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Should I Fix Up or Trade My Old Car? | Edmunds.com

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited July 2018 in General
imageShould I Fix Up or Trade Up My Old Car? | Edmunds.com

What to do when facing a high repair bill. Fixing it saves you money, but there's always that alluring new-car smell.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • hdluffyhdluffy Posts: 12
    wrong! insurance is usually way cheaper on new vehicles due to safety. I speak from vast experience.
  • meteor10meteor10 Posts: 59
    hdluffy, agree with you. the same
  • rosh1rosh1 Posts: 1
    you both are wrong! my 14 year honda accord is running fine. I am only keeping liability, removed the comprehensive.. took a quote for a brand new, way higher..!!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Taking the comp off may have been a bad idea. On a 14 yr old car it isn't expensive and people like to steal Hondas.
  • nsbio1nsbio1 Posts: 75

    Taking the comp off may have been a bad idea. On a 14 yr old car it isn't expensive and people like to steal Hondas.

    A 14-year old mainstream car, even Honda, has no value for insurance purposes. Carrying comp on it is akin to buying insurance for a dollar bill in you pocket.
  • I bought a new car back in 2004. I paid it off in three years, and it is still in pretty good shape. Once the car was paid off, I started saving to buy something nicer. Now I have enough money in the bank to buy just about anything I want. But I hate the thought of spending so much money. (The cars that I've been researching are all in the $50K-$70K range which seems insane to me.) To make the situation even more complicated, we have had my wife's car since 2003. This brings me to three choices:

    1. Sell my car, my motorcycle, and my wife's car, use the cash to buy a nice car for her, then finance a nice car for me. We could split the payment and keep a big chunk of money in the bank.

    2. Sell my car, my motorcycle, and my wife's car, and use my savings to buy two nice cars for both of us. This would use up a lot of my savings, but we wouldn't have any car payments, and we could immediately start working on rebuilding our savings account.

    3. We could continue driving our old cars until we are old and gray and the wheels fall off so we can leave a big pile of money to our kids when we die. (Our kids already make much more money than we ever have.)

    I'm leaning toward going with option #1 because it allows us to get new vehicles and keep most of our savings. And if we ever got into a financial bind, we could always pay off the loan early. Plus, some car companies have 1% financing, so using their money wouldn't create much additional expense.

    Luckily we take good care of our vehicles and are not in a big rush to do anything.
  • I have a conundrum on my hands... My 2016 Ford Focus is a rebuilt car from a salvage that I owe nothing on and the clutch needs to be replaced... Quoted $2,000 to fix it and I dont know what else could go wrong with it. I drive 3,000 miles a month and would love to jump into a new Prius Plus which would get me a $4,500 tax credit and save me half what I spend on gas, but also give me a $310 a month payment that I dont have now. I was offered $4,900 for the trade in. My wife and I just bought our first home, money is somewhat tight and I have no clue what to do... Advice?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A clutch is an "expendable" item, not a defect type of repair, so you can't really view that as indicative of future problem. Given your recent home purchase, I'd think twice before taking on new debt--it might even hurt your credit score. Since the car is a salvage, you've already taken a huge depreciation hit, so hanging on isn't going to hurt you much in that way.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    thetrice said:

    I have a conundrum on my hands... My 2016 Ford Focus is a rebuilt car from a salvage that I owe nothing on and the clutch needs to be replaced... Quoted $2,000 to fix it and I dont know what else could go wrong with it. I drive 3,000 miles a month and would love to jump into a new Prius Plus which would get me a $4,500 tax credit and save me half what I spend on gas, but also give me a $310 a month payment that I dont have now. I was offered $4,900 for the trade in. My wife and I just bought our first home, money is somewhat tight and I have no clue what to do... Advice?

    If someone REALLY offered you 4900.00 for a Salvage Titled car I would take that offer and run like a thief in the night! Seriously something sounds fishy here! Mr. Shiftright gave you good advice.
  • I have a 2012 Chevy Traverse with 119k miles on it. It have been a great car and is paid off. However, the transmission needs to be replace/rebuilt. To replace or rebuilt the transmission will cost me between $3300 and $4000, plus the engine needs some seals replaces that will probably cost about $2k. However, a newer Traverse will be in the $25k range and a newer Sorento will be in the $23k range. I am not sure whether I should repair and hope to get at least another 2 years out of it or replace and end up with a car payment for the next 5 years. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 122,742

    I have a 2012 Chevy Traverse with 119k miles on it. It have been a great car and is paid off. However, the transmission needs to be replace/rebuilt. To replace or rebuilt the transmission will cost me between $3300 and $4000, plus the engine needs some seals replaces that will probably cost about $2k. However, a newer Traverse will be in the $25k range and a newer Sorento will be in the $23k range. I am not sure whether I should repair and hope to get at least another 2 years out of it or replace and end up with a car payment for the next 5 years. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    I think the math is:

    What is the car worth once the repairs are done vs. What is it worth now?
    If the increase in value is less than the repair costs, then let it go.

