Repair Or Not?

My mother’s 1997 Chrysler Cirrus was losing engine coolant. The dealer quoted 2300.00 for repairs. New water pump, timing belt, and transmission work (sorry, all the details I can get, something about a solonoid?). It seems this is more than the car can be traded in for. I’m not in the same state so I’m trying to help long distance. Is this car worth fixing? Would a second opinion help? Thx

The usual answer is; “that depends”. If the car has head regular maintenance, and the mileage is not too high, most of us would recommend to go ahead and repair, if the estimate was made by a reputable garage.

If the car has been neglected, or has very high mileage, it’s better to say goodbye.

Please have your mother fax the estimate to you. If it from a dealer, have her get another estimate from a reputable independent garage, which will likely be much less.

If you post the estimate here, many posters will recommend if it’s justified. Please state mileage of the car as well.

A friend of my wife, who drives a lot, had a similar car, and at 11 years it was pretty well worn out.

The repairs listed are not unusual; for this vehicle.

Thank you, I will recommend she get another estimate from an independent. The mileage is around 57,000. The problem is she has had it in garages several times for one thing or another this year. Otherwise she does maintain it with oil changes etc. An example is one garage that said she needed new brakes, then she took it to Meineke, who said she did not. It seems they are not always honest with an 80 year old woman. When visiting we noticed a lot of rattles and squeaks that seemed excessive for a car only 11. But I have owned mostly Hondas or Toyotas and they age much better in my opinion.

The mileage is not excessively high. I agree that these cars don’t quite have the genes of Hondas and Toyotas. Having said that, the transmission should last longer than that, unless it has been run low on fluid. Timing belt and water pump are recommended at this mileage.

My 90 year old mother-in-law’s 1994 Pontiac Sunbird has 40,000 miles and runs great; no problems so far. It has had regular maintenance, and it’s checked out twice a year.

With seniors, it is often better to fix the old car if feasible and affordable rather than recommend a new one.

The timing belt and water pump based on age alone would be consider normal maintenance. My guess is this should cost about $700.00. The transmission solenoid pack should be no more then $1000.00 that’s dealer price. With A little shopping around you may be able to get everything done for about $1500.00 to $1700.00

Too iffy about the needed repair but the price is wrong anyway. Sell it as is and pick up another car.

The dealer quoted 2300.00 for repairs. … Would a second opinion help?

I don’t know it a second opinion would help, but it almost certainly be lower. While independent mechanics are not better than dealers, the dealers are not better than independent mechanics. The only real difference is the dealer will almost always cost more.