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Help! Repairs cost more than the car is worth!!
The $50 inspection revealed nothing, so they had to seek our approval to open it up. They estimated the cost of repair to be around $2,000 if there was significant damage, around $1,000 if the damage was minor, and a flat $550 fee just for opening it up. We decided to go ahead with the inspection, hoping that it would come back with only minor damage.
Well, it turns out the car had major damage and now their estimate is around $3000!! This is about the same as the car is worth at trade in.
We're seriously considering eating the $550 and taking the car to a dealer as a trade-in. But we're not sure if this is the right thing to do, as we'd end up spending more cash out-of-pocket for a new vehicle, and we're trying to save for a house.
We're looking for people's opinions here. Our questions are:
1. Would a dealer even be willing to take this car, assuming it leaked transmission fluid and has severe transmission damage?
2. If so, would we get anywhere near the blue-book value for it?
3. Would we be smarter just to fix the transmission and hope the car can last another 5 years or so without another major repair?
Thank you very much for your opinions and wisdom. Your insight is appreciated, as we're torn and don't know what we should do!