My 2008 Hyundai Elantra is paid off, has 130,000+ miles, and recently the transmission went. While looking at it, the mechanic noticed I’m behind on other maintenance, bringing the total to over $4,000 for necessary fixes. Worth it?? Or time to get a new car?
Go to nada.com and look up the value of your car, call a wrecking yard and see what they will give you and make your decision.
Do you like the car?
Look at the math, lets say you paid $13k for the car when it was new. The amortized purchase price is now $0.10/mile. If you sink $4k into it and you get another 40k miles, that still about $0.10/mile, anything over 40k is gravy.
But the neglected maintenance is an issue. If you have not been keeping up with the PM (preventative maintenance, aka scheduled maintenance) then you may start having more trouble with the car. Catching up does not repair the damage done, only helps extend the life of the vehicle from the damaged point.
The fact that you now need a new transmission may be due to neglecting the PM on the transmission. If you haven’t been doing regular oil changes, the engine may not last much longer. If the neglected PM is just a timing belt, then no damage done until the belt actually breaks. You want to replace it before that happens.
4000 is 8 months worth of payments and your done and lower insurance costs.
A car without a transmission is not worth much, so I guess my vote is to fix it. Its new enough. The idea is to get rid of them prior to a major repair but once it happens, not much you can do about it but fix it. Unless you really hate it anyway and just want to dump it.
If you pay $4000 to get the repairs done, then after they’re done, kbb.com says the value of your car (avg condition) is:
$3300 as a dealer trade-in
$4900 if you sell it privately yourself.
I agree with the previous comments, but do keep in mind that after spending $4K for repairs, you’ll still only have a car worth about that much.
Car is paid off and transmission went. Consider the interest rates and the yearly excise tax on a new car and depreciation and you can figure that the cost of a new transmission can save you well over $1000 to $1500 in the first year alone. So, the real cost of a transmission is now…$2500 to $3000. In a world where brake jobs can be $1000 and the car is solid otherwise ( assuming you like the car) go for it and have it repaired. IMO, you need to drive it at least 3 more years before you can feel good about that expenditure, without another major repair. 130k IS borderline so everything else has to be in good repair. Remember too, it is worth nothing unless you do, so assume that it brings a couple of grand in trade in another year or two, now means the transmission cost could be rationalized down to $1000.
Do you ever get the feeling that even if you don’t owe the bank, cars are “never” really paid off. They are designed brilliantly to keep the economy moving on your dime.