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Fix it $$ or Let it go

My 20 year old son has a 2000 Chevy Prizm. He got it about 2 years ago for $3000 and it has been a faithful car for him. No major expenses … until now. Our mechanic says the check engine light is due to the catalyst needs to be replaced along with at least one sensor. Also the clutch is slipping and needs to be replaced. Our mechanic says it will run about $1500 to fix both of these. We’re not sure what direction to take. We have been $$ burned before when we decided to fix a Taurus (money pit)and ended up donating it just to get rid of it. Thanks. - Len

$1500 doesn’t buy much of a used car, either. Clutch and a sensor are normal maintenance. Catalytic converter is a bit early in my opinion, but these cars will run for a long, long time, with normal maintenance.

this assumes the car is in overall good condition.

Get a second opinion. You need to find out why the catalytic converter went bad, if it did, and why the sensor is bad, if it is. Many mechanics are to quick to replace parts because their code reader said to do so.

I don’t see the total mileage on the car, but a clutch is a “wear and tear” item in my opinion. Certainly not enough to let the car go. More investigation of the catalytic converter and sensors are needed to see what is going on the with the engine. This car has a good reliability record and these kinds of issues are not hard to fix. Most likely this car has a lot of life left in it. At this age more money will need to be spent on maintenance and repairs and you should budget about $1,000 a year for repairs.

Converters normaly do not go bad unless you are burning alot of oil or motor runs real rich.
If light has not been on long I do not think it is bad.
Engine light does not tell you when converter is bad just when air-fuel or emission parts go wacky.
Do more checking before you replace.

Thanks everyone. I think that I will reconsider the repair and seek another opinion. All of your points are well taken. - Len