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To Fix Up or Trade Up, That is the Question

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Comments

  • dgaldgal Posts: 25
    Thanks, but the tires are in good condition. Anyone know if I really have to buy the premium gas, or will regular work just fine?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    whatever it says on the gas door is what you use.
  • if you do end up fixing up your car- you may want to check out Advance Auto Parts. My Dad recently used this coupon: $20 Off @ Advance Auto Parts :)
  • dgaldgal Posts: 25
    Thanks!
  • vagarvagar Posts: 1
    I am considering a 2009 Accord LX, with about 87k miles. Carfax shows following two unusual repairs around 40-45k miles. Any suggestions on what might have happened. Could this be a problem car that I should stay away from. I do plan to take this car to a honda dealership for full inspection before purchase.

    Pls reply asap, as I meet the seller on wednesday (EST).
    The agreed price is ~$10.5k. Any suggestions on whether its a good or bad price.

    06/04/2010 40,717 Phillipsburg Easton Honda Phillipsburg, NJ
    Front axle(s) replaced/repaired
    Recommended maintenance performed
    Drivability/performance checked

    08/17/2010 45,474 Phillipsburg Easton Honda Phillipsburg, NJ
    Drivability/performance checked
    Left axle replaced
    Steering/suspension checked
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    Maybe and accident?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Might have just been torn axle boots. On some cars it is actually easier and cheaper to install a rebuilt axle than to take it down, cut off the old boots, clean the CV joint and inspect it and re-install a new boot, etc.

    It is also possible that the rebuilt axle was itself defective and needed to be done again.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    It cost me $245 the last time I replaced one of the half shafts (parts only) and boot. Biggest issue was breaking loose the nut on the end of the axel. Only cost a little bit more when I had an indy shop do it the first time.
  • I have a '97 Saturn SC2. It has 155K miles. I have been living with an engine knock that presents itself during acceleration (around 2k rpms) and goes away but will reappear constantly at speeds above 45mph. I have taken the car to both a Chevrolet dealer as well as a well known independent shop. Both are of the opinion that the knock is 'deep', a rod bearing being the common response. Another local Chevrolet dealership says no problem regarding getting a re-manufactured engine. The first mentioned Chevrolet dealership originally declined the work saying that it couldn't get one, but later said they could. The independent repair shop says that none of their rebuilders will do it due to lack of Saturn parts.

    First question:
    Do you agree that Saturn parts is an issue in the short term and will only get worse? I know things like oil filters will be around for awhile, but I wonder why the independent shop didn't want to take it on.
    Although Saturn itself has been out of business for several years now, the one Chevrolet dealer that didn't hesitate to quote a price and availability for the engine and its parts seem to indicate that parts aren't a problem.

    Second question: I am of the opinion that replacing the engine (5K+) is money that would be better spent toward a replacement. The same money could for example buy a 7-8 year newer Honda Civic Hybrid, a manufacturer that isn't out of business or will be any time soon. I have a family member whom has offered to help me financially but insists on getting estimates on the engine replacement and anything else the car needs. I have been disagreeing saying the money would be better spent replacing the car. A friend at the Chevrolet dealer, he is their fleet manager, agrees with me. What is/are your opinion(s)?

    Thanks very much for your time and attention.
    Mark
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,144
    Time to let it go.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    No question---bail out....this ship is going down.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,227
    It is never a wise move to put more into a car than it is worth. Even with a replacement engine, you have a $2k car.

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A $2K car with 155,000 miles on every component other than the engine.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,227
    I'm being generous just to get the point across. ;)

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • Thank you very much one and all for your time and for posting. It has been what I have thought all along. I have passed on the link to this thread to those whom insist that replacing the engine is a viable alternative.
  • I should preface this with some info. This car is my first car. I lived in NYC all my life and never had a need to own a car so I am not a gearhead by any means but work brought me to a place which is much more spread out. Hence the car. I've had it for 3 years now.

