Should I get another car

Im wondering if I should keep the car I have. Its 94 olds ciera 6 cyl. It was handed down to me. It was bought a few years old from enterprise rentals ( the we pick you up people). It has rust in areas under the hood- the drivers side strut tower was badly rusted but the mechanic I found from car talk find a mechanic said it wasnt that bad and welded a plate there for practically no cost. there is some rust around the other strut tower on passenger side and some rust near there. this rust seems pretty bad to me but not to my current mechanic. A shade tree mechanic told me to get rid of this car because of that.
The car has about 120 k miles. It was reliable for a long time but lately has been costly. But nothing very unusual. I stupidly let stuck caliper go for a long time because there was no discussion or concern for the symptoms I was having and it ruined a front rotor cost bout $500. Then water pump cost about $500. Inspection at find a mechanic mechanic(got away from pep boys) ball joint and brake line thing approx $200. I had had this annoying oil leak for a very long time and this mechanic told me it was intake and could leak coolant into engine so his price was good so I got that done-$400 for that and the strut tower fix up as I mentioned above.
Also one of my brothers had had an accident driving this so its a reconstructed title-I think its reconstructed title or mayby salvage.
The thing that bothers me about this car is its not an economical car and I think the colt hatchbacks had more cargo space? And Im wondering if I got rid of this and got an economical car like an old honda civic or such. My favorite car that I just test drove once was a 90 Dodge colt GT hatchback but it looks like that wouldnt be economical at this time as Ive looked around and have found none for sale! I shoulda bought when I had the chance. Im kicking myself for not have done so. I really really loved that car so much I gues I got overwhelmed by that and thats why I didnt buy it. And those cars had decent cargo space.
Im wondering if its cheaper to keep her- I think it would be if I didnt drive it much(I’ll probably need 4 tires in appoximately a year form now) and it has a somewhat nasty rain leak that should be fixed.
I miss having a car that makes sense economically has decent cargo space is a pleasure to drive-I guess I want a car that has it all like that 90 colt GT HB . But would it not make sense economically to change cars?
My current car has just passed inspection, seems to have a good engine and trans. All that really needs to be done at this point is fix rain leak. Oh and theres some damage left over from that wreck my brother had that doesnt bother me as an owner but if I were shopping for a car Id skip this one no matter how much I liked it. So I feel its resale is 0 dollars. I wouldnt buy it! I wouldnt take it as a gift! But its not my idea of a fun and smart car. Its not a car to be investing in in my opinion.
So I’m confused and I dont like being confused so that is why I’m writing this.
I think I should’ve listened to that shade tree mechanic who advised me to get rid of this thing and that was before I spent all this money. So how would Batman get out of this? Just kidding.
Also I believe in finding buying around $2000 and I believe there are deals out there in that price range? Or am I dreaming?
I’d rather have a car worth investing in and as I mentioned a smart economical and one I actually would enjoy driving as I mentioned. But would it make economical sense to switch at this point? I’m just not sure. Darn it. I’m not good at the math on this. This is really a math problem.

The 94 Ciera sounds like a rust bucket at this point. You must live in an area that salts roads in the winter. Due to the rust I don’t think I’d put much money into the Ciera. It seems you’ve already spent quite a bit more on repairs than the car is worth. To get some return on the repairs you’ve done already take the car to a good body shop and have them inspect it for rust of critical areas to see if the car is still safe to drive. If the answer is yes, drive it but don’t spend any more on repairs. Start saving up money and looking for another car. When you find one, buy it and kiss the Ciera goodbye for good.

I appreciate your amazing fast responce. But this mechanic told me it wasnt that bad the rust I mean and he passed it for inspection.

$2000 doesn’t get you much of a car these days. I would continue to drive this one; trust the mechanic’s evaluation, and hope it holds together. The salvage title limits any money you would get out of it, anyway. I would start saving more for a replacement. However, unless the '90 Colt is a real cream puff, it would not be my choice for replacement.

