Author Topic: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car  (Read 7875 times)

FlyJ

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Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« on: July 26, 2015, 03:53:42 PM »
I was considering a new car recently, but realized the expense wasn't worth it when my perfectly good 2005 Honda Accord has plenty of driving left to do. The car does, however, look pretty sad. With 150k miles, mustachian principles say I could probably drive the car for another three or four years. It's probably worth about $4,000, and I was thinking of getting some cosmetic repairs done to make my old car new. Estimates say this would cost ~$2,000 - half the value of the car. Does conventional wisdom say it's poor decision to spend that much on a low value car? The thought of driving it in its current state for four more years is a little discouraging, and with repairs, it'd be a beautiful, paid for, economical car. So, should I spend the money or just put that amount toward a new car at some (slightly sooner) point in the future?


firewalker

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2015, 04:07:46 PM »
Do you live where a "winter beater" would be useful? Would just $1K get the car to be good enuff?

mpg350

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2015, 04:13:20 PM »
What is the issue the paint? My first car was had really oxidized red paint and with a lot of elbow grease and some buffing agent the car shined like a new car when I was done.  Now if it is your clear coat that is all messed up yeah that is another issue.





Joggernot

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2015, 04:14:09 PM »
On another thread I mentioned why I spent $1,200 to paint my car rather than buying a new ($40k) or good used ($12k) car.  My 2000 Honda Accord has 270k miles and runs fine.  Most recent problems were the battery died and the starter died.  That's my expense so far this year.  An Accord with 150k miles is only half done, if that.

Rust would be a problem in making it look nice.  So if you live in the salted highways areas, you might take the advice of making it your beater.

PS: It was the clear coat on my Accord that burned off.  Repaint was fairly simple.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 04:16:43 PM by Joggernot »

FlyJ

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2015, 04:15:43 PM »

Do you live where a "winter beater" would be useful? Would just $1K get the car to be good enuff?

I live in a warmer climate, so it's an all season car. $1k would definitely help, but the biggest fix alone costs more than that.


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FlyJ

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2015, 04:21:51 PM »

On another thread I mentioned why I spent $1,200 to paint my car rather than buying a new ($40k) or good used ($12k) car.  My 2000 Honda Accord has 270k miles and runs fine.  Most recent problems were the battery died and the starter died.  That's my expense so far this year.  An Accord with 150k miles is only half done, if that.

Rust would be a problem in making it look nice.  So if you live in the salted highways areas, you might take the advice of making it your beater.

PS: It was the clear coat on my Accord that burned off.  Repaint was fairly simple.

Not much rust, just a lot of scratches, cracked bumper, dents, stuff like that. Mechanically fine, just would feel better about the car long term if I cleaned it up a little.


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forummm

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2015, 05:11:32 PM »
I have trouble understanding why making an old car look prettier would be worth thousands of dollars. It still gets you around right? Maybe you care a lot more about cosmetics than I do. I'd rather not trade weeks of my life to make enough after taxes to make my car look prettier. But it's your time and money.

Dee18

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2015, 05:19:40 PM »
I have a 2005 Honda accord myself.  A few years ago (pre MMM) I had it professionally detailed and I was amazed at how new it seemed to me.  That inspired me to wax it a couple times a year and spend a little more effort on keeping it clean inside.

 I have also  had good luck with "temporary" and cheap fixes.  I caught the bumper of this Hondaon a fire hydrant backing up  (in the middle of a parking lot!  Who would have guessed that was there!). The bumper was on the ground.  My daughter and I (okay, I admit I was not paying attention because I was so frustrated that my teen wanted me to spend $80 for a pair of flip flops!) managed to prop it back on and I slowly drove 500 feet to a handy body shop.  The guy there said he could do a temporary fix to get it home....that was 4 years ago.  Years earlier a shopping cart hit the right rear quarter panel of my previous Honda.  Went to the same body shop and asked for an estimate.  A different guy asked me what my deductible was.  I said $1000.  He opened the trunk,  braced his hand against the inside of the dent and popped it out about 90%.  He said, "that's the best I can do for free, but if you want it looking perfect it'll be $800."  I gave him the $25 In cash I had on me and wrote a glowing review online of the body shop.

