Time to replace the Car?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by gilberte, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our 1993 Ford Taurus now has 135,000 miles on it. It's been a real good car but we're thinking maybe it's time to let her go. Rear struts need to be replaced, needs a muffler, and she's using about a quart of oil every 1,500 miles. Got our eye on a 2005 Toyota Echo 2D coupe automatic with 7,000 miles on it. The dealer wants $12,800 for it but I think I can shame him into $12,000 out-the-door.

    What do you all think? Put a few bucks into the old Taurus or sell her and buy the Toyota?
     
  2. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to know the answer without knowledge of your finances, etc., but JMO I would say plunk down the $$$ for repairing the older car.....I would probably drive it until it shuddered to a stop...LOL...that's probably what I'll do with mine; I have an older car with about the same mileage as yours.
    Just the other day, the fan quit blowing...no A/C, no vent fan.
    Arrgh!
    It's always something.
     

  3. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    The least expensive car you will ever own is the one you have already paid for.

    Since you're asking for advice, I say pay to fix it. The Taurus is a sturdy, reliable vehicle, and it will certainly be a lot less than $12K to repair it!

    We just picked up a new (to us) Cherokee. 155,555 miles on her, and she needs a serious tune-up, a new bumper, and some shocks, but she's well worth the $1300 we paid (once we fix her up).

    Even if we had to drop a new engine into one of the Jeeps, THEY'RE PAID FOR, so the only expense is the replacement (and labor if we had to hire help).

    Save your money. Keep the Taurus.

    Pony!
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We have a 1998 Tacoma that is paid for and has been used hard by us...the A/C leaks so it must be recharged every few weeks...it looks bad as well BUT it is paid for.

    I would put as little as you can into the Taurus and save your money-you could save up quite a bit and perhaps buy a cheaper newer vehicle outright...
     
  5. Becky H.

    Becky H. Well-Known Member

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    I like paid for too. The cost of the repairs won't be as much as the cost of a the next car plus the increase in insurance and taxes. I have a habit of driving my cars until they stop. No car payments! I like it that way.
     
  6. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    At 135,000 miles most newer cars still have another 135,000 miles in them. To fix the muffler and strut you might be out a few hundred bucks. I wouldn't get in too much of a twist over the oil consumption. I would guess it has another 100,000 miles in it.

    Of course the Toyota probably has 350,000 miles to go. Most of the Toyota's I have seen run forever and a day. They are still going mechanically until the body panels rust away from the Midwest road salt. I personally know of an old toyota 4 runner with 400k miles. Still runs like a champ. It is beat up and rusty but still runs great.
     
  7. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Unlike most responders to your question I have a somewhat different view. I have driven my share of clunkers in the past and it seems like as soon as you fix something on them something else goes bad. If you or a family member could to any needed work on the Tarus it might be ok, but I would personally wouldn't put much money in a car that old with that kind of mileage. You said it's using a quart of oil about every 1500 miles. Is it burning it, smoking, or is it leaking it, does it leave oily spots in the driveway? If it is smoking and using that much oil it's probably not too far from starting to foul the plugs. When that happens it will start missing and you will have to clean/change plugs, a royal pain, and the only cure for that is an overhaul. Have you regularly changed the fluid and filter in the tranny? If not, there is the possibility of another huge expense. How is the body, is it rotting out? What is the condition of the suspension and steering? Do you travel very far from home, do you have small children, or elderly folks that you transport, you sure don't want to get stranded if you do. Reliability and safety should be the primary consideration. If your finances would stand the strain I think the Toyota is a better option than possibly pouring a lot of money into and old car and still having an just old car.
     
  8. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would find a reliable mechanic who could give you the truth about the repairs/cost to fix your Ford up....Fords should last forever. I still think a car paid for is worth alot of repair money. Alot of what people call repairs are things they should have been having routinely cared for during the life of their car. Brakes, struts,etc. all have a certain expected life span. We are driving a '94 Plymouth Neon with 250,000 miles on it and I'd take it anywhere. Always changed oil every 3000 miles, never let anything little go and expect this car to stay on the road another 100,000 miles. We just got ourselves on the "Wall"at the dealer for people with cars over 250,000 miles and it is a big wall. Maintenance is where it's at. New cars bring payments,higher insurance bills and repair costs.Newer cars have so much electronic junk on them that you can't just take them to anyone to be repaired. A better choice might be a good used car. I'd still rather keep the vehicle I had and knew --another vehicle is gonna be a pig in a poke!! Of course if it's about having a new car that's a different thing...personally, I think of a car as just plain transportation....if it gets me where I'm going I'm happy!!! DEE
     
  9. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I agree with most of the rest....keep the car! 135K is low milege in my book. A quart of oil every 1500 miles is acceptable. And swap out the struts yourself, it's an easy job. Just buy the new cartridges and have a garage put the old springs on the new cartridges.
     
