2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Repair madness

My jeep is worth $2,400 I just put in $2,200 worth of repairs when do I stop this madness?

I think you answered your own question. If you are calling it madness, it is time to put a for sale sign on the Jeep.

The old timers called it closing the barn door after the horse is out. The time to stop the madness is before a major repair, not after. So once a major investment is made it’s either sell it for a profit of $200 or drive it for 30-40,000 miles to get your money out of it hoping there is not another major expense.

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There are rational answers as to when “to shoot it in the head” cowboy style.

1.When a major repair exceeds the market value of the vehicle. The only exception to that is if it has low mileage, and the rest of the car is in mint condition (not likely) and you really like it.

  1. When several successive repairs each exceed 25% of the car’s value.

  2. The car has multiple small repairs that nickel and dime you to death.

  3. The car can no longer pass state inspection

  4. The car has become unsafe due to structural corrosion or other failure.

  5. The car is so unsightly due to dints and corrosion that it’s an eyesore

Under (1) I recall a friend’s mint condition Mazda 626 with only 65,000 miles on it that had a transmission failure. Because there were so few of these sold in our area, no transmission shop could give reasonable quote and the dealer told him to just scrap the car.

In accounting terms, when the total current annual ownership cost, including depreciation, starts exceeding the CUMULATE AVERAGE ANNUAL COST TO DATE, it’s time to say adios. Most car owners cannot identify these costs, however.

The Tappet brothers said to just compare a repair cost with car monthly payments, which is not totally fair since the car would be paid off in 4 years typically.

Tell us about the Jeep

Looks good, reasonable mileage, well maintained, ac blows ice cubes, good tires, etc. . . . ?

Rusted out, lots of dents and scrapes, busted windshield, 400K, the only maintenance it’s ever gotten was a full tank of gas, ac blows only hot air, bald tires, etc. . . . ?

If the first applies, then spending the money on those repairs may not have been out of line

If I may ask . . . what were these repairs, and did they address your concern(s), or were they in fact upsells that the shop recommended?

The car is near 20 years old. Any 20 year old car can accumulate 2400 dollars worth of repairs.

So what do the repairs consist of and how many miles on the Jeep?

The average car loan today is 60 months

You’re kidding! The last time I had a car loan was in 1965 for a Dodge Dart, $3000 or so. I repaid it in just over 2 years (24 months). 60 months is really half a decade, come to think of it.

Average is 60, 72 and 84 are not uncommon

Yeah, but today the average car on the road is 11 years old–maybe more. How long did your 65 Dart last?

Heh heh, so you’re saying I shouldn’t have overhauled the transmission at 350,000 for $2000? Yeah I kinda agree but I kinda considered it a profit center. I was doing 30,000 miles a year and getting paid 40 cents a mile so just figured who needs to wear out a new car before retirement?

Like I said I paid $175 for my 59 Pontiac in 1968 so it was 9 years old and I paid $500 for my 59 VW before that. I thought they were old but 9 years now is still pretty young. I used to lament that I drove a newer car in college than in middle age. Maybe shoulda just saved my money, kept flipping hamburgers, and bought new cars. You never know in this life which way to go at the fork in the road.

@acemaster The Dart lasted 13 years and 154,00 miles when the rust became problematic. We lived in the Great Lakes Rust belt then. Interest rates were also higher then.

As for repairs, the Dart had a new alternator, starter, gas thank (rust), torsion bars, 2 batteries, shocks, several brake jobs, and a paint job. The power train was still good at the end of its life.
Our current 13 year old car (Toyota) has no rust and has had only $500 worth of repairs, one of which was front brakes.

Better cars allow longer financing as do lower interest rates.

Why do you think this is madness? Presuming you like the vehicle, and rust isn’t making it structurally unsafe to drive, spending $2200 to get it back on the road might very well be the common sense thing to do. Where else you gonna find a vehicle you like for $2200? The market value of your Jeep isn’t relevant in this decision. The only question you need to answer: what’s the best choice of the available options that meets my needs?