Author Topic: Gifted pricey car  (Read 6724 times)

cbee6390

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Gifted pricey car
« on: September 15, 2016, 05:59:55 AM »
I received a 2010 Minicooper as a gift from my (generous) parents with about 60K miles on it. In the 6 months I've owned it, it's required $3,600 in repairs (ouch!). It is definitely *not* a MMM Car for Smart People (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/).

I doubt it will need more repairs in the next year, two years, after all I've put into it. But it's possible, of course.

Should I keep it, since right now it is only costing me gas, taxes, the occasional oil change...? Or should I sell it, then use the cash to buy a much cheaper used car (e.g. a 2009 Honda Fit or a Toyota)? 

Or... go carless?  Downside is that right now the boyfriend and I use the car for a lot of weekend trips, hiking, etc to places that are not accessible by bike or public transportation. I suppose we could do ZipCar or rentals for those situations. But I worry we'd end up hiking less. 

BlueHouse

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 06:21:36 AM »
Pretend that this is any other gift. You wouldn't try to price it and then determine what to do with it. So determine whether it is useful to you now and whether it's benefits to you now are greater than its costs. If you decide you don't want or need the car, then start thinking about what it is worth.

Disclosure: I just received a gift and the price tag was still on it. Of course I looked, but I probably shouldn't have done it right in front of the giver!  Oops.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 06:33:24 AM »
Honestly, whilst yes, it's not a Mustachian car, provided it is more reliable from now on, it's still worth keeping.

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boarder42

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 06:39:55 AM »
conventional logic is if you wouldnt buy it now then you should sell it.  that being said.  a gift crosses into a more personal area with the giver.  my parents wouldnt gift me a car like that so each situation here is unique, would your parents take offense to you selling a gifted car and buying something more economical

GuitarStv

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 06:46:35 AM »
My father in-law bought a large SUV a few years ago, drove it around for a while, and then tried to give it to us since we were having a baby and would need an SUV.  We didn't need a second car and it got significantly worse gas mileage than our Corolla.  I had to refuse to accept it.

rothwem

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 06:56:44 AM »
Oof, $3600 to fix a 2010 Cooper?  WTF happened?

I drive an older BMW (sorry, I like old Bimmers, #nonmustachian) and I'm struggling to figure out what would have to break besides an engine or transmission to cost $3600?  I'm asking because I'm thinking that perhaps you got gouged.  Rule #1 of owning a German car is to "NEVER take your car to the dealer outside of warranty".  With VWs, that can be extended to, "NEVER take your car to a dealer, even IN warranty".

antarestar

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 07:18:46 AM »
I know someone who bought a new mini and it has regularly needed those kinds of repairs ever since it was brand new. Mini is owned by BMW, I believe, and it seems like you either get an awesome one that never needs repairs or you get a dud that constantly needs repairs.
Plus, everything has to be done at that dealership and costs a ton.

I say get rid of it and buy something different. Tell your parents that you are grateful for their gift but the other car fits your life so much better and you promise to use any profit from the car to pay student loans/fund retirement account/pay mortgage...

cbee6390

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2016, 07:28:29 AM »
@rothwem Yikes - yes, I took to the dealer. I don't know much about cars and figured that would be the safest/most reliable... Took it in a total of THREE times over 1 month.

In order...

Trip #1
- new front brake pads $250
- 3 new tires $500
- alignment $170
- service $400

Trip #2
- new coils and plugs ($800)
- vacuum pump leaking oil $600
- fuel injector cleaned $230
- service $300

Trip #3
- new battery $300 (died on me - had to bring it back for a third time)

Axecleaver

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 07:58:19 AM »
Wow, dealer really took you for a ride. Your local garage would have done that work for about 25-50% of what you quoted (depending on the service). Also you should never replace one or three tires - always replace them in pairs, and if you have a good one left over, keep that as a spare. They will wear improperly. Can't believe the dealer let you buy three.

Sears or Walmart will install a new battery for you for under $100.
TireRack.com for new tires, then use one of their recommended installers.
Plugs are super easy to change yourself - learn how to do this in 10 minutes on youtube.

rothwem

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 08:03:02 AM »
@rothwem Yikes - yes, I took to the dealer. I don't know much about cars and figured that would be the safest/most reliable... Took it in a total of THREE times over 1 month.

In order...

Trip #1
- new front brake pads $250
- 3 new tires $500
- alignment $170
- service $400

Trip #2
- new coils and plugs ($800)
- vacuum pump leaking oil $600
- fuel injector cleaned $230
- service $300

Trip #3
- new battery $300 (died on me - had to bring it back for a third time)

Oof, yea, you got screwed.  If you're going to keep the car, you need to stop taking it to the dealer. 

I recommend you sell though.  With European cars, the fun of driving it has to outweigh the effort required to maintain them economically.  If the marginal increase in fun doesn't outweigh the effort, then its not worth owning.  Sell and buy a Prius. 

neo von retorch

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2016, 08:14:52 AM »
2008 Honda Fit
New brake pads ($30)
New tires ($360)
New coils and plugs ($235 - coils 4 x $53, plugs 4 x $8)
New battery ($125)

"Service" (??????)

