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Discussion Starter #1
I need some objective BTDT suggestions on this topic. DH's truck, which is now 14 years old with 150k+ miles on it, has apparently died (cracked head, from the symptoms). So now we're having to decide whether we'll be worse off repairing the truck, or buying another vehicle.

The truck is a gas & oil hog, and has multiple small annoying problems (moody electricals, etc). It also has transmission "issues" that will probably have to be addressed if it's driven much longer ($$). We're guessing it will cost around $500 to repair or replace the engine (but we're waiting to hear back from the mechanic for him to take a look at it).

Or...we buy a "new" vehicle (used, of course, but for the sake of this post I'm going to say "new"). We could find a more economical vehicle, gas-wise, and see some savings there. We would have to go into debt (we're currently debt-free except our mortgage and around $700 on our Lowe's card that is currently interest-free and will be paid off before the deadline).

I know there's no one "right" answer...just curious as to what other people have chosen in such a situation, and how satisfied you were with your choice. I really don't relish the idea of dumping more money into a truck that's a seeming money-pit, and I also don't relish the idea of going into vehicle debt. Bleh.

Thanks!
Lisa :)
 

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We don't haven't had a car payment for years and have had numerous "new" vehicles. That being said, my dh knows how to fix cars so it's ok for us to buy used cars that may need a little work at a low price. If your dh doesn't know how to fix cars or you don't know anyone close to you who does, I would say buying a "new" car may be a better option for you. I would make a pros and cons list.
 

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I am a service advisor at a car dealership and it is my job to covince people to fix
their old vehicles if it is at all feasible.

Considering the issues you are having, all of which are very expensive to repair, I think you would be better to retire this truck and invest in a newer one. I would be astounded if you were able to replace the engine for $500, considering the labor charge for replacing an engine is 9-16 hours, depending on the engine. That does not take into consideration the replacement engine, in which you could be purchasing someone else's problems.

When helping people make such a decision I tell them to divide the expected repairs by 24 - this will tell them their monthly "payment " to drive the old vehicle over the next 2 years.

My best advice is see if the wrecker will give you some money for your truck and replace it with a more reliable vehicle. I am afraid you will be throwing money down a dry well with this one.
 

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I too was going to say that replacing the engine would be at least double that price. Replaced an engine in a car & that was years ago & it was well over $1000. We just retired our 14yo truck too & bought an economical car. Sounds like your truck has served you well over the years. Good luck!
 

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Sorry to hear about your truck. I just got similar news on my car. I LOVE my old car... had it for so long its like a family member. Mines got a burnt valve... motor overhaul will cost $1800+. I know the car isn't worth that kind of money, but I love it. Plus I know what else is "wrong" with mine. Who knows what could be wrong with the "new" car... yes I'm looking for reasons to keep/repair my old car. Plus "new" cars are so expensive to repair compared to my simple 80s model. This would be the most expensive type of repair on my car.

I would consider the other problems when deciding if you should keep your old truck. Good luck in deciding what to do. I know I'm not much help... but remember I LOVE my old car & felt like crying when I got the news.
 

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I faced a similar situation 5 years ago. I loved my old car but it had a zillion miles and needed major repairs. I ended up purchasing a used car and was happy with that decision in the long run!!
:hurray:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the posts, guys!

He still hasn't had a chance to get to the mechanic for an estimate (DH has access to a tow truck, so at least we won't have that bill), but I'm thinking like most of you guys. This will probably be one of those "buy and spend money to save money" situations.
 

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I am facing the same thing. My car has over 130,000 on it and I just love it. I already put a new tranny into it. Now it sometimes starts and sometimes does not. The mechanic said they cant really tell why and that they would need to just start playing around replacing parts until they find what the issue is for certain. SO..as much as I hate to have even more debt, tonight I looked at a "new" car also. It is a 2007, almost the same as my beloved little car with 29000 miles on it. If I dont change my mind tonight, I will get it tomorrow.... I am really torn right now KWIM? Son in law works on cars and keeps telling me it is time for a new one. My existing car is starting to nickel and dime me to death. but I hate to let it go!!!!
 

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We just sat down and did the numbers because our 1995 Corolla is now vibrating and shaking. We are taking it in to have it looked at but I checked th dealer's website too. We can get a 2007 Corolla for about $275 a month. Not what I want to do but if it isn't a cheap repair, we have to do it. I think you would be better off replacing the gas guzzing truck. Just try and pay it off faster or put a larger down payment on it.
 

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Moters are a big expense. I think that when dh & I had to replace one in his turck 5 years ago it was nearly $1500. That was even for labor. Eventhough that it was used to us the previous owners of the truck ran it out of oil and we didn't even know it. We did have a warrenty on it. But we had to fight the warrenty people on getting it fixed. The warrenty company was tring to say that dh ran it out of oil. Well dh changes his about every 2,000 to 2,500 miles. If not the it will start to use more oil that last 1,000 to 500 miles of the recommended 3,000 miles. Also we just had to replace a ball bearing in my truck. That was a $525 expennse that we didn't need right now. But it could have been a lot worse.
 

