When do you bail?


#1

Bought a 1998 Acura 1.6 EL for our daughter one year ago: July 2013. Paid $1700, had 250,000 km on it. Bought new tires ($300) , new front brakes ($300) and a timing belt, etc (other little little things $700) so far so good, 3 grand and away we go. Then it started to nickel and dime us . Front wheel bearings gone, now the manifold is cracked, both of these are another $1000. At what point do we bail on this car, or keep pouring in money? Please give me a guideline.


#2

Front wheel bearings at 250000 kilometers is not out of the ordinary. You got your money’s worth out of those bearings

Replace them

Which manifold is cracked?

Intake or exhaust?

Unless I hear otherwise, I’ll guess the exhaust manifold is cracked

In my opinion, I’d go for the repairs and plan on driving the car a few years longer

One more bit of advice . . . carefully go through the Acura maintenance schedule, and if you’re unsure of anything, assume that it’s never been done or is overdue

That probably means you’re due for a valve adjustment, transmission service, coolant, spark plugs, etc.

This car will last a long time, if it’s taken care of very well


#3

Yes it was the exhaust manifold. We did decide to do that. The coolant and spark plugs were done in the original repairs.
Thanks for your help.


#4

The original owner got his money’s worth. You picked up sloppy seconds. The only way a 16 yo car like this doesn’t become a money pit is to be able to do the work yourself. Most of the price in repair is labor cost and it can be a killer.


#5

Can the exhaust manifold be welded?


#6

Cheaper and more reliable to get a salvaged manifold than try to weld this one. I’ve been down that road before.


#7

The rule of thumb is that you bail when repairs start costing more than a regular car payment.


#8

+1 to @bloody_knuckles‌

Think of an old car in terms of car payments. A similar car will run you $500 a month in car payments. That is 2 months for your exhaust manifold and bearings.

Tires or brakes or timing belts are WEAR items that must be spent for any car, new or old, so forget that in your calculations. Wheel bearings, AC repair, transmission rebuilds all should be considered as your monthly payment.

Considering 12 months of $500 payments is $6000, you can fix a bunch of stuff before you hit that mark. If the car still looks good inside and out, I wouldn’t be afraid of spending $2500 on a rebuilt transmission; only 5 car payments!


#9

We see this here all the time…People buy a $2000-$3000 car that’s been detailed and they fantasize they have purchased a new car that will run forever with low repair costs…


#10

I don’t consider tires, brakes, and timing belts as indicators of a crummy car. That’s all normal maintenance and in all honesty those things could be detected before the purchase if they existed at that time.

As to the exhaust manifold, if the crack can be accessed you might check with a local welding shop about running a bead on it while in the car. That can be done is is often quite successful along with cheap.

Recently read a complaint on the BBB where someone bought a back lot 16 year old Chevy truck with 303,000 miles on it and complained that it had an oil leak…