  10. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Normally I'm a proponent of the keep that car that is paid for group. However, in this case, I would sell that taurus while it still moves under its own power.

    The absolute worst car we have ever owned was a 94 taurus. I meticulously maintained that thing and it still cost us an arm and a leg in repairs. Got so feed up we sold it w/ 79K on the clock and trans went out 6 months later. Check some of the reviews of these older Tauruses and note the reliability rating. These things are notorious for eating transmissions.... yes I'm still mad at that car.:)

    Wayne
     
  11. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I used to think like this, but a very bad experience changed my mind. Many years ago I had a ten year old Chevy with a ton of miles on it, it started to burn a lot of oil so I had to have it overhauled. Less than 2000 miles later the transmission went out so I had that overhauled. Next it was the mufflers and exhaust pipes, and then a new water pump, just one thing after another. It failed the next license inspection, it needed new ball joints, idler arms etc., by now I had so much money in it I didn't think I had any choice, I had to have it fixed. In less than 6 months I had spent about $1000 dollars, on a rusty old high mileage car. That was a LOT of money in those days, and as I soon found out a lot more than it was worth. Everything should have been ok for a long time, it wasn't. Some idiot ran a red light and t-boned me, I wasn't hurt but the car was totaled. The insurance company pulled out their book, it said the car was worth 400 dollars, didn't make any difference how much I had just spent on it. I talked to a lawyer and he was honest enough to tell me we could sue but probably wouldn't get much, if any, more than they were offering. And, after he got his I would almost certainly pocket less than they offered. A rather extreme example I know, but I learned a hard lesson. I went to our home town banker and told him my sad story, he said he would loan me money but only on a new vehicle. I gulped hard, said ok, bought a new pickup and got a second job. I never regretted that decision. I have never again put much money into an old vehicle, and don't ever intend to again.
     
  12. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It all depends on the condition of the body, to me. Body work (major rust repair) can be expensive, but the problems you mention are all fairly easy to do and are all regular maintenance. Figure what it will cost you per year and per mile to keep the old car going, and then calculate the same thing for a new car. Then, if it were me, I would probably keep the older car, or buy another used car. A new car is just a used car that the first owner takes a big bite in depreciation costs on.

    Jim
     
  13. Hovey Hollow

    Hovey Hollow formerly hovey1716

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    Go for the ECHO!!!! I love mine, and you will get VERY good gas milage on a 2005 (think 40+). You will have a car payment, but you will have peace of mind and you will spend half as much at the gas pump. My insurance only changed ~$25 per month from carrying liability on a 94 Ford Escort, to having full coverage on the ECHO. The Toyota will last FOREVER if you take good care of it.
     
  14. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    I think that if it has run for that long, good bet that it will for a while more. Many Fords are individuals, who will either run or not depending on that paticular car. We had a fleet of Fords, and each one was an individual. I feel bad for the guy who had a bad one, but yours sounds OK.
    I have an old MPV sitting in my yard because it costs too much to fix it, but I hate my new car and more than anything I wish for my old van back. I keep wishing for someone to smack into me and end it for this car, but I have 3 kids, I wouldn't want them to get hurt.
    BTW, we have an old Dodge Ram that is so bad, only thing that works is the radio and the engine. And we aint looking for another!
     
  15. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thank you all for your responses. The Taurus has been a great car for us. We bought it when it was a year old and had 10,000 miles on it. I've done all the maintenance on it myself; oil and filter at 3,500 mile intervals, transmission fluid/filter every 30,000. Radiator flush and new coolant every three years. Changed the plugs/cap/rotor at 90,000, new water pump/upper and lower radiator hoses/thermostat/serpentine belt at 107,000. New brake hoses/rotors/pads all the way around last year at about 115,000.

    But we're thinking that now is the time to sell her while we can still get something for her. I don't want the car sitting in the yard as unrepairable junk when she breathes her last. Heck, with the cost of gas we'll save enough to pay the increase in insurance. When we got the Taurus payed off in l996 we started saving for a replacement so we'll be paying cash for the Echo, which, although a 2005, is still a "used" vehicle with 7,000 miles on it. Not so much of a depreciation bite :) Thanks again for your time and thoughts.
     
  16. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I vote with Pony. Last January I traded in my paid off 2001 blazer with 150K miles for a 2005 trail blazer with a 300.oo payment for 5 years! I kind of feel like an idiot but at the same time I have 5 years till i will retire and at that time i will have a newer paid off vehicle to retire with. Course with the price of gas i cant afford to drive off the moutain very often at the moment!
     
  17. 3carfan4ever

    3carfan4ever Registered Amuser

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    I'm glad you replied because I kept thinking....everyone keeps talking about a new car with car payments. It's technically a used car and who says you don't have the money to buy it outright??

