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Replacing a Town Car with a Grand Marquis
My mechanic has advised me to give up my 93 Town Car (188K miles) because it is reaching the age where some significant (read: expensive) repairs are going to have to be done. I will probably have to replace the AC compressor (it is already loud and slow to work at first), and maybe the transmission (although there's nothing noticeably wrong with it now). He advised me to get a Chevy Caprice.
Caprices are scarce as hens' teeth - I found one this weekend, but it had been wrecked and it had nearly 150,000 miles on it, so I dismissed it.
I've found a 97 Mercury Grand Marquis (75K miles) that seems to be in good shape except for (1) a rear shock absorber that has a slight leak, (2) a transmission with a minor leak and (3) brake rotors that cause a bit of a vibration when stopping. The user car dealer wants $8300 for it; he doesn't know that I hope to trade in my Town Car.
The GM has some features similar to the TC - the same 4.6L V8, rear air suspension, headlights that can be set to automatically go on and off.
I don't know why I feel like I shouldn't be trading in the TC. It's been a great car and has seldom given me trouble, but my bank account is still reeling from an AC repair that came in at $500 instead of the $300 estimate. We also have a 96 Grand Caravan with a bad transmission (under an Aamco warranty) with another year of payments still left on it, PLUS a 92 Civic LX that we bought my son recently. Three car payments doesn't sound like much fun, but a regular car payment sounds better than an occasional financial disaster.
So here's my questions: Does it make any sense to buy a GM that is essentially a scaled-down TC? True, I might not have any serious repairs for a while, but I'm wondering what they're like (repair-wise) after 120,000 miles? Since new GMs are less expensive than new TCs, does that mean I'm going to get into expensive repairs sooner than I would if I had traded in my TC for a new TC or Continental?
Also, since the GM is lighter than the TC, and since it has the same engine (only newer), it really HAULS BUNS from the stop light, although I rarely (I'd swear on it on a Bible) floor cars.
Thanks for any help, advice, warning, etc y'all may offer!