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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: zaratekid86 on July 27, 2016, 12:51:49 PM

Title: buy another car or keep what I got
Post by: zaratekid86 on July 27, 2016, 12:51:49 PM
ok so i have a 2011 ford focus 5 speed that is ok. it has 100k on it and gets me about 27 mpg.  I currently owe 6100$ for it and will be paying it off by february.

I could potentially trade it in for a more dependable car in a 2010 honda crosstour with 55k miles on, automatic and more roomy for the family  reviews also say gets upwards of 33mpg

ive been putting about 8k miles a yr driving, will likely put more as we intend to travel more during the summer

reasons to trade it:
---The focus is small and my toddler is getting bigger and at times it seems very cramped.
---kind of getting tired of stick shift.
---recently had to replace the hydraulic system in the tranny (1500$)
---car has started making noise and fear its not worth the future repairs (could be struts or shocks, but i also fear it could be something loose in the tranny
---the crosstour would be a great travel car for my family of 3 and even roomier in case we get lucky and have another child
--crosstour is capable of pulling trar drop trailer and food trailer (i may be getting in the business)

reasons not to trade it in
--- it would add about 7k to my debt.

I currently have about 60k in net worth. the only debt I have is my mortgage 100k home value 165000, my current car 6100$, and my student loans 10k(will get it deferred after 5 yrs of beng  teacher)
 
Title: Re: buy another car or keep what I got
Post by: frugaliknowit on July 27, 2016, 12:58:42 PM
Before doing anything, I would investigate the noise that you think might be coming from the tranny.

Assuming it is not a major repair, it would not be wise to take on even more debt to get you out of a 6 year old car.  If and when you have another kid, you can re-evaluate.
Title: Re: buy another car or keep what I got
Post by: Jack on July 27, 2016, 02:29:09 PM
Keep the Focus.

First, if it's only getting you 27 mpg, a CrossTour will be even worse (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=30312&id=29935). Just because somebody else can get 33 MPG out of one doesn't mean you can -- in fact, it's more likely to imply that they could get 40 MPG out of your Focus.

Second, if you just fixed the transmission then it should be good to go for a long time. Having just completed a large repair is a point in favor of keeping a car, not against it.

Third, getting tired of the stick shift is complainypants. Suck it up.

Fourth, unless the female half of your partnership is actually pregnant right now, whether the vehicle could hold an extra kid "just in case" is not a valid consideration.

Fifth, manufacturer "ratings" aside, the real-world tow capacity of a Focus and a CrossTour are probably not much different. (Incidentally, manufacturer towing capacities are often artificially non-existent for US market small cars, even when the identical car sold in other markets does have a tow rating. The 2003 Hyundai Accent I used to own was rated for 800 or 1000 kg in Europe, but "not recommended" in the US, for example.)
Title: Re: buy another car or keep what I got
Post by: zaratekid86 on July 27, 2016, 03:15:05 PM
You guys are right!  I guess I was just subconsciously hoping someone would tell me what I wanted to here.. thanks for setting me straight. I am still getting use to living the mustachian way and sometimes I vear off that line wanting to purchase something and need  to get put back in check. thanks for the responses. I am going to have a buddy help me look at what the noise is and then work on paying it off ASAP.



cheers
Title: Re: buy another car or keep what I got
Post by: nereo on July 27, 2016, 04:26:05 PM
In tandem with what Jack said...

The Crosstour actually gets worse mpg than the Ford Focus.  We owned a focus and could routinely get 35mph when cruising on the highway.  Your poor fuel efficiency is most likely a direct result of your driving conditions (stop & go vs highway cruising) and habits (heavy acceleration, frequent braking, ...).  Try really challenging your driving habits and see how much your fuel economy changes.  There is a slight chance that your vehicle isn't working properly, but that's unlikely without the computer spitting out a 'check-engine' code.

You can tow a small trailer (~500lbs) with a Focus.  I did it for years. Functionally it's not much different from having three large men in the car with you, only even 'easier' on the vehicle b/c the added weight it distributed onto the trailer.

Baring a severe rust problem, there's no reason why your car shouldn't last another 80,000mi or more (probably a lot more). IF your circumstances change THEN you can consider getting a new car.  In the mean-time, get your vehicle checked out and fixed.  The occasional $1,500 repair bill might seem like it's a money pit, but consider this; even if you spend $1,500 on repairs every 18 months (which I find unlikely) it will take you 7.5 years before you spend as much as you'd loose buying the CrossTour.


Title: Re: buy another car or keep what I got
Post by: Tester on July 27, 2016, 04:37:24 PM
Just to chime in, first on the roomy part of the reasons:

I have a 2015 Ford Focus hatchback and my 4 year old child is fine in it.
We could use a larger car, but we are fine with this. I wanted to find a station wagon but they seem to be out of fashion in the USA plus I was fresh to this country and I saw too many suspect things in the used cars prices...so I settled to a new car - you can throw the facepunches :).
I can even get my child's bicycle in the trunk and close it...

My parents had their first car when I was 14: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Mirage#/media/File:Mitsubishi_Colt_3_d_1982.jpg
So, my father, mother, sister and I were able to fit in that car and also go in vacations.
I liked that car and I would get one just for fun right now if I would fine one in good condition.
The only thing it missed was air conditioning - but it had a 75 BHP engine....and leather covered steering wheel :)

I had a car much smaller than that some time ago and we fit 5 people in it and go on vacation:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daewoo_Tico
I like that one too, although the one I got also did not have air conditioning.
Really really fun car to drive.

I think the Ford Focus has much more space than the ones above :).

Regarding fuel consumption:
The car I got said it will get between 27 and 38 MPG.
After 4000 miles it is at 26 MPG, with a lot of the miles on highway....
The "no weather" tires have a role in this, plus it is not completely broken in, but I am sure it won't get to those numbers...
And I drive it trying to be efficient.
I don't know how those numbers are generated :
https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymodel/2015_Ford_Focus.shtml

So, if you took good care of your car and the noise is not a big problem, keep it for some more time.