    Now, I got an '04 Malibu Max with 125k miles and for the most part, has treated me very well with regular maintenance. During my 2nd month, someone ran into my rear bumper in a parking lot while I wasn't there and gave it a nice tear and cracked the tail light (it still works). I also need to replace the shocks and struts. I am pegging all this at a about $1600 in total costs to get it back to a nice condition. I question is that, in your opinion, is it worth it to fix those things or trade in and go for another car. This is the first year I have no payment on it so that is making me waiver.

    I appreciate your insight.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Here's one way to look at it.

    If you put that $1600 into the car now and only drive it for another year, you're probably ahead of the game financially vs buying another vehicle. Get 2 more years out of it and you're that much more ahead.

    I assume you've kept up on other maintenance issues, and are not driving around a car who's transmission is acting funny, for instance?
  • I haven't been able to identify any problem like that. Fluid leaking, weird sounds or the like. I see cars as more tools and expressions of self so driving a car till the wheels fall off is no big deal to me.

    Thank you.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,144
    I would say its probably just due for something like that and will be fine for awhile after you do those repairs. A couple of years ago I faced the same dilemma with an old Camry. It went on to last another 3 years and then, still running fine, I sold it because the daughter no longer needed a car.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,227
    sounds like a solid "investement."

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Definitely a fixer---you should be able to get another few years out of it, so a $1600 investment, amortized over that time, is pretty sensible.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,227
    whoops. I didn't put investment in quotes because of the spelling, btw. That was a typo. I did it because a car is never an investment, technically speaking. In any case, its most likely worth the money is all I meant. :blush:

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I've never lived in NYC, or any other large city for that matter, but something to think about - That $1600 estimate probly has a large amount to fix the bumper. I would ask about just fixing the tail light and ignoring a torn bumper. In a big city, this is something that just might be hit again.
  • I moved out of NYC which is what required the car. You are right though in that the major part of that cost is in the bumper so I could probably hold off on it. It has just been paint bubbling over time though and it annoys me to look at grow (I moved to a very hot southern state).
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
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  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 93
    I own a 2005 Honda Accord EX-L 4cyl/automatic. I purchased it Honda-certified used at the end of of 2007 with about 25K miles on it. It's been paid off for about a year or so now, and has about 115K miles.

    The only real repairs I've had to do was replace a coolant temp sensor for about $100, and rear sway bar links (which I did myself just for the cost of parts; maybe $50). I've been pretty good about keeping up with the maintenance; replaced the pads and rotors on all 4 myself about 30K miles ago, replaced the trans fluid at about 75K miles, regular oil changes about every 5K miles, cooling system has been flushed once a couple years ago.

    I'm overdue to replace the plugs (due at 110K), and I should replace the serpentine belt just as a PM item (still the original belt), and figure I should replace the all the hoses as PM as well (also originals). I'm also due to replace the trans fluid and flush the cooling system again. Never replaced the brake fluid, although the manual says I should have. :blush: At this mileage, I assume the shocks/struts are on borrowed time. No timing belt to replace, at least. Tires should be good for another 20-30K miles, I'd guess.

    The body is in decent shape, with scattered scratches appropiate for an 8 year old car. The front bumper cover is cracked and could stand to be replaced (tangled with a dumpster and lost), and there's a pretty good scuff on the back bumper from rubbing up against a guardrail, but I'm not necessarily married to fixing these cosmetic items. If I chose to though, I'd guess MAACO could straighten things out for about a grand.

    I reckon I can address the immediate required maintenance and preventive maintenance items for roughly $500-750. I'll admit to having the "hotsies" for a new(er) car though, and I'd guess my car is worth roughly about $5k on a trade (if I address the cosmetics).

    My question to you: What would you do? Fix it, detail it, and continue to drive it awhile longer? Trade it while it still has some value and before the miles get scary-high? Are there other potential upcoming maintenance issues for my car I'm overlooking?

