Replace old car or keep paying to keep it going?


#1

I’ve got a '94 Accord w/ 122K, I was convinced that I could keep replacing parts as they wore out. To date for the year, spending $3500; tie rods, boots, u-joints, pwr steering pump, control arms for steering, alignments, battery, 2 tires, oil pan, B- pipe on the muffler, etc etc. This is a lot to be changed out and getting expensive, would I not be better with a car payment on something newer?


#2

Are you using dealer? The price seems a bit steep however despite the golden Honda name (mean nothing) thing break more often than not on an 13 year car.

If you like the car besides tall he recent maitenance hang onto it. The truth is all that work it likely will muster on and it would be good to get some usage out of your $3500. However if you had enough move on, this car led a good life.


#3

If you average the $3500 over 9 months, it’s $388 a month. You could probably get a car payment for less. I just dumped $1500 into a 7 year old car, and $1100 last year for head gasket. After spending the $1500, I decided that having another repair in that price range say, 6-9 months down the line, was not something I could stomach. We got a good deal on an '07 Pontiac G6, base model with very nice features & traded the older car. A comparably equipped Honda could be $1500-$2000 more than the G6. When your repairs start to average a car payment, you’d want to think about a new car. Oh - my insurance went down $80/year with the Pontiac. It has very high safety ratings.


#4

You’re still ahead of the game. Just don’t pay as much in the next 12 months.


#5

If you average the $3500 over 9 months, it’s $388 a month. You could probably get a car payment for less

But if you do that maintenance in 9 months you still have the car and no more payments. If you replace it, you will still have many more payments to go.

The decision based on only cost says keep the car. But that is not the only valid issue. There are other advantages to newer cars that can’t easily be computed in dollars and they are likely different for each of us. In the end the OP has to make his or her decision.


#6

Some years you pay a lot, other years you pay next to nothing. In most cases, properly maintained Accords are good for 200,000 to 250,000 miles. You paid $3,500 and have a drivable car. Can you buy another car for $3,500?


#7

“If you average the $3500 over 9 months, it’s $388 a month. You could probably get a car payment for less.”

If you need a car payment, you can’t afford a new car. If you can write a check for a newer car, and you are spending more on your old car (on a continual basis) than it’s replacement cost, then buy a newer car. Buying a brand new car is almost always a very bad deal compared to a newer used car. If you can’t afford a newer car, keep the old car running and start saving the equivalent of a car payment until you can.


#8

It is highly unlikely that you will incur $3500 in repairs in the next 9 months. As pointed out by other posters, repairs come in lumps. I keep track of all repair expenditures, and some years I have only $100 while other years $1500 or more. If you have looked after the car reasonably well, and the major components are sound ,it will keep going for many more of years. A relative of mine has a 1987 Accord which is still very reliable with 250,000 miles on it. When you average it out it is a lot less than new car payments.


#9

Thanks to all. I will keep the car. Here are a couple of reasons why: a) equal to car payment b) all the cars out there of same size (minus hybrids) have the equivalent mpg c) it’s cheaper to keep liability insurance on it vs. nearly double for a newer car


#10

But if you do that maintenance in 9 months you still have the car and no more payments. If you replace it, you will still have many more payments to go.

The decision based on only cost says keep the car. But that is not the only valid issue. There are other advantages to newer cars that can’t easily be computed in dollars and they are likely different for each of us. In the end the OP has to make his or her decision.

I agree with your second statement and partially with your first: “do that maintenance in 9 months you still have the car and no more payments.” There’s no certainty on the “no more payments” part - it depends on the necessity of repair, and there’s no way to know that. The car might have never needed another big repair…or it might have needed thousands in repairs over the next couple of years. I intended to keep driving it. However, factoring only the major repair costs over the last 12 months was about $241 monthly. It’s a GM with 135k, and those major costs did not involve transmission, electrical or internal engine work. We have every maintenance/repair receipt since day one. The over-riding concern was: can we take another $1000+ ($1500…$2000?) hit in the next 6-12 months? I’ve always purchased newer used cars in the past but - bottom line, we had no buyers remorse, love the car, and are a lot safer in it.

The OP has decided to keep his car, and that is a sound decision for him and his circumstance.