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Is it worth it?

Our daughter, 22, has a 1998 Honda Civic with 110,000 miles. The transmission has gone out. The repair will cost about $2300. Now we must make the decision on whether to get it fixed or to just move on to another vehicle. The engine is in good shape. The body has some dents and scrapes,the hood is dented, the electric locks don’t work anymore, the CD doesn’t work and there are a few other things like that wrong. My husband and I think that it would be a no- brainer if the car was in better shape. So we are wondering if it is better to spend $6000 to $8000 and get something way newer that will last her much further in the future or spend the $2300. We have even talked of buying something and making payments and then having her pick up the payments once she graduates and gets a job. She graduates in December. Hopefully a job would follow. Any opinions ?

Post a list of everything else including maintiance the car needs now. I am leaning towards fixing simply because you have not posted other major problems. 110,000 on the engine is not bad. Think of using this car for two years at the new job then the better car. Graduating in just four years (18+4=22) that is very good.

There is certainly 2 more years on the engine and everything needs brakes and tires etc. How hard did you search for your transmission price?

Hopefully a job follows soon but given economy it is much harder. I would not count on getting those payments getting taken over.

$2300 for a year or two’s use(likely many more) out of a car is not terrible.

The mechanic did a computer diagnostics and the only thing mechanical is the transmission. Brakes are good. Tires are good. It’s just that it lookds beat up. My husband did all sorts of research on the price. The problem was up at our daughter’s school, weren’t sure of the price. Talked to our trusted mechanic and he said price was accurate and even discussed it with all the gear heads at work they agreed.

Another option is to have an independent shop install a used transmission. Much cheaper.


Add another vote to fix it up, along with all those nagging issues you’re talking about(locks, get an aftermarket CetcTiming belt and water pump if you haven’t already) With all that, you’re probably looking around $3k depending on how much stereo you want. Now, figure out how much you’re willing to spend a month, then divide that by the $3k and find out how many months worth of payments that’ll be. Don’t go banking on her finding a job right away either.
One more thing, if you haven’t had the timing belt and water pump replaced yet, get it done ASAP. This’ll run around 5~600 depending on the shop. Though, if the belt snaps, you can look on the bright side; you’ll be getting a new engine to go with the new transmission.

Who looked at the transmission? I.e. what kind of shop? Some people are fond of pointing out that AAMCO, for example, stands for “All Automatics Must Come Out” - meaning that it doesn’t matter what kind of problem you have - they’ll tell you that you need to rebuild the transmission. There are other large transmission chains as well that provide dubious levels of quality & service.

So if it hasn’t been looked at by a reputable independent local shop, I would get a second opinion on it. What exactly is the transmission doing - or not doing?

I also think the others may be right. 110,000 isn’t really a lot of miles on a well-maintained car. CD players - easy. Electric locks - probably easy but can live without them anyway. Dents? They just add character.

The mechanic is an independent found on the referred list on this site. We were worried that with a used part it might not be all that it is listed as.

You are using very good judgement and good methods to come to a conclusion,you are right on about the used part situation. We have posted our instructions on mechanic evaluation,don’t make his being listed here the only check-out feature.

Oh I agree, except we did take what we knew and then double checked with our Honda independent guy we have here. Since the car is 200 miles away we are going with trusting tha tthe guy is right. The car won’t go. It is either fix it up there are abandon it.

this is a very good option and should be able to find one at a Pacific Engine Importer (or similar type co) These are used Japanese parts that are from cars that generally have 40K miles or less (some Japanese licensing and eco regs that make it cheaper for them to buy new cars). Should cost less than half and that would include installation. But insist on looking at the tranny or select it yourself, as I did for my son. CAr has been great since then