Thankyou both and for such amazingly qwick responce! I’m also wondering if the 91 thru 94 colt GT HB’s were the same as the 90 but possible more reliable and if the automatics were as good. I remember consumer reports giving the 91 colts a great score. And I wonder if these are still very cost effective cars to buy these days. I’d love to have something exactly like that 90 GT HB. That was so dreamy to me. I’m mad that I didn’t buy that when I had the chance. But I havent seen any of those for sale which could be an issue cost effective wise.

Colts were good at that time, but that was also 20 years ago. I would look forward and not backward in model years to get a good used car. Even if you find a good low mileage one, you will have to deal with the age issue. Take your time and look for the best car, regardless of brand, that you can find. Make sure you get a pre-purchase inspection by a mechanic of your choice before you buy. He may discover flaws or at least give you bargaining chips to play during the purchase negotiation process.

Whenever you purchase a used car at this age/mileage level, you run a high risk of getting one that requires a substantial amount of repairs. With the one you have, you at least know what you have done and what may be needed in the future.

If I only had $2000 to spend on a vehicle I would not buy ANY 1990 xyz car. It will have repairs lurking that can cost a lot and parts on a vehicle that old especially obscure Chrysler rebadge are not fun to get.

Nothing you list for your 1994 makes it unreliable. I would expect those problems in a 8-10 yr car. I would spend your money on fixing your current ride.

There is NO such thing as INVESTMENT in a vehicle. You simply purchase it and continue to put money into it (hopefully less) to keep it going.

Thankyou. But I know I’ll need a car in the future! Though it could last mayby a year but then I’m spending a lot of money on gas 20 mpg? and I dont know if nothing else is going to break and in a year I might need new tires and then inspection. I’d rather have old car issues with a car that is practical gets good mpg’s cheap on repairs-cheap to fix. This is not a cost effective car. Except that I didn’t have to pay for the car. What do you mean old car problems? People have kept cars for a very long time but I do wondr if it wouldnt be cost effective to get a 91 to 93 colt GT HB. I’m not sure what possible unusual issues I could run into with that. Dammit chrysler for discontinuing that. Such an amazing car and then its gone. And then its stupid neon replacement.

Well if it is cheaper to keep her even with mpg’s and the high cost of repairing stuff and the higher cost of tires. My mechanic said he could do something about the other rust; mentioned when spring arrives. ? Its wondrful being able to talk to such amazing people which I can tell you all are. And in this way so as to communicate effectively.

And I like that I dont have to worry about a timing belt. Nothing in my owners manual about that any way. If I could get the mpg’s up but it looks like other than the basics everything a scam with that.

This seems to be a hard call?

I have some faith in this mechanic because the comment about him on car talk find a mechanic is he can fix anything with wheels. The older the better. And I noticed he is restoring an antique car and he told me it was going to be his beater. So he must know about rust issues? Mayby he has a diferent view on rust because of his experience with old cars?

And if he can fix anything with wheels the older the better Hmm. Mayby I should ask him about getting an old colt?

Then again? ? Mayby colts arent like you said suitable for that. Oops. Sorry I forgot that comment. Dammit Chrysler.

According to, you might save $200 per year in fuel. The Colt is not that much more fuel efficient than what you have now. You will not save big bucks in making the change, and you could be purchasing someone else’s troubles. Colts also have timing belts, I believe, so you may have to account for that.

Keep in mind that Mitsubishi made the Colt, and it was marketed by Dodge/Plymouth. You can look for younger Mitsubishis to achieve your objective.

Perhaps you should look at when your Ciera had spark plugs and filters changed, to make sure that it is operating at its best efficiency.

Very good point. I dont think they had a similar car in the mitsu line up though. Especially I dont think they had that exact car GT HB. Dammit Chrysler.

The mitsubishi version seem to be well they seem to have a different focus as far as I’ve been able to discover. I’m not sure if they made a sporty version HB. Like the colt I mentioned.

And about the spark plugs. I told this mechanic I didnt know when they replaced last and he said as long as the car is running well he doesnt recommend replacing them and I did have the filters changed within a reasonable time.

We’re almost there guys.

Just to let you all know I really appreciate being able to communicate with you all like this. What an amazing service!