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Car trouble. Fix it or buy another junker?

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posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 12:44 AM
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So, when our beater Ford bit the dust in September of 2016, we bought a 2000 Subaru Forester for 3k. 200k miles, but a new clutch. Had it four months, and we replaced the transmission for $1800. Now, the motor's gone. 4th cylinder went out. It will be 4k to fix...new engine.

At this point, do we a. fix the car, b. buy another POS for 4k that might also need a new clutch or what have you, or c. buy a $700 hunk of junk and drive it till it dies, too?

We aren't big fans of loans, so a new car or decent used car isn't an option.


edit on 020172017k23112America/Chicagotham by Look2theSacredHeart because: title was vague




posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 12:56 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

I would buy a new running clunker. Sell your clunker for whatever you can. I'm against car loans myself, and clunked my way up into the mid-level vehicle I have now. It sounds like if you fix your existing car, you'll be throwing good money after bad.

I don't know where you live to know if it's feasible but you can get a decent scooter for like $1k new.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:22 AM
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The dirst new car I purchased lasted nearly 11 years. No problems whatsoever. It was totaled in an accident @ 230000 great miles. So , I took the insurance proceeds and put down on another new vehicle of the exact same type. 2 years and no issues
If possible , I would go with new and forget loan concerns.My first vehicle paid for itself many times over. I agree , loans are a concern , yet sometimes a necessary evil . I am glad I finally made that choice. Buying used and only lasting a year or 2 eats up money faster than a new one that will last



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:29 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

I wish we could! We have great credit, but we're paying off huge hospital bills. Not the time for a loan. Plus, we hate loans. I would do it, though, for a good car, if my wonderful husband was on board. He isn't.
edit on 020172017k23101America/Chicagotham by Look2theSacredHeart because: more info



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:34 AM
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originally posted by: Look2theSacredHeart
a reply to: Gothmog

I wish we could! We have great credit, but we're paying off huge hospital bills. Not the time for a loan.

Yeah , above all else I understand hospital bills . At a major hospital I am nicknamed "The Million Dollar Man" and thats just my 10 %
Peace to you



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:43 AM
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4 grand is steep for a 2.5 boxer. I just found half a dozen of them on eBay, all for under a grand.

Is it the labor or what that is adding three thousand to the cost? If so, you might should consider a different mechanic.

Don't let the Subaru die, they're just too much fun.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:43 AM
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If you're not mechanically inclined ( which if you're paying 4k for an engine, I imagine you're not ), just get a new junker ( Option C ).

I myself tend to buy higher mile stuff, but then again, I used to be a mechanic, and I still play with racing, so major mechanical is easy for me.

It sounds like you're in a bad way. If I were nearby, I'd help out by looking a car over for you.

FWIW, older Saturns tend to be cheap to buy and easy to fix.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:51 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

I just trolled a 5.7 liter laredo jeep in my 1.8 liter 91 gti.... spanked him off line .. he lost me about 140k/HR..... 276cam stock injectors 195 is my cap... i stayed his wing to about 165. He said he hit 260... i dunno i hit 190 he wasnt that far out.... this ws streetso i have no idea what he or i did other than my console nd his word



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:52 AM
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a reply to: Aeshma

Im on rceland coils nd 17 msr aluminum mags and falkan low pros if nyone cares



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 02:04 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

Why does it need a clutch... i replaced my cars original clutcb when i got it.... it was 22 years old.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 02:54 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

Well it’s like this, if your Subaru is in good condition, it is worth around $3500.00. You can check the Kelley Blue Book price for your area at www.kbb.com . If you just paid $1800.00 on repairs and it needs a motor now, you could end up putting more into it than it’s worth.

If you can get a used motor with warranty from a wrecker and do the install yourself, it should save you lots. Labor costs in car repairs always nail you hard. After the motor and transmission the rest would just be small cost repairs like wheel bearing, brakes, u-joints and the other common things that need to be replaced on a 200k mile car. But again, if you can do the work the costs are low.

Just for example, I bought a 1968 GMC C10 Custom ½ ton for $360.00, it was a real POS truck. After a minor engine rebuild and a used transmission from a wrecker along with a bunch of other used and new parts I drove it for 160k miles. I swapped out the stock 6 banger and 2 speed auto trans with a 283 V8 I rebuilt and a used 3 speed trans, I drove it for another 140K miles with only minor repairs. So far I am still under $5000.00 in parts and it’s a great truck to drive.