That's my long winded way of saying, there may be some options between $2000 in repairs and giving up on it. 

FlyJ

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2015, 05:40:21 PM »

I have a 2005 Honda accord myself.  A few years ago (pre MMM) I had it professionally detailed and I was amazed at how new it seemed to me.  That inspired me to wax it a couple times a year and spend a little more effort on keeping it clean inside.

 I have also  had good luck with "temporary" and cheap fixes.  I caught the bumper of this Hondaon a fire hydrant backing up  (in the middle of a parking lot!  Who would have guessed that was there!). The bumper was on the ground.  My daughter and I (okay, I admit I was not paying attention because I was so frustrated that my teen wanted me to spend $80 for a pair of flip flops!) managed to prop it back on and I slowly drove 500 feet to a handy body shop.  The guy there said he could do a temporary fix to get it home....that was 4 years ago.  Years earlier a shopping cart hit the right rear quarter panel of my previous Honda.  Went to the same body shop and asked for an estimate.  A different guy asked me what my deductible was.  I said $1000.  He opened the trunk,  braced his hand against the inside of the dent and popped it out about 90%.  He said, "that's the best I can do for free, but if you want it looking perfect it'll be $800."  I gave him the $25 In cash I had on me and wrote a glowing review online of the body shop.

That's my long winded way of saying, there may be some options between $2000 in repairs and giving up on it.

Thanks. Yes, I'll be looking to compromise. Just wondering if I should do anything at all. Of course, my steely logical half says it doesn't matter. The other half, though, kind of cares that my car is at least somewhat presentable. Especially since I'm single.


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Bajadoc

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2015, 05:49:01 PM »
Focus on the mechanicals of the car and try to get another 100,000 miles. If the appearance bothers you try a detail job. If the detail job does not work out, suck it up and drive it until the wheels fall off. Have minimum insurance. Figure out how much a new car would cost and invest that amount for the next 100,000 miles. After the next 100,000 miles you will have a pile of dough to buy a new car or continue to invest. Just a thought.

FlyJ

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2015, 05:57:27 PM »

Focus on the mechanicals of the car and try to get another 100,000 miles. If the appearance bothers you try a detail job. If the detail job does not work out, suck it up and drive it until the wheels fall off. Have minimum insurance. Figure out how much a new car would cost and invest that amount for the next 100,000 miles. After the next 100,000 miles you will have a pile of dough to buy a new car or continue to invest. Just a thought.

Good motivation!


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cripes7

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2015, 08:39:42 PM »
If you have a mechanic you really trust, see if he knows a guy who does some good body work on the side at his house. It saved us $2000 when my son fell asleep and hit a guard rail. Took longer, but he did a great job, so you could have the best of both worlds, nice looking and not expensive.

Guesl982374

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2015, 05:47:58 AM »
2005 Honda Accord ... With 150k miles

Please tell me you bought this used and the previous owner put a ton of miles on it. A ten year old car with 150K miles = 15,000 miles per year. That's a ton of driving per year. You may be better served looking at optimizing your commute.

If you do average 15K miles per year, you are definitely best served by running that Honda into the ground. I would pass on the cosmetic repairs as I don't really want or need to impress anyone with the car I drive.

FlyJ

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2015, 06:01:14 AM »

2005 Honda Accord ... With 150k miles

Please tell me you bought this used and the previous owner put a ton of miles on it. A ten year old car with 150K miles = 15,000 miles per year. That's a ton of driving per year. You may be better served looking at optimizing your commute.

If you do average 15K miles per year, you are definitely best served by running that Honda into the ground. I would pass on the cosmetic repairs as I don't really want or need to impress anyone with the car I drive.

Not much better, but I bought it in 2008 with a little over 60k.


