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94 Ford Escort with major coolant leak

I have a 94 Ford Escort with about 145,000, 1.9 liter, 5 spd transmission. I recently had to replace the heater core and radiator, only to find that the water pump and head gasket are also leaking, and maybe even a frost plug. Adding a timing belt replacement to all that, I’m looking at at least 1,000 worth of work. I will probably need a clutch soon too.

Other than that, the car runs well, gets great MPG, and has new struts, tie rod ends, starter and ignition.

Does it make sense to invest in the above work and keep the car?

FWIW, yes it makes sense.
If you are the first owner and have been maintaing the car well along the years, yes in my opinion it is worth it.

The car is 16 years old and sounds tired. While it’s almost always cheaper to repair the old car than get a new one, this one may be on its last legs.

If you’re on a tight budget you may want to keep it, especially of its replacement will be another used vehicle. If its replacement would be a late model or a new vehicle, it’s probably time. I myself buy new and keep vehicles forever.

[b][i]"Other than that, the car runs well . . . "

This Reminds Me Of, " Other Than That Mrs. Lincoln, How Did You Enjoy The Play ? "[/i][/b]

You could do a lot of work and still have big problems (some possibly caused by the problems you’ve enumerated).

Like TSM, I drive cars “forever”, but forever might be knocking at the door for your friend, the Escort. I’d try to move up to a little newer / younger vehicle that didn’t have life threatening terminal problems.

I think this could be a case of throwing good money after bad. If this Escort was 10 years newer or had 100,000 fewer miles on it, I’d say fix it, but I think you should pull the plug and cut your losses.


Thank you for the belly laugh CSA. I’ll be thinking of this for the rest of the evening.