Author Topic: Time to replace car?  (Read 4863 times)

MoonPilgrim

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Time to replace car?
« on: November 12, 2012, 09:35:22 AM »
Situation:  2004 automatic 2WD Chevy Blazer LS, 90K miles, gets approximately 15 mpg.  (I face punch myself, daily, thank you.)

Development:  Heat stopped working, last time it was in the shop, mechanic said if the heat went again I'd need to do something expensive with the heater core.

Dilemma:  I could save between $500 and $1000 per year if I bought a car that gets 30 mpg.  But I'm used to the "devil I know."  The Blazer has a lot of miles left in it.  The cargo hauling comes in handy for gigs (keyboard, PA, and drum set).  Who needs heat, anyway?  Michigan isn't that cold.  My parents might sell or gift me their 2004 Jetta with 100K miles.  Or I could buy something, but I won't be able to pull a couple thousand together until February or March.

What do you think, mustachians?  Is it time to say goodbye to the suvtruckcar?


Another Reader

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 09:48:43 AM »
What's the cost of the repair?  What's the value of the truck in its' current condition and if repaired?

Seems like there are a lot of unknowns.  Several things might happen that change your transportation situation.  Right now, the truck is useful to you.  If I could repair it inexpensively, in your shoes I would do so and hold on to it until my alternatives were known.

Done by Forty

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 10:20:45 AM »
One way to look at it is that it's technically always time to replace that SUV.  Because another car could get much better gas mileage and save you $X per year in gas (& perhaps more in maint), given a long timeframe, a more fuel efficient car is always the right financial choice (assuming the 2nd car lasts long enough to reach the 'break even' point, doesn't have high maint costs, etc.).

If you can't afford this other car today, it seems that the most frugal path forward is to tough out the winter without heat and then go buy a fuel efficent car.  I don't know how possible that is in your neck of the woods.

If, however, you could sell the current truck and buy another car (with heat) outright, that could be even better.

capital

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 10:26:17 AM »
How many miles do you drive? Do you ever go off road?

If you like cargo space, a Pontiac Vibe/Toyota Matrix probably has a similar amount of room, and gets double the MPG. The Vibe is usually cheaper on account of the GM badge.

MoonPilgrim

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 10:35:11 AM »
The repair would probably be around $500, and the truck probably isn't worth more than $3K after the repair.  I actually went without heat two winters ago and didn't realize it (my part of Michigan isn't that cold, and I just thought my drive was too short for the heat to have time to warm up)!  I never off-road (on purpose, anyway), I drive about 7500 miles/year, and truth be told, I could probably get away with a teensy-weensy compact, because other band members have cars.

Intellectually, I know that if I were able to sell it for $3K and purchase a car with better gas mileage for the same amount, I'd be saving money pretty much instantly.  I just, I don't know...am afraid of change and the unknowns?  Maybe step one is to give my parents a call and see where they're at with the Jetta.  That's less scary because I know the car, I know the owners.  I've never bought a car before; I always took my parent's old cars, until a crazy exboyfriend picked out the Blazer almost a decade ago.

This is probably one of those instances where I just need to give myself a face punch and stop being such a wussipants about being a grown-up and doing grown-up things. 

Done by Forty

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2012, 10:58:18 AM »
The devil we know is more comfortable, definitely.  But he costs us, most of the time.

Rangifer

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2012, 08:09:49 PM »
Hi there,

If you don't want to fix the heater core then you can have it bypassed. You won't get any heat in the cabin, but there are no other negative consequences.

meadow lark

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 02:56:19 PM »
   OMG - we have the same car!  Well, mine's 4wd. I would not replace a car for an expected payout of $875 - my estimate of gas savings if gas costs $3.50 and you drive 7500 and can double your MPG.  Not until that sweet sounding Jetta is a possibility.   Considering how little you drive - I would consider buying some nice gloves and a plug in electric blanket that you could plug into your lighter.  Either one especially made for the car, or a lap blanket and a convertor for the lighter that lets you plug a regular cord into it.  Or heated seat covers - I saw some at Walmart that I thought, "oh those aren't expensive" but I can't remember how much.  All good things to put on your Christmas/Solstice/Hannukah list.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 03:01:27 PM by Meadow Lark »

Another Reader

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 02:59:43 PM »
I was wondering if there was such a thing as a plug-in heater for the lighter?  Probably a safety issue, but if they exist, it could solve the problem.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 07:01:42 AM »
A heater core isn't too expensive to buy and while it is time consuming to repair, it is entirely doable (There's probably even some how-to video's on you tube). The key is to be patient... Either way it a good idea to fix it. If you sell, it will be something people appreciate (or will try and talk you down on your price if it's broken) and if you keep it you'll have some heat...

The Jetta idea is nice too if your parents are inclined to get rid of it...

Worst case, you could fix the heat and sell the truck and buy a cheapie beater car off of CL that gets better mpg and use the remainder of the sale proceeds to pay down other debt or add to the 'stach...

KristinD

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Re: Time to replace car?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 08:43:20 AM »
The repair would probably be around $500, and the truck probably isn't worth more than $3K after the repair.  I actually went without heat two winters ago and didn't realize it (my part of Michigan isn't that cold, and I just thought my drive was too short for the heat to have time to warm up)!  I never off-road (on purpose, anyway), I drive about 7500 miles/year, and truth be told, I could probably get away with a teensy-weensy compact, because other band members have cars.

Intellectually, I know that if I were able to sell it for $3K and purchase a car with better gas mileage for the same amount, I'd be saving money pretty much instantly.  I just, I don't know...am afraid of change and the unknowns?  Maybe step one is to give my parents a call and see where they're at with the Jetta.  That's less scary because I know the car, I know the owners.  I've never bought a car before; I always took my parent's old cars, until a crazy exboyfriend picked out the Blazer almost a decade ago.

This is probably one of those instances where I just need to give myself a face punch and stop being such a wussipants about being a grown-up and doing grown-up things.

I think you just (harshly) answered your own question. See where your parents are, and think about moving forward. If they can't help you out I'd replace the gas guzzler.