fix or replace? 22 yr old low mileage volvo

mizmomFebruary 17, 2006

We had been just starting to think of replacing our 22 year old Volvo with only 120,000.00 miles when almost 18 year old son rear ended a truck on a rain slick road. The truck drove away with no damage but the accident took out the grill and lights on the Volvo and loosened the front bumper and some molding. The only reason we were going to replace it was for something with airbags, less rust and miscellaneous plastic pieces that don't fall off. The body shop is trying to find used parts but I'm guessing it will be at least $2-3 thousand to fix it. So half of the $5000 we were going to spend on a newer car is gone if we fix this one. They think that the car is mechanically sound so I suppose we could spend the rest of our saved money on new tires, brakes, hoses, belts etc. But we would still have a car with less side view mirrors than most, no airbags, large amounts of rust, cracked dash, and plastic pieces that keep falling off(glove box door, side pockets, etc,etc) (my experience has been that kids don't take care of old cars expecially if they want a newer one). What would you do?

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steve_o

They think that the car is mechanically sound so I suppose we could spend the rest of our saved money on new tires, brakes, hoses, belts etc. But we would still have a car with less side view mirrors than most, no airbags, large amounts of rust, cracked dash, and plastic pieces that keep falling off(glove box door, side pockets, etc,etc) (my experience has been that kids don't take care of old cars expecially if they want a newer one). What would you do?

I'd stick with it, especially if your son is going to continue "learning" how to drive on this car. You can buy third-party replacement mirrors that provide a bigger view. Airbags? Not that big a deal. They have their drawbacks (work only once per crash, can injure smaller passengers, some people have reactions to the inflation gas, they're expensive to fix); frankly, you are better off wearing a three-point belt properly (the main reason we have airbags at all is that numbers of people refused to buckle up). The rust, the broken pieces, ... well, the car won't last forever, but for a runner, it's no big deal. $5,000 isn't going to put you in a great car anyway, especially once you start adding up additional excise tax/registration fees and insurance costs.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 4:35PM
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earthworm

A good advanced DIY could fix this Volvo, possibly for $100, if the damages are fairly and completely reported.
The big thing is to have operative and aim-able secure lights.
The grill is primarily for decoration; on a 22 year old, some wrinkles and imperfections can keep the rust company..
Your boy can learn the reality of economics; the satisfaction of DIY; and the advantage of not tailgating...

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 10:02PM
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bill_h

a 22 yr. old smashed volvo with a 122k miles on it lets see, hhhhmmmm its worth a 100 bucks at the auction on a good day, and you might get 50 bucks from the wrecking yard for it. or you could spend 2 or 3k to fix it up. thats a hard one. you really need to think about it??

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 10:02PM
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johndeere

I would say here you go son.You wrecked it you fix it.Sighn the title over to him and say get your own insurance and a job to pay for the repairs and insurance costs.

Then take the $5000.00 and use it as a down payment on a new or good used car.But also tell your son he will not be driving it.So he better act fast at getting the Volvo repaired and insured.Or that you guess walking is not a bit crowdwd.

Let your insurance company know he is now off your drivers list and hopefully it will affect his insurance cost and not yours since there was no damage to the truck he hit.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 5:19PM
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gary__

Junk it.

If your kid is one to wreck a car on purpose expecting a newer one, he can buy his own. Don't think I ever knew a kid that thought like that. My experience has been that kids drive the crap out of anything new or old, and either don't think of or know how to take care of one. A lot of adults don't either for that matter.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 11:31AM
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reekola

Headlights are easy to replace. You can get replacement parts on the internet pretty reasonalble price (vs. from dealer). Look for salvage grille or get the superglue out. I did similar on my son's car and it looks good enough and he doesn't seem to care much.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 1:51PM
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mizmom

Wow, some really harsh words from one or two of the "Dad's" on here. I guess I would tend to agree if this was a "repeat offender". Problem is he is a really, really hard worker, excellant grades, good athlete, all around great kid(don't tell him I said this) and he needs basic cheap transportation for a couple more years. (payoff will hopefully be scholarship money for college) I agree that kids do not take care of ANY car unless they have worked and worked to buy what they want. We have observed that with older siblings. We do not want a job to work to pay for a car to get in the way of his other obligations at this time. Maybe later.

Superglue to fix the grill? There is an idea that we may definitely try. The lights are still working, now how to keep them attached to the car...hmm...duct tape?

So what kind of dependable low cost car could we get for very little money?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 3:36PM
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earthworm

Mizmom.......Superglue to fix the grill? There is an idea that we may definitely try. The lights are still working, now how to keep them attached to the car...hmm...duct tape?

So what kind of dependable low cost car could we get for very little money?

E-worm..... You can use many items - bailing wire, superglue, pieces of metal and screws, epoxy. The headlights are housed in "buckets" which are secured by brackets.
A trip to the yard may be necessary..
Your son should learn DIY - over a lifetime he can save $$$$$ thousands, plus the satisfaction.
The "cheapest car is what you have right now, if it is not too smashed and rusty.
My daughter owner several years ago a '89 Volvo - these are a good rugged vehicle, for a big family car..
The Volvo owners expect and get good service for 15 years, 200K miles - at least..
But she and the PO did take good care of it..

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 8:57PM
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steve_o

So what kind of dependable low cost car could we get for very little money?

I don't know what you consider "very little money" but what you've told us is that you have a stoutly-built 17-year-old car with much lower than average mileage on it that is mechanically sound but has some cosmetic "issues." I really don't think you'll do much better than spending some money on what you've got, especially since anything else you buy for relatively cheap is going to have parts that are worn out and (likely) an unknown service history.

If it were me, I'd get the headlights working again for sure, put tires on if the ones you've got are worn, check the hoses and belts (esp. if they're original or several years old), and buy some superglue gel or some other fasteners to fix the bits which are falling off. If your son wants to help with the minor repairs, great! If not, you won't be investing all that much (certainly less than you'd spend on any other car which you'd want your son to drive) and you'll have a car which is likely to see him through college.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 8:29AM
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kathyjane

You could pick up another used Volvo for maybe $3,500 to $4,900.
Older, high miles; should outlast his teen years, easily.
(Most kids hate Volvos---so uncool---unless it's an old 240)

Look on-line and do some comparisons.
Check classifieds for range in price/years.
Have your mechanic check it out BEFORE you buy.

I was just cruising around the forums and thought I'd put in my 2 cents worth for fun! Kathy

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 3:26PM
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