Fix it or trade it?

I have a 1992 Dodge Dakota with 188,000 miles on it. The transmittion is going and I don’t know whether it is more cost effective to fix it or to buy a new used car. I would not blink an eye to have it fixed if I new I would get 2 more years out of it without having another costly fix. Any suggestions?

Your Dodge Dakota seems to have averaged about 11,000 miles a year. Is this about what you drive or did your purchase the vehicle second hand? From the time you bought the vehicle, estimate the number of miles you go per year. If you bought this venicle last year with 100,000 miles and now have 188,000 miles and plan to drive 88,000 miles a year for the next two years, you probably won’t make it without major repairs. On the other hand, if you are only driving 10,000 miles a year or so, you may be fine. In other words, assess how much driving and what kind of driving you do and how much you depend on the truck. My brother has a plumbing firm and he has bought a couple of years on a couple of plumbing vans by having a transmission repair at 200,000 miles.

The overall condition of the body and chassis may be a determining factor. If your truck is badly rusted, you probably shouldn’t do the repair. On the other hand, if the body and chassis are in good shape and the engine runs well without excessive oil consumption, a transmission repair may be the way to go.

Keep in mind that if you buy a used vehicle, you may be in for some repairs on this purchase. There is no crystal ball to predict what repairs you may encounter. Find a good independent transmission shop and have them give you an opinion and repair estimate.

Slambbins, What Is Wrong With Your Transmission And How Reliable Is The Diagnosis Of “Going”?

Are you positively sure that the tranmission is toast? I’d be sure that the diagnosis is correct. Some transmissions with major operating issues have relatively small problems and some with problems will function for a long time.

Do you have two or three estimates and diagnoses? What are they talking?

You haven’t told us about the general condition of your Dakota. Would you describe it as otherwise excellent condition?


cosmetic problems: shipped paint, minor dents in body, and a cracked windshield.

other problems: I am leaking power steering fluid. I was told nothing has to be done, it should last the life of the vehicle. I have some kind of electrical drain somewhere so that if I don’t drive for a week (and I often do) that battery is dead if I don’t disconnect it.

Engine is running ok for now.

I know it is the transmission. Good faith estimates on it are between $900 best case and $1700 worse case scenario before taxes.

Runit thru cash fir clunkers and get a new truck/car the problem isn’t worth it fir this truck eventually it won’t even pass inspection

Cash for clunkers and you will get an instant $4500 in trade if you want a brand new truck. The vehicle has lived well past its design life.

It’s sort of tough to guess without knowing the overall condition of the vehicle and it’s maintenance history. Can you give us a hint?