How do you know it is time to get a new car?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by 1st-yr-teacher, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2012

    I am once again thinking of getting a new/new to me used car. My situation now is that I spent 200.00 finally getting the electrical problem fixed in my left headlight to only have my right headlight go out two days later. It could be coincidental but I am not sure. Friday morning, my heat/ac wouldn't even turn on(not even the fan). It came back on yesterday morning but when I went somewhere last night, it didn't.

    I feel that it is electrical and I don't know how much it is going to be to fix it. On top of that, I do have a cracked boot or something in the front right tire area that makes my car shake horribly at 60 mph and keeps my alignment off...which in turn is not good for my tires. I do know that would cost me 500.00 to fix.

    It is a 2002 Acura RSX model with 190,000 miles on it. I don't have the money to fix it much less buy a car. I just paid this thing off. I am just not sure what to do.

    One more thing, I haven't posted in a while but have been reading and I want to let all of you in the Northeast know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers as you rebuild from Sandy. I hope things get better each passing day!
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Nov 11, 2012

    It's time for a new car when you decide it is. We have a '97 Sable that we keep fixing. Why? Our mechanic says it's in good shape. The problems are only cosmetic.

    We also only have the most basic insurance on it that we can get. In a span of 3 months last fall/winter it was hit twice. If we had had full insurance on it, the insurance company would have totalled the car out & dd would have had to buy a car last winter. Which would have meant car shopping in the cold! Instead, the mechanic bolted the bumper on for her. When it got hit the 2nd time, the driver didn't have insurance for driving for work, so he paid to have a door put on to replace the door he hit. He also paid to have that door painted to match the rest of the car.

    Instead, she car shopped this spring & found a used car in her price range. The car sat for a while. Then a couple of weeks ago we put the basic insurance back on it & now ds who just got his license is driving it.

    As long as it runs we plan on driving it. Or at least until ds goes off to college. I don't think I want him driving it on the freeway! But for driving around town, it's a good teenager car.
     
  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Nov 11, 2012

    I kept fixing my '96 dodge neon for as long as I could - it was paid off and I didn't want monthly payments again. I bought a new car this summer when my neon died in the drive way and refused to start again.
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Nov 11, 2012

    Well, if you fixed everything wrong with the car, the trade-in value would be between 2k and 4k depending on the condition an trim level.

    The actual value now would be 2 to 4k minus the cost to fix everything. Unless the car is really clean otherwise, my guess is that a dealership would give you about $1000 for it if you were car shopping right now.

    I think you are at a decision point - either fix it or let it go.

    I've heard recently that leases are not the scam they used to be. My wife's cousin leased a Fiat 500 for a little more than $100 a month.
     
  6. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Nov 11, 2012

    When your monthly repair bills equal a car payment, or when a major system goes, it's time for a new car. Mine is 8 years old, but there isn't anything wrong with it. I'll keep driving it until the above rule applies.
    What do I mean by major systems? The computer, heating/ac, engine, radiator, or the electrical system are what I would say are major systems.
    You have 2 of those going, so it's time to start looking.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Nov 11, 2012

    When you spend so much that money would be better spent on a new car. But in my opinion, it is better to keep fixing an old car, as long as it is still safe than to buy a new one.
    If you're buying a used car, it's still quite a few $1000, and if it's much cheaper, than who knows what you're getting yourself into, maybe the same situation in a few years.

    I have a Suzuki SUV, it's 10 years old with over a 180 K miles. I've had to put very minimal work into it - I've been lucky - and sometime soon it might be time to spend some $$. But I will keep it as long as I can, even if I have to spend $800 at some point. If I tried to trade it in, I doubt they would give me more than $500. Its value is much more to me. (and I'm not talking about sentimental value)
    If I bought a new car, it would have to be new.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Nov 11, 2012

    This is what I think too.

    Before I moved to CR I had a 90 Honda. It only needed minor repairs every once in a while. One time I had to replace the clutch which cost an arm and a leg. But to me it was better to fix my old car than to get a new one. Especially since I had the money to fix the clutch, but not enough money to get a new car.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Nov 11, 2012

    I would think that once you stop being able to rely on the vehicle, that would be a big indicator. The other thing would be whether or not the money you are putting into it is costing more than making a payment on a vehicle.
     
  10. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Nov 12, 2012

    I usually drive a car until it just won't go anymore. But I had a really good mechanic who didn't scalp me.

    But I agree with the sentiment that if your repair costs work out to be the same as a monthly car payment, it's time for a new car.
     
  11. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Nov 12, 2012

    Well, my plan for today was to take it to a shop to get an estimate on how much it would cost to fix everything and then make a decision. Unfortunately, I would have to pay for labor for them to find where the problem is in regards to the electrical system. I don't have the money for that right now.

    I think I am going to sell it and probably drive my dad's old car around while I save up for a good size down payment.

    So, any advice on selling a car privately? I know that I am going to be upfront with the issues.
     
  12. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 12, 2012

    Like others said...when you find yourself paying more & more towards repairs that's not worth it, not to mention when a person WANTS a new car. I got a new car when my current car was 15 yrs old & it's now 19, but my old car is still driveable today & still has a few yrs left in it.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Nov 12, 2012

    Could you take it to a place like Carmax? They will spend a few hours going over the car, and then they'll give you a fair offer to sell it to them. We've taken a car to Carmax and were very pleased with the entire process. We ended up giving the car to someone else, but we would have happily sold it to Carmax for the price they offered.

    As to the general question, I think that it's time to get a new (or new to me) car when my car is no longer reliable or when the repairs become excessive. A few hundred bucks here or there is one thing, but shelling out a thousand or more is quite another. In any event, my hoosband and I try to pay cash for vehicles whenever possible. It's so much better than having a big car payment. We bought his SUV with cash, and when it's my turn for an upgrade, we're planning to pay cash for mine as well.
     
  14. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2012

    Ok, I am trying to figure out my price. According Kelly blue boo fair value, I could sell it for roughly $3,400.00. so does that mean I should drop the price down for the problems it has? I believe one problem would cost around 300 but the other is electrical and I don't know how much it would cost to fix.

    There is a Carnac an hour and a half from me. Might drive it up there if I can't get it sold myself.
     
  15. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Nov 17, 2012

    Not sure if the US is the same as the UK but I lease my cars these days. I reckon on my last car I saved about £3000 ($4500) over the 3 year contract compared to buying the same car new. Also I find that leasing can get you a better specification car in terms of equipment.

    last week one leasing company contacted me. They have Porches on offer at the moment that are cheaper per month than the Kia Sportage I am currently driving! Golly was I tempted!
     

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