    I used to be an auto salesman, (new and used), and worked for several different dealerships in various cities and states before I finally gave it up for good after learning the hard way that ALL dealerships are alike in that they have one goal: Make a killing, (referred to as a "Home Run"), on every customer, especially the weak and innocent. They teach their salespeople that "Buyers are Liars" and that "If their lips are flappin'...they're lying!" The truth is completey the opposite - The highest paid sharks are the ones who have made an art of lying and deceiving. I had customers who would grind me down for hours, reducing my commission to nothing and then after the sale be angry because they're convinced they got screwed when they actually paid a fair price, (rare in the car business). But then the pros would routinely rake someone over the coals for a huge profit and the customer would leave happy as a clam thinking they got the best deal in town. Mind blowing. I became so disgusted with how quick they would turn my customers over to one of their slick salesweasils as soon as I gave resistance to the disrespect that they expected me to give the customer once they were "in the box", (sitting down in the office to make a deal). They will find your hot button, whether it be how much you want for your trade, how much you want to pay for the "new" car, or how much you want your payment to be, and then beat you up over it so bad that you will begin to question yourself about your numbers....then they've gotcha!

    My advice would be to buy the Toyota, especially if there's ANY blue smoke coming out the tailpipe of the Taurus. A good Toyota will run forever if you take care of it like you did the Taurus.

    If they're asking $12,800 you should truly be able to get it for around $10,500 or maybe a LITTLE more. To get it for that you'll have to start at about $9,500 so you can negotiate. They will laugh at you and offer to show you some krap on the lot that sells for that much, but don't be fooled. Hold your ground and tell them you looked at basically the same car the other day for sale from a private party and that's how much you can buy IT for but you don't like the color....something like that. Just be willing to invest a couple hours playing the stupid game with them. Tell them that you only have $9,500 to buy a car with but hint that you might be able to borrow a little from ? if you had to, (so you have room to negotiate toward the $10,500). Once YOU truly believe that you're at the lowest possible price that they will sell it for, then get up and tell them that you want to go check out some other dealers as this is the first one you've been to. Statistics show that most customers buy a car at the 3rd dealership they go to, so these guys know that if you leave the lot, you won't be back no matter what you say. The point is that they will do anything and everything to get you to stay assuming they believe you're serious and you've wasted enough of their time in the process. When this doesn't work they will offer to let you take the car home over night. Don't do it or this part will not work. If they are willing to do any better on the price you will find out then and there. At this point if they let you leave the lot without the car then you were at their bottom line. Then just drive around the block and return to buy your new baby! It doesn't hurt to tell them when you return that if they sell it for $X you will buy it now without going anywhere else (just to make sure you can't get it any cheaper). I used to run from customers like me but that's the only way to play their crooked game. Fight fire with fire.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot...Don't use the Taurus as a trade. Sell it yourself. Even if you don't care how little the dealer will give you for it they will use it as a tool to complicate the #'s and take your focus off the real bottom line. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

    -Dan
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Pour in a can of Engine Restore,its the purple or blue stuff,i forget.My S-10 used a quart every 1000 miles or so,after this stuff the oil consumption stopped,to like 1/2 quart between oil changes.

    I dont believe in snake oil cures,but this stuff really works.Was convinced by some internet friends to try it,had nothing to loose.

    Its available anywhere autoparts are sold.Hey,its less than 10 bucks,why not? You might get same miracle results I did.

    As for new cars? new runs better than old and is more dependable.Is it worth it,only you know the answer to that.Our opinions mean nothing.I drive em til they get undependable.If its a classic,I overhaul em.

    BooBoo
     
  19. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    Buy the toyota

    I bought a Toyota Tercel (Canadian Echo) new for 12 thousand, put 130,000 miles on it over seven years. In that time the only repair (not maintinance) I had was when I rear-ended a pickup truck with it.

    After seven years I sold the car for 6 thousand.

    They sip gas, run forever and have bullet proof reliability.

    Pete
     
  20. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    kates 93 festiva gets 48 mpg.... its easy to fix and cheap too.
    a new engine for any gioven car will cost you @ 1500. (maybe reconditioned).

    if the structure is sound, the car is only as good as its engine.. new engine, new car all things being equal.

    a quart per 1500 miles? thats a slow seep not a leak. have the engine steam cleaned and start runnning blended synthetic oil in it, and change the oil filter once a month till all the gunk has worked its way out of the engine. once it has, 50/50 chance the leaks will stop since the oil can get to the seals the gunk as keeping it from reaching. oil makes the seals swell and seal, gunk starves the seals and gaskets of oil and they shrink.
    when the oil stops dissapearing switch to full synthetic.

    keep the taurus, 2k for engine and works beats 12k.