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Rebuilt Transmission

I own a 1985 244 Volvo, have had it for 11 years. It’s always been a great car, I love it. I just found out that I need a new transmission, or rather a rebuild. It also needs new brakes, not sure about the rotors yet. The mechanic said the rebuilt transmission would cost $1,700 (this is my second quote, the first one said $2,600 for a used transmission! and told me the loaner I was driving was for sale…so I quickly decided to get a second opinion). My car is beat up, has lots of rust, it’s a road warrior, but it only has 166,000 miles on the engine, so still has a lot of life. Should I have the transmission rebuilt? Or invest in a newer car?

If the car is reliable, you like it, you don’t care about the rust, and it can pass your state’s emission test, $1700 is not a lot of money to spend to keep motoring. Newer cars are more complicated, and a new Volvo would likely be LESS reliable than the one you have once it’s fixed.

You could have another 7-8 years of good driving ahead.

The comment about “rust” is what concerns me. Before spending a lot on repairing the transmission make sure the rust isn’t in a critical area like the frame. If the car is not structurally sound you may have to reassess how much money to spend on keeping it going.

I was told that the car had a rust problem when I bought it 11 years ago…I’ve never done anything to fix that and it hasn’t been a problem…but you can see it underneath the paint by seam of the windsheild, front door and antennae. Over the years that I’ve taken it in for maintenance, I’ve never been told that rust was a problem…