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To Fix Up or Trade Up, That is the Question



  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,367
    Some Preludes used an ATTS system. It was on the SH models only from 1007-2002. I think it's possible some of the RSX's used that too. If so, it makes a hard job a very miserable one. A large unit the size of a big toaster oven has to come out and the guys in the shop just HATED them. I think that added 4 hours to the job. Still, far less than 2500.00!
  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 88
    A few months have passed, and the rear drive module isn't groaning any worse than it was. I plan on doing another fluid change on it in the coming weeks to see if it'll shut up again.

    Replaced pads and rotors front and rear myself a few weeks back for about $200 in parts. Last week the R front hub assembly gave out, and I was able to replace that with the help of my brother-in-law for just the cost ($110) of the part.

    While we working on the hub assembly, I took a moment to evaluate how bad the rockers were getting. Poked my finger at a spot to see if it was spongy, and my finger went right through. :surprise: Uh oh.

    Still need to get the rear bumper repaired after someone ran into it in a parking lot a couple weeks back; at least that's covered under insurance.

    Game plan is to get it through the winter (fingers crossed) and then trade it away on a 1-2 year old used van. Would love an Odyssey, but the budget will most likely dictate a Grand Caravan or Town & Country.

    Thanks to you both for your input.
  • I bought a 2003 Vibe last April with 140k on it. Two months afterwords I had the oil light come on. The place I took it too diagnosed the problem as a faulty PCV valve. They fixed it but now the rings are bad and it still burns oil. The catalytic converter is now shot and we have to either shell out 3-4000 dollars to replace or rebuild the engine or sell it for what we can and try to recuperate the money we still owe on it. We have a 1996 Toyota Avalon we can sell too and we are leaning to selling both so we can buy a used car with few miles on it.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,916
    How did they determine the rings are bad? Do you notice smoke when driving? If so, does the smoke increase or decrease depending on the type of driving you are doing? In other words, if you cruising at steady speed on level ground, is the smoke less? And when you lift off the gas, does it increase? That type of thing.

    I ask all of this because I would always suspect valve seals before rings. Much cheaper and easier to fix AND much more likely to go bad before rings.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • own a 2001 honda accord LX V4 with 118K miles on it with new tires, new brakes (front and back including the rotors) all these recent repairs cost me $1,300. The transmission was replaced by honda at 97K. Right now I need to put an additional $800 in left control arm, new front sway bar links, coolant passage tube, distributor cap and rotor and couple other maintance items. The care has few rust spots and some minor hail damage. I leave in a Chicago suburb and the some lower parts of the doors start to get rusty.

    At the honda dealership I was offered $3,800 for my trade-in and I managed to negotiate the price of a honda accord 2011 SE to $20K.

    Should I trade in the car or repair it and try to save a big down payment in couple of years?

    Thanks for your advice.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,696
    edited February 2011
    Well I don't like to encourage people to do into debt if they don't have to. I guess my advice would be dependent on how much "image" means to you---the car will probably get rattier much more quickly now that the rust has taken hold, but if you are content with how it looks then it's probably worth putting a bit more into it right now. If you were at 150K I'd probably say ditch it but it seems like it has more life in it, for a couple years.

    If the 'control arm' problem does not manifest itself with unusual tire wear or steering issues (in other words, if you don't notice any problems), perhaps that could be deferred until you are ready to bail.

    While it is true that your car will continue to depreciate, probably being worth no more than $1500--$2000 in two years, this depreciation + the $800 repairs ($1800+800 = $2600) will still be considerably less than $300 a month X 24 = $7200.

    EDIT: I have to agree with gbrozen below, however, that you were offered a pretty good deal it seems.

    My New Opinion -- if the new car payments would be a burden and you feel desperate about it, then HOLD 'EM; if you can work the payments okay and you don't like driving a somewhat beat-up car, then FOLD 'EM.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,916
    Sounds like a ridiculously fantastic deal. You should jump on it before someone realizes their mistake.

    That's HIGH trade-in value for your car WITHOUT all those problems. So its more like a $2500 car at best.

    And, according to Edmunds, there are no incentives on the Accord right now and invoice is over $21k.

    So it sounds to me like the dealer is losing on your deal. Again, I would jump on it.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • gocowboys13gocowboys13 Posts: 10
    edited February 2011
    Thanks for both responses, I also think it's a great deal and I think I will try to close it tonight.
    I just spent on the new tires and brakes $1,300 but spending additional $800 made me wonder if its worth it or I be better off with a trade in.

