I have a 1997 RAV4 with 144K miles that’s blown its head gasket. Should I replace it for $1800, or trash it? The car mechanic says, no, but I’m skeptical. It’s been reliable up until now, but maybe its reliability is now under question. Please help me decide.

If you fixed it, you might get about $3000-$4000, depending on the options. It may be worth fixing either to keep or sell. Is the mechanic a car dealer (new or used)? If so, he might also want to sell you a car. He should offer at about $600 in trade before the work or about $2600 after. Another issue is collateral damage. Will they do anything but replace the gasket? Lastly, you might get a price for the same work elsewhere. Once you have a written estimate, shop it around to see if someone can do the work for less. Or, if you can drive it, take it to another place for their estimate.