I have a 1999 Chevy Prizm that needs about $2,000 worth of repairs done in order to pass state inspection (some routine, replace break pads, etc., others major like replacing rear tie rods). I was told that the cost of repairing the car is greater than its value. My initial reaction was to sell the car for parts, but now I’m thinking since I can’t get a “new” used car for anywhere near $2,000 it might be worth sinking the money into my current car. Thoughts?
Putting $2K into this car is probably worthwhile, if it is in otherwise good shape. You are dealing with a vehicle with a known history when you repair. Constrast that to buying a different used car with an unknown history, and I would think a repair would win out all the time. My son keeps a 94 Geo Prizm on the road and doesn’t hesitate to spend money on maintenance items like you outline above. It has 225K miles and is still running well.
The answer to your question is the usual “that depends”. If the rest of the car is good, and you should know as the owner, you like the car, the mileage is not too high, the body has little or no rust, I would go ahead and do the repairs.
I’m suspicious about the rear tie rod ends; please get a second opinion on all this from a trusted mechanic. Do not have the repairs done at the dealer, since that will be very costly. A good independent garage will have all the parts for your car!
Nine years is not very old for a basically very good car. Your car has a life expectancy of about 20 years with good care, since it ia basically a Toyota Corolla.
$2000 is not an unusual amount of money to keep an older car in good shape, and, like you said, is nothing compared to the cost of a decent used car, so, as long as the engine’s in good shape, spend it.
Repairing/maintaining is nearly always cheaper than purchasing new. However the emotional component is there and you have to stomach the repair bills.
Thanks so much for the responses, everyone! Very helpful advice.