Keeping an old car going after putting a lot of money into it

I have a 1997 Volvo 850 (standard transmission) which I bought in 2000. I paid 17,500.00 at the time and it had 39,000 miles on it. Now it has 188,000 miles on it and has had some seriously expensive repairs over the years. I just paid $530 to replace various stuff last week, and am about to pour in another $1,000+ to replace a bent rear axle. Oh, and the air conditioning does not work, and to fix that last time was $1,400. If I don’t fix it, then the car gets full of humidity and I can’t see to drive, so its dangerous in hot damp weather.

I drive 60 miles every day to work, and the cost of gas is on the rise again. I have a 16 year old daughter who is learning to drive, and my thought was to keep the volvo going for her benefit and to get something with better mileage for me to use to get to and from work. I figure I have past the point of diminishing returns from the volvo, and have spent so much on it that it would be foolish to trade it in for peanuts and get some other used car with unknown problems. I am hoping that I have fixed every expensive thing that can brake for at least awhile.

Buy the Mini.

Having owned a '98 V70XC with 210K miles, I believe you have many more expensive items that can fail and will – soon. The car is safe, but keeping it running well and dependable for your teen will be costly.

I sold my Volvo as my step son got his license and we got a 2000 Camry for him. Plenty safe and so far just oil changes and one tire that he wiped out hitting a curb since Aug. '08.

I agree with UncleTurbo you will have more problems to fix. As heartbreaking as it is to put money into a car and turn around and sell it for peanuts, is the same as a stock. Sell your loss and get something for it while you can. Buy something better.

There is no end to the expensive things that can break on this car. The ones you fixed before will break again soon. At 188K miles it’s time to say “good bye” to your 850 and move on.

How did the rear axle get bent? This is not an easy thing to do.

You can continue pouring money into this car if you choose. It is, after all, your money. But the pouring will not stop any time soon, and the amount you need to pour may increase.

Good luck.

Agree that the Volvo will be a serious money pit from here on in; no matter who drives it. Young poeple can do things to cars that others would not. And anything on the Volvo will be expensive.

A woman in a Mercedes station wagon hit my car at the rear left wheel area. I was going about 3 miles per hr, and she was going about 30mph. My car got all mashed up. The insurance wanted to total it, but a local auto body shop took it on and fixed it for what the insurance co. offered. Apparently although it looked as good as new, the axle was bent and the rear alignment has been off ever since. I am constantly needing new rear tires. I am thinking though, that I should not bother to fix it now.

did you read my other post about minis or is this a coincidence?

You did not define “various stuff” but if it’s anything like a “bent rear axle” this does not mean you have a bad car at all. Things like this are owner or highway inflicted.

If that 1400 spent on the A/C was a somewhat recent deal then you should not be having A/C problems this soon. This is also not a bad car problem but could be a bad A/C repair problem.

Define various stuff and let’s try to determine if the car is bad or you’re lumping wear and tear items in with this amount.

All older cars require repairs/maintenance no matter what the nameplate (don’t be fooled with Honda/Toyota folklore).

The problem is Volvo repair work is more expensive.

No one can say if it will require more repair work or be fine. It all depends on your comfort level of spending money on occasion. If you decide to keep it repair the AC for its safety factor and obvious comfort level.

The crash damage is just one more reason to abandon this car. It will cost a lot to straighten out the rear suspension.

Any time an insurance company wants to total a car you should go along with them. They know what they’re doing.

I read the other post. Buy the Mini. :wink:

I am trying. thanks.