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2008 Mitsubishi Outlander - Keep or trade?

Just found out my car needs about $1500 worth of repairs- suspension, brake pads, power steering leak, etc.
But the car, according to KBB, is only worth about $1500. What should I do? Get the repairs and drive it into the ground? Trade it in and get a new one? Fix it and then trade it in/sell it?

$1500 is way less than the cost of a replacement. I guess it depends on how attached you are to it. If you’re going to trade it in I wouldn’t put much into it. FWIW, I drive a 2009 Corolla with 118k and I’d put $1500 into it as long as it still ran well and reliably.

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If it runs well other than the maintenance items you list and there is no rust, fix it. Where else will you get an SUV that runs well for that money?

Notice I said maintenance, not repairs. A 12 year old car needs brake pads, suspension work and even power steering work periodically. Your question is like saying you want to sell the car because it needs tires.

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If your Outlander is in good condition, and it runs well, you should keep it. If it’s in poor condition, body and interior beat-to-hell, does not run well, etc. then you should let it go. The real question is “Can I get a different car which runs well for $1500?” and the answer is no. A $1500 used car is likely to need another $500 to $1000 of repairs and deferred maintenance.

As a side note, depending on which engine your Outlander has, you might need to replace the timing belt soon. The 4-cylinder model uses a metal timing chain, but the V-6 model uses a rubber timing belt and is an interference engine. If yours is the V-6, you should add the cost of a timing belt job to the work being done, which will bring the cost over $2000 (unless you find a cheaper shop) so keep that in mind.

Plus the water pump and new coolant. That doesn’t add much to the timing belt replacement, but it’s well worth it once the timing belt is off. The extra cost might be about equal to the work required for both the power steering access and the timing belt.

In my opinion… it’s not the value of the car before the repair, but the overall condition of the car. Do you like it… keep it. You gonna buy a used car and don’t really know what you will get? Buy a new car and get stuck with higher insurance and monthly payments?

We don’t know any details about the car, but 12 years old is nothing. There are lots of Outlander s still on the road. The repairs quoted are not out of the ordinary or a sign of more problems to come. Keep it and drive it into the ground… I do that with all my cars. Only you can decide.

Seems like it would be worth it, depends on how reliable the car has been. We had a bunch of repairs at once on an old Mazda that cost $900 on a maybe 1,500.00 car. drove it a few more years with minor repairs after that. If you’re having to fix stuff monthly then you consider parting ways.

Were these items discovered during another service such as an oil change? Other than worn brake pads, the other items may not be essential depending on the severity of the issues.

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