PDA

View Full Version : Car repair or replace??


cheerforchelsea
03-07-2011, 01:10 PM
I need some opinions please...I just took my work car a 2001 Chevy Cavalier to the dealership to get an estimate on repairing it. I purchased it new and now it has 103K miles on it. My local Express Oil checked the code for me and it has something to do with the Transaxle/Transmission. It is not my main mode of transportation - just the car I use for work travel and carrying supplies since I clean show homes for a local builder. How much would you spend to repair before you would consider it "too much"? I know there has got to be a point before it is not cost effective to repair. (Of course it is paid for......But with gas $4 a gallon is is surely not cost effective for me to drive my Tahoe every day)

princessnoelly
03-07-2011, 01:27 PM
I work in a dealership and I know we have seen a slip in service business. Ask them if there is a discount available. Our store would rather make $100 and have something to do than make nothing and listen to people complain about not having any work. We still have to pay for them to complain!

I would also weigh the value of the car Vs. the repair cost. You don't want to spend $1000 on a $500 car. You might be able to trade it in on something in a little better working condition for a small out of pocket and a better mpg.

Gas prices will go down again in the fall so driving your other vehicle full time might be hard right now but do the math for the repairs based on that ($1,000 repair = 250 gallons of gas @ $4. 13 mpg = 3,250 miles in a tahoe). And, you wouldn't have insurance costs on the other vehicle to.

I'd also figure the cost of just letting the vehicle die and then donating it to charity for the taxes.

ccgirl
03-07-2011, 01:37 PM
I have been thinking of this as well. My car now has over 100,000 miles on it as well. The way I think of it is if it will save my a few car payments and will last longer than the months of car payments I would have paid with that money then it is worth it. Say my car payment is $500. If the work is $2,000 and lasts more than 4 months they I have come out ahead. ;)

lynn_s
03-07-2011, 01:59 PM
I'd get a quote for a non-dealer shop as well, they can be cheaper if you can find a good one.

If you aren't going to shell out the money for a new car (we never do), then the math is:

If cost of repair + what you can sell current car for as is = enough to buy a better car, then buy a better car. Otherwise, fix it.

Personally, I'd rather pay repairs than have debt and a payment, but that's me.

Transmission stuff does get pricey though!

melissapealo
03-07-2011, 02:19 PM
I'd be careful with having any transmission work done. I know people who have had transmission work and then the car only lasted another few months before problems again. If you know for sure it's the transmission I'd take it to someplace that only works on transmissions. We've had problems using small shops, didn't receive quality work. I'm not saying they're all bad, just our luck with them has been bad. My son's transmission went last year on his explorer and we took it to Aamco for repair. I thought their price was very fair, and since they only work on transmissions felt comfortable in their ability to fix it. Didn't have any problems afterwards.

Arielle22
03-07-2011, 04:54 PM
I just replaced my 1997 Mazda 626. It had 201k when the struts broke in the front and the windshield cracked.

In addition the A/C had died years ago and it was rusting badly. The clear coat had peeled off the hood as well.

Repairs would cost $800 and the car was worth about $300.

I didn't want to replace it but I did. I got a lease of a Mazda 3 for $150 a month for 3 years. My van still has a year of payments so I couldn't afford anything pricier.

I worked at a car dealership for 7 years and knew many techs. One problem with repairs on an older car is that doing the repairs can find more problems or a bolt is rusted on and you have to pay more to get it removed.

JB2K
03-07-2011, 05:38 PM
I need some opinions please...I just took my work car a 2001 Chevy Cavalier to the dealership to get an estimate on repairing it. I purchased it new and now it has 103K miles on it. My local Express Oil checked the code for me and it has something to do with the Transaxle/Transmission. It is not my main mode of transportation - just the car I use for work travel and carrying supplies since I clean show homes for a local builder. How much would you spend to repair before you would consider it "too much"? I know there has got to be a point before it is not cost effective to repair. (Of course it is paid for......But with gas $4 a gallon is is surely not cost effective for me to drive my Tahoe every day)

You pretty much answered your own question with that last sentence.

A couple of things, tho...

No matter what you spend on the car, chances are over a few months, that repair bill is still going to be a heckuva lot cheaper than making payments on something else.

FWIW, our second car is also a Cavalier -- I hate it, but it's still in reasonably good condition and it gets me to/from the train station (can't ask for more than that!).

And finally, some advice -- since your car is more than 10 years old, and isn't something high-tech, I would stop taking it to the dealer and take it to a non-dealer shop (such as Midas), instead.

cheerforchelsea
03-09-2011, 07:43 PM
Yay!!! What I was so afraid would be a costly transmission repair has been identified as a faulty code. I did go ahead and have the transmission serviced while I had the car at the dealership and that only cost $150....I drove it all over town today and it drove like a brand-new car!!!!

ccgirl
03-10-2011, 09:27 AM
Yay!!! What I was so afraid would be a costly transmission repair has been identified as a faulty code. I did go ahead and have the transmission serviced while I had the car at the dealership and that only cost $150....I drove it all over town today and it drove like a brand-new car!!!!

Fabulous news! I love when it works out like that. So happy for you. :cool1: