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Should I buy a new car?

I have a 2002 Saturn LW 200 with 99,000 miles. Needs 2 new tire rods & steering gear for about $1100. Should I put the money in the car or just buy a new one? Any advice?

I’d get couple more opinions & quotes before you make any big decisions. What symptoms are you getting?

A 2002 with only 99,000 is only about middle-aged in my opinion.

…and when you go for those other opinions and price quotes, do yourself a favor and don’t refer to the tie rods as “tire rods”!

At some unscrupulous service facilities, if they think you are a total rube when it comes to cars, they will try to pad the bill with unnecessary items, and using the wrong terminology indicates to them that you are not familiar with things automotive. Even if you are not familiar with automotive terminology, you do not need to reveal this to them!

Do not even consider a new car until you verify the actual repairs needed on your Saturn. They may be considerably less than you have stated. The mechanic who gave you the $1100 quote may be trying to take advantage of you.

Get a second opinion, maybe even a third. Tell each shop only what the symptoms are; do not mention the previous offer. Let us know what happens.

$1100 seems very steep for even replacing the entire steering rack. What did you do to have them believe the entire rack is bad?
Definitely get a second opinion.

Thanks for the opinions. I took the car in to be looked over b/c it was making horrible noises when I turned left. Apparently power steering fluid was low. I also complained b/c it makes a thumping noise when I am driving. They took it for a test drive & told me what was wrong. Said I was leaking fluids & that was why I needed new steering gear. Will definately get another opinion(s) & post results.

See what happens when you give an actual description of the symptoms? You get better answers.

Start by adding more power steering fluid to the reservoir. That alone may cure the horrible noises. And the thumping? Who knows. It might be as simple as a loose bracket on the muffler. Or something bouncing in the trunk.

So add the fluid and drive for a few days. See if it makes a difference.

Your car is 10 years old, therefore more parts are going to show their age and fail. If you don’t like big repair bills once or twice a year you could be due for a new(er) car. The Saturns aren’t too bad and usually repairs will give you more years of use, but still lots of other parts can fail on you. It is really about your financial situation? Can you afford a new car? Monthly car payments on the one hand with a new car; or a few big repair bills per year keeping an old car going, either way you pay so you have to decide what works better for you.