I know you're rounding here for simplicity, but those are huge numbers. Now, I know a guy with a who sold his Mini Cooper and he spent A LOT on repairs. I don't think it's a great car to keep around.

Why did they gift you that specific car?

cbee6390

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 09:22:41 AM »
@neo von retorch

They passed it down - they bought it in 2010 (they are NOT Mustachians), then gave to me this January (after buying a new BMW).

Thanks for all the info about relative cost at an auto shop vs dealership. I'd heard (from non-Mustachians) that BMWs/Minis "have" to go to a dealer for repairs, because regular autoshops "don't know how to take care of BMWs" etc. This is my first time as a car owner so I really was clueless.

After getting taken for a ride (three times) this summer, I think I've learned my lesson...

Kelley blue book says a 2010 Mini only sells for about $4,000-$5,000. Does that sound right? And, if so, still worth to trade-in for a car with cheaper maintenance?

rothwem

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 09:37:09 AM »
@neo von retorch

They passed it down - they bought it in 2010 (they are NOT Mustachians), then gave to me this January (after buying a new BMW).

Thanks for all the info about relative cost at an auto shop vs dealership. I'd heard (from non-Mustachians) that BMWs/Minis "have" to go to a dealer for repairs, because regular autoshops "don't know how to take care of BMWs" etc. This is my first time as a car owner so I really was clueless.

After getting taken for a ride (three times) this summer, I think I've learned my lesson...

Kelley blue book says a 2010 Mini only sells for about $4,000-$5,000. Does that sound right? And, if so, still worth to trade-in for a car with cheaper maintenance?

That sounds a little low, honestly.  Is yours a Cooper S or non-S?  (Is there a turbo).  Manual or not? How many miles?

Also, when I say, "independent shop" I don't mean "the gas station on the corner".  Look for an independent shop that specializes in European cars.  The dealers gouge so bad that there's a huge market for independent shops that know what they're doing and charge regular prices for their work. 

mtn

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 09:51:52 AM »
Don't count tires to the maintenance. It is a regular wear item.

Brakes can be done yourself; they're actually pretty easy.  Coils too.

You got really hosed on the battery. Like, really, really hosed. Go to Costco and buy it yourself, and put it in yourself. Not that hard.

Fuel injector cleaning--why? Was it not running right? Sounds like snake oil to me.

What is the "service"? The labor fees? Still seems very high.


rothwem

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2016, 10:58:12 AM »
You got really hosed on the battery. Like, really, really hosed. Go to Costco and buy it yourself, and put it in yourself. Not that hard.

Just to mention--the battery is going to be a little higher on the BMWs/Minis.  $300 is still double what it ought to cost, but there's two things that add cost to the battery change:

-The batteries themselves are huge.  Like 90Ah. BMW loves to have stuff run while the car is sitting, so over time, the battery drains.  Having a large battery helps to keep the car starting.
-The battery needs to be coded to the car.  The cars have an "intelligent battery sensor"  that adjusts how fast the battery is charged and when it needs to stop charging when the charge is full.  Those parameters change as the battery ages, so you've got to reset the car's adaptations when you put a new battery in.  Also, if you go from lead-acid to AGM or vice versa, or switch to a different capacity, you need to change that. 

With that said, its about a half hour's worth of labor, so at an indy, you'd probably spend about $150 dollars ($100 for battery, $50 for labor)

The nice thing about the technology is that the batteries last forever, in my previous BMW, the battery lasted 8 years/140,000 miles...that's pretty solid. 

mtn

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2016, 11:03:20 AM »
You got really hosed on the battery. Like, really, really hosed. Go to Costco and buy it yourself, and put it in yourself. Not that hard.

Just to mention--the battery is going to be a little higher on the BMWs/Minis.  $300 is still double what it ought to cost, but there's two things that add cost to the battery change:

-The batteries themselves are huge.  Like 90Ah. BMW loves to have stuff run while the car is sitting, so over time, the battery drains.  Having a large battery helps to keep the car starting.
-The battery needs to be coded to the car.  The cars have an "intelligent battery sensor"  that adjusts how fast the battery is charged and when it needs to stop charging when the charge is full.  Those parameters change as the battery ages, so you've got to reset the car's adaptations when you put a new battery in.  Also, if you go from lead-acid to AGM or vice versa, or switch to a different capacity, you need to change that. 

With that said, its about a half hour's worth of labor, so at an indy, you'd probably spend about $150 dollars ($100 for battery, $50 for labor)

The nice thing about the technology is that the batteries last forever, in my previous BMW, the battery lasted 8 years/140,000 miles...that's pretty solid.

Our E30 battery, and it sits for 3-5 months a year, has been in the car since we bought it over 10 years ago.

Tiger Stache

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2016, 11:06:30 AM »
It's a car you're making no payments on. Find a good independent mechanic for the next time you need something. Never take it back to the dealer.

undercover

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2016, 11:07:40 AM »
I think this is a very different situation than having just received a gift that other posters are referring to.

