I want a new car but hubby says run this into the ground

we have an old mustang it’s a 87 and it’s been starting to have problems. it needs quite a bit of engine work. Tranmission problems alone are around 1500 the body is good as we just repainted but the convertible top needs to be replaced. I want a new used car but my husband said to put the money into it and just run it into the ground. Isn’t that a waste of money I could put into a down payment?

We are going to use your answer as what to what we do.

Thank you

I learned a long time ago. If the wife isn’t happy, doesn’t like/trust the vehicle, replace it.


It’s usually cheaper to repair a car than to buy another one. But you need to consider how much all the repairs will cost. Add about $1500 more for the new top. If you replace the brakes, tires, and struts you will easily top $5000. And that’s before the engine work. If you want to convince hubby, you need to get some estimates for the repairs. It wouldn’t surprise me if you could spend a lot more than the $5000 to fix the car. When you get estimates, find out what needs to be done immediately and what could wait at least 6 months. Here’s a Mustang forum to check prices:


But some guys never learn. But I’m not in that category. If Momma wants a new car, she gets one. She doesn’t want one often, but I get what she likes.

A Mustang convertible is somewhat unusual, how long have you owned it and why is it deteriorating so badly? It’s the kind of car that some people love and some hate. Where did it come from?

Usually it’s more cost effective to keep an old car running and run it into the ground, but it sounds like your old Mustang is pretty well locked on course for the ground at this point.

It may be just as cheap to get a newer, nicer vehicle. And besides, none of us live forever—it IS nice to get something new (or at least new to you) once in a while…

I’m with the others - time to cut and run. Get a newer one, Mustang convertibles aren’t hard to find.

Is your husband going to drive the Mustang? If so, it’s less expensive to keep this one on the road rather than borrow money to buy a newer one that’s just going to depreciate more.

1987 Mustang??? Get rid of it while you still can. It has engine problems, transmission problems, and needs a new top. Ummm…earth to hubby: it already has been run into the ground.

Yep. Exactly.

How many miles on this Mustang?

My vote is for fixing it. These are reliable cars and look good so why not. The cost of repairing something is often less than the interest money that you would flush down the toilet in the first 6 months of new car payments.
An additional financial bonus with the Mustang is that you can maintain liability insurance only instead of full coverage as you would be required to do on a new car.

Generally speaking, used engines/transmissions can be found for very reasonable prices and they’re easy to install on these cars. The last used Ford transmission I bought (7 years ago) cost me a whopping 50 bucks and it still shifts like new.
The convertible top is no big deal either.

It HAS been run into the ground. Most guys can’t stand the idea of getting rid of a convertible. So, technically it is not a waste of money to put the repair money into it. The only bad thing is the money will stay gone. So, if the car isn’t used in most of the local parades, a newer Mustang convertible would sure be nice to ride around in. The only bad thing about that is…same as above.

As most say, I think this is the ground for this car. I usually drive my cars to the ground, unless our use for that car has changed significantly and I can get decent money from re-sale. But by ground it means the last 2 years the car gets only what is really necessary to keep it running, would not include paint, trim etc. I would also skip on shocks, AC and mostly drive the car around town. This gives us some time to save for the next car. Yours seems to be there, maybe can last a few more months without major $$, but I think you can get a much better car for $5000.

Get another car, if she soesn’t like it any more you can throw cash at it like crazy, she will still think you are polishing a turd.

It’s a good car, one that should be run into the ground-- but where’s the “ground” for you? That’s the first question you and hubby have to work out. For some it’s when they can no longer afford the repairs, for others it’s when the repairs are more than the cost of another car, for still others it’s when they don’t feel like making the repairs, and for a few it’s when the wheels fall off ( and I even know a guy that did that and just put the wheel back on and kept going!) Unless hubby is harboring secret sentimental value towards this car (not impossible, it is a collector’s car), the “ground” for you is probably when the repairs cost more than buying another vehicle. I say “another” vehicle because unless you are too rich to even be having this conversation, your next vehicle should be a used but well maintained vehicle. A car is never an investment unless it’s an antique collectible (and even then they’re only rarely worth more than the money you put in, especially if you intend to drive it around instead of put it in a glass box). New cars have their highest drop in value in the very first year. Flashy new cars are for the rich, everything else is just to get you where you need to go (although it’s ok if it looks nice too-- I assure you most people can’t even tell looking at a car if it’s this years model or not). Most people don’t realize banks have got us credit addicted-- 50 years ago only the richest of the rich had a new car, and the middle class had the later model years, and the poor would buy the oldest cars and truly run them into the ground-- not like an insurance “totaling” of a car nowadays, but literally until they fell apart. You’re best bet is purchasing a reliable well-maintained model from at least a couple years ago. Some say no older than ten years (especially if you do need a loan, as that’s usually a stipulation the bank makes), however some models are perfectly fine far beyond that age, if well maintained. If at all possible, avoid the loan-- you’re paying interest on something that might not be around when you’re still paying interest on it down the road. Remember, houses don’t crash near as often as cars, and some things are better saved up for. I agree with the earlier commenter-- add up the repair bills on your mustang, shop around for a substitute car, and compare the costs. Don’t forget to add in the costs of maintaining the substitute-- you want a correct comparison for cost of ownership. Also be sure to include an estimate of how long you expect to be able to drive the mustang with these repairs. No emotions on big financial purchases. You and hubby should be able to see a clear path you can both agree on once the numbers are in front of both of you.

I think the car has been run into the ground already based on the description.

Get a new or newer car and either junk this one or let your husband keep it for himself. He obviously likes it.

A major part of the decision-making process should involve one’s job security.
If an old car makes one late for work on a frequent basis, or if it causes you to miss work, it is time to dump it.

Think about the current work environment for a moment. With the unemployment rate being what is currently, employers know that there are probably 10 people lined up for any potential job opening, and many of them may be more qualified than the current employee.

Why give an employer an excuse to get rid of you, simply because hubby wants to hold onto a 20+ year old, broken-down car for a few more years?

Fox bodied Mustangs have arguably the biggest aftermarket support base of any car on the planet, repair costs are extremely low with these cars, and parts are insanely easy to come by. Hell you can get a T-5 or AOD from any junkyard for a couple hundred bucks, and a rebuild will still cost less than half the $1500 figure you came up with. Shop around. You didn’t mention what kind of engine it needs, could be minor, could be major, but if you have the 302, the repair costs will be relatively low.

If you have the 5.0L model this is still a desirable car, especially if the body is in good shape. If you have the base 2.3L four cylinder model, then it’s probably not worth sinking any money into though.

Time to count the votes.

11 votes for “abandon ship” (tester, oblivion, texases, jesmed, shadowfax, pleasedodge, galant, repotimfl, andrew j, VDCdriver)

3 votes for “maybe” (jtsanders, biodieselbob, fodaddy)

1 vote for “fix it” (OK4450)

Apologies if I miscounted or misrepresented any votes. The people have spoken!