    Thanks!
    :)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sounds like you're putting about 15K miles a year on the car.

    I would say to keep it and run it up to around 150K, since you have already broken the 100K threshold and thus affected resale considerably already.

    The cosmetics are only important if you sell it, so that's up to you.

    I don't think the car has run its useful life yet and even if you have a few repairs in the future, no way that's going to add up to $350 a month car payments!

    So maybe in the Spring of 2015, you can start nosing around for a new car!
  • mcrrtmcrrt Posts: 93
    Thanks, Shifty! :D
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,144
    Depends on what you want. Your Honda will continue to run well without major repairs for a few years at least. But do you want more safety features? Better electronics and phone adaptability? Better fuel economy? If those don't matter keep the Honda. But if they do you will be amazed at the new Accord. We were in a similar situation, older car though, a 2001 Nissan Maxima with 130k on it. We finally decided to get the new Accord this year. What a difference!
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Assuming you're not one with an abusive driving style, your car should be good for 200,000 or more miles. Therefore, your decision essentially rests with whether your desire for a new car trumps the lower cost of ownership that one enjoys with keeping the old car.

    Please let us know what you decide to do.
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,931
    I guess it's safe to assume that after one hits the 120k, the trade in value ain't gonna be that much. But living in South Florida, is it better to have a perfectly running a/c or a wonkey one like we have in our '05 Mazda3s? It still works in blower speed 3 & 4 but only sometimes in position 1 & 2...personally, I hate to be throwing $ into this puppy and just want to get her into a 2014 model. Not sure if I should fix or trade the way it is when the time comes? As long as it continues the way it is, we'll stay the course.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • capriracercapriracer Somewhere in the USPosts: 884
    If the only consideration is cost of ownership - drive it 'til it drops. You will need a backup car - but for another couple grand, you can drive that thing for a very long time with very low risk of being stranded -= and laugh all the way to the bank.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited May 2013
    One of our cars is a '99 Acura TL with 142,600 miles. We're the original owners, and the car has been meticulously maintained and driven with care. We've used Mobil 1 since about 50,000 miles. Mechanically it's in excellent condition, considering age and mileage. Although it's been garaged, cosmetically it's what you'd expect a 14 year old car to look like; not bad, but certainly not perfect (as of 3 days ago).

    A couple of days ago my wife was stopped at a light when a SUV hit the Acura from behind. Fortunately, no one was hurt, which is the most important thing, and the other driver readily admitted fault. The other driver's insurance company declared our car totalled, claiming that it would cost over $7,000 to repair it. They offered $4,005 if we sign over the title to them, and $3,675 if we keep the car.

    A friend suggested a body shop that his family has used in cases similar to ours. This shop is family owned, seems honest and has been in business for many years. They gave me an estimate of $4,028 to repair the car, with used parts. The owner located '99 TL parts from a car the same color as ours.

    The insurance company was adament that they'll only pay $3,675, so we'd have to cover the difference if we chose to have the car repaired. My wife and I are the only licensed drivers in our household. Although the TL is a third car, we like it, and it's useful to have an extra car. We could eliminate the third car or replace it, but had no plans to do either before this accident.

    We're debating whether to pay the $353 out-of-pocket to have our TL repaired. It's certainly not much money, but we had no fault. Should we just rationalize this small expense as a cost of driving? Your thoughts/suggestions?
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,931
    Wife finally came home from my kids place and I read her your answer about the Mazda3. Turns out she plans to fix it as it's starting to get hotter down here. They drove up with the Accent for the weekend as I suggested so as to not do any more damage to her a/c. Since it looks like she'll be spending the weekdays down at my kids place till August, she decided she wants to fix and keep her car and not have to use my daughters everyday. At this point just told her to do what she thinks best so I gotta feeling that we're gonna get this puppy up over the 150k mark! Once she fixes the a/c, will get the detail/headlights done so it'll look like brand new. After playing with the figures, still better to spend maybe another $500 and keep it instead of almost $20k on something new, and if we can get another year or possibly longer out of it, why not. Tires are in great shape as are the brakes...just needs an oil change and a radiator flush.

