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Out of Business: fix or buy something else

Sometimes you just have to make a change even though things aren’t perfect and you’ll be happy for it. Do it now while you still have something to drive and not desperate. We had the same problem since we hadn’t bought a car for a while. Couldn’t decide, nothing seemed perfect. Then we just stopped by after breakfast at the dealer and four hours later had a new car. I haven’t owned a station wagon since about 1980, but I have a trailer. It has moved us and others, hauled lumber, lawn mowers, snow blowers, freezers, sand, gravel, dirt, trees, you name it. Looking for one vehicle that meets all of your old criteria just ain’t gonna happen anymore.

" dodge grand caravan "

I’ve had mine for many years. Over the years I’ve sometimes popped out the rear 2 rows of seats and hauled construction materials, a console piano and a new side-by-side, bicycles, and a ice/water-in-the-door refrigerator (not all at the same time). All doors and lift gate were able to close. The guy (He was huge) at Sears was ticked when he loaded that refrigerator (He wouldn’t let me help). Not by design, but I got to the loading dock right at closing time.

This vehicle is an extra vehicle for us. This vehicle, used primarily by my family for out of town trips, travel to soccer and basketball games, camping/vacation and golf tournaments has been very, very good to us. Insurance cost is very low and gas mileage is great.

Just as some people justify buying a set of winter tires by say they save wear on their regular tires, I find that the Caravan has kept miles off our regular individual family members’ cars.

CSA

If the Swedish company saw fit to hang its logo on a Subaru WRX, then the new 17k Impreza wagon is a legitimate replacement for your 9000.

Has your mechanic checked your valve lash? I would start with that, but $1500 should have gotten you more than a new headgasket, it should have gotten you new valves, valve guides and seals as well. At least they milled the head.

The reality is that at 155k miles, you should have gotten the engine rebuilt. Renewing the head can cause the rings to unseat and if you are going to replace the rings, might as well do the bearings too. If you really love this car, you should get some estimates for a complete rebuild from an experienced mechanic, or a remanufactured engine from a quality shop like Proformance. You might drop $6k on a reman engine and a new clutch, but it should be good for another 100k+ miles and where are you going to get 100k+ miles for only 6 grand.

No idea why someone mentions Toyota or Honda when the guy wants performance with some cargo room.
@PaulK you are a good candidate for a Mazdaspeed 3 hatchback. It gets roughly the same MPG as your SAAB, has almost 43 cu.ft. of cargo room with the seats folded down and can be had for $25k brand new. Looks are subjective, so you might not like it, but it meets everything else you want

Thanks for the suggestions and advice. Every mile I get out of the Saab now seems like gravy. Am looking at Audi A3, A4 wagon, Mazda3 hatch and Jetta TDI wagon to see what might work.

Try some http://www.yamaha-motor.com/outboard/apparel/apscitemdetail/3/145/all/1/10007/detail.aspx just for kix, Carbonized rings can lower compression, and this may loosen them up.

Thanks for all the suggestions & advice. We got a 2008 Honda CRV. Practical, roomy, reliable. Vanilla. I got so depressed driving it, I gave the key to my wife. For the Saab, I was offered $100 trade-in value, so we’re keeping it. (Not worth selling!) Will try the Yamaha ring zapper stuff, just to see if it helps. My birthday present may be the “new” engine.