Would I be insane?

Would I be insane to pay $500-$2000 (and probably closer to the higher amount) to repair/replace a leaky, rusty fuel line & possibly tank on my (carefully maintained) 1998 Subaru Impreza with 167,000 miles?

Is it new car time?

What’s it matter if you’re insane? If you like the car and it’s otherwise in good shape, you’d be insane NOT to repair it.

On the other hand, if you’ve been drooling over that new 370Z, nobody could call you insane for trading the Subie either.

I’d say the biggest question is the one about what kind of shape the rest of the car is in. Ask what’s next? New struts? A/C system problems? Tires? You say “carefully maintained” but not everyone means that same thing by that. If you truly do keep up with all recommended maintenance and repairs, AND you do like the car then its not so insane.

If you’re not sure, take it to a good, local mechanic and ask for a once over - ask for signs that any major repairs may be around the corner.

Also ask what your alternative is - picking up a car loan? Higher insurance premiums to go with it? Higher property taxes (if applicable)?

I believe the gas tanks are REALLY hard to get out on a subaru. if it needs replacing, its gotta come out.

thats why it costs a lot to repair tanks on them.

IIRC, it is necessary to remove most of the rear suspension–and possibly the drive shaft and rear differential–on a Subaru in order to drop the tank. That entails a lot of work, and hence, a lot of bucks. Only you can decide if the car is worth this investment of big bucks. What kind of shape is the rest of the car in?

It will be difficult to sell a car with a leaky gas line…this repair is a sure sign of long term salt damage and indicates problems in the future…

If you were so motivated, this would be the time to part the thing out. Too many functional items in good shape (assumed) …yet too expensive to fix. Otherwise it’s a gamble. I threw a long block in my 92 Caravan. I was even prepared to buy a factory reman trans if and when necessary. The thing was a shell from the firewall back. I was even going to have a touch of rust taken care of. We were mostly empty nest …could use a minivan …but could not justify buying a new(er) one for our limited needs.

It got stolen as transportation for a month or two for some economically distressed person in Phila.

OTOH, what are you going to get for $500-$2000?

Before giving the OK on this repair you need to inspect and evaluate some other systems on the car. If the fuel lines are leaky and rusty, then how are the brake lines? Rusty brake lines should be replaced, and the rubber brake hoses should be inspected too. CV boots, steering rack are expensive parts protected by rubber that could be old, and cracked. If the frame has rust and in particular rust on critical areas where suspension components are connected then the car is not going to last much longer. Don’t spend the money on the gas tank and lines if other parts of the car are also showing signs of significant rust.

I have sometimes thought that you can do anything if you like your car enough. No real insanity is involved. I used to get inexpensive repair work done at a place that has been out of business for fifteen years. I wish things could go on forever. I don’t see how it could cost $2,000 but it would not be a big surprise if it did.