Author Topic: Keep or Replace Vehicle  (Read 971 times)

kc27

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Keep or Replace Vehicle
« on: April 03, 2017, 01:24:42 AM »
I have a 2005 Chrysler Town and Country Mini-Van that over the years has transitioned from primary family transportation to a dog transporting, building supply fetching, recycling center drop-off utility vehicle. It needs $800 worth of front end work to keep it safe and to prevent excessive tire wear, and also needs a new set of tires ($400). Visually, it is not very attractive: I live in the Midwest, and despite my diligent efforts to keep it from rusting, it has rusting, rotting rocker panels, rust in the sliding doors and around the rear wheel wells, and un-repaired body collision damage. Since I am at the point of making a spending decision, I wondered if I might also be at the point where instead of spending $800 on the front end work, I might be better off replacing it. I am also going to depend on this vehicle to make four to six 1000 mile round-trip out-of-state trips in the coming year.

What do you think? Is this a situation where it is better to replace it and "turn back the clock" by finding similar vintage van in the 100,000 to 125,000 mile, $3000 price range where everything mostly works and the body is still in relatively good shape? Or is repair the better way to go? Pros and cons of vehicle are below:

PROS
Engine runs good
Reliable
Keep it washed, but no longer worry about rust or body damage because it is already there.
Has had pretty regular maintenance over the years (fluid changes)
Daily driver. We take this on our 26 mile round trip to work, and let it take a beating, rather than use the current family hauler, which my kids drive 1.5 miles to school and to their after-school practices.
Recently replaced the rear shocks
Recently replaced the front brakes


CONS
Leaks oil (I think iI need to replace the valve cover gaskets)
I have been told it needs a new steering rack unit - $800 job
Air conditioning no longer works
Rocker panel rust - eventual structural integrity issue
Body rust and un-repaired collision damage
Parking brake broken
Needs a new sensor in right front bumper to make air bag system functional again


« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 01:30:51 AM by kc27 »

SnackDog

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Re: Keep or Replace Vehicle
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 01:59:02 AM »
I would try to swap it for a Toyota pickup. Far more reliable and potentially more utilitarian.

kc27

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Re: Keep or Replace Vehicle
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 02:34:44 AM »
For the hauling portion, yes, a pick-up would be preferable. But I also do haul critters and people from time to time in this vehicle, so the seating capacity of a van does come in handy.