Repair or replace?

TomNYSeptember 21, 2007

I have a 1992 Honda Accord which has served me well for 15 years. It's got 105,000 miles. There's some clunking noise coming from the front end, and I have the feeling that this is going to be a $1200 repair job involving ball joints or something.

So, I'm trying to decide if I should replace the car. A new car is out of the question (we already have a car loan for our van.) I'm considering a used Accord with around 60-70K miles.

If I thought the front end work would be the end of it, I'd do it, but who knows what's next? I've had plenty of work done on the car over the years. Brakes are new, timing belt was replaced, transmission has been serviced, etc.... but it is 15 years old, and I don't really know what major repair might be next apart from a new transmission or engine! The car is basically my train station car -- 5K miles a year.

Financially, I'd rather not take on any more loans, but if I'm going to be spending $1000/year on repairs, then I'd rather put that amount into a younger car.

Opinions? I realize there's no black-or-white answer here.

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DNT1

Age is a big factor with automobiles, If you are having to hire out all your repairs you should probably attempt to keep a vehicle that is under ten years old and under 100k mileage for better reliability. Of course nothing is guaranteed, probably a lot of people reading this have a story about a older vehicle that just seemed to keep running. Heck I am driving a 97 chevy truck with 341k on its odometer, but I can and will do my own repair work. Since a older high mileage vehicle has very little actual market value you could easily pay your mechanic several times over what the thing is worth.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 10:47PM
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arkansas_girl

Well it could just be motor mounts and that shouldn't cost too much, does it clunk when to take off? I think that I would have it checked out before I assumed it was going to be that much. If the car is still in good shape otherwise...still looks good and rides good then I probably would opt to repair. If it was getting ragged out then I'd not put a lot of money in it. My sister had made her mind up to get rid of her 93 Camry because the air needed about that same about of money spent to fix it...well she decided to fix it after all and it's purring right along. They drive it everywhere...all over the US! HA! And I gotta tell ya that body style looks much better than the new ones IMHO! It still looks new!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:35PM
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gary__

Before you find out what's the matter for sure, the question is premature.

An accord is supposed to be a pretty decent car. 105k is still a low miler. Should have another 105k left in it if it's been half way taken care of. My 2 bit advice would be take it in and have a mechanic give it a good looking over and give you an evaluation of it's condition. When you find out how much the repair really is, ask yourself if you'd pay that much for this car if you didn't already own it. If yes, fix it. If no, throw it away and buy another. There's no guaranty a different accord with 70k would be in any better shape than the one you have. It might very well end up needing all the stuff you just fixed on the car you have before long. You can shoot yourself in the foot either way if you're not careful. jmo

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 12:51AM
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mxyplx

5000 miles per year. 250 working days per year. Equals 20 miles per day. Who cares how it runs?

From Kelly blue Book your heap in fair condition will sell for roughly $2500.

Its a no brainer! Drive it into the ground then junk it. Put your $1000/year away for the next car. Then buy a heap with less than 40K miles or more than 100K miles. Less than 40k - nuthin's gone rong; moren 100K - its all been fixed.

10-4?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:29AM
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