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I Never Thought I'd Be Here But Here I Am And I Don't Want To Be

Please help me! My husband and I listened to you for years and then he died. I’ve just recently started listening again and you’re just as funny and helpful as ever - keep on keepin’ on!!! My dilemma is this: I need a new tranny but it will cost more than my car is worth (Blue Book value). I always thought I would just drive this thing until it died but I’m not sure it’s truly achieved room temp (so to speak). It’s got 112K on it. I can’t get a rebuilt tranny and there’s no way to know what the condition would be of one from a junked car. Should I spend $6k on a known vehicle that I do like a lot or bite the bullet and buy a fairly new car?? I’d like to keep $ to about $15K - outright sale, no payments whatever I buy. It’s just me and I use my car for commuting about 30 miles 3xs a week. Sometimes I take long trips and I have moved 3xs in the last 4 years (TX to CO to IN).

Any and all advice is welcomed and appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Trying To Remain Calm and Rational - Marjorie from Indiana

Since its a Volvo, I’d replace it. You are going to have more big repair bills even after you fix the transmission. Good money after bad, is what you are talking about if you keep it. Older Volvos become money pits.

Perhaps your needs have changed. Look for a new car, keep it basic if your budget is tight. A Ford Fusion is a good sedan at a reasonable price. There are lots of good models to choose from.

Just don’t get another Volvo. Volvo’s are fine as long as they are covered by the new car warranty. Once that runs out the repair expenses are very high and all too frequent.

  1. Can the auto trans be rebuilt? You mention used not available or new, but not estimated cost of having a trans rebuilder do an overhaul.

  2. Volvos tend to be expensive to maintain over time, so if you can’t get a reasonable price on an overhaul, purchasing a new car would be my next option. Take a look at Consumer Reports April 2011 auto issue to get ideas about the vehicle you might wanted and if you are buying used, the reliability ratings.

  3. Click and Clack don’t really respond here, but you will get good advice from caring folks.

In east central Indiana where I live, Volvos aren’t really very common. The nearest Volvo dealer is about 55 miles away in Indianapolis. Since you depend on your car to commute three times a week and also use the car for long trips, you may want to consider a more reliable vehicle. I don’t know in what region of Indiana you live or whether you have ready access to service on the Volvo.

If you go for a replacement vehicle, be sure to try it on for size as you would a pair of shoes. Another post recommended a Ford Fusion. I used one this past week from my institution’s vehicle fleet for a 100 mile trip and found it quite comfortable. On the other hand, I have used the Honda Civic Hybrid vehicles from the fleet and for me these vehicles are uncomfortable–I’m tall and there isn’t enough leg room for me.

I have had very good luck with used cars from rental fleets. These vehicles are well-maintained and come with the balance of the warranty. This might be a possibility so that you can stay within your budget.

I agree, absolutely do not spend $6,000 on your S60. It’d be a harder decision at $2,000. But I would get a replacement, I also like the Fusion.

I have to agree with the others here, look for an independent transmission shop. They usually can rebuild just about any transmission, and its quite possible that you may not need a complete rebuild, you may only need a minor repair.

List your symptoms here. I’d recommend that you start a new post with “s60 transmission” in the title, this could attract the attention of someone like transman318. He gives very good advice when it comes to transmissions. Provide as much information about what you are experiencing with the transmission, that will improve his diagnosis.

Once the transmission is repaired, I’d suggest trading the Volvo in for a more reliable vehicle. The ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu have high marks and can be more reasonably priced as used vehicles. The Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or Nissan Altima would all feel very much like your Volvo and be very reliable. The v6 versions would also have about the same performance feel, but if you don’t feel the need for speed, the 4 cylinder versions are perfectly adequate.

Sorry for your situation. No way you should put that amount of money into a Volvo. Soon after you will be putting more money in repairs on it. Get something with a warranty on it. This is a very good time to buy a car.

Once again the collective wisdom of this board comes through! Try a low mileage used Ford 500/Taurus with adjustable gas and brake pedals. My wife loves hers, and it gets cloose to 30 miles-per-gallon on the highway.

You can get a shiny new, or near new Hyundai or Kia (thinking the elantra or forte) if you get the base models. These are feature-rich medium cars with big warranties.

mildly used bigger Hyundai Sonata or Kia Optima are also good options, if you can get the remainder of the factory warranty

Thought I’d drop my 2 cts as well.

Replace the car. For $6,000, that is a very good down payment on a slightly used (2 year old) car of comparable comfort. You could even find a smaller car closer to $6,000 if you look hard enough. Time to let the Volvo go.

Don’t Overlook Slightly Used Manufacturers’ “Certified Pre-Owned Cars.” They Often Come With Additional Factory Bumper-To-Bumper Warranty And An Additional Drivetrain Warranty.

Late last fall I bought my wife a 15 month-old Chevrolet Impala (not the cheapest version) with 10,000 miles on it. It came with a GM factory 48 month / 48,000 mile (from the previous 15 month delivery date) bumper-to-bumper warranty and the balance of a GM factory 60 month / 100,000 mile warranty.

The car looked new, smelled new, and drove like new. Several thousand miles later (She drives 500 - 600 miles per week) the car has been great and has not needed anything other than oil changes.

I went out the door with this car for just over $14,000 cash (including tax, license, everything). That included the “GM Certified” warranty that helped me sleep and not suffer any symptoms of buyer’s remorse.

I was able to check this car out myself rather thoroughly and I took the car at home for a several day road test and drove it a couple hundred miles. If you’re not very car savvy then it’s always recommended to have any used car checked out by a mechanic, even certified used cars. Make sure that a used car has not had any collision damage repaired.

Most manufacturers offer cars with special certified warranties. Please note that this car would have had the balance of a 36 month / 36,000 mile warranty and 60 month / 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty even if it was not certified.


Thanks to all y’all for your great input! You have all given me good info and done it in such a lovely way - not once making me feel like a ninny :o) I really do appreciate all of you jumping right in and giving me speedy and sound responses.
I’m headed for the dealerships next week!!! Wahoo!!! More adventures in my ongoing saga. Thanks again. Best wishes for a blessed Easter to those of you who might be celebrating on Sunday.
Peace to all.
Marjorie from Indiana

I Never Though I’d Be Posting Here I Am And I Don’t Want To Be