Author Topic: Car : to sell or keep  (Read 2440 times)

Maya

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Car : to sell or keep
« on: May 05, 2016, 07:19:01 PM »
Wwyd? I drive a 2003 corolla with 260 000 km on it. I recently had it inspected to see if it could handle the drive cross country for our move (4500 km) and the garage gave me a list of upcoming problems and was a bit iffy.

Problems : needs new breaks - $500
Muffler and gas tank are rusting out - $1800

Muffler likely needs to be done, but I'm hoping gas tank could last a couple more years.

Overall the car is worth roughly $1500-2000 (if breaks repaired)

Basically the garage said good car for driving around the city, but if it's going to break down it'll happen on a long day's drive.

This is our 2nd car and to me is worth so much more as we'd likely spend 8-10 k to replace it.

we are planning to drive our other car and road trip it slowly over about 3 -4 weeks so our drives would never be more than 5 h days and would never be more than 2 h at a time and stopping for 2-3 h breaks as we have small kids (2.5 and 5).

Would you just sell the car and stick to the plan or repair the breaks and muffler (1000?) and take the risk that the car will make the drive and split up the family to drive the two cars (in caravan style).

I realized I'm really attached to this car.  DH doesnt like the idea of splitting up and wants to just sell the car.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 07:51:54 PM »
Moving is expensive. Doing it with two cars, one of which might lose all its gas in the middle of nowhere, will more than double your driving stress and annoyance, with which two small kids will already be pretty damn high. I'd sell it.

obstinate

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 11:10:58 PM »
Sell. It'll cost less in time and maybe money to sell it and buy something similarly (or slightly less ;)) aged on the other side.

FINate

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 01:03:57 AM »
Wwyd? I drive a 2003 corolla with 260 000 km on it. I recently had it inspected to see if it could handle the drive cross country for our move (4500 km) and the garage gave me a list of upcoming problems and was a bit iffy.

Problems : needs new breaks - $500
Muffler and gas tank are rusting out - $1800

Muffler likely needs to be done, but I'm hoping gas tank could last a couple more years.

Overall the car is worth roughly $1500-2000 (if breaks repaired)

Basically the garage said good car for driving around the city, but if it's going to break down it'll happen on a long day's drive.

This is our 2nd car and to me is worth so much more as we'd likely spend 8-10 k to replace it.

we are planning to drive our other car and road trip it slowly over about 3 -4 weeks so our drives would never be more than 5 h days and would never be more than 2 h at a time and stopping for 2-3 h breaks as we have small kids (2.5 and 5).

Would you just sell the car and stick to the plan or repair the breaks and muffler (1000?) and take the risk that the car will make the drive and split up the family to drive the two cars (in caravan style).

I realized I'm really attached to this car.  DH doesnt like the idea of splitting up and wants to just sell the car.

Get a second opinion, and don't bias them with what the first garage listed as problems. Garages (and other industries providing "inspections") are notorious for drumming up business by exaggerating or outright making up problems to fix.

Also, the comment about a breakdown being more likely on a long day's drive is very suspicious. Breaks wear more-or-less linearly over time, not as a function of how long since you last stopped. Same for rusted muffler/gas tank, and in my poor college days I drove around many cars without mufflers w/o issue.

gooki

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2016, 01:48:56 AM »
Those are some expensive brake pads. I'd shop around.

Should be able to replace brake pads, and muffler for $400 easy.

Maya

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2016, 05:13:44 AM »
I should note that intially I had a friend willing to drive the car cross country and do a road trip for me, but I cancelled it given the garage inspection. I didn't want her to end up stranded somewhere.

I was also a bit suspicious of the garage because it was the first time there as it was new owners, trusted previous guys, and when I was given the bad report the owner offered to buy it. No price given.

neo von retorch

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2016, 07:11:46 AM »
Problems : needs new breaks - $500
Muffler and gas tank are rusting out - $1800

...

Basically the garage said good car for driving around the city, but if it's going to break down it'll happen on a long day's drive.

Two things... the first is that I replaced the brakes on my wife's 2010 Corolla in about 35 minutes for about $115 in parts.

The second is that you don't use brakes (much) on a long highway drive (especially compared to driving around the city!) And rust doesn't care if you're on a long drive or a short drive. Engine problems might occur on a long drive on a hot day, if you're leaking water. Rust isn't going to suddenly go into overdrive and burn a hole through your car because it realizes you're crossing the country.

And third (OK three things!), Corollas are reliable, so even at that age and with those miles (kilometers) on it, it's still likely a $3000-4000 car to purchase or sell, unless it's in terrible condition.

Perhaps you should take it to a different shop, and just tell them "you're going on a road trip, and just want to know what could go wrong with the car." Don't tell them what the other garage told you; just see what they say on their own. Find out how bad things really are under there.

Reddleman

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 10:22:31 AM »
Agree with previous poster- your estimate was way too expensive.

My go-to for looking up parts prices is rockauto- ~250 for a brand new tank, $50 for the pump (might as well replace while you drop the tank.

Brakes- Depends on if you need rotors.  But even on the outside we're talking $200 for parts. 

Soooo.  $500 for parts.  Billable hours- maybe 5- ~$450.

Any shop worth anything should be able to do the work for under $1000 any day of the week. 

The reality is that for most people, keeping a reliable car you know has been maintained is a much better deal than buying a new one- particularly if it's a car known for reliability- like yours!

chemistk

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 10:33:16 AM »
I would argue that the gas tank is a bigger problem than you're making it out to be. Imagine a rock or piece of debris bouncing along the road and hitting the right spot on your gas tank. You could be engulfed in flames within 2 minutes. In an older car, I had a rock bounce under the car and punch a hole in the muffler, which is thinner than a gas tank but indicative that it could happen.

I'm of course not discounting the other issues. They should both be addressed if you keep the car. Ideally, you could fix all three (muffler is a little more difficult - you might have trouble getting the old muffler off) but if you must take it to a mechanic, you should consider buying the parts beforehand and having them install it. Most, if not all, mechanics will charge a premium on replacement parts as a way of keeping profit margins up.

Ultimately, if you're going to sell the car, I would recommend selling "as-is". You would not see your repair investment recovered if you were to fix it and then sell it.

Maya

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Re: Car : to sell or keep
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2016, 07:43:18 AM »
To update: took the car to another garage and they told me the first was stupid and that the gas tank is in plastic with a metal covering that was starting to rust, but was easy to fix. Got the fixes done for $1200 so fingers crossed it's good to go. My friend is still interested in driving it across country for me so that is great. everyone keep fingers crossed that they make it without costing more than $1500 in repairs (shipping costs) or massive breakdowns. you never know when doing a 4000 km road trip :)

Excited to potentially keep me car, because it'd cost a lot more to replace.