Chevy Tracker-Should I Keep It?

mare_wbpaJuly 20, 2013

I need some input from you car folks, to help me make a big decision. I have a 2001 Chevy Tracker 4 door 4X4, 4 cyl, which I bought 2 yrs old with 15,000 miles. It now has only 63,000. The only real money that I have spent on iwas on a muffler and exhaust, last year. The paint is bad, it has faded completely in big spots on the rood, smaller spots on fenders and hood. There is a small amt of rust under the front doors. It runs like a top, but the air conditioner compressor went out, I got an estimate for $850 plus tax to fix it. Everyone I've ever spoken to who has a Tracker tells me that they have over 200,000 miles on theirs. I'm trying to decide whether to invest the $900 and fix the air and still have a car that runs well but looks terrible, or take the $900 and apply it to a new vehicle. Any and all feedback will be very appreciated.

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Questions to ask:

1) Do I like the car?
2) What is the record of reliability for the vehicle? Check Consumer Reports and sites like

Most times it makes economic sense to keep a used vehicle instead of buying a new one.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 4:00PM
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I'd hesitate to spend $900 to fix the air conditioner.

The vehicle is 12 yr old, but with very low miles for its age.

You may not get 100,000 miles out of it because you are averaging only 4800 miles per year. At that rate, it will take 7.7 years to get to 100,000 mile and the vehicle will be nearly 20 years old - It will rust out before then.

You could continue to drive it without A/C.

Are you certain is the compressor? it could be low on refrigerant. Also, check the fuse for the compressor clutch. This fuse can be hidden in unthinkable places. On some, this fuse is an in-line type in the circuit lead going to the clutch. On others, it can be on the compressor.

However, if you like the vehicle a lot, spending $900 to fix the A/C would be $300 per year spread over 3 years. Since rust has started and the paint is bad, I think it will be a rusty mess within 3 years unless more money is thrown at it to arrest the rust. Looks like a loosing battle.

My suggestion: Continue to drive it without A/C and save the money for the next vehicle.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 4:05AM
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Thank you to Robertz6 and Jemdandy for answering my post. I opted to invest the $900 in a new car. I was torn because I had sort of an emotional attachment to my Tracker after driving it for 10 yrs, it was like an old friend. I got a new Honda CRV, it's beautiful and I really like it so far.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 7:07PM
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