Time To Replace The Car?

How can I be sure it’s time to replace my car? Or is it ever time to replace a car? We’re spending about $2,500 per year on repairs (in addition to gas, oil, tires, etc.) and the car never runs exactly right. But it always runs and it’s paid for. It gets reasonable mileage (never worse than 18 city, up to 29 highway) and it’s a convertible. But it leaks, the a/c is intermittent and because it’s a Saab parts are ridiculous. Thank heaven for Goldwing used Saab parts. It’s a 1996 with 130K miles.

$2500/year is on the steep side but still cheaper than purchasing new. If it does not run right maybe a new mechanic is in order?

This is geting close - does it leave you stranded? Is the A/C a real problem (it would be for me). But it is still cheaper than a new car. It’s really up to you.

Agree; you are spending about twice what the average US driver spends on maintenance & repairs per year. If you spend this amount in one specific year only, preceded or followed by much less, then that’s OK.

Having said that, SAABs are more expensive to keeprunning than other cars. Since you are driving about 10,000+ miles per year the amount is excessive on a mileage basis.

You have to sit down and calculate what it would cost to buy an other good used car and allocate $1200 per year for maintenance and repairs.

Personally, I would not tolerate a car that did not run well and needed that much in repairs. By comparison, our 1994 Nissan required $385 in 2006 and $1353 in 2007, and so far in 2008 has cost $239 to keep running. The 2007 outlay included a new set of Michelin tires and rims.

I just bought a 1999 9-3 with 116,000 miles on it for $3,200 private party. Though i’m putting some money into it just to be proactive, for things I need to replace, i’ve only spent about $60. And, I only expect to HAVE to spend about $300 more this year to fix any small issues.

I was in the same boat with my older Saab 1992. Mechanically is was fine with the engine/transmission but I was looking at $2500 to fix everything else that needed to be fixed for inspection. In the end, not worth putting that much money into a car that old. That’s decent mileage for a 1996, you shouldn’t have to be putting $2500 in per year.

I am curious. What repairs and maintenance was done last year at what cost? That seems high. It might not be high for a single year, but for an average, I am wondering what is going on.

US drivers are spending about 8-10 cents/mile on maintenance, repairs and tires. You are spending 23.1 cents/mile or nearly 4 times that amount. Your car is either a real dog or someone is taking you for a ride. Craig58 keeps his 20 year old Mercedes in nearly new condition for about 5 cents/mile!

Very true. One year my old Civic would have about $200 in repair/maintenance. The next year close to $2000 after replacing timing belt/water pump, full 30k service, new tires, new brakes, and new exhaust.