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Should I do this trade-in?

YESTERDAY I ASKED this question: Should I put on new tires if ball joints need to be replaced?

My discussion was as follows:I have a 99 Ford Expedition with 4 wheel drive. It has 134,500 miles.

I drove on a rough road and now my car is “bouncy”. I have not been able to upkeep the car on a regular basis. A reputable tire/mechanic did a free full inspection. Aside from ochg + tune up he said the following needed work/replacement:

Ball Joints, manifold has a broken stud, new airbags, sway bar link, and it does need replacement of the broken rt front passenger window (all gone-friend tried to pull window up with pliers. I also need 4 tires. Should I put on new tires if I can’t afford to have all of the other work done. The answers were helpful, but I have a follow-up.

Follow-up question about trading in the car: The owner of the shop would be willing to take it as a trade-in (lots of work to make it salable and they do need to make a profit). The manager who I’ve known a long time gave me AN EXAMPLE: He has a Toyota Camry with about the same mileage (forgot which year…98 or 99 would be a guess)and he is asking $4725.He would accept $1600 down and $137 a month for 24 months (at a 25% interest) which would bring it to a final cost to me of $4888. It’s difficult to decide what to do considering to repair mine would be about $4200 with everything including oil change, tune up and tires with other problems I listed above included in the estimate.

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Probably not. I am inclined to put money into the car I know best, and not take risk on one that may or may not have been maintained as well, particularly at similar model years and mileages. I would also get a second opinion on the work from another independent mechanic. For example, I am not sure the manifold broken stud is significant. Passenger window may be cheaper at a local body shop for the repair.

What is wrong with the airbags that requires replacement at this time?

It sounds like your Expedition is in pretty rough shape. It maybe time to sell it or trade it for a car in better condition. From reading your post it seems you haven’t really done much to maintain the Expedition over the years and there could be more stuff ready to break and/or fail on you after you make all the listed repairs.

Camry’s are good cars in general, but buying any used car has lots of unknowns about the car’s history. If this seems like a good deal to you, go for it. From long distance I can’t give you an even decent ballpark number on what your Expedition is worth. You can check at to see it you can get some value numbers to help you evaluate whether this is a decent deal or not.

First off, 25% interest is just shy of criminal.
If you have bad credit, and this is the best you can do, you should learn to do without.

Now, onto your list of problems with your Ford:

ochg + tune up - Do you have a friend who can do this for you for the cost of lunch + parts? There is ALWAYS someone who lives nearby that is willing to do an oil change and spark plug change for lunch.

Ball Joints - Get a second opinion

manifold has a broken stud - Intake or exhaust? Is it causing the truck to not idle correctly, or giving you poor gas mileage? If No, then ignore.

new airbags - Why do you think you need new air bags? Did you have a bad accident in your truck?

sway bar link - Is the link already broken? If yes, find a friend who can install this, as its really easy to do, typically. That’s another lunch.

broken rt front passenger window - You should probably replace this first, to prevent water and stray animals from getting into your truck. That will cause even more damage.

Replace things one at a time, and try and save up money.
Getting out of a financial hole is difficult at times, but is always possible.

Trading in your truck for a used Camry at 25% interest is NOT IN YOUR BEST INTERESTS.
You wouldn’t actually be paying $4725 for the Camry, but $5906 (this includes the interest), and the amount that your truck is actually worth, which might be about $1500 to $2k more.

So the Camry would most likely cost you about $8k, after everything is said and done.
If you are willing to pay $8k for a car, you might as well go to a Hyundai or a Nissan Dealer, and get a brand new Versa or Accent for slightly more money, but will come with a real warranty, and save you more money in the long run instead of having to pay for repairs on the Camry.


Looking at the deal a bit more closely:

“he is asking $4725. He would accept $1600 down and $137 a month for 24 months (at a 25% interest) which would bring it to a final cost to me of $4888.”

Something is off about the numbers. At a $25% interest rate for 24 months for $3,000 borrowed, only adding $163 to the asking price to come up with a total of $4,888 seems off. With that high an interest rate you total cost over 24 months should be closer to $6,000. Make sure you understand all the numbers before you sign up for anything.

Just called the mechanic on the airbags. He says the airbag problem relates to the springs in the back of the truck.

The shop is local and not a national chain. They sold my daughter a mazda about 7 years ago for $2500 that lasted her 5 years before she did something she should’nt have. They sold my young roomate an 89 corrolla 2 years ago for $2000; there were some signifigant repairs required but expected as he was a student and the owner was looking for something at minimum cost to get him to and from school and had limited funds. The car came with new tires and a tune-up and we found a problem with the passenger side electric window which was fixed at no cost. The repairs were a drive train 8840 rt frt axel and engine parts for rack and pinion boot. The cost incl parts and labor was $290+tx. His car runs great and is reliable.

Here’s a better idea:

Have this guy give you a loan to fix up your truck.
He gets money, you get your truck running, and you don’t get overly screwed.


In re: to interest rate I thought the payments should be higher than 137 as well after I got home and looked at the numbers. I haven’t asked him but he may have given me better numbers than he first stated given I’m a long term customer.

Previous suggestions about getting a second opinion is a valid idea. I wondered if I should do that too. I’ve done this in the past and his quotes have always come out less than others. However, given the seriousness of the situation, it is well worth doing.

If I were in his position I wouldn’t give me a personal loan. I think I would want legal paper work to protect me too. This part really doesn’t bother me…can’t imagine how long I’d be in business if I gave personal loans to my customers.