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Time to trade in the truck?

I have a '99 Nissan Frontier with around 140k miles on it. It’s been in the show 3 times in as many years for transmission problems. Recently I found out that the upper control arms are shot for both the front wheels. I use it mainly for commuting to work 20 miles a day and I often take 3 to 4 hour trips twice a month. Before spending the money on the repairs, I’m starting to wonder if maybe it’s time to get a used car in the 2006-2008 range for under $15k. Would it be worth it to hang on to the truck a while longer or go ahead and trade it in?

Whether you trad it or not, you will still pay for the repairs. If you trade your Frontier in, the value is reduced by everything it needs. I think that you should fix it and then decide whether you want to keep it. If you sell it, make sure it passes any inspections required for the new owner to register it. You wil get your best sales price that way, which translates into less money out the door for your next ride.

check out cash for clunkers…you might get a new car for less than 15K, my neighbor got a 2009 ford escape for 13,500…

The clunker needs to get poor mileage.

Was the reason to replace the upper control arms centered on balljoint condition? I am not checking to see if the cars is equipped with upper control arms,I take your word,

It would make sense if the ball joint only came as a unit with control arms and 140K is not terribly early for ball joint failure. A balljoint does not have to have very much play before a mechanic calls it bad (like .0001) which is darn tight.

Myself I could look at the balljoints and satisfy myself if it was safe to drive, I can’t dispute this diagnosis,I can’t see for myself.

We did a little poll not to long ago about peoples most expensive repair,transmission work lead the pack by far,so don’t feel all alone.

This is going to be a “hows the rest of the truck” answer combined with “how much do you like the truck and doees it suit your needs” Do you still have need for this type of vehicle?

The Frontier is rated @ 19 MPG for the 4-cyl with manual, and less than 18 MPG for the 4-cyl auto and the V6. Odds are this truck qualifies.

Well I definitely appreciate all the feedback so far.

@mshugna: The fuel economy gov’t site lists my truck at 21 MPG, it’s the 2wd model so I’m 3 miles a gallon off to quality for the cash for clunkers.

@oldschool: I’ll be honest when I say that my experience with cars is extremely limited. I do know that before I got new tires that the inside of both the front tires were just about completely bald which I think would support the idea that the control arms need to be replaced.

My big question is, will this be the last set of “major” repairs for the truck or will this be the start of a growing trend as I continue to put miles on it? I’ve tried to keep up with the regular maintenance but with the paint coming off in some areas and the headliner coming down, I’m just wondering how many more miles I can put in before I start spending more money on repairs than it’s actually worth…

Your trade in value likely will not be affected much by the shot suspension. Usually offers from newer used and new dealers have this built into their trade in allowances as this vehicle will go straight to auction. Shop around, some dealers will take a close look while others throw a number at it.