To Fix or Not To Fix

I have a 2002 Saturn LW200 that needs a new steering rack, brakes and tires. The brakes and tires were expected, but not the steering rack. The car has 70400 miles. Should I fix it for an approximate total of $2500 or trade it in on a new or used car? Inspection is due next month so I need to make a decision soon.

Are you going to get a better car for $2500 than you’d have if you fix this one? Most likely not. If it is basically in good shape otherwise, it makes sense to fix it.

if engine and tranny good always less expensive to repair then replace, lower insurance, lower taxes, no payments etc.

figure you’d pay about 300 a month for payments, so thats about 8 months payments.

$300 X 8 = $2,400.

do you want four or five years of payments, or equal to 8 months of payments???

BUT thats all assuming the rest of the car is OK.

Unless you are sure get another opinion on the steering rack. I have never needed one since cars went from worm and sector steering gears to rack and pinion steering gears and wonder what could go bad with one of these. Possibly I have been lucky but never needed to replace a worm and sector steering gear either.

That total price sounds a bit high.
Just curious. What is the reason given for the steering rack replacement?

Transmission boot leaking on drivers side. Rest of car in good shape.

I assume by transmission boot you mean the boot (or rubber bellows) that is on each end of the steering rack.

If power steering fluid is actually leaking out of there then yes, you will need a new steeing rack.
Sometimes the boot cracks/splits or is torn by something being thrown up by a tire and once torn the rack will usually not last long when dirt and water enter.

I don’t know how the total amount you’re quoted is broken down but one can find a rebuilt rack from most parts houses for a couple of hundred dollars.
The repair should be priced around as this still sounds way high to me.