    Looks like we're gonna keep it in the stable until the wheels fall off...or until it strands her. And then I'll get the phone call..."get me into a new vehicle...NOW"!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,144
    If it were me I would take the 4k. You do realize that if you keep it it will be impossible to sell? So essentially you are selling it now for 4k or getting nothing out of it later. And hit from behind by an SUV? Who knows what damage will show up down the road? It's too bad because you really like it but this driver finished it off.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    My daughter was rear-ended in her Sienna about a year ago, right before she was due to deliver. She was fine, but because of her condition they put her in hospital for a couple of days just to make sure everything was OK (which is was).

    The Sienna was declared a total lost, and the other driver's insurance company offered up the standard "the car is only worth $XXX, take it or leave it". Bad offer. Both my daughter and SIL are lawyers. So he proceeded to built a case for how, due to her missing time from work, being in the trimester of her pregnancy, him having to take off, etc, etc, how insulting that offer was. After they had a chance to reconsider, they agreed to his offer which was $5K more than what the initial offer was for.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    edited May 2013
    We're debating whether to pay the $353 out-of-pocket to have our TL repaired. It's certainly not much money, but we had no fault. Should we just rationalize this small expense as a cost of driving? Your thoughts/suggestions?

    I would push back on the insurance company. As I hinted at earlier, that's only their first offer; probably not their best and final. You should not be out any $$$ at all because of someone else's mistake.

    In addition what I said in the earlier post, I would seriously consider getting the car repaired for the $353 out-of-pocket expense. You know the history of the car. If it gives you one or two more years of service, you're ahead of the game.

    FWIW, a coworker had almost the exact same thing happen to his Accord, and the dollar amounts were close to yours. He bought it back from the insurance company and it repaired at a local body and frame shop. I think he drove that car for another 4 or 5 years.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'm more in line with SRS_49 on this one. Push back on them. Maybe you can find an online price guide that you can print out that will show higher value---submit that.

    If you fix the car, it's still a "total" and in reality you will suffer a loss in value by fixing the car! (what a world!)

    All this has to be balanced against the fact that you are not likely to find a highly reliable replacement for your car for $4000.

    If you were planning to buy a new car anyway, well then, this was the wake-up call.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Thanks suydam, srs and shifty.

    I'll try to lean on the insurance company a little harder by going up the chain of command.

    I found two '99 Acura TLs for sale by dealers within 50 miles of me. The asking price for one, with 108,400 miles, is $4,999. The second, with 140,000 (2,600 less than our), is priced at $3,900. Both exceed the settlement that was offered to us,

    I'll keep looking to build my case. In addition, for whatever it could be worth (maybe nothing), I have complete records of all maintainance and repairs, which I can submit. Also, I wonder whether there is any value to the fact that our's is a one-owner car. I know that, all else being equal, I'd rather buy a one-owner car versus one that's had multiple owners.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Nah, you have to look at these disputes as completely non-personal. Quite frankly, the insurance company doesn't chortle when they low-ball you, nor do they hang their heads and wail when you beat them. All they care about is the bottom line at the end of the year. How dutiful you were to the car, how worthy you are as a person, how blameless you were, means nothing to them one way or the other.

    Your best defense is of course an independent appraisal, but that costs almost as much money as you are trying to gain in the first place. Next best defense is good comparables that you find--but be careful, because they will retort that these are only "asking prices".

    Getting price guide print-outs might help if you pick the higher price guides, like Kelley Blue Book or NADA (www.nadaguides.com).

    It all comes down to, what we used to say in the Army "Are you sure this is the hill you want to die on?".

