1998 Bonneville SSE

Now with 69,000 miles, it is starting to show it’s age. So far, it is the most trouble-free car I’ve ever had. Other than oil changes, a new battery, new tires, front brakes and recom-mended periodic servicing,it has cost me nothing (still using original wiper blades). The engines sounds and feels the way it did 10 years ago – acceleration is responsive, the engine is totally quiet, it starts instantly, etc.

But a recent checkup reveal a number of things ‘going’: power steering pump, hose & reservoir; rear shocks (no surprise as they are original); axel seals; upper/lower leaking and need new seals; “multiple” leaks, inc. oil pan, transmission oil, possible rear mail oil seal. the dealer actually wrote leaks “too many to list.” And rear brakes will need replacement within a year.

So, the bottom line at the moment is about $3,500 (labor in san francisco = $149/hour). I am happy to put this money in even though it is more than the car is actually worth if it will give another 2, 3 or 4 years of the kind of reliable service it has given so far. And I know other things will need to be replaced going forward.

I guess I am wondering what others would do. If money were no object, I"d go out and buy an avalon and drive it until I die (just turned 60) for i know it would last that long. But maybe with a little TLC, my trusty Bonneville will give me another 70K miles.

Any thoughts?

Kind thanks.

I would likely look over the list with a good mechanic and pick and choose what needs to be done and what is worth the cost. Yea, I would stick with the car. Others chose to dump any car that needs anything other than scheduled maintenance. On the average they end up paying more for their transportation. But they are happy so that’s fine.

Have an independent mechanic change the various fluids…no “power flushes”,or “pressure flushes”. Fluids: automatic transmission; brake; power steering; engine coolant. Change the upper radiator hose. Examine the others. If they are original, change the belts.If it has a timing belt, change it. It’s 11 years old (too old).
Dealers will rarely say, “There are oil leaks, some minor, some major. Let’s keep on eye on those.” Have an impartial mechanic look at the leaks. Then, evaluate the leaks on a repair/cost/urgency of repair basis.
I would check the fluids once a week. If the engine loses more that 1 quart of oil in 500 miles driven, I would consider a repair on the worse leak. I have save thousands of dollars with this approach. You can, too.

Get another opinion from an independent mechanic. The part about things “going” is bogus, especially the PS pump, and dealers LOVE to make money pointing out various minor leaks and scaring people. You should follow the maintenance schedule that came with the owner’s manual, but additional “service” over and above that is not required.

I’d imagine you could get quite a few more years from this car without spending too much money. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

These cars have the 3800 V6, which uses a timing chain.

thanks for responding. i figure a few thousand for another 3- 5 years is a much better deal that shelling out 30k for a newbie. all best.

tx for the recommendations. all best