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To Fix Up or Trade Up, That is the Question

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Comments

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Does the vehicle have any sentimental value? If not from a economics point of view to invest up to $8K in a 19 year old vehicle probably wouldn't be your best option. That is of course if you can find someone to do it for $8K. No one can give you a firm amount due to the risks involved on this type of installation. If you could get any referrals from friends or relatives on an independent mechanic shop in your area you could try calling them for a better or firm price on a remove and replacement of a motor.

    If it were me I'd junk the car and use the $8K I would've spent on repairing it on a new or newer used vehicle, course YMMV.
  • jprocjproc Posts: 133
    Spending 8k on a 19 year old car is insanity.Donate the car to charity if you can't sell it and spend the 8k on a newer car
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,950
    A reporter is looking to speak with someone who bought a new car in September. If you’re able to assist this reporter please send a brief description of your purchase and your preferred contact information to pr@edmunds.com.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    My grandfather has a '97 Lexus ES300 with 72,000 miles on it. It needs $1600 worth of work done to it. After the work done, the car will drive well. He has been the only owner and it has a clean history. He would sell it to me and I would put in the money for the repairs. I don't know what to do. Is it worth it to put more money into this car than it is worth?
  • Well what's the total? selling price + 1600 = ???

    And who quoted the $1600---the shop or is this grandpa's best guess?

    You should figure that the actual market value for this car is about $4000, so he'd have to sell it to you for less than $2400 to make this worthwhile. A "family price" might be more like $1500.

    All this presumes the car is basically clean with no body damage, rust or ripped interior or broken glass, etc.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    Thank you very much for replying, Shiftright. I would say the car is in Average condition and according to Edmund's the TMV would be $2,732 for a trade in.

    I brought it into the dealer and the mechanic for quotes. I'm not even going to bother mentioning the ridiculous quote from the dealer. The mechanic quoted $1,642 in repairs. It needs a new timing belt, catalytic converter, engine mount torn, hood support pads, and a new seatbelt buckle. It might also need sway bar bushings and possibly have an engine leak (dealer saw it, mechanic didn't). The dealer said I also need a power steering flush.

    There is a big scratch on the front bumper, peeling paint on the back bumper and the paint is off by the side mirrors. The driver seat has a rip in it and the back seat is scuffed. Otherwise, the mechanic and dealer both thought the car was in good condition to drive.

    I'm unsure what to do. It wouldn't be worth it to buy the car for $3,000+ repairs. But, I also don't have the money to get something better. With $3,000, possibly $4,000 for a car, I would end up with a clunker no matter what. On the other hand, gas is a lot more expensive on a Lexus.
  • Well I don't know...for 72,000, it certainly didn't have the best of care. I guess it all depends on what you have to pay for it, Quite honestly, from what you describe, unless you got the car dirt cheap I think you'd be better off shopping for one in nicer condition---you can always bring the car you're thinking of buying to the mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection---that's money well spent.

    But again, a timing belt and catalytic converted at 72,000 miles seems unusual to me.

    From my limited point of view, I'm not liking this deal very much at the moment.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    I agree. What if my grandfather decides to give it to me for free? Do you think I should put in the repairs?
    Thanks.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,895
    edited October 2012
    For free? So only $1600 in the end for a Lexus with 72k miles? absolutely! I think that's a steal if the mechanic feels its a good car other than the needed repairs.

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

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,895
    edited October 2012
    But again, a timing belt and catalytic converted at 72,000 miles seems unusual to me.

    T-belt is definitely appropriate. It is rubber and should have been changed long ago just based on age. It is a ticking bomb at the moment.

    Cat is a bit odd, though, I agree. Wonder if that's for real.

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

  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    qbrozen, do you think I should make repairs if have to pay $3,000 for the car?
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    why do you wonder if the cat is for real?
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    why do you wonder if the cat is for real?

    IMM, that would depend on how they determined that the cat was bad. If was just throwing the "catalytic converter efficiency low", or whatever that OBD code is (P0420?), could just be the downstream O2 sensor. Of course, that would depend on whether a '96 Lexus had an OBD2 system in it in the first place.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,447
    Inside Line has a very similar car, if not the same one as a long term tester.
    Maybe dgal can get some answers over there.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    What's Inside Line?
  • kyfdx@Edmundskyfdx@Edmunds Posts: 25,881
    Inside Line

    Also, a link at the top right hand of the forum page..

    Moderator - Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,895
    No. I wouldn't want to be in that car for $4600. It has had a very rough life. If I could be certain it would be reliable for me after the $1650 in repairs, I'd be a buyer at no more than $1500 for the car as is.

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

  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    Thanks for the reply. I just don't think I would like spending anymore money on it than it's worth, ($2,700) but financially I don't think I have a choice.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    What do I do once I'm on the site. Sorry, I don't exactly now what you mean. Thanks.
  • dgaldgal Posts: 24
    I think I found what you meant http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/Vehicles/1996-lexus-es-300/ ?? This is a blog about a car 1 year older than mine. I'm going to read through it for some more insight! THANK YOU!!
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