I bought my first car, a 97 Subarbu Outback, 6 months ago, drove it from NYC to Minnesota, and suddenly things are going haywire! It has 158,000 miles on it, and up until recently I was driving about 300 miles a week, most of the time less. It had a small oil leak that I wasn’t worried about. Mid Sept I overheated and had to replace the radiator (cha-ching, $575). It ran well for 2 weeks and last Saturday the temp spiked and steam started pouring out of the hood while I was driving on the highway. The coolant reservoir was empty, so I refilled it. Got it looked at again and they had to replace a small plastic plug that blew off the radiator (not sure what it is, air vent?), and the mechanic also said the water pump was worn out, thus the reason I ran out of coolant, and that the timing belt needs replacing. Estimated $600 for these things.
Now I have an arsenal of family men working on it (people with mechanical skills that I trust). Now the oil leak is worse, something with the head gaskets. So my question is, on a car this old, with this many miles, is it worth getting these repairs done? I bought the car for $2600, put in the new radiator for $575. Does this all sound like unavoidable doom to anyone? And if so, how can I get rid of this car and make some money back on it?
Thanks for any thoughts!