My 1998 Honda Civic with 173,000 miles needs a new trasmission. My mechanic found one with only 20,000 miles on it and will do the job for $1.025. I have only had to replace the front brakes on this car. Is it worth it to fix the car?
Manual or automatic, what symptoms lead you to believe you need a new transmission? Is the car worth $1025? Probably.
What kind of condition is the car in otherwise? Does it need a timing belt at 200,000 miles (or is that every 80,000 miles?)? Have you meticulously maintained this car?
I mean, it’s only about half the value of the car, most likely, so I’d say yes, but the question is how long do you think the engine is going to last before that needs replacing, too? And how long do you want to keep it regardless?
I think it’s a matter of if you have sentimental attachment to the car, AND what the car would cost to replace with something similar.
$1000 is not bad at all for a repair on an older car.
What is your budget for a replacment?
Only you can answer the question, “Is it worth it?” We can’t see the car and don’t know anything about its condition or how it’s been maintained.
If the original timing belt has never been replaced it should be done immediately, which will add another few hundred dollars to the bill.
If the car is in good condition I would gladly spend $1,025 to keep it running.
You can’t buy another car for a thousand dollars.
Sorry for the lack of details in my post…here are some more specifics…
Manual Clutch - It was making a noise when in gear which promted me to take it in. After two different mechanics looking at it, they both came to the same conclusion. The bearings are shot and either rebuild the current transmission or replace it.
Other than this, the car is in great shape! It is perfect for what I use it for (just driving back and forth from work less than 5 miles and a couple of errands a week) and so far it has caused me no issues.
I have not replaced the timing belt since I bought the car at around 140,000 miles from the original owner.
I know that no one can tell me if the car is worth it or not…I was just looking for some other advice as far as if I should go ahead with the repair or if the car is beyond that due to the age and miles.
Thank you for your input so far
I’d fix the manual transmission and keep the car. The transmission should be good then for another 150K miles or more.
You should also replace the timing belt ASAP. Are your sure the original owner replaced the belt? If yes, when? That era Honda recommended timing belt changes around 70-80K miles I believe, therefore you are either due or way overdue for a new timing belt.
If the cars been well maintained, I’d be inclined to spend the money on the repair. At the very least, ask your mechanic to give it a thorough once over to see what will likely go in the next couple of years.
Spending the equivalent of < $100/month on maintenance/repairs for an older vehicle is still significantly cheaper than picking up a new or newer one. When I’ve been in this situation, I’ve set goals of keeping a car until 200,000 miles or x number of years, unless repairs cost significantly more than the car is worth. To an extent, even basing it off of the market value of the car is a misnomer, since cars lose so much of their value after 100,000 miles.
Once you get to a certain point, you can simply not bother with non-essential repairs and focus completely on safety/mechanical issues to keep costs down.
I will add one thing to the excellent advice already offered. Manual transmissions often live with bearing noise for a long, long time. We can’t hear it so we can’t offer hard advice on your transmission’s prognosis. Others may be more knowledgeable than I about this, but, in addition to the transmission, I think you have little else to lose when this transmission bearing finally seizes.
Given your usage, I would be tempted to just drive it until the noise gets much worse. That could be a decade from now or next week.
One more question, is there a gear or gears that don’t make the noise? If 5th is the only gear affected, for example, I would say you can certainly live without it.