After my 2002 Land Rover Freelander crapped the bed last summer, I sadly made another bad car decision and purchased a 2003 Mazda Tribute. At the time it seemed like the perfect vehicle for newly weds with two dogs and hopes of a baby… Within four months, the transmission went. Thankfully we had an extended warranty, so we had a new one installed. Not long after that, it started driving a little rough and the check engine light came on. My husband replaced four of six cylinders and all the spark plugs. It drove great for a day… But the light popped back on and it began driving super sluggish. It was the catalytic converter/exhaust manifold. When my mechanic told me the job would run over $1000, we researched after market parts in hopes of doing the work ourselves, but every mechanic we know said that wasn’t the best idea. With my track record of poor choices, I’m willing to agree.
The question now is should we go ahead and have a mechanic fix the darn thing - especially since we’ve put a decent amount of money and work into it already - or do we get out now before we have to remortgage the house? Sadly, our credit is somewhat in disrepute, so a brand new car is out of the question. The dealer where we bought the car is willing to work with us to either repair it, or get us into something else. It’s got just over 130,000 miles, new windshield, good tires, and all the new work I described above. Any sound advice? Many thanks.