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Fix it or Junk it?

OK…here’s the thing. I have a 1995 Honda Civic with 346,000 miles on it. Recently the engine began running real rough, and I took it to the mechanic. They ran compression and leak down tests, and told me that the motor is basically shot, and that it’s time to replace the engine, or replace the car. I’m OK with that. I definitely got my money’s worth out of this ride. So the question is this…would it be worth it to replace the engine? Besides the engine, the car needs new CV axles, a new clutch and ball joints. And eventually, the transmission will need an overhaul, and the steering rack will need to be replaced. That’s a lot of work…but even all of that would STILL be cheaper than buying a new (or slightly used) car…wouldn’t it? I don’t have the strongest credit, and a new 5 year car note with a high interest rate is the LAST thing I need right now. So what would you do in my predicament?

At 346K I’d say “Thank you” to the Civic and move on.

You don’t need a new car with a 5 year loan. There are plenty of good used cars around. You just have to look carefully.

You’re not giving yourself enough options.

A 1995 Civic with 150,000 miles on it would probably be less than fixing yours, probably around $3,000. Then you can drive it another 200,000 miles.

An engine, transmission, steering rack, ball joints, CV axles and clutch, sounds like about $8000+ in work and parts. You can get a nice used car for that much.

I would start looking for a new car.

Your car is well worn out and done.

Start looking while your car is still running, then you can go back and say what you want and how much you’re gonna spend. I wouldn’t bother trading the car in either, just put it on ebay or craigslist as a parts car and move on.

Hey guys…thanks for the responses so far. The good news is the car is still drivable, so I just take it on very short trips around town. For long trips, I’ll do the car sharing thing, or take the bus. It’s going to take many months to save the money to pay cash for a decent used car, so this is how it’s going to be for a while. Still kinda sad to let the old ride go, but the time has come. It’s been an AMAZING little car.

Gone are the days of cheap, easy credit for everyone. Paying cash for a decent used car is definitely your best bet, but you could also consider a small signature loan to buy a used car. They usually have a higher interest rate than a secured auto loan, but leaves you with no lien on the title and they are usually easy to get, giving you the money within 2-3 days. Last I checked at my bank, a $3000 signature loan is payable in 36 monthly installments of $100 each and required a minimum credit score of 640. You do have better options to consider other than new.