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New car?

Our 2000 Honda Odyssey with 165Kplus miles, but in GREAT shape needs a new transmission, the torque converter broke. Do we fix it for $3500, get another two year and buy a diesel Odyssey (crossing fingers) or do we buy a new Odyssey now, hopefully getting a deal b/c of low car sales? THOUGHTS??? We are in a bit of a bind as we are due to leave for a family trip in two days…

First of all, I doubt that you can get a new transmission installed in 2 days, even if it’s in stock at the shop. You might be better off renting a van for the trip. That would add several hundred dollars to the repair. If you do decide to keep it you might price out a rebuild. That should be substantially less than a new one. A new transmission would last another 165,000 miles or so, but you just want it to last another 2 to 3 years. Let’s say the rebuild csts $1500 and the rental is $500. Your cost is $2000 and you have $1500 for the new van, plus the extra value at trade-in of a running van. In a way, you get the $1500 back at sale.

As JT suggested, rent for the trip. The rent will be far less that the likely additional cost to you of buying a car in a hurry.

When you get back home take some time and shop carefully to get what you want and the deal you want. Being in a rush to get a car can cost you big time.

well, after thinking it through, and we did have more than just two days for purchase (left out too many details to get ballpark thoughts), we’ve decided to invest into our trusty ole’ van and hope that it will last long enough for us to make a smart and non-hurried purchase of a diesel van, which we hear is a coming soon!
even though we’ve made the decision to fix for now, I’m still curious to ideas and thoughts, as it is good information to share in general.

OK, the diesel van will cost a lot to start, and will sell at MSRP. Expect to pay a few thousand more than the gasoline van, which will probably be available at a discount. Diesel fuel costs about 20% more than gasoline. Even though diesels often get 25% beter mileage, the time to pay off the difference can be long. And as more diesel vehicles become available, the difference between diesel and gas prices will grow. At a $2000 premium for the diesel it will take you 80,000 miles to make it up; 120,000 miles at $3000.

But it should get better if you hold on until 2011 or 2012.

has anyone else heard any things about the diesel cars? Negatives, positives?
I’m glad we’ve decided to fix our current van and wait, besides in today’s disposable society, it feels good to keep an old car running.

To me that would be a no brainer. If you are going to buy a new one in two years anyway, why in the world would you fix this on? This is an ideal time to buy. I really would question the wisdom of diesel at this point though. Why pay extra for diesel and maintenance only to go pay a dollar more a gallon. I just don’t think most people know anything about operating a diesel and are just looking at the MPG figures-which is a mistake in my book.