CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

How much more use can I get out of a 95 Dodge Avenger with bad transmission

My son and daughter in law have a 1995 Dodge Avenger on its last breath. The transmission is almost gone. They are moving to England in December. The gears change and they can’t go over 40 mph. What can they do to get the most of their time left with the car? How long do you think the transmission will hold out? What options are available besides renting a vehicle? Public transportation is not available.

It sounds like this car is REALLY ON ITS LAST LEGS. There is a risk of it conking out in the middle of a busy street or on the freeway, causing either an accident or needing an expansive tow to the wrecking yard.

I would not drive this car another mile since it might croak any time! Their best choice it to go to Rent a Wreck and get the cheapest monthly rate until they leave for the UK. Depending on the distance travelled daily, taxis might be a good option as well.

My 92 year old mother-in-law is giving up her car this fall and will take taxis from now on since it’s actually cheaper for her than driving.

There’s no way to estimate how long this car will continue to limp along. It may last until December or it may stop moving tomorrow. Sounds like it’s running on borrowed time right now.

Has anyone, such as a mechanic, given them an opinion about what, specifically, is wrong with the transmission?

If I could tell you with any accuracy how long that ailing transmission will last, I would also be able to pick winning lottery numbers–and unfortunately, I cannot do that.

Few people have any ability to see the future, so I would suggest that your son and daughter-in-law not take any trips longer than walking distance from their home.

They should always carry a cell phone, cab fare, screwdriver and good book. Cell phone to call for a cab, fare to pay for the ride home, screwdriver to take off the license plates and book to read while waiting for the taxi.

Twotone