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Fix an old car or go for a newer car?

I have a 1999 Lexus RX300 and I love it (except for the gas mileage that it gets). It has 90,000 miles and has had several major repairs of late. The latest problem is that they say it needs a front and middle pipe with the oxygen sensor. It comes to about $4500 and soon it will need some other major piece of work - timing belts or such. The question is - do I bite this bullet and fix it or do I have to look for a newer model car. It is still cheaper than buying another car.

Is that a dealer price? First thing to do is find an independent shop, should be much less$$. That RX will be good for several more years, it would certainly be cheaper to fix and keep it than buy a new one.

And why do you need the front and middle pipe? Corrosion? Where abouts do you live?

As usual, Texases is “spot-on”. For $4500 the pipes should be diamond encrusted!

However, I’d also be interested in hearing the parts breakdown. The '99 RX300 came with a V6 and should have a dual exhaust past the cat converter with a total of four oxygen sensors, one upstream and one downstream for each cat converter, as well as two resonators. There’ll also be a crossover pipe, and that adds cost too.

This is a great car, so keep it as long as you can. $4500 for some exhaust work? Get a second opinion. Even a third. Don’t reveal what the dealer said, just give each mechanic a list of symptoms. I expect you to get a more reasonable estimate.

I live in Mass. (Newton) I don’t know why I need both pipes, dealer said so.

Am going to go to another mechanic but the only problem was the light on the dashboard that when I finally took it to the dealer, it had gone out. But the dealer said let’s look anyway and that’s what they came up with. Light on the dashboard has not come back on and there is part of me that says, forget it…but am not sure.

If you can’t hear an exhaust leak wait until the light comes back on. Then find an independent mechanic and avoid the extravagant dealer prices.

A quick look at eBay shows you can get those pipes for about 300-400ish dollars so I’d go that route.

What would be of concern would be the timing belt or such comment. You should realize that this belt along with the tensioners and water pump should have been replaced back in about 2004 and you’ve been very lucky for quite a few years now.

This would also raise concerns about other areas that have not been serviced; transmission fluid, fuel filter, spark plugs, etc, etc.

Other than the 4500 bucks on the exhaust I say fix the car as it only has 90k miles on it.