Is it worth it?

montana

#1

We have a 1999 pontiac montana minivan that has 108,000 m. on it and is in need of replacing the heater coil, the fuel pump, and sparkplugs to the tune of 1800.oo dollars. Do you think the repairs are worth it, compared to the value of the vehicle.


#2

Kelley BB lists the “fair” private party value as $2,880. If you like the vehicle and it’s in good shape otherwise, I think it’s worth it. You may want to get some competeing quotes, however.


#3

Look at it a different way — what would you replace it with, how much would that cost, and what repairs would the new van need.

What other problems does the van have? It that’s all, then repair it, you may get years more from it, assuming you do the regular maintenance.


#4

I would have to agree with Bill & “Bike”. If you like the vehicle, repair it. If you’re tired of it, it would make a good trade in.


#5

where is this estimate from? the dealership?

if so, try a local mechanic. as noted, two estimates are better than one.

to my ear (wallet) the heater core should be around 800 the fuel pump around 400 and around 100 for plugs (and wires)


#6

If you can still drive it (how bad is the fuel pump?) get more quotes. As friends and colleagues if they know a good garage that will give you an honest opinion.


#7

Shoot for $800 and see how it goes. The plugs shouldn’t cost $900 to change. The heater core costs at least $400 to change these days unless you do it yourself, where you save $240. The fuel pump shouldn’t cost as much as it does, but they put it in the least maintainable place they can find, unless it has an access panel.


#8

If can afford a car payment I would get rid rid of this van. Depending on the engine you most likely will be replacing head gaskets soon.


#9

You mean the intake manifold gasket.


#10

Fuel pump is in the tank.


#11

What make you think the fuel pump needs replacing? Fuel filter clean (as in new)?


#12

I might. If it’s a 3.1 it’s gonna leak something.


#13

Any car you replace it with for anything near that cost may well need just as much work.


#14

I echo Roadrunner, change the fuel filter. You may, then, find that it doesn’t need a fuel pump. The fuel pump can’t be properly tested without a clean fuel filter. If they tell you differently, and unless the mechanic makes a fuel pump tester connection between the fuel filter and the fuel tank, they’re lying (or mistaken. Choose one.).
If the heater core is leaking, you could have the hoses going to the heater core plugged. Then, when more money is available, you could fix the heater core. Yes, shop around for much cheaper repair prices.
The engine is a V6. The spark plugs are harder to change. That makes the spark plug replacement more expensive.
One area you’ve lucked out on is that the 3.4L engine uses a timing chain, rather than a timing belt. Timing chains are, usually, good for the life of the rest of the engine. Rejoice!


#15

I agree with Joseph. When you think about it, most people trade in their cars/trucks for only a few reasons, the most common of which is perceived or pending repairs or other high dollar items. Not simply because the ash trays were full.