You've had this thing 6 months and it's been a headache...and could continue to be one. I don't know who would fault you for getting rid of it.

mtn

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2016, 11:58:23 AM »
I think this is a very different situation than having just received a gift that other posters are referring to.

You've had this thing 6 months and it's been a headache...and could continue to be one. I don't know who would fault you for getting rid of it.

But it likely won't. Half the things on that list were either unnecessary or else normal wear items that you can expect on any vehicle (battery, tires, brakes)

cbee6390

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2016, 01:20:48 PM »
@Slow2FIRE

Actually yes, I had to take it because I had the check engine light on and was experiencing all those symptoms you mention. So something was definitely wrong.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2016, 01:28:39 PM »
Ouch you got ripped off on those repairs!  A lot of those costs were regular maintenance that could be requird on any car.  Mini coopers are not knon for their reliably,  but I would personally keep it.

newelljack

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2016, 12:40:33 PM »
As someone who just sold a paid-for car and "upgraded" for the wife because of anticipated maintenance, I would keep the car, watch some youtube videos on repairs, and stash a little aside each month as a replacement/repair fund.

We had a 2007 Mercury Mariner with 124k and the steering sounded funny. So we sold it. Not my smartest moment.

Spork

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2016, 12:51:02 PM »
There are a lot of things about Minis that cost more -- premium gas, run-flat tires, attachment to BMW dealerships, etc.  It costs more to own - period.

That said: I would keep it.  Especially if it was a manual transmission/S model.

But take my advice with a grain of salt.  I love the little guys.  I've considered them in my last 2 purchases -- but both times my sensible side took over and I bought something else.  I've been a Britcar nerd since I was about 12.  (Yeah, I know it's not really a Britcar any more, but it still has a bit of Britcar look/feel.)

Kroaler

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2016, 10:34:05 AM »
Just to chime in,  you need to find an independent shop that is very familiar with Mini.   If you cant do that, I suggest trading to something that is locally supported at a more affordable price.

mtn

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2016, 03:19:36 PM »
Run flat tires are not necessary, and in a year I'd be surprised if there is more than a $300 difference in regular and premium.

Bicycle_B

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2016, 03:46:44 PM »
I'm guessing you should keep it, but the more important issue is to learn about cars - that's going to make more difference.

Quick thoughts on that line:

Learn to estimate car repair costs.  For now, never accept the price proposed by the mechanic.  Say "let me think about it" and research the cost.  Try Googling "how to estimate car repair costs" and you will find several websites that give a starting point.  Know also that mechanics routinely work from standardized cost books or systems, where repair x takes y amount of hours, then they multiply the hours by their planned rate to establish labor charge.  They will usually get a discount on parts cost compared to you, so never pay more for parts than the price you'd pay retail (AutoZone, PepBoys, internet).  Research the hours and parts for a given repair that they propose, then you can calculate a fair price.  For example, suppose it's 2 hours to replace water pump, you find pump for $60 online, multiply 2 hours x $40 = 80, you don't want to pay more than $140.  That kind of thing can give you a baseline while you shop different mechanics.

Many made great points on the costs of maintaining a car.

Just want to add that you can try finding a Mini enthusiast site to see if they have a list of reputable independent service guys in your area.

If you DIY, brakes are really easy and I always use tirerack - I paid about $550 for a set of four tires (16" x 215 x 55) not too long ago for my own car.  Coils and plugs are easy too, the coils likely aren't more than a couple bolts/screws holding down each one and a wiring harness clip with each coil pack directly over a sparkplug.  Not a mini owner, but I'm making an educated guess on the layout of a 2010 model year car.  Now, knowing that you need a new coil pack is a different matter:  did you have OBD codes or the "check engine" light or "service engine soon" light?  I don't see why a coilpack would be a regular service item and if you aren't getting codes, having hesitation on acceleration, misfires, poor power, etc - I find it hard to believe that they would all need to be replaced.

Great idea!

« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 03:56:52 PM by Bicycle_B »

Spork

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2016, 10:35:53 AM »
Run flat tires are not necessary, and in a year I'd be surprised if there is more than a $300 difference in regular and premium.

They are only necessary because Mini's don't have the room for a spare.  You don't have to have them.  But it sucks if you get a flat.

Spork

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2016, 12:53:33 PM »

Q: Do you know why the British don't make computers?

A: They can't figure out how to make them leak oil!

:)

Q: Do you know why the Brits drink warm beer? 
A: Lucas brand refrigerators

mtn

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Re: Gifted pricey car
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2016, 08:03:51 AM »
Run flat tires are not necessary, and in a year I'd be surprised if there is more than a $300 difference in regular and premium.

They are only necessary because Mini's don't have the room for a spare.  You don't have to have them.  But it sucks if you get a flat.

True, didn't think about that. But even there, you can put a can of fix-a-flat in there and a compressor to limp to the nearest tire place.