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When to give up

I need help deciding when to stop fixing my 1995 Nissan pickup kingcab XE. 92k miles, 4 cylinder, 4wd. I had a sudden transmission failure 6 months ago and put in a rebuilt transmission and new clutch. I bought it two years ago with 72,000 miles.It is from Wisconsin and has rust on the underside. It is so cute and I was hoping it would last another three years at least. I want to be prepared for what happens next, how do I determine what I should fix should the next thing break, and when to call it quits? I think the blue book is around $3,000.

“Cute”??? $3000???

It’s ugly and it’s worth $1500 on it’s BEST day…When you see the road going by under your feet, or you step up on the “step” bumper and it falls off, it’s time to call it a day…

The worst enemy of your truck is the rust. Keep your eye on the underside for frame rustout and floor pan rustout. If the truck is rusting badly, then call it quits before you put another expensive repair into it.
My brother had a 1971 Datsun (now called Nissan) pickup truck. A frame member rusted through and broke. He jacked the truck straight and bridged the frame with a 4 x 4 held on with C-clamps until he could locate another truck. He found a 1972 Datsun truck in need of an engine, so he put the two trucks together. When the frame started rusting on the 1972 Datsun, he called it quits.

Look on Craigslist to see how much a comparable Nissan pickup would cost you. Don’t spend more money on yours than it would cost you to replace it.

If you find a good deal on one, say $2,000, you could even buy a spare truck for when yours breaks down. If this happens you’ll have a full set of spare parts too.

That’s a good idea. I’ll have a better mechanic than me check it out and see what the most next likely expensive fix would be. There should be some rule of thumb about how much money to put into a vehicle; I guess don’t spend more than it costs to replace it with an equal truck is something to go by.

PS-I’m not vain about it but it IS cute. Bright red with a white splash on the side, chrome. Many men have offered to by it by looks alone.

Before I do an expensive repair, I ask myself if the vehicle can go X more miles, based on 10 cents per mile. I consider what has already been repaired and probably won’t break again, and try to forecast the next expensive repair. If I can get the math to work out, it gets repaired. If no, then I consider calling it quits and junking it. In your case, the clutch is not unexpected and should last quite a few miles before replacement is required. Replacing the transmission itself was a premature repair requirement.

How well do you do at forcasting how far your car will go before the next repair?

We all wish we could do this.

Not seeing the rust myself aside I would not bet that your truck does not go another 3 years. Here is what not to do, do not drive 10 feet if the oil light is on (if you don’t know where this is find it) also always scan the gagues and do not drive 10 feet if the temperature is in the red and if it is moving that way find a place to stop, lastly do not drive 10 feet if the battery light is on without opening the hood and checking that everything is still spinning.

If you do not understand what I have written you must take some time and find out. If you don’t drive your truck with these warning lights on you will make it. Do not use the excuse that you were in an unsafe place to stop your engine or rely on the fact that someone else just worked on your truck and any damage will be on them.