Author Topic: Need help on making car decision  (Read 1148 times)


  • Stubble
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Need help on making car decision
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:01:35 AM »
Currently own a 2013 Chevy Cruze and a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Jeep blew a head gasket and needs $3,500 in repairs.  KBB on this car is $2,000, which seems fair given the inside of the Jeep isn't well maintained.  We have an opportunity to replace the engine entirely through a local auto mechanic school for roughly $800, which is certainly preferable to the $3,500 quote from the mechanic.

Given that we have decisions to make, I want to make the best decision for my family but also want to be more environmentally responsible.  I'd like to get feedback about my options.

(1) - Fix jeep for $800, drive until it dies.

(2) - Fix jeep for $800, sell it privately.  Buy a used vehicle.

(3) - Take jeep in current condition to a dealer and see what trade in value they'll give us.  Buy a used vehicle.

If the KBB price is $2,000, it almost seems as though putting a new engine in the car wouldn't be worth the $800 if the plan is to sell the vehicle.  I think if I'm spending $800, it should be with the intention to drive this thing until it dies.  Is this the most environmentally responsible decision though?  On the one hand, I like the idea of potentially driving this vehicle for several more years (has a relatively new radiator, tires and brakes) and delaying it's deposit into a junk yard.  On the other hand, it seems environmentally wasteful to create demand for a new engine for a car that won't last.


  • Stubble
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Re: Need help on making car decision
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 09:52:14 AM »
I'd let the school replace the head gasket, sell it, and get something fuel efficient. You probably don't need a whole new engine. I'm not sure why they are wanting to replace the whole thing. 3500 is a bit steep for a head gasket in my opinion. 1 to 2k is more reasonable. With a new engine, you could probably sell it privately for a bit more than the 2k


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Need help on making car decision
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 10:07:12 AM »
Assuming that a) you actually need two cars, and b) that the car doesn't have any major other issues (not about to fall apart due to rust, etc.), I'd probably have the school do the repair, fix any other issues and drive it until it dies.  Have a plan in place for when it does die.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Need help on making car decision
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 10:27:55 AM »
The value is $2k with the blown head gaskets?

I'm torn between 1 and 2. If the car is otherwise reliable it might make sense to just keep it running and kill it. However, a fixed running Jeep can probably sell for a decent amount in the winter months... fix the head gaskets and I'd list for $3k (what's the mileage?) and see who bites.

I feel if you sell the car to someone who will use it, and buy a used car - especially a fuel efficient one, the overall environmental impact is not major.