    Of course, that doesn't mean you have to spend $20K+ on another vehicle. Your choices are infinite, once you let it go, constrained only by your finances.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • berriberri Posts: 9,931
    After 100K I'd think the odds of further repairs likely increases, but maybe not enough info on probability in different areas. Kind of makes it a bit of a crapshoot to me. With those issues you are experiencing already, personally I think I'd run, not just walk, away from it. Also, I kind of doubt that vehicle holds its value as well as something like a Highlander at that mileage even if you make the repairs. Good luck however you decide to proceed.
  • mad8889mad8889 Posts: 2
    I have a 2007 Toyota Yaris with 183,000. It has some body damage (backed into something) and a ton of scratches. It needs a new muffler (regular maintenance, so not necessarily part of the equation) and a new gasket, which is leaking oil, estimated at $1100. (They have to remove the engine to get to this leak). I've replaced belts and done all the other maintenance. Carmax offered me $1000 for it. I LOVE this car - so many memories - bringing kid and dog home for first time, taking my late mom for trips. Thinking about getting rid of this car makes me want to cry (i'm not overly sentimental about most things).

    However, I have a 72 mile round commute and the car won't last forever. I've looked at a used Prius C and Prius. We can afford them, but I really hate the idea of spending the money on anything, since I haven't had a payment in years.

    Do I fix it or get something new to me?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 122,742
    mad8889 said:

    I have a 2007 Toyota Yaris with 183,000. It has some body damage (backed into something) and a ton of scratches. It needs a new muffler (regular maintenance, so not necessarily part of the equation) and a new gasket, which is leaking oil, estimated at $1100. (They have to remove the engine to get to this leak). I've replaced belts and done all the other maintenance. Carmax offered me $1000 for it. I LOVE this car - so many memories - bringing kid and dog home for first time, taking my late mom for trips. Thinking about getting rid of this car makes me want to cry (i'm not overly sentimental about most things).

    However, I have a 72 mile round commute and the car won't last forever. I've looked at a used Prius C and Prius. We can afford them, but I really hate the idea of spending the money on anything, since I haven't had a payment in years.

    Do I fix it or get something new to me?

    Take the $1000 and run!!

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    What is leaking exactly and how much oil are you losing.

    Sometimes putting in a quart of oil once a month isn't such a hardship--but as with any leak, you have to develop the habit of monitoring it frequently.

    You might also consider a 2nd opinion on the oil leak---sounds like a rear main seal maybe?

    Seems to me that if the tires are good and it's been reliable, that a $1,000 repair is worth doing. That's only going to be about 3 months new/used car payments.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Everywhere, USAPosts: 122,742

    What is leaking exactly and how much oil are you losing.

    Sometimes putting in a quart of oil once a month isn't such a hardship--but as with any leak, you have to develop the habit of monitoring it frequently.

    You might also consider a 2nd opinion on the oil leak---sounds like a rear main seal maybe?

    Seems to me that if the tires are good and it's been reliable, that a $1,000 repair is worth doing. That's only going to be about 3 months new/used car payments.

    Three new car payments for a 12 year old Yaris with 183K miles? That doesn't seem like a good deal.

    Maybe, maybe you just keep driving it, and putting in oil. No way I put a $1000 repair into that car.

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • mad8889mad8889 Posts: 2
    I don't have the repair estimate paper with me (I honestly can't remember what *exactly* it was off the top of my head, I just know it involved moving the engine). The oil leak problem was diagnosed in February and still there as of the beginning of July. I check the oil levels and the car has not burned out (yet). I do notice it being a big sluggish and idling roughly sometimes, but the sluggishness is probably related to the fuel injectors and not the oil leak, or maybe not. Honestly, I was hoping to drive it until it was about dead; I'm just not sure how long that will be.

    Thanks for the responses.
  • thebeanthebean Parts UnknownPosts: 1,046
    I'm normally a big proponent of driving a car until it starts to really deteriorate, but I think I would go ahead and get something else in this case. There is always the possibility that you do this repair, and then something else pops up that will cost you money.
    2015 Honda Accord EX, 2017 Honda Civic EX-T
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,846
    If you're checking the oil, and you're not needing to add oil between oil changes, then that leak is WAY too small to worry about. Just keep checking and driving, and put money into savings for the time something expensive actually goes wrong and you need to replace it pronto.
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