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Bob W

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2015, 07:02:08 AM »
You could sell it and find a similar car (2006 Camry?) For 2 k more.   We just bought one in really good shape for 6k.   It would be like a new car to you and look good too.   I would say you have 10 years left on either car. So this is a long term decision.

tn3sport

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2015, 07:06:20 AM »
Keep the car. Put some money into the cosmetics and make sure all periodic maintenance is current. Even spending $2k per year on your current car is better than purchasing new.

Honda favors a design called an "interference" engine. Not all, but most of their engines are of this design.
Your service manual will have a recommended interval for replacing your timing belt. FOLLOW IT! If you are near that interval or if you have never had it done before, then get the belt changed. (being you have 150k on the car). I'm talking about the timing belt, not the accessory or serpentine belt. Call and ask your dealer if confused.

The reason is that in an interference designed engine, if the belt breaks, you will likely experience catastrophic damage and need a new engine. So, replace it before it breaks.  Now, if your Honda has a non-interference engine, let it ride... a broken belt in a non-interference engine is merely a broken belt/chain and is typically easily repaired. Your owner's manual will list the recommended change interval.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2015, 07:19:59 AM »
The only cosmetic $ I'd put into a car (unless it was prepping for sale, but I'm always the last owner of the various cars I've had) would be interior stuff like fixing a worn out seat, etc. You see the inside of the car far more than the outside.

In your case, I'd not spend any $ but keep $ around for mechanical repairs/maintenance instead.

Bikeguy

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2015, 07:21:28 AM »
Go to a few used car lots and ask where they get body work done.   They will know a hole in the wall guy who does it for half that doesn't advertise. This is a great way to find mechanics also.

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norcalmike

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2015, 08:09:21 AM »
Maybe it's me, but spending thousands of dollars to make a 10 year old appliance look better for strangers doesn't seem very Mustacian.
I have a 1992 accord. It has scratches, dings and faded paint on the roof. To me, it's not discouraging at all, and I'm a car guy.
I'm going to drive my car to 300k (which will take me at least 10 years)
All that cosmetic money or new car money is going right into my investment account so I can retire ASAP.
Suddenly, I'm not discouraged at all about my old honda anymore
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 08:23:26 AM by norcalmike »

Arktinkerer

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2015, 08:29:36 AM »
If looks matter to you--or even if you are seeing some minor rust--sandpaper, bondo, and a low cost paint job can be done for under $400 (I see ads for $299 and $199 paint jobs all the time depending on if you are getting clear coat as well).  Most of the low cost places really won't do much, if any labor.  But moderate body work is not hard to do a decent job on so you can use them to do the part that takes expensive equipment and skill.   A lot of car hobbyists will do all the prep work and take it in for a paint job.   Some hobbyists will strip the car down and take it in on a trailer.   

Don't overlook getting parts at a junk yard.  Like new seats can be had for cheap.  Check out pick-n-pull or U-pull-it kind of yards.  Pick-n-pull often has sales and you can pick up a whole new set of seats for a couple hundred.  Look online for a forum devoted to your vehicle and see if they can recommend parts from other vehicles that can swap into your vehicle.

Several weekends worth of work and you can make your car "pretty" again for way less than $1000.




MsPeacock

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2015, 09:33:15 AM »
I would figure where you are going to get the most bang for your buck. You can clean and detail the interior yourself. You can borrow or rent a steam cleaner and get the carpets and upholstery super clean (take your time, go over it a couple times) or get new seat covers. Use a q-tip to clean all the little corners inside. Use a hose on any removable mats and then scrub w/ a scrub brush.

In terms of outside, detailing or getting a really good buffer and fixing the paint might take you a long ways towards feeling better about the car.

For me personally, I would not put $2k into the cosmetics of a $4k value car (or likely any car....). Better to spend that money on upkeep (like new tires) and mechanicals as needed to keep the car running. Given the age and mileage on the car there is a possibility that you could turn around in a couple months and need a 2k repair.

LiveLean

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2015, 09:40:08 AM »
There's a 92-year-old guy in my gym. Several of us thought he was in his mid/late 70s, and we made him produce ID because none of us believed him when he was talking about the birthday party his family threw for him.

