When do I give up?

I bought my 17year old son a 1994 Jaguar XJ6 last August for $2300. I’ve since spent over $6000 in repair work - brakes, tires, belts, alternator, radiator, hoses, electrical … When should I give up - should I keep going and hope this is it - now the car is all nicely repaired. Admit defeat and get out and take the loss. Needless to say I can’t afford another car for him now.

I do not mean to sound rude or crass, but you should have done it $6000 ago. With so much info available on the Internet about used cars, you should have stayed away from the Jag. Always do some reasearch BEFORE you buy.
I am trully sorry for your loss.

For future used car purchases, it is imperative that you spend $75-$100 with a mechanic, for a pre-purchase inspection. Many shops offer this service.

Used expensive imports (German, Italian, British, Swedish, French) are not a wise purchase unless you can fix them yourself. I don’t see that you mentioned how many miles on this car. He should learn how to fix it himself or he should get a job and pay for it himself, otherwise what is he learning from this experience.

I bought a 1975 Fiat when I was 16. Having a lousy car is quite a lesson when you have to pay for it.

Once it’s all fixed, your mechanic will probably keep getting $1,000 - $2,000 from you each year. It’s just like having an annuity for him.

I’ll agree with you there, badabing. Why anyone would want a used Jaguar is beyond me, those are lease vehicles only(keep it for 2~3 years then let someone else pay for any problems that crop up after warranty is over.
The car is 17 years old, European, and therefore, costly to repair/maintain. Those items you listed; brakes, tires, belts and hoses are MAINTENANCE items, not repairs. Jags are known for electrical problems.
Let you son pay for the parts, it’s his car after all.

Unfortunately I agree with the others. '90s Jags are some of the must unreliable, expensive to repair cars available. Cut your losses, it won’t get any better.

Don’t feel bad–you aren’t the only one who has made an expensive mistake. In my second year of graduate school, I bought a 1955 Pontiac from a Rambler dealer. The service department had overhauled the engine. I had all kinds of problems with the car from transmission bearings (standard transmission) to brakes. The worst problem, though, was that sludge would get into the rocker arm studs and then the rocker arms would chirp. The only solution was to get out from under the car. My dad was ready to trade in his 1954 Buick. I had the Pontiac running at the time and the dealer offered him more for the Pontiac than his Buick, so I got out from under the disaster.

I was with my dad at a dealer where my dad traded. While my dad was talking to the owner, I was out on the lot looking at a used Porsche. The owner came up and told me that the Porsche would be the last car I would want. He told me it would eat me out of house and home. This was back in the early 1960’s. I imagine the same is true with the Jaguar. Do what I did with my 1955 Pontiac–get out from under the car while it is still running.

that’s assuming the vehicle IS running at the moment

It would be interesting to know exactly what has needed to be repaired and how much each repair cost. Every single thing you mention except “electrical” is a normal, wear and tear maintenance type item on an aged car.

Take any 16 year old car that has possibly been neglected and one can run up a real laundry list of needs no matter what badge is glued to the back end of the car.

There is also a possibility that you and your son could have been taken advantage of on some or all of these repairs as far as any us know.

In my opinion you should have given up as soon as you read the nameplate and year.

Agree with everyone here. The old joke is that Jags are summer-only cars because you can only drive them for 3 months before you have to spend all winter repairing them.

Most of the things you mention are maintenance, not repair items. In an older car, even those items need to be replaced. The only thing on that list that is likely to recur is the electrical problem. The rest will be fine for as long as you likely own the car. Still, there are other problems that will crop up. If you can’t afford maintenance, like tires, brakes, oil, and filters then you should sell it. You might see if your son will take over some of the work. Oil , filters, and brakes are not difficult on may cars, though I am not sure about this one. If you do keep it, you should change the brake fluid and auto transmission fluid soon if it hasn’t been done already. Your son could do that, too.