Do I spend the money to fix it or buy a new one?

bmw
repair
525

#1

I have a 1995 BMW 525i 4 door sedan in pretty good condition. It has 160,000 miles. I haven’t had any major maintenance problems, except 3 months ago the radiator went (which cost me $700) and I need a new one and now the mechanic tells me that I need to spend another $1,000 to fix the lower ball joints, thrust rods and bushings, and transmission mounts. Is this a sign of things to come? The car is 16 years old with 160,000 miles on it. I don’t want to spend another $1,000 only to have something else break in 3 months. A friend says I can get another 4 or 5 years out of the car, but I don’t know… Any thoughts or advice??


#2

Fix it. If the motor, transmission, and body are otherwise sound this is a no-brainer. If you want proof, go shopping and see what car you could purchase for $1000.

On a 16-year old car with 160k, this should be considered “maintenance” not “repair”. Do it soon, because the ball joints are a safety issue if they do fail.

Best of luck!


#3

I’d fix it, and then decide if you’re wanting a new(er) car. $1000 in car payments is 2-3 months, so you’ll still be fine if you get 3 months out of it. 4-5 years? Yes, that will cost you. Nothing wrong with getting a new car after 16 years!


#4

On a new 2011 BMW, $1000 is more like a monthly payment! But at least the oil changes are free.


#5

These are normally expected types of repair for a vehicle that age with that many miles. They do not suggest that the vehicle is nearing expiration (as in: to expire; to die).

But at that age and with that mileage it’s a pretty safe bet that you can expect a few repairs occasionally. Repair it, and when its reliability or its cost of ownership becomes no longer acceptable to you, then you can trade it.


#6

Depending on who your mechanic is, you can save some money by switching to a local shop.

Of course, if you’re not going using a dealer now, then this doesn’t matter.

Either way, it’s worth fixing. Seems to me it’s been a reliable car so far. Eveyrthing needs looking after now and then…even us. :slight_smile:


#7

A new radiator on a 16 year old car is not something you get worked up about. The other parts needing replacement are all normal wear items too. What you need is a mechanic you trust not to try to rebuild the car, but who will give good advice on what you need to keep it safe and on the road. If you don’t trust the mechanic and wonder if these parts are worn, then get another opinion.

With a 16 year old car you have lots and lots of old parts that can break simply due to age and miles. You also have a BMW that means more expensive parts and higher labor charges for the BMW knowledgeable mechanic. Stuff is going to break, and just because you repaired the front end 2 months ago isn’t going to matter to a fuel pump that decides it wants to die on you. If you don’t want $1,000 repair bills you don’t drive a 16 year old car, and especially not a 16 year old BMW.

The repairs and charges seem entire reasonable for a 16 year old car. You have to decide if you can live with these types of repairs and bills or not. If not, get ready to start shopping for another car, and find room in your budget for a monthly payment if needed to get one. It seems your BMW has many more years and miles in it, but there will be repairs and a few big repair bills if you decide to keep it.