Author Topic: Repair/replace car?  (Read 4449 times)

cynthia1848

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Repair/replace car?
« on: September 08, 2014, 05:17:09 AM »
12 year old Acura TL (140K miles) needs repairs done to the tune of 2200.  Car is only worth 1500 at trade, same before and after the repair.  Would you repair or replace?  If replace, what with?

Disclaimer - yes, we do need a car to commute in, approx. 12 miles one way, no public transport options, and car needs to be reliable (no shoulder on which to pull over for much of the way).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2014, 05:24:22 AM »
What repairs?

Jags4186

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2014, 06:21:15 AM »
My rule of thumb is if it costs more to repair then it's worth it's time to get a new one.


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Thegoblinchief

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2014, 06:32:14 AM »
What repairs?

+1

Depending on what needs fixing, it could be a great DIY project.

Regardless, I look at my gut feeling of the overall car's condition. Yes, it's easy to say $2200 > $1500 but what kind of car would you get new to you for $2200? Answer: a rolling piece of shit unless you're DIY capable. If you were already planning to replace it, that's a bit different calculation.

You also don't NEED the car. 12 miles is easily done in less than an hour on a bike, and it's long enough that it's a nice daily cardio workout - unlike the short 2-3 mile commutes most people are willing to bike.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2014, 06:49:20 AM »
There's a few schools of thought on the issue.

One being that at 140,000miles, the car should still have a bit of life left in it. Especially a fancypants Acura.

The other being what else could be damaged, and whether there'd be ongoing issues caused as a result. For example, if it's overheated and requires new cylinder heads, is the bottom end of the engine OK?

If you were planning on keeping it for a long while and it's been otherwise OK, then it might be worth doing the repair to get a couple more years out of it. If you have been having other issues and the car could continue to have problems, it might be worth cutting your losses.

I'll give you a little story of my own experiences. A couple years ago my car overheated on the freeway. It was worth about $4000 at the time, and the repair (cylinder head) was $3000. I decided to get it done, but unfortunately the bottom end was damaged and it continued to burn oil. I continued to drive it whilst topping up oil for the next year, until the clutch went. After that I decided to cut my losses and be rid of it.

As for what to get next, it depends on how much you drive, but a clean used (five years or so) smallish Japanese car is a pretty popular choice around these boards. Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, you name it. A Prius might also make sense if you're doing huge k's.

Also, move to an area where you don't have to drive everywhere :) Total car dependency is the pits.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 06:53:39 AM by alsoknownasDean »

sandandsun

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 06:59:33 AM »
would need to know more specifics about needed repair, but if it is a truly needed repair, then the trade in or private party value of the car is NOT the same either with or without repair...

cynthia1848

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2014, 07:42:43 AM »
I am not a car guy.  The brake lines and fuel lines all need to be replaced.  We cannot drive it out of the shop to another shop, either, would need to be towed (it has no brakes right now).

Also, time is money to me - I am not trading 30 minutes one way in the car for 90 minutes on a bike, particularly in the winter.  (The bike route would not be the same and is much longer.)

sandandsun

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2014, 09:30:10 AM »
if you aren't a car person and don't want to fool with repairing/maximizing profit on this car, I would give you this advice:
pick out the car you want (used Toyota, 05-07 range should be a 5-8k vehicle) THEN negotiate what they will give you in trade...

But if it was me, I would buy the new(er) car, pay for minimal fixes to acura (if I couldn't do it myself), then sell the acura outright... youll be at least 1k ahead doing it this way- you will get NOTHING for a trade that is towed in (which might be ok with you if you don't want the hassle, just know that going in)...

BlueMR2

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2014, 10:04:43 AM »
Regardless, I look at my gut feeling of the overall car's condition. Yes, it's easy to say $2200 > $1500 but what kind of car would you get new to you for $2200? Answer: a rolling piece of shit unless you're DIY capable. If you were already planning to replace it, that's a bit different calculation.

This for sure.  When you get into the "worth < $5000 range" you're often better off sticking with what you know and not buying somebody else's problems (unless it's got some other major things that are known bad to make the risk of buying worthwhile).

SummerLovin

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2014, 05:17:27 PM »
I've been researching this in the event of a repair bill larger than the value of my car. I had bookmarked this article on some considerations that might be helpful.
http://lifehacker.com/should-i-repair-or-just-replace-my-old-car-484335393
It really depends on if you have 8-10K available for a "newer" car. If you don't and you'll be making payments, can you afford them? If you're looking at ta car less than $5K you're just buying someone else's problems and could end up in the same situation 3 months down the road.  If this is where you are thinking I would recommend hiring a mechanic to inspect the car you are interested in buying to make sure there are no other significant repairs lurking around the corner.
You could also call around to see if what you are being quoted for repairs is accurate, and if it's significantly higher see if it's worth the charge to have the car towed to another place if you decide to repair. Good Luck!

cynthia1848

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2014, 11:41:40 AM »
Thanks all.  I will replace - car may need a transmission soon and it is out of the extended warranty on that.  I will probably get a newer car, maybe a 2012 off lease, around 15K (cash).

BayIslandSaver

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2014, 01:17:03 PM »
I had a similar situation with my Accord which is similar to your TL (mechanically) and facing $2500+ in repairs and I'll be lucky to get $2K for the car on CL.
In my situation there wasn't anything there that was preventing me from driving the car altogether. Engine mount was bad, valve cover gasket cracked, oil filter housing was bad, upper ball joints were bad, tranny/brake/PS fluids needed changing.

There are some high cost items and there are some low cost items.  I'll diy the fluids, engine mount (side), and ball joints for ~$250.  For the other stuff, I'll just monitor my oil level and keep an eye on any potential leaks.

For others in similar situations, learn about the consequences of each repair/problem and get yourself a repair manual for your car (Haynes or Chilton). They may have your manual at the library as well.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Repair/replace car?
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2014, 09:04:04 PM »

Thanks all.  I will replace - car may need a transmission soon and it is out of the extended warranty on that.  I will probably get a newer car, maybe a 2012 off lease, around 15K (cash).

If the transmission's on the way out as well, it's probably a better option.

Would you be able to find something that suits your needs on less than $15000? Depends on how many k's you do a year and your size requirements I guess.

Good luck :)