Repair or replace

We have a 2001 Lincoln Navigator that I gave to my son (18 yrs old) to drive to college (driving from Denver to Los Angeles). It has 100,000 miles on it. When he was driving home for the holidays, the car developed transmission trouble. The dealership says it will be $3500 to repair and when I pointed out that there was some ‘play’ in the steering, they said that would be another $1100. We feel safe having my son drive that “tank” and he enjoys the Navigator luxuries that we wouldn’t get in a replacement car since I’d spend maybe $30,000 tops. Should we spend the $4600 knowing that that pretty much is the book value of the car? I kind of think it might be worth it if we could make it last for 4 years while he is in college.

It might not be a bad idea to upgrade navigators via trade in to something 4 or 5 years newer and 50k less mileage, and always have an independant mechanic check out the new ride. It will be so much less than 30k.

Of course the dealer is going to want almost $5k from you. Take this thing to a local mechanic and get a second opinion asap.

Consider an independent transmission shop (not a chain). Ask your friends and neighbors. Someone may well have a recommendation.