    I negotiate every day at my job and I think I got a fantastic deal with this one.

    I don't care about image or anything like that just from an economic perspective, what is better for my family's bottom line.

    Thanks again.

    BTW, Honda has now 1.9% financing on their 2011 honda accord for 36-60 months and $750 cash back on the 2011 accord.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 887
    Here's my dilemma: My daughter has a '99 Camry with 170,000 miles and it looks every inch of it. It has been mechanically ok although it will need new tires. She lent it to someone who parked it in a place where a ton of snow and ice fell on it, smashing the windshield and the hood. She will be starting grad school next fall and, needless to say, has no money. She does have a job until then that requires a car. I am quoted $1500 to replace the windshield and hood, or $400 to replace the windshield and hammer the existing hood a bit. Of course we only had liability insurance on this vehicle.

    I'm a little reluctant to sink more money into this car, which is probably worth $1000 tops. Should I repair it and pray nothing else goes wrong with it, or give her our used Pontiac Vibe (an '04 which is running just fine) and buy a newer car for ourselves? We could also pay the $400 repair and then try to sell it. What say you, wise ones?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    That's a tough one. If the car was newer with fewer miles, than I would say go ahead and fix it up. If it was older and had closer to 200K miles on it, then I would recommend just walking away from it. We did that with my son's '94 Tracer when a rock through the rear window essentially totaled it.

    The most I would do, if you're sure that car still has another 30,000 miles left in it, is to replace the windshield, bang out the hood (or get a replacement from a junk yard), and put the tires on it. Then, just keep your fingers crossed.
  • I'd do the windshield, put on a junk hood (or bang it out if it's not too ghastly to look at---let's not embarrass her) and then start shopping for something else while she soldiers on with that one for a semester.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    I'd buy my daughter a new car and keep the 04.If you break down no big deal.If she does?
  • .If you break down no big deal.If she does?

    Motivation to do well in school, get a good job, so you don't have to ride around in a crappy $1000 beater when you grow up?

    Sorry.. not in the "buy the kid a new car" camp... and, I've got a 17-yr-old.. ;)

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    I'd spend the $400 (or cheaper) on the windshield.

    - that will buy you time, to shop and negotiate on an ultimate replacement vehicle. You'll undoubtedly save that much or more in your negotiations, because you aren't hurried and the salesman knows you are a distressed buyer.
    - your ability to sell for anything is minimal if non-inspectable and a broken windshield. With a windshield and mechanically sound, someone will pay 500 to a thousand or more for it.
    - it's a college environment, any piece of crap is acceptable. Who really cares what it looks like?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Each of the replies you've received is reasonable, so you need to choose. The only one that makes less sense to me is for you to buy your daughter a new car, while you keep the Vibe. Fixing her Camry and replacing the tires makes perfect sense, from a financial standpoint, since you indicated it's mechanically sound. Swapping her Camry for your Vibe, while you buy a new car for yourself, is also reasonable. Whether to keep the Camry as a spare car is a separate decision.

    I think your daughter's preference, and how much she'll drive her car in grad school, should be considered, but your preference should prevail. My wife and I have been through this with our kids. Sometimes our decision was greeted positively, and other times less so. Fortunately, which car was never a serious issue, while whether to have a car in college was, at times.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 887
    Thanks everyone, for your input. New car for her, not remotely. I am leaning toward shelling out the $400 and crossing my fingers, and possibly selling it this summer if it makes it that long. Actually it seems that's what she wants -- she doesn't want us spending a lot of money on a car with her grad school costs looming. And the Toyota mechanic thinks the car is sound otherwise, although he did advise her not to put $1500 into it. Edmunds used car prices put the Camry at $2000, even in rough condition. Not sure about that, but it may be worth at least $1000 somewhat fixed up.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,076
    ...get a new windshield and a junkyard hood. When cars get to this point, you might as well run 'em into the ground.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Sorry.. not in the "buy the kid a new car" camp... and, I've got a 17-yr-old.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Since your mechanic says the car is sound, and your daughter is happy with that Camry, the problem is solved. Many Camrys go well over 200,000 miles, with normal maintenance and repairs. The big plus here, besides the convenience of already owning it, is that a major cost of ownership, depreciation, is behind you.

    One negative is that somebody on a tight budget will be deprived from buying a cheap set of wheels.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    with all due respect your priorities in life seem really wierd to me.I must be totally misreading these posts because .........................
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