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Archive for August, 2008

Frugal or Foolish?

August 6th, 2008 at 09:01 pm

Well, it looks like the transmission on my 1994 Mitsubishi Expo Wagon is about ready to bite the dust. Repair cost is about $1800 to rebuild it and have a year waranty. The car is about ready for it's timing belt change, $600 and new brakes, $400. Total in all is about $2,800.

For a car that's 14 years old, it only has 107,000 miles on the engine. Burns a tiny bit of oil, but not too bad. It's still shiny black and hasn't been in any accidents. There are the usual door dings. The interior can use a cleaning, but it's in good repair as well.

Once the repairs are made, my mechanic says that I should get another 2-3 years out of it easily. He replaced all the other belts and water pump two months ago.

Here's the frugal/foolish part. Do I spend close to $3000 to repair a car that's worth less than $2000 because of it's age or do I buy a new or new to me car to replace it? I've been looking around for another car, but most of the newer used ones in my area have more miles than mine does and seem to all cost over $12,000!!! Apparently a lot of commuters around here. Any new car that will do what I need it to do is about $18,000 out the door and that's for a basic model without frills.

My mind has been going back and forth: repair or replace? I am so torn.