He owns a 25-year-old Buick or Olds sedan that looks like it's in mint condition. Like most gym parking lots, you see a lot of clown cars and look-at-me cars, but the Buick always looks the cleanest and the most unscuffed. I can tell the guy has it detailed regularly. (How he keeps the AC functioning in Central FL, I have no idea.)

In some cases, take care of stuff and it will last forever.

tn3sport

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2015, 09:57:30 AM »
...
He owns a 25-year-old Buick or Olds sedan that looks like it's in mint condition. Like most gym parking lots, you see a lot of clown cars and look-at-me cars, but the Buick always looks the cleanest and the most unscuffed. I can tell the guy has it detailed regularly. (How he keeps the AC functioning in Central FL, I have no idea.)

...
If its 25 yrs old and in that good of condition, he's likely running the original R12 freon in that car.  R12 was awesome in cooling capacity. It produced ice cold AC.  It worked in cars for decades until Dupont's patent expired and price support fell out. (Much like the generic drug companies do to name-brand drug prices.)  Dupont then lobbied the EPA to ban it and replace it with their newly patented freon (R-134a). Which is no more safer than the old stuff...

But, I'm getting off-topic.

To the original poster, the new cars are not going to be any better. They will have fancy LED daytime running lights, bluetooth, and backup cameras. All of which can be retrofitted to your old car with after-market parts for cheap.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2015, 12:28:22 PM »
If you want to keep the car, but its appearance bothers you, it's worth spending a little money to make it look good to *you* so that you are content with it and not jonesing for a new car. I wouldn't spend $2K on cosmetics, but I'd spring for a detailing or good buff and wax (things I hate doing myself).

HipGnosis

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2015, 01:20:39 PM »
It's impossible to say without knowing the details of the repairs needed.
Estimates for $2,000 from where?  Dealer?  Body shop?  Did they assume insurance would be paying for it? (if you didn't ask, they did) Did you ask what the 'cash price' might be?
I also have to question your value of $4K on a 10 yr old car with 150K miles and cosmetic 'sadness'.
I was in a very similar situation a few years ago.  Acura CL w/ 120+K.  Nice, reliable car with a bit of rust and then in a fender bender.  I have a high deductible so didn't even file it.
I pushed and pulled the hood and grill to near(ish)  normal shapes.  Spray painted the hood where the paint cracked to keep it from rusting and started shopping for my next car.
The newer car wasn't as nice, but it got better mpg.

FlyJ

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2015, 04:53:15 PM »
It's impossible to say without knowing the details of the repairs needed.
Estimates for $2,000 from where?  Dealer?  Body shop?  Did they assume insurance would be paying for it? (if you didn't ask, they did) Did you ask what the 'cash price' might be?
I also have to question your value of $4K on a 10 yr old car with 150K miles and cosmetic 'sadness'.
I was in a very similar situation a few years ago.  Acura CL w/ 120+K.  Nice, reliable car with a bit of rust and then in a fender bender.  I have a high deductible so didn't even file it.
I pushed and pulled the hood and grill to near(ish)  normal shapes.  Spray painted the hood where the paint cracked to keep it from rusting and started shopping for my next car.
The newer car wasn't as nice, but it got better mpg.

Actually the quote was $1500 - $1700 from a dealer. I'm going to take it elsewhere and see if I can get it done cheaper. Crappy paint/parts from a super cheap place resulted in what little rust is on the car, so somewhere in between the dealer and dirt cheap might be a good bet. After reading some of these posts though, I may just let it go. Plenty of better things to do with my money.

cchrissyy

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 08:06:20 PM »
I've never done this, as all my cars have died from very large mechanical issues. 
But it sounds like a really good idea, i am surprised by the negative comments.   If $2k spent on the car makes you happy to drive it for a few more years, the cost is still incredibly lower than all your alternatives (except the one where you drive it for years in a condition you dislike), and you get to keep a reliable car with a known history.

forward

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2015, 09:16:42 PM »

Keep the car.  I'm facing a similar dilemma and I am saying that as much to myself as anyone.  I wouldn't spend the 2k on it because if you get hit by someone the next week, that money is gone.  Do some modest things; have it detailed, or do it yourself.  Get some touchup paint, duplicolor or something decent and have someone touch it up or DIY ( if you have time).  A good detailer can do wonders, or so I've heard, never used one.  It sounds to me like you want to like what you're driving.  Thats ok, an accord is a nice car.  If you need tires, get some good ones, safer and quieter.   

jamaicaspanish

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2015, 09:28:15 PM »
I had a '94 Accord EXL ten years ago. 130k or so.
Was Jonesin' for a new car. Just because. (maybe just because MMM wasn't blogging yet)
DW convinced me to get the Accord repainted and upgrade the stereo.

Local Maaco did a fantastic job repairing small bodywork and repainting the entire vehicle.
I installed (from Crutchfield) new stereo and speakers.
All in for $1200 of sound and paint. Man I loved that car. It looked great on me.

I was happy every day driving that re-done car. Loved to polish and detail it.
I'd still have it today, but DS was t-boned 2 years later. 
He was fine but the car was totaled.
My vote is for a refresh--but shop for a better price.

daschtick

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2015, 08:57:57 AM »
There's a 92-year-old guy in my gym. Several of us thought he was in his mid/late 70s, and we made him produce ID because none of us believed him when he was talking about the birthday party his family threw for him.

He owns a 25-year-old Buick or Olds sedan that looks like it's in mint condition. Like most gym parking lots, you see a lot of clown cars and look-at-me cars, but the Buick always looks the cleanest and the most unscuffed. I can tell the guy has it detailed regularly. (How he keeps the AC functioning in Central FL, I have no idea.)

In some cases, take care of stuff and it will last forever.

I agree with this - I have an '05 TSX with over 200k miles on it, and it looks like new because I simply took decent care of it since new.  I do all of my own detailing, and I promptly repair any problems myself using OEM components, saving tons of money, while keeping maximum reliability.

zephyr911

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2015, 09:21:28 AM »

Dee18

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2015, 10:56:59 AM »
+1
I agree with this - I have an '05 TSX with over 200k miles on it, and it looks like new because I simply took decent care of it since new.  I do all of my own detailing, and I promptly repair any problems myself using OEM components, saving tons of money, while keeping maximum reliability.
[/quote]

I am grateful to a colleague who, years ago, advised me to park in the parking deck instead of the closer surface lot to protect the paint on my car.  That makes a huge difference in the appearance of a car after ten years, especially in the South with lots of sunshine and high temps. 

bobechs

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2015, 11:38:38 AM »


That second car looks pretty nicely kept.  Where can you get a light bar like that? It would be pretty handy, parking lot and highway both.

Merrie

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2015, 04:44:01 AM »
I had a '96 Accord that I replaced last year. It didn't look amazing, but this actually made me kind of happy. I liked looking at the car and remembering that I was economizing by having an older car and doing other stuff with that $. It's all in your perspective.

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2015, 06:35:06 AM »
I'm glad you've decided you have better things to do with your money.

As for being single....I 'get' that vibe. But I also know that if you need to troll with a pricey clown car as bait...you're not going to catch anything Mustachian.

I so don't care what strangers think about my old vehicle. Or my flip phone. When they laugh I ask them what they paid for their iphone whatever number they're at now: the look on their face says it's more than the 12 bucks I paid last month for cell service.

At the end of the day only you can decide how much something is worth to you. But choose wisely, because it truly affects your FIRE date.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2015, 07:29:37 AM »
Rust and paint issues would definitely bother me, I'd try what I could myself to make it look better, but wouldn't spend a huge amount (maybe $100 at most) if it's cosmetic only.

If you plan to keep this car for the long haul and you can't stand the appearance, you might find it worthwhile to spend more, but I'd rather keep the money towards maintenance or future vehicle replacement.

