Author Topic: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?  (Read 2122 times)

ALEXfromSTL

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When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« on: September 24, 2017, 10:49:11 AM »
Hey Mustachians! - I wanted your input....

I have a 2005 Scion xB with 181k miles on it. Now I've had it since I was in my wild driving 20s and the wear and tear shows. The A/C has died, it needs $3k(usd) in body work, $1000 in mechanical work and the check engine light just came on again.

In it's current condition its worth about $2000(usd).

My question - should I continue to repair this vehicle? OR should I sell it and add another $4k to get a quality used car with under 60,000 miles?

I could use the perspective of others further down the road then me. Thanks ahead of time!


OH - and before you suggest that I sell the car and live without it, know that I require it for work in my current position at work. But the end goal is to be more bicycle driven.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2017, 10:52:56 AM by ALEXfromSTL »

secondcor521

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2017, 11:20:31 AM »
Unless there is something very seriously wrong with the car, such as flood or fire damage, or severe engine damage, and assuming you are talking about economics only, it is always IMHO cheaper to fix a car rather than get a new one.

I did exactly that when I caused $4K worth of damage to the front end of my 1995 Toyota when it was about 10 years old and probably worth less than $4K.  I paid the $4K to fix it, then drove it for another 9 years.  During that 9 years, I had no car payments, very low insurance and registration fees, and minimal repair costs.

Now if you want a newer car anyway and have the wherewithal to buy one, that becomes a different and more subjective call.

Thinkum

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2017, 12:35:36 PM »
Is this car paid off? In any case, the car you have is almost always cheaper than the car you want to buy.

As to your problems; do you really need A/C?  What about the body damage; as long as it's roadworthy, why let it bother you? If you have the coin to fix the bodywork, then cool, if not, get to it fixed when/if you get some coin to do so at a later time.

You can get the engine light figured out for free by going to most auto parts stores. You can also get a lot of DIY stuff from forums for that vehicle and Youtube. How do you know you need $1K in mechanical repair? Transmission slipping? The xB is a Toyota and really is fairly stout. I'm sure with a little love, you vehicle can serve you well for years to come. 

Miss Piggy

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2017, 01:05:04 PM »
Personally, I wouldn't spend more fixing a car than it's worth. You say "and the check engine light just came on again." This sounds to me like you've already been putting money into the car, and now there's "one more thing..."  All those "one more things" can add up to the point at which you're throwing good money after bad.

Maybe I'm just not dedicated enough to car longevity.

ALEXfromSTL

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 02:03:03 PM »
I guess what I'm weighing is cost to longevity.

Let's say I fix the Scion minimally and I'm -$1000 on repairs. At this point I drive about 15k a year so the car has a lifespan of 3 more years on average. The unknown variable is how many other repairs will arise during that 3 year period. Also, the car is scrap after that time and is worth $500 tops.

If I sell, I offset the cost of a 5 year old Honda or Scion by $2000 and now I have almost 10 years of drive life on that new car at only $400 a year when averaged out. I imagine the repairs on the scion will eventually average out to be over $400 per year as time goes on.

punch holes in this please - I don't want to assume I'm right. Help me see the other side of its better

nickinak

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 04:07:39 PM »
It might be worth getting an insurance quote from your current provider for whatever year/model you are considering getting.  Insurance on a replacement car might be more due to the value of the car, or perhaps less due to added safety features. Either way, the information might help make a complete cost comparison.

secondcor521

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 07:39:22 PM »
I guess what I'm weighing is cost to longevity.

Let's say I fix the Scion minimally and I'm -$1000 on repairs. At this point I drive about 15k a year so the car has a lifespan of 3 more years on average. The unknown variable is how many other repairs will arise during that 3 year period. Also, the car is scrap after that time and is worth $500 tops.

If I sell, I offset the cost of a 5 year old Honda or Scion by $2000 and now I have almost 10 years of drive life on that new car at only $400 a year when averaged out. I imagine the repairs on the scion will eventually average out to be over $400 per year as time goes on.

punch holes in this please - I don't want to assume I'm right. Help me see the other side of its better

OK, the holes I see:

Your Scion can probably last another ten years if you continue to repair and maintain it, not 3.

If you repair it and drive it another 3 years, it'll probably still be worth $2K.  Around here, any car that is in running condition (and I would expect your Scion to be) is worth at least $1K.  Scrap would only be for cars that don't run.

You're ignoring the higher cost of insurance and license and registration between a 5 year old car and your Scion.  This is a fair amount of money especially if you would insure the new car for comprehensive and collision (I'm assuming you don't insure your current car for comp/collision given it's value and that it needs bodywork).

You're ignoring the repair costs on the new car.  If you buy a 5 year old car with 60K miles, then seven years from now you'll have a 12 year old car (just like you do today) with 135K miles on it.  When did you start needing repairs on your current car?

Altons Bobs

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 09:36:23 PM »
If it's me, I'd replace it. I had a 13-year old car, with pretty low mileage to my standard, I was happy driving it, except that it kept breaking every 2-3 weeks, with leaky hoses and minor stuff, nothing major. But the time it took to repair, we had to take time out, a few hours every couple of weeks, it got old. Dh was the one who took it in actually, and he was so tired of having to go to the repair shop so often, and had no time to do anything else. Not to mention it breaking down while I was driving, sometimes close to home, sometimes pretty far. Time is money. So we replaced it then.

rymmm

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2017, 09:49:10 PM »
What is entailed with the 3K in body work? Could you find someone to do that work cheaper and/or use junkyard parts? If you know what you need, http://www.car-part.com/ is a great resource.

Kroaler

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Re: When to FIX and when to SELL a car?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 11:46:19 AM »
Too me it sounds like deferred maintenance issues are just hitting all at once.            I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Scion xB (Toyota) with that mileage and with a short inspection and appropriate maintenance, drive it non stop cross country.

3k in bodywork?  I'd love to see a picture of the damage.  If it doesn't affect performance I really wouldn't even consider fixing it.     

Check engine lights?  Take care of it, go to auto store and get free readings or buy a 20$ Bluetooth obd reader off Amazon.   

Cars these days are practically self troubleshooting,  especially when paired with a factory service manual that has a troubleshooting flow chart....        If your super lazy Google "troublecode #     my car model + year".     Since 600,000 of the same car came down the same assembly line  the problem is usually well known and easily fixed.

Air conditioning not working.?   This is where alot of people get screwed.   Usually it's something simple but does require certain knowledge to troubleshoot.        But on a scion of that age, I wouldn't think component failure is the issue.


Just my ramblings.    In short I would love to have that car lol...