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Sell it or Keep it?

Hey All,

I got a SAAB 95 with 140K Miles on it. We liked the car, it serves our needs and does the job.

In the past couples years I have put a bunch of money into it including replacing the brakes. The transmission and engine have been doing great, but once again my mechanic has told me that the struts need to be replaced in the front.

I have two choices now popping in my head. Continue paying for the maintenance of this car over the next 3-5 years in hopes that nothing else goes bad or just sell it in hopes of finding a new or barely used car with less miles/problems?

We are willing to make car payments if needed over the next two years if it makes more economic sense.

I know that Saabs are never cheap to fix but can have strong engines that last well into the 200K Mile range. So, Bottom line, is the car worth keeping in your experience?

I don’t consider either brake replacement or struts and an alignment a big deal, if that is all that is needed to be done, maintenance-wise. Ask your mechanic to find lifetime warranted struts (you pay labor only if replacement is needed) so that they will last if you decide to keep the car longer.

Brakes and struts are normal replacement parts. You will have to replace these things on any car. If you don’t want to have to replace parts like this, you’ll have to buy a new or much newer car. As long as you are only having regular wear and tear maintenance done, I’d keep the car. And in the course of 3-5 years there will undoubtedly be other things you’ll have to replace. But it’ll still be less expensive than a car payment.

Brakes, struts, and tires are simply items that wear with use and miles driven. Any car will need these kinds of items replaced. Saab parts might be a bit more than a standard American car but these replacements are infrequent enough not to make much difference.

You shouldn’t be too upset with these expenses. Budget $100 a month for car repairs and you’ll have $1,200 a year for car repairs. How many new car payments are even close to $100 a month? Zippo.

For now keep the Saab. Find out the price of a new car to replace it. Figure out what the car payment would be and start paying that amount into a savings account now. This will give you money for car repairs on the Saab. Get you used to making a significant monthly payment. And if the Saab last 3 to 5 years you’ll have either a large down payment or perhaps be able the buy the new car for cash.

Thank you all for your suggestions on how to handle the situation! I encourage anyone who has a different opinion or idea to share, but no need to share if you agree with these three posts

The economic sense is most keeping repairing AND maintaining it until something major comes along. Struts alone are not major(get a few quotes).

I would dump it when the repair is major, you cannot stomach it or it does not suit your needs or desires. I would not set a time limit.

Making payments on something new/used does not mean it also does not require repairs or maintenance.

A FOLLOW UP QUESTION: Does anyone have knowledge on what to expect with this model SAAB 9-5 at this mileage? What parts will go bad first? What costs to expect that are unique to this ca?

How old is the car, what model year Saab 9-5? In general I think Consumers Reports puts Saab below average meaning more repair bills more often.

2000 Saub 9-5 with 140K Miles

My problem with SAAB’s are they are truly not cost effective during the years covered under warranty. The ordinary maintenance just to be compliant with the warranty rates up there close to Mercedes and Jaguar in terms of cost. But after the warranty has expired, this is a pretty good car. Certainly there are few cars that can be expected to be on the road as long. So long as the car is supported by SAAB, meaning you can buy new parts, it is worth hanging onto versus absorbing a new monthly payment PLUS the mandatory scheduled maintenance costs associated with buying a new car (many of which run to near or over a thousand dollars each). The point is you will be expected to spend at least as much maintaining a new car as you might spend keeping this car going. The difference is you will not have the monthly payment as well, or the threat of repo if you find yourself behind two payments.
So far you have noted the need to replace brakes and now, struts. If it is a struggle to fund these repairs you cannot afford a new car.

I agree with all three of those posts, but I do not agree with your post saying no need to share if you agree with those posts. Why do you feel the need to manage the discussion?

How much does he want for struts and alignment? How much would you spend on a replacement? It seems to me that replacing the struts makes sense, and it should cost a few hundred bucks for the job. Anything less than $1000 is worth the gamble. Of course, between now and 200,000 miles, you could have significant drive train problems, but that’s the chance you take with any older, high mileage car.