For my 2004 Accord, I use the touch-up paint on any scratches, keep it immaculately clean inside/well maintained, and park out in the back forty to try to avoid any dents/damage from others.


Drifterrider

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2015, 11:34:04 AM »
I was considering a new car recently, but realized the expense wasn't worth it when my perfectly good 2005 Honda Accord has plenty of driving left to do. The car does, however, look pretty sad. With 150k miles, mustachian principles say I could probably drive the car for another three or four years. It's probably worth about $4,000, and I was thinking of getting some cosmetic repairs done to make my old car new. Estimates say this would cost ~$2,000 - half the value of the car. Does conventional wisdom say it's poor decision to spend that much on a low value car? The thought of driving it in its current state for four more years is a little discouraging, and with repairs, it'd be a beautiful, paid for, economical car. So, should I spend the money or just put that amount toward a new car at some (slightly sooner) point in the future?

So the questions seems to be "should I spend my money making my car look prettier"?

Didn't your car start out pretty?  How will you feel when your "prettied up" car gets a new ding?

Spend the money on safety, reliability and comfort but not on looks (on a car anyway).

Ashyukun

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2015, 02:53:09 PM »
That second car looks pretty nicely kept.  Where can you get a light bar like that? It would be pretty handy, parking lot and highway both.
Craigslist. No, I'm not kidding- I got one (an 80's-era one with the actual spinning reflectors...) a few years back for a themed car for a competition for surprisingly cheap. Obviously though driving it anywhere but on private property/racetrack is a bad idea...

As to the OP- there are a lot of options for getting it looking better. Fixing rust (assuming we're not talking large parts gone) is fairly easy to sand, rust convert/prime, and then do something to prevent more. It's easy to find rattle cans in the colors of most cars, and then clear over it. Another option that has been gaining popularity is PlastiDip- you can get either spray cans of it (Rustoleum actually makes their own version that they're getting sued over...) or in gallons that can put sprayed on with a paint sprayer (www.dipyourcar.com). It's a decent temporary way to get it looking better and protect it, though it will likely only last a few years before needing to be removed and re-applied.


gimp

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2015, 06:21:58 PM »
I would not bother with external cosmetic repairs unless they expose metal underneath that rusts; in which case you should touch up with paint and clear coat to make sure it doesn't rust.

However, detailing the car is pretty cheap and makes even an old car look much better. Detail the interior with the proper sprays / liquids / etc, and vacuum and shampoo the carpet and seats if applicable (or leather treatment if leather). Clean the glass from the inside. Outside: clean the wheels, dress the tires, clean the glass, rain-x the glass, clean the rest of the car, wax that shit, clay bar, whatever it takes. You can probably spend $100 once and have it last you a few years.

I would definitely fix rust asap. That's the only cosmetic thing that is important, apart from clean windows.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Vehicle refresh ($$) in lieu of a new car
« Reply #39 on: August 05, 2015, 06:41:06 AM »
I would not bother with external cosmetic repairs unless they expose metal underneath that rusts; in which case you should touch up with paint and clear coat to make sure it doesn't rust.

However, detailing the car is pretty cheap and makes even an old car look much better. Detail the interior with the proper sprays / liquids / etc, and vacuum and shampoo the carpet and seats if applicable (or leather treatment if leather). Clean the glass from the inside. Outside: clean the wheels, dress the tires, clean the glass, rain-x the glass, clean the rest of the car, wax that shit, clay bar, whatever it takes. You can probably spend $100 once and have it last you a few years.

I would definitely fix rust asap. That's the only cosmetic thing that is important, apart from clean windows.

+1

As far as detailing/cleaning, this makes a huge difference and is easy to do yourself. The only specialty product I use is a leather conditioner for the seats. Otherwise, vinegar or soap and water seem to work great for cleaning. I use an old dish brush and soap on the hubcabs/wheels, old washcloths and vinegar to wipe down interior, and q-tips for the hard to reach inside spots like air vents and around the gear shift console. It really does make the car seem 'like new'.