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Shoudl I keep or should chuck it as a money hog?

I have a 1995 Audi Cabriolet with 89,000 miles ? I just got the brakes fixed and they tell me that I need to put timing belt and then rack and pinion. The cost is about $1700. The car is only worth $2000. 1.

If I do all these things is it worth it or will I be having more problems ? mechanically.

2. Are there any known problems that I don?t know of. I replaced the rag top last year and it is already coming apart! and don?t even use it in the summer.

I would call it quits if I were you. Unless you are a mechanic who can get the parts cheap and fix it in his spare time, you are throwing good money after bad.

The problem of owning an older “luxury” car is the exremely high repair costs and the future unknowns. Audis are not known for their long lives, unlike Mercedes, where the bread and butter models are used for taxi and limousine service all over the world. Such cars can live long if properly looked after.

Having said that, the total cost is not outrageous, but a car with 89,000 miles on it SHOUL NOT NEED a new rack.

We have a 1994 Nissan and the brakes were just done for $375, and a timing belt (plus water pump and tensioner), which it does not have, would cost about $500 in a similar car, like a Honda Civic. A new rack would be about $250 plus labor.

An Audi has the unhappy combination of poor reliability, expensive repairs and short design life. If these repairs bother you, You should avoid any Audi or Volkswagen product in the future.

Your car is 15 years old, so of course it will need mechanical work. It is an Audi so parts and labor will cost more than most other cars. And, it is a convertible which adds somewhat to the problems but also adds to the value.

If you don’t use the car in the summer with the top down, then why keep it? Sell it and get yourself a Camry or Corolla. Your Audi has relatively low mileage and convertible season is approaching. Get the car cleaned, waxed, and interior cleaned and put it up for sale.

A '95 should need brake work, and a timing belt is normal maintenance. The rack and pinion is wear and tear and not unusual on a car 15 years old. None of the problems you are describing are big issues considering the age of the car. If you don’t like repair bills you should be driving a much newer car.

Your convertible is best suited to an owner who tinkers with it and drives it on nice weekends. Someone who has other cars to use as the daily transportation.

Thanks you for your sound advice.

I was thinking of a Corolla or Camry actually but do you know what year the break sticking started. I am thinking that I should get an older version so hat it is not under recall. I simply don?t have the time to run around.

What are your thoughts on a new Corolla or Camry ? I would be too concerned to drive one with them under such a cloud

My son has a 2000 Camry V6 at college, very good car for us thus far. I have an '01 Toyota Sequoia (the full size SUV) and it is a great vehicle too. While neither is involved in the recall, the floor mats did get caught in the '00 Camry gas petal. Frankly, that is an easy fix, just move the mat and it releases the petal. I think Toyota’s issues are more than sticky petals.

The new Corollas and Camry’s are fine cars, I don’t care for the styling of them and I still prefer the look of our 2000. As for the recalls, I think Toyota will figure it out. What they need to do it program the car’s computer to override the throttle position sensor whenever the brakes are applied. So far Toyota hasn’t done this where other cars with “fly by wire” electronic accelerator systems have this kind of fail safe programming in place now.

So, you can wait a while longer for the Toyota situation to work itself out. Toyota makes quality cars and they will figure this out, but I’m not convinced they have it solved completely yet.

You can look at Honda Accord, and Civics; I love my '03 Civic. And, if I was shopping today I’d have to look at the Ford Fusion, and Chevy Malibu. There are some very good cars out there now, that are perhaps the equal or better than the Camry. Check them out.

There has been a concerted media circus about the Toyota recalls, that dwarfs the imgination, (no offense to dwarfs, You are as cool as anybody else) but in fact, there are many other cars that have had recall issues, and the number of actual problems compared to the number of actual cars made by toyota is very small indeed. However, and this is my personal view, older cars were built with simpler designs, following the KISS principle. Newer cars tend to be too complex for any one mind to grasp. In this matter, I would say, follow your bliss.

What is so appealing about Toyota to you? If (supposed) reliability look at their recent history of serious blunders not only in safety but design. There likely are more lurking not even appearing yet. Some recent examples are failing electric power steering, blown oil hoses due to poor placement in design destroying engines, acceleration issues, trucks that have serious quality issues leading to broken frames and the list goes on.

If you like the cars for other reasons go for. Reliability you are a lemming believing Toyota is something better.

I don’t know where you live so if the car is rusting and appears generally beat up, then scrap it. Otherwise, you have the option of replacing the parts yourself or finding an unemployed mechanic who will work for cheap. Advertise in under Services, Automotive and then title your post as Temporary Help Wanted.

Another option is to part it out from your garage if you live in an urban area where there are likely more cars like yours. You might be able to get a lot more than $2000 in total for some of the parts including a running engine. The remaining metal can be cut up with an air chisel and hauled away to a scrapyard in a pickup or on a trailer. You will need an air chisel. safety glasses, hand tools and an air compressor.

Got any neighbors who can do car fixing and can give you guidance? I, for one, would do that. Most people like to be the resident expert even if that is a temporary position!

Do you have a local Technical College that offers an automotive repair course? Would they accept your car as a sample lesson for the students at a low cost to you for repairs?

You have time for some of these options. If the car needs a timing belt, it is a bomb, ready to explode so there is a risk with continued operation. You need alternate transportation now!

Those are a few things that comes to mind without thinking much. May be good ideas for your situation, may be bad, but ideas.

Thank you everyone for your advice. I am breaking down, giving up vanity and planning to buy a Honda Insight for value. Generally, I try to buy used cars and keep them for long time. This Audi is not working out as I thought - although pretty cute, has no rust and looks great!

Thanks all. You helped me make up my mind

Checked for true market value of your Audi; with low miles 89K the trade in price for “average” condition is $1,650, private sale about $2,000 and on a dealer sale $3,000.

If you sell it privately is seems the condition is somewhere between average and clean; I’d advertise it for about $2,500 and be happy to get anything over $2,000 in this market. The fact it is a convertible should help it sell pretty fast and you might be able to stand firm on your $2,500 price.

The Honda Insight should work out good for you. Good Luck.