Author Topic: What would you do with this car  (Read 5348 times)

Hedge_87

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What would you do with this car
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:09:52 AM »
So I had the car in the mechanic shop yesterday and was told that it will need a new transmission. The car is an 01 Buick century with 155k on it. It's probably only worth about $2000tops. A new transmission is $2400. I know my position on this situation but I was wanting to see everybody else's opinion. Do I A)sell the car and have it be somebody else's problem. B) fix it and continue driving it. C) insert your option here

fodder69

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 06:01:18 AM »
Depends on the other costs you expect the car to incur over the next few years and how much you like it.

If it seems reliable other than that (which Buicks are not particularly known for) and it fits all your needs and you like the car, then fix it. Cars *will* cost money, no way around that. Sometimes these big hits seem bad but if that's the only major repair in 3 years it works out to be fairly inexpensive.

If not all of the above fits, then sell it (you should get at least 500 from a junkyard at minimum) and get something newer that you expect to be more reliable.

Hedge_87

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 07:07:13 AM »
That's my problem. I was really hoping to get another 3-4 years out of the car while we knock out my fiancée student loan debt. Other than the transmission it has virtually no other issues. In the price range I'm looking at on autotrader I don't think I get anything more reliable. Also I have a big moral decision.  The car still runs fine for now. I would feel horrible selling the car  to anybody else to drive even I could sell it with full disclosure (highly unlikely).

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 07:25:42 AM »
The car still runs fine for now? So, is the tranny slipping?

I'd replace the transmission, ideally myself to make the repair cheaper than the car's worth. If you have a handy friend/relative and you can survive a week without a car, it's doable to do this yourself but it takes TIME without the experience and resources of a shop.

Even if you pay them, I'd still keep the car. Cars in $2k price range are their own time bombs.

Hedge_87

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 07:39:51 AM »
It is weird. It runs fine for a month or so and then it will shift really hard. Had my mechanic friend plug it in and the code is related to a cylinoid in the transmission that regulates pressure. To replace that part alone is $1500 and it might not be the cause of the problem so I could put 1500 in it and not fix the problem. The fluid also is getting dirty and smells bad which makes me think something is going out in it.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 12:16:16 PM »
Well, still another option would be to use the car as little as possible. Bike everywhere else. Get as long as you can out of it before the transmission straight up bricks.

See how much you've saved up by then. Maybe you'll be in the market for a much nicer used car ($5-$10K) and you can dump the car.

Also, instead of just junking it, you could strip it down and sell it for parts and get more than the junkyard depending on how many of those cars are in your area.

ketchup

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 12:20:23 PM »
If it were me I'd try to find a lowish-miles junkyard tranny fairly cheap and drop it in myself.

Assuming I had the time, space, and flexibility (not having a car while doing the job).

Greg

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 12:32:57 PM »
When was the last time the fluid was changed?  Might try that, stranger things have happened.  Not a flush, just a fluid change.

olivia

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 12:39:32 PM »
Well, still another option would be to use the car as little as possible. Bike everywhere else. Get as long as you can out of it before the transmission straight up bricks.

See how much you've saved up by then. Maybe you'll be in the market for a much nicer used car ($5-$10K) and you can dump the car.

Also, instead of just junking it, you could strip it down and sell it for parts and get more than the junkyard depending on how many of those cars are in your area.

Ditto this.  And I definitely wouldn't sell it without disclosing that it appears to have some transmission issues. 

If you can't find anything else in that price range, I would go ahead and replace the transmission if that's definitely the issue.  I had a 1997 Camry that needed the engine replaced, and with the advice of my dad I did it-the car was super reliable otherwise and I wasn't going to find anything else better in my price range.  I drove it for another couple of years until a drunk driver totaled it.  (It was parked at the time so I wasn't hurt, just pissed I had to buy a new car.)

Hedge_87

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 02:48:49 PM »
I'm leaning towards just replacing the tranny I think. I called around and found a used one with 130k on it for $1000 plus the shop fee would bring the bill to $1495 with the possibility that it could last 5 days or 5 years. The other one has 100k mile waranty with it. If this was a car we didn't use a lot I might opt for the used one but since we drive this thing everywhere I would hate to go the cheap route and have it crap out when I'm 3 states away from home. Also just found out about MMM and never really considered biking a valid mode of transportation so this car gets about 40 miles a day on it. I know face punch!! But there is a position opening up where I work next year that I'm really interested in and would relocate closer to work at that time.

thurston howell iv

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 11:49:33 AM »
Are you mechanically inclined?

This is a trans that is totally rebuildable (4T60E) and relatively easy to do. There's even a guy on ebay that sells a video guy on how to remove it yourself, rebuild it (Parts are not very expensive- a few hundred bucks for everything). There's even a few youtube video's on doing it.

If you have a garage to work in and can bike or drive another car for a little while, this is something that you can probably do yourself.

Otherwise, go to ebay, and check out the prices (looks like $150+ for a trans) - You could probably order one and have it shipped to your shop and just pay them to remove the old one and install the new (used) one.

$2400 is highway robbery.

Exflyboy

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 01:37:33 PM »
yes I was going to add that $1000for a used tranny is stupid money.. If as mentioned above you can get the parts cheap then rebuild it.

Frank

fodder69

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2014, 01:47:29 PM »
I would really suggest doing a transmission fluid flush as well. May get you some additional life at a cost of $100-$200 bucks before replacing a transmission.

The solenoid is not a huge deal to rebuild and I thoroughly agree that $2400 is highway robbery. You should definitely be able to get it rebuilt much, much cheaper than that.

MPAVictoria

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2014, 01:58:57 PM »
"If it seems reliable other than that (which Buicks are not particularly known for)"

Actually Buicks are one of the most reliable makes of car.


I would recommend fixing it. You know the car and you know how it has been maintained. Any used car you buy for a similar price will be a crap shoot.

jawisco

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2014, 06:43:29 PM »
The first thing I would do is the tranny fluid change as well.  If the tranny fluid doesn't seem good, try that first and there is a decent chance you could be golden.  In meantime, search for a used tranny...

Milspecstache

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2014, 06:55:48 PM »
If you sell it with a bad tranny it will probably go for $500 or less which is basically a junkyard price.  If you fix it, it may go for the kbb value so I think you will come closer to breaking even by fixing it.

When do you have problems with it?  I just did some work on my manual truck and it took me years to realize the bushing at the pedal under the dash was halfway worn through...

Hedge_87

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Re: What would you do with this car
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2014, 06:14:24 AM »
I think I might try a fluid change for right now. We don't plan on doing any traveling until about the middle of year. Our other vehicle 01 dodge pickup doesn't move unless we need haul a few thousand pounds or there is a foot of snow on the ground. While this truck is a tank I also don't like to drive it out of the county if I don't have to.