I have a 1994 Buick Century that has had some problems lately. It was an inherited car with very few miles, and is only at 104,000 now. However, last month there was a weird sound and it ended up that 3 of the motor mounts were bad and we replaced ($250). Now the car is overheating and we are being told that the intake manifold gasket, and thermometer need to be replaced at $600 for all including labor. The head gaskets are ok per mechanic (whom I trust). Is this the beginning of the end for this car? I don’t know whether to throw more money at it or get something else. Thanks!
The car is 16 years old. It will have issues that need to be addressed. Neither of the things that you describe are odd given the age & make.
Motor mounts wear out - 16 yrs and over 100K is more than enough to ask.
Intake manifold gasket problems on GM 6 cyl (esp.) cars are legendary. This is a very common problem & repair. If you’re getting that with a new thermostat (I assume that’s what was meant by thermometer) for $600 you’re doing just fine.
If you really want to know, you have a mechanic that you trust. Ask him/her to give all the major systems a once over as if s/he were inspecting a new car. Most of the answer will lie in how well the car has been maintained over all these years.
If you really want to have some fun, sit down and figure out what else you would get. Figure out the car payments and insurance premiums and any other costs that would be higher with a newer, lower mileage car. Then compare that to what you have spent already. An older car with a lot of miles will need to be fixed once in a while. But if all basic maintenance and repairs are kept up to date it is often a lot cheaper to keep an older car going than to upgrade to a newer.
Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it! Will be working out some numbers this weekend.