Author Topic: Should I replace my 2005 Ford Focus Wagon 190k miles and needs repair  (Read 638 times)

N

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I have a 2005 Ford Focus Wagon. It has 189K miles on it. I bought it in 2013 when it had 145K miles. I paid $3800.

Over the last 5 years, we have spent about $6800 on repairs on it. That includes brakes, but also tie rods, fuel pressure pump, a lot of stuff. Last year I spent almost 2k on repairs on it.

Now it needs the right side tie rod replaced and an alignment, est. cost 420$
I checked my records, and I had this done already on the car in 2013. The left side was replaced in 2015 and worked on again in 2017.
It also has the check engine light, they said the catalytic converter needs to be replaced, est cost: 1500.00 (I got that quote in december, didnt do anything about it.)

The car is not worth much- obviously, it needs lots of repairs, and the condition of it is not great. Exterior and interior.

I know I should replace it, right? I mean, duh? Or is it worth 400$ to squeeze some more miles out of it?

I have about 4k saved up which I could use to buy another used car. That doesnt go very far in Chicago. Ive been looking at used Prius on craigslist, the 4k and under ones either are 6-10 years old with 250k miles plus, or 10-14 years old with under 200K mileage.

I guess I could get a loan for a slightly more expensive used car, but I dont want a loan payment-could barely swing a loan payment, my budget is so tight. Which is why my car savings is so low, actually. I guess my question is:

Pay 400$ and squeeze more miles from car that really needs to be replaced sooner than later, anyway.

Rush to buy a replacement car in the next 6 days (is this even possible? Id have to move some $ between accounts or organize a loan)

Should I be getting a hybrid? or ? Its got to have 4 doors and fit 4 tall adults.
Advice?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 09:55:49 AM by N »

pecunia

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You live in Chicago.  Can you get to where you need to go with walking and the train?  This could buy you some time to save up money for a better car.

I hate driving in big city traffic.  I sure would not want a break down.

It seems like every where you go in Chicago there is a toll.  That's another reason to avoid using a car.  It will probably get worse for car owners as that city is supposed to be broke.

N

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We have one car. My husband's job moved and he has to take it to work every day. My and my two kids have been without access to a car during the day for the past 5 months. It sucks, honestly. We really want to have at least one car. I just hate buying cars, because I feel like I dont know what Im doing or getting into.

The car we have now, I essentially put a down payment of 4K on, and have been paying 2k a year for repairs (average).

I dont know if its worth spending more upfront and getting a potentially better car that will need less repairs. But Im not sure thats going to work, anyway.

pecunia

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Quote
I dont know if its worth spending more upfront and getting a potentially better car that will need less repairs. But Im not sure thats going to work, anyway

I think it would.  Ever hear of "planned obsolescence?"  These things are only built to last for so long.  Prior to the Japanese cars being prevalent, US cars were basically designed to only last three years and you were lucky to get 100,000 miles.

I bought a used 2012 FOCUS in 2015.   It had about 40,000 miles on it.  I now have about 112,000 miles on it.  I have used it for extensive highway driving and only had one big issue with it.  Well, now 2 issues since I saw a crack in the windshield yesterday.  I've talked with other Focus owners and they have told me they also have had good service from their vehicles.

I think the continual stop and go driving you find in a place like Chicago wears vehicles out sooner.

Bracken_Joy

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It really sounds like you need to replace it. But I think you knew that =) You've put $10,600 into this car then, and it really sounds like it wasn't worth it.

As for which car: how long is your husband's commute? How old are the children/are they in rear facing seats? With your budget, unless your husband's commute is really long, I would avoid hybrids. The cost of getting stuck with a battery replacement sounds like it's out of your budget right now, and gassers are much easier to work on. Personally, I'd be inclined to look for a civic or something similar that's known for easy repair and just keeping going long term.

Read some articles on how to buy used cars direct from owner. If you have the know how for this, it can be a good way to get a great car cheap. Especially if you can drive a manual- those are harder to sell than an automatic, so it gives you more room for negotiation.