I’m still a little on the fence, but mostly leaning towards doing the repairs. I’ll be doing a cross country move (18 hour drive) with animals next year, so I do want to make sure it will survive the trip. That’s a large consideration. I also put about 100-150 miles on my car daily for work.
Previous work was total replacement of spark plug/ignition coil electronics (some previous mechanic broke the clips and the whole thing had to be replaced) as well as some other things I can’t remember right now. I can check in the morning and see what’s been replaced recently. The engine is still in good shape.
The tensioner is 100% in need of replacement, and that the power steering fluid needs replacing is my own guess based on the specific noises it makes. I’ve also had a power steering recall, which I did get done, and the steering is super tight. Perhaps something else is causing the noise, but it occurs when turning the wheel, mostly. I’ve read that this isn’t uncommon, and it seems to be a fairly cheap job.
As far as doing things myself, I’ve done serpentine belt and brake replacement, as well as other little things, but I now live in an apartment complex and don’t have a space to work on it myself. I’m fairly mechanically inclined, but I don’t know a lot about cars so I’m hesitant to take on more difficult repairs.
I think the best idea is to get it at least operable, and at that point I will be able to trade it in if I decide to. It’s a hard call, since I know the engines can last quite a while. It will probably be a matter of systematically checking through a list of repairs I’ve recently done and things that are likely to fail. Some engine mounts are broken, and I opted not to fix them due to price and the mileage of the car, and I’m not sure if that will have any consequences in the near future.