To Repair or not to repair (or, time for a new car?)

I have a 1999 Subaru Legacy wagon, 88,000 miles. It’s been a decent car, and we’ve been good about regular maintenance. BUT— last month the check engine light went on and it needed a new computer and a new air flow something or other ($1700). A week ago, the radio died. Yesterday, the check engine light went on again–it needs an air sensor (($300) and I can get a cheap radio (installed) for about $120. I’m not sure, but suspect that the transmission(standard) may be about to go (it has been replaced once before and it’s beginning to have a similar feel at times(slipping, not catching).

As I write this, I think I know the answer, but I’ll ask it anyway: should I spend for the repairs, or is it time for a new car?

A lot may depend on the overall condition of the car, which we can’t see. Usually it is cheaper to repair than replace with a new or used car (which may come with other problems requiring repairs). Everything you mention should be one time fixes in the lifetime of the car.

Your description of manual transmission issue sound more like a clutch problem; pls elaborate or clarify. Slipping is generally related to clutch, not transmission. It would be highly unusual for a Subaru to require two manual transmission replacements in 88K miles – two clutches, maybe, because clutch wear is highly dependent on the driver’s habits.

Yes, I meant clutch.
It’s obviously cheaper to repair, but I’m concerned the car may be getting to the point where repairs become more frequent and more expensive, and more of a hassle. The car is in fair shape.

The hassle factor is yours to determine and a personal choice.

Your prices ($1700) seem to indicate a Subaru dealer. An independent mechanic can save a lot typically in repairs.

A terrible situation with so few miles. 88K is not a lot of miles. The first question is if these repairs were necessary and if yes why so costly and then I ask are your driving habits causing this terrible situation.

My Subie opinion is 90% based on what I read on this Forum. These cars are ones to avoid.

Check and see if the engine in your car is one that is prone to the head gasket problem. So as I will not appear to be iflamatory I will say this head gasket issue is related to just a certain engine and year model.