Author Topic: Which Car To Sell?  (Read 2524 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Which Car To Sell?
« on: June 22, 2014, 02:08:43 PM »
So a little background...we currently have two cars with over 100k miles, both paid off of course. We live up a 1.5 mile mountain road that gets quite snowy and occasionally icy during the winter months (we are in the Northeast). When we moved here we bough an AWD Subaru Outback, equipped it with winter tires and it has come in handy many times. Until recently my wife and I have been able to carpool to work, so we only really needed one AWD car.

But starting in the fall, and for the next 3-4 years, my wife will be commuting 50 miles to the West (4 days a week) to school for a graduate degree, and I will be commuting 13 miles to the East - 5 days a week - for work. Her front wheel drive Hyundai started having some minor issues, so we decided it might be time to sell that, and go with 2 AWD cars.

(Yes, I know our commutes and vehicles are not very Mustacian, but they are what they are for the time being...)

We went ahead and bought a used (25k miles) Suzuki SX4 with AWD with cash (one of the top 10 cars for smart people!) with the intention of selling my wife's Hyundai. The Suzuki has good expected reliability, and can get around 30 mpg.

However, in the mean time, my Subaru's recurring AC leak has popped up again, and I've noticed some signs of rust starting to show.

Here’s a quick pro/con list on the current vehicles

2004 Subaru Outback LLBean - 3.0 6 cyl, 215 HP
Reasons to keep:
*Lots of room
*Newish brake pads, rotors.
*Already have winter tires and chains.
*New serpentine belt.
*Better reliability reputation.

Reasons to sell:
*A/C Repairs. So far > $1k, still leaking.
*~24 MPG
*127k miles
*Early signs of rust in two locations
*Clunky automatic (normal for these cars).
*~$5k sale value
*Besides rust, these cars have great reliability reputation.

2004 Hyundai Elantra GT - 2.0 4 cyl, 135 HP
Reasons to Keep:
*~33 MPG
*“only” 105k miles
*5 speed manual.
*New front brakes / rotors, newish rear brakes / rotors.
*~$3k sale value?

Reasons to sell:
*Front wheel drive
*Check engine light - fuel tank ventilation issue (not dangerous, mostly just an annoyance).
*Doesn’t have winter tires and chains.
*Cosmetic Issues (cracked bumper, scraped fender)
*Lower reliability reputation.

If we keep the Subaru I'll be driving it most of the time so my wife can have the more efficient car for her longer commute.  If we keep the Hyundai she'll be driving that until the weather becomes an issue, then we'll swap.  Realistically, there will probably only be 15-20 or so days during the winter when it will be an issue.  I have some flexibility at work, so I may be able to occasionally work from home if I really don't feel safe driving myself and my son in a Hyundai...

If we keep the Hyundai she'll really be racking up the miles on it, which also worries me since who knows how long it will hold up...

We do have a small child who I will be responsible for driving to daycare, so that does play in to things as well, as far as the desire for safety and reliability...

So what would you do? Like I said, eliminating the commutes is just not an option for now...after my wife gets her degree in 3-4 years I do hope to move and minimize our driving.

I guess what I might really be asking is...would you consider AWD a necessity for these conditions, or do you think we can manage if I get winter tires for the Hyundai? Does the Hyundai's better MPG and lower mileage trump the Subaru's AWD and reliability reputation?

Sorry this got long...appreciate any thoughts!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Which Car To Sell?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2014, 05:59:15 PM »
FWD and winter tires should see you right.

$1k on ac? Ouch.

Yup, I'd sell the Subie. More money back (to put away for when the Hyundai dies).

OTOH rust 'starting to show'.. meh. If you keep it til it dies, who cares? But if you're going to have to spend huge amounts on maintenance.. bad.

I am not a fan of automatics. I am a fan of winter tires.

Cars should go to 200k+ miles no trouble...


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Which Car To Sell?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 06:30:20 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. 

Yeah, I've been fighting with the A/C for 3 years now...been through my regular mechanic and the dealer.  Mechanic replaced evaporator, then the dealer replaced the hose and connections coming out of the compressor.

I was hopeful the dealer got it last year, it made it through the summer, but withing a few weeks of using it this year it's dead again, with the all too familiar hissing and hot air...

So yeah, one one hand it's "just" the A/C, but I'm really getting sick of dealing with it.   A shame, because it's an otherwise solid car.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Which Car To Sell?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 07:34:39 PM »
I think you will find the Hyundai to be at least as reliable as the Subaru - I had the same model and sold it with 240000 miles on it. The only problem was a dent on one fender and one headlight lamp that kept shorting out. I wish I had kept it. It was a real little workhorse.


  • Bristles
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  • Location: MKE, WI
Re: Which Car To Sell?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2014, 09:36:40 AM »
I would keep the subaru. It comes down to numbers. Other posters above are right, FWD and snow tires will do just fine. However, you already have the snow tires for the subaru.  Last time I purchased winter tires and wheels, it was over $1000.

Figure out the costs, and go with lower in the long run.