunch of other gear). A little less than half the kms we put on the car are work-related, and I get reimbursed at $0.54/km for those kms. This year we're on track to put on about 8500km from personal use and 7500km for reimbursed work use. The fuel economy is not half bad on the highway (I get as good as 7.5L/100km) but terrible in the city, so that's a factor for sure, though with our low useage it's not the end of the world. I'm not sure about the cost of the repairs required, but I'd guess at least $2000, likely more.

I've been keeping an eye on Kijiji in my area and have a number of cars bookmarked, including a couple of Subarus, a couple of Volkswagens, a Toyota Matrix, and a couple of Priuses/Prii. Basically we require a station wagon or large hatchback. So, what do you all think? Buy a "new" car or fix the Subaru? (For the record, we're leaning towards fixing the Subaru at the moment).

neo von retorch

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 12:27:55 PM »
Reasons to buy a new car: luxury, status, change
Reasons to keep your car: savings, love, familiarity

If the repairs are expensive plus it seems likely that more large repairs are imminent then perhaps it makes sense to replace it now - skip the repairs and ultimately spend less overall. Otherwise, you seem quite happy to use your trusty sidekick for your transportation needs.

ketchup

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 12:52:22 PM »
I'd fix the Subaru and keep it for years to come.

The horn could be related to the airbag light being on.  I know on my car the wiring for the horn switch and driver airbag are wound up together in the steering wheel.

MillenialMustache

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 01:24:40 PM »
What is the cost, mileage, and age of the other cars you are considering? This information would make a difference in my response.

Jomar

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 01:30:04 PM »
Thanks for the replies! We're looking mostly at cars with less than 200,000 km, but virtually all of them have more than 120,000 km, and they are all priced between $5000 and $8000, with the Prii slightly higher, around $10,000. Leaning further towards fixing now...

gimp

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 01:45:36 PM »
Fixing that car yourself will take time. Getting it fixed will cost a lot of money - large laundry list of problems. As you said, likely $2000. If you sold it now, what would you get for it? Could you add that and two grand and buy a more usable car? If so, do it. If not, fix it.

Meinurgill

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 05:47:38 AM »
Just a word about VWs, they are very expensive to repair. I would steer clear of them. I've had a VW golf for 10 years and it's still going but tons of tiny issues, cosmetic and otherwise, and major issues with the electrical system and seals, so water literally pours into it when it rains. I don't get any of it repaired because it has already cost me thousands in basic repairs. Make sure to check true delta model year reviews before buying a VW. I've heard the newer gens are better but they cost more, obviously.

Meinurgill

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 05:50:42 AM »
Also my DH and I just posted a similar question--we also had hauling needs. We've decided to replace our vehicle but it was a painful process getting to that decision. Our mechanic also advised us against the repairs at this point so that was a factor in our decision, even though we could do the repair work ourselves

Jomar

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 12:32:21 PM »
Thanks for the advice Meinurgill! Everyone always says these things about VWs... and yet I still find myself ogling used Jetta Wagon TDIs. Anyway, in the end we decided to fix the Forester. Took it in today and the mechanic called me back a few hours later quoting me $1800 for the fixes (not all of them, but the important ones, including oil leaks, catalytic converter, tires, differential fluid, and diagnosis of the broken horn). And there just happened to be a 4 for 3 sale on tires, so that was nice. If only Subarus were better on gas, because those Boxer engines are pretty unkillable...

solon

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Re: Another car post...
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 12:44:11 PM »
Looks like I'm already too late to this party, but I think you made the right choice. Keeping what you have is nearly always cheaper than replacing. Good luck!