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Well, we did it. Bought a 2007 Taurus. DH is keeping my old Contour and driving it until it lays dead in the street. I hate, hate, hate the fact that I just took on another debt but I must have a reliable car to go to the airport for work. So....here we go again..... BUT I do have to admit, I really like driving it!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mamaw, even though you're (understandably!) hating the new debt, congratulations on making the tough decision! We're still in limbo, both unwilling to bite the bullet either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So after much hand-wringing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, we decided to go the "new" car route.

My mother offered to loan us the money, interest-free, and we accepted. She loaned us $2000, because we decided that was the top dollar we were willing to pay for an older car.

A late '80's Toyota Camry showed up on our local Craigslist, and DH bought it for $1500 :). Please send good car vibes, LOL. I know that the '88 Camry my mother had for years did beautifully, and would still be if it hadn't been murdered senselessly (run over by a rock-roller.....yes, I'm serious).

Thanks for letting me think out loud here on this dilemma! Just...seriously, send "be a good car that lasts many more thousands of miles" vibes!! We have been hit with so many things going wrong for the last, oh, 1.5 years, we could really use a break.
 

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I would consider replacing it. Motor repairs and replacements are very expensive as are transmission. It would probably cost more to repair all its issue than to replace with a good used vehicle.
 

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So after much hand-wringing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, we decided to go the "new" car route.

My mother offered to loan us the money, interest-free, and we accepted. She loaned us $2000, because we decided that was the top dollar we were willing to pay for an older car.

A late '80's Toyota Camry showed up on our local Craigslist, and DH bought it for $1500 :). Please send good car vibes, LOL. I know that the '88 Camry my mother had for years did beautifully, and would still be if it hadn't been murdered senselessly (run over by a rock-roller.....yes, I'm serious).

Thanks for letting me think out loud here on this dilemma! Just...seriously, send "be a good car that lasts many more thousands of miles" vibes!! We have been hit with so many things going wrong for the last, oh, 1.5 years, we could really use a break.
Congrats! You can't go wrong with that Camry! (I've got a '90). Have put 24K miles on it already, it's at 230K now.

What kind of truck does your husband have? Did you ever get a quote on getting it fixed? Generally a rebuilt head can be bought for ~$100-$120 + exchange from the local auto parts store. Labor should be in the $400-$500 range or so. A fresh engine could be had for ~$1200, and $600ish to remove & reinstall.
 

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I would consider replacing it. Motor repairs and replacements are very expensive as are transmission. It would probably cost more to repair all its issue than to replace with a good used vehicle.
This is not really true. If you can get the labor cheap, an used engine can be had for $400- $700. I replaced the engine on my 1988 Honda for $450. That included a bunch of small parts and I did the work myself. I got the engine off e-bay. Of course it gets 40+ MPG, so it was well worth it. If all you need is a commuter car an old Honda is a great investment. I have probably spent more on buying and repairing it than putting gas in it. Right now I only have to fill it up (8 gal) every 5 weeks.
 

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i have a 187 honda accord i got from my son i paid him 150.00 for it so far i have put 2 new tires on it cost 100.oo then i had to put a new altanator on it cost 130.00 and now as of yesturday the battery dies so today a new battey cost of 55.00 and still need to get the timing stuff for it cost about 60.00 abd it has alot of miles on it so i was so mad yesturday but i figured its worth to put the money into it ..... but what make it hard is that i live on a tight budget so looks like money will be extra tight again this month but i need a car sometimes i wish i did not need one would save lots of money did take the buss for a few months and i loved it and saved lots .
 

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We've been married 15.5 years and we've never bought a new vehicle during that time, and only one used vehicle, which we bought outright. So now we have a 23-year-old vehicle with fairly new engine and an 11-year-old SUV that we just had maintenance work done on yesterday. Neither gets great mileage, but not as bad as some. DH is very handy with vehicles and rarely has anything done professionally. DH was really leaning toward buying a NEW van this summer, which woud cost more than twice what I ever paid for a vehicle, but has changed his mind, thankfully. Plus, we drive less now and make fewer long-distance shopping trips, etc. I am hoping he will consider installing one of the water/steam kits which is supposed to double one's mileage.

I wish I could give you specific advice, but I'd do as someone suggested, make a list of pros and cons. Try to calculate the cost of keeping this vehicle, including milage and gas costs, versus what you could get another used vehicle for, etc.
 

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I really wish I got email updates on threads I'm subscribed to, LOL!

DH ended up buying the used Camry, and except for needing to put in a new battery, it has served us very well since january :). The truck is still here, as we're reluctant to sell it but can't afford to repair it right now.

For us, buying to "new" vehicle ended up being a very good gamble!
 
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