    So that means--how much time and effort are you willing to put into this. If your sense of justice is burning hot, then pour it on.
  • ohenryxohenryx Posts: 285
    I can't speak for where you live, but here in Texas you would wind up with a "salvage title" if you kept the car and had it fixed. And no one wants a car with a salvage title, so you would have to keep it yourself and drive it until the wheels fell off. Just another data point to enter into your calculations.

    I had a similar incident about 2.5 years ago, I decided to take the money and say goodbye to the old car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, definitely a consideration, the "salvage" stamp on the title---of course, after a certain age, it doesn't matter as much.

    Best thing one can do if forced to drive a car with a salvage title, is to make a photo record of the damage so as to re-assure people----unless of course it really was an awful wreck, then don't DO that!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited May 2013
    ...best defense is an independent appraisal, but that costs almost as much money as you are trying to gain in the first place.

    Exactly, which is also why hiring a lawyer also makes no sense when the difference in dispute is a only a few hundred dollars.

    I checked the NADA price guide and mentioned to the supervisor of the insurance adjuster that the value was several hundred more than their settlement offer. He responded that his company doesn't go by the values published in the guides, but, rather, by their own evaluation of comparables . How convenient!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Did you see these "comparables"? Remember, they are obligated to pick cars in your geographical area.
  • raferafe Posts: 5
    My 2006 Malibu needs at least $3000 worth of work and has 350,000km on the odometer. It hasn't been bad on gas - been getting 32mpg on my commute (I drive 75% highway, 25% city).

    I am trying to decide whether to fix the Malibu or get a decent used hybrid so the better mileage gas savings can go towards the monthly payments.

    So far I have found:

    a nicely maintained 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid with 100,000 km on it and a brand new battery.

    OR

    an in decent shape 2007 Prius with 90,000 km on it.

    They are both $10,500 CDN.

    Not sure what to do. They get about the same highway mileage (as posted by EPA and average user claims). Prius gets better in-town of course, but I don't do that much city driving.
    The Civic Hybrid looks great, but I am nervous about the recent battery lifespan claims since the battery is $2000+ and the new battery means the old one was replaced after just 100,000 km. Some people are claiming theirs died at around the 30,000km mark. Yikes!

    What could I expect in ongoing maintenance for the 2007 Prius or the 2009 Civic Hybrid?
    (That will help me decide which will be the most economical including payments, gas and expected maintenance costs).

    And, what kind of mileage would I realistically get with the Prius (including winter driving commuting across South Western Ontario with very little stop-and-go traffic? i.e. not Toronto)

    FYI - The Malibu is costing me an average of $1700 a year to maintain (primarily replacing brake pads, rotors, tie rods, etc. due to the 40,000 km I drive each year).

    p.s. Sorry for the cross-post. I just found this Fix Up or Trade Up thread :blush:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,227
    I don't really work in Canadian, but that's north of 200k miles on the Malibu, I think. In which case, I wouldn't put that kind of money into it. Sounds like it owes you nothing.

    As for your choices, which car do you like better? If I could live with it, I'd probably opt for the Prius based on reliability and lower current miles.

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    yeah the Prius would be my choice, too---the "new" battery in your Civic will only be warrantied for 36,000 miles.

    However, it's going to take you a long time to justify the expense of the Prius based solely on the improved gas mileage. You'll probably be getting 42 mpg rather than 32 mpg. That's only going to be about 100 to 125 gallons of gas saved for every 20000km you drive.
  • raferafe Posts: 5
    your right about it being north of 200k. In fact it is just north of 350,000km on the odometer. How many Miles can we expect this Malibu to last if we keep it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Tricky question. You can keep it for 1 million km if you're willing to keep fixing it :P

    It's my opinion that the modern automobile is pretty much at the end of its useful lifespan at 225,000 miles. In other words, sure, you may see some still running, and doing really well out there, but statistically, at the 225,000 mile mark, that car is essentially an 85 year old man playing tennis on a hot day after smoking a pack of cigarettes and eating a cheeseburger.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Creative analogy!
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