When to cut and run?


#1

We have a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer with about 150,000 miles on it. Every year for the past 4 years or so we’ve had to have some major repairs - between $1000 and $2500 worth. Our mechanic says that these repairs are just original parts wearing out and needing to be replaced - the transmission and the engine are fine. We are facing another $1600 worth of work to get it to pass state inspection. My husband wants to just trade it in and get a pre-owned car - newer model, less miles. I say that even $2000 worth of work per year is less per month than having a car payment.



My question(s):

Would you trade in the Mountaineer or get it fixed again?

If you trade it in, what is the best SUV or crossover out there now? The only thing that I really require (now that the kids are older) is 3rd row seating so I can now be a part of carpools.



I await wisdom from the Cartalk Community!!!


#2

SUVs are generally more expensive to maintain at higher miles than other vehicles. More parts = more things that can go wrong. What work has already been done? With this we can hypothesize what other work you may need to do in the future. You may have already payed for the expensive stuff and have many more miles left before you need a major repair.

I agree with you, the cost is much cheaper than having monthly payments.


#3

I will list the repairs when I can get to our file - I’m at work right now. The current list of repairs are: replace latch for rear, driver’s side door (I couldn’t get my kids in and out of the car from the driver’s side), replace the water pump and the thermostat, new brake pads and resurface (? - I’m drawing a blank on the actual term) the rotars, and replace a hose in the transmission. The mechanics say that the transmission is fine, but for one hose that is leaking. I’ll post a more extensive list of what’s been done later in the day.

Thanks!


#4

I say that even $2000 worth of work per year is less per month than having a car payment.

That’s a true statement, but it really depends on what is wearing out. That’s a lot of money to put into a vehicle every year. I’ve NEVER put that much into my 98 Pathy with over 330k miles on it for the LIFE of the vehicle (TOTAL). What are the repairs that’s costing so much??

what is the best SUV or crossover out there now?

Depends on what you want and what you’re going to use it for. There isn’t ONE SUV/Crossover that fits every persons needs.

The only thing that I really require (now that the kids are older) is 3rd row seating so I can now be a part of carpools.

Be careful with those. They are NOT as safe as a SUV third row seat. If in a accident…very difficult to get out of there in a hurry.

Are you sure you NEED an SUV, or just WANT an SUV.


#5

Do I NEED or WANT - that’s a good question. I know that right now it’s frustrating for my kids whenever they both want to bring friends home that they can’t because I can’t carry four kids (NO kids in the front seat - ever). Also, when my parents visit (and they do often) it would be nice not to always have to take two cars to a destination. That’s why I really want seating for at least 6. The only reason I’m looking at SUVs or crossovers is that my husband flat refuses to look at minivans! He’s got a twitch when it comes to discussing them! :slight_smile:

If we were just going to stay with seating for 5, I would seriously consider just getting a really great, gas efficient sedan with a large trunk. There’s really no reason to get an SUV for the cargo because my husband has an F-150 in case we need to haul something.

I’m not sure that answered your question, but it helped me talk it out a bit more!