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Should we trade? Need advice

Hi all! We are trying to come to a decision on whether we trade our car for a used car from a friend and need some advice. Here’s the situation
First my husband is in grad school and we need the least amt of problems with our car as possible.
We have one year to go so hoping for something that can last us 1-2 years.

Currently we have a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GT . It has 143K miles on it. We have replaced radiator, tires, whole rear brake system in the last year. Also been told there is a leak ( oil) around main gasket ) and that if it continues could cost us more than car is worth.
Our friend is selling his 19998 NIssan Maxima with 223k miles on it and loves the car , only selling bc they were given a car that fits there family better. He says he has had no issues with it since he bought in 2006. When he did buy then it had a small radiator leak but hasn’t changed since then ( 5 years) and mechanic says it’s fine.

Also we would like something a little bigger…maxima gives us this.

Advice? Would you trade?


Explain a little more about the main gasket. Is this the oil pan? It might also be the on top of the engine (e.g., cylinder head). Since you already replaced several items, those should be good for quite a while. While the Maxima has run well, there is no telling when a high mileage car will start acting up. I imagine that there will be expensive repairs on the Maxima in the next 2 years, but it’s hard to predict.

Back to the oil leak on your Elantra. I’m sure it will continue to leak. But it doesn’t cost anything more that a little oil until you repair it. How much oil do you add every 1000 miles? Where does the oil leak to? If the leak is between the coolant system and the oil system, then it’s time to get rid of it. If it is any other leak, you can live with it until it gets large enough that you could loose most of the oil in a few thousand miles.

You did not mention money – do you have a loan on the Hyundai? How much is the Maxima? Your Elantra is worth $2,500 and the Maxima is worth $500.

So i have to admit when the mechanic told me this and we can definitely get more information that I had my 2 yr old with me who was not wanting to listen to him . But as far as if it is between the coolant system and oil system do you know if we can tell that based on the leaks we’re seeing on the ground? Would it be in a certain area?

twotone: the maxima is not worth 500. it’s worth 3000 on kbb, friend asking 2700. and no, no loan on hyundai

I think you might be trading one set of problems for another. You know the problem with your present car (an oil leak). You have new tires, a new radiator, and have the brakes up to snuff. You don’t want to buy the Maximum and put money into repairs for a car that has almost 225,000 miles.

I understand being a graduate student and keeping a car going. I had an older Rambler when I was doing my graduate work. I had to have transmission work done (it was a manual transmission) and was tempted to trade the car before putting money into it. However, I kept the Rambler and with the money I saved, even drove it a couple of years after I completed my degree. The money I would have spent on another car went into a down payment on a house.

Don’t trade the lower mileage comparatively newer car for the older car with more mileage. To me, that’s jumping from a lukewarm frying pan into a hot fire. You know how you took care of the car you had, and OK - now it has a few issues. Older cars always have issues - things wear out. Why would you think that a car that is older with higher mileage wouldn’t have issues as well? Just my thoughts.

It sounds like it is not an oil/coolant leak. That is internal. It seems to me that you don’t need to repair it until oil use is to high. How often do you add oil to the car? If you don’t add oil between oil changes it is definitely not enough to worry about. Did your mechanic every tell you what the oil level was when he changed the oil? BTW, if you don’t do it already, I suggest that you check the oil level every week or every 500 miles to see how much you use. Add a quart when it is a quart low.

You don’t want advice, you want someone to tell you that it is a good idea to trade your newer lower mileage Elantra for on older higher mileage Maxima- did you notice that no one has done that. You are grad students,perhaps you can figure out why.

I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would want to acquire a car with 223K miles on its odometer. Maximas are nice cars, in general, but 223K is a lot of miles for any car.

You sell, for whatever you can get, cars with this many miles. You do not, under any circumstances, buy a car with 223K miles.

This is not a good deal, especially if you have to pay money. You’d be better off sticking with the Hyundai.

I agree with twotone, the Maxima is worth $500, at best, but not to me. I wouldn’t give you a nickel for it. Too many miles.

Thanks to those of you who offered real advice. I know it does seem weird to even ask but knowing that Maximas are a lot better than older hyundais we just didn’t know what would be best.

Sure, but you’re looking at 4 years, and 100,000 miles…I’d stick with the Hyundai.

Lets look at it from a financial point of view.
You owe nothing on your current car
Friend wants $2700 for the Maxima.
Take the $2700 and put towards fixing the oil leak, since you’d be spending it on the Maxima to buy.

Nothing ever costs you more than a car is worth…because you just decide not to fix that car if that happens. You junk it, donate it, or sell it to someone who wants it. Nobody’s going to force you to fix the Hyundai if it goes kaput (though you might find you want that option).

But I’d say take that money that you have now (even if it’s theoretical) for possible purchase of the Maxima, and put it away for the future car you’ll definitely have to buy eventually, because neither of these cars is likely to last to infinity. Maybe the Hyundai will last long enough for you to not have to worry about which older car to take a risk on, and you’ll be able to get something you know for sure will last you many years. That’s my personal plan for my next car.

Good luck either way!