The point here is this, if you like it and you can repair it, you will end up with something better than you can buy for the same dollar. If you can’t do the repairs, unload it for what you can get and put the money down on a good used car from a dealer. Most major car dealerships can sell you used car warranties to fix any problems down the road. Going with a junker will only cost you more in the long run. If your junker only lasts 2 months how much will it cost to replace it, junkers are a big gamble.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 03:34 AM
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I don't think you need to buy a "junker" for 4 grand. I found a 2000 silverado 4x4, 1 owner in immaculate condition. We got it for 5k plus tax and title. Put it on a no intrest for x number of months credit card and I gave 200 a week out of my pay and paid it off.

It did have 150k miles but not a lick of trouble in the 4 or 5 years I have owned it until recently with over 300k miles on it.

I looked around for several days, lots of cheaper vehicles were kinda junkers. This truck looked way out of my price range but was so pretty I had to look at it. Saleslady came out, said they wanted 7500 for it. Told her I was looking to spend 3-4k she said what if i get this truck for 5....



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 05:20 AM
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Don't put good money after bad, quit your clunker and get another. I don't know the car scene in the USA, but here are some tips for you I have used over the years, buying and driving older cars;

- Shop around, shop around and then shop around some more.
-Avoid anything sporty / exotic. You might be tempted by speed and sex appeal, but you will regret it when it breaks down. And it will break down....
- Look for orphan brand and / or model cars, You can find some absolute bargains that offer the same level of reliability as mainstream makes but in far better condition with much lower mileage. Make sure you do your homework though, some are easy to get parts for and others will make you want to do the primal scream. Examples here in Australia are brands like Peugeot, Citroen, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Ssangyong.
- Cost up common parts ie alternator, radiator, brake pads etc before you buy. It will help you find out how expensive and difficult the car will be to repair.
-Don't shy away from immaculate cars with obvious faults. ie 5 years ago I bought a 1996 VW passat with 68,000 km (approx 40,000 miles on the clock) It had only had one owner and had full service history but none of the electric windows would work. I got the car repaired for $200 and never spent another cent on it beyond usual maintenance in the three years I had it
edit on 12-1-2017 by markosity1973 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 05:26 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

First rule, don't buy ultra-high mileage vehicles!
Anything approaching 200k is asking for trouble via any one of its systems, especially the transmission.
Next don't buy an exotic such as a BMW or another Subaru. Parts will be expensive and difficult to find.
If you are going to buy used vehicles, buy something that is common which means that any part you may require is going to be easily available at Auto Zone, etc. or the junk yard. For example, a used Chevy auto tranny is going to be about as cheap of a transmission repair as you can get.

When you decided to throw a thousand or two at a broken car, figure that you must keep it that much longer to make that money "pay" for itself. At a certain point, it is always time to cut your losses and go shopping.

Distill all of the advice from our postings, can you can have yourself decent rules on buying another used vehicle.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 05:26 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

Dude, for 4k I can buy a pretty nice used car/truck/whatever without that high of a mileage. Maybe join some facebook for sale by owner groups and look around more before you buy something. Buy something from a person, not a used car lot. When you do buy a used car run stop leak through EVERYTHING. Even if it is not leaking.

Run sea foam through the gas tank. Oil stabilizer/cleaner of some kind. That is the most important thing when youre buying a vehicle with that many miles. If you have a standard check the clutch fluid and if it looks old, bleed it/replace it. Take a spark plug out and look at it. Is the electrode worn down? does it need changing? Is it black or grey on the end? This can tell you lots about prior use. Check the oil. What color is it? is it light like its been regularly changed or is it tar black like the owner never really maintained it regularly. Check the tranny fluid, make sure that its red and there is no sawdust in it. I have heard of people putting sawdust in their trannys to make it quieter when its about to burn out.

And also never buy a Subaru. Never known anyone to keep one past 120,000 miles or so. Always seem to have electrical Gremlins too. If you gotta buy a Jap car go with a toyota or honda. I've known several people put many hundreds of thousands of miles on those cars before they finally die.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 05:35 AM
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I know you said you aren't a fan of loans, however, being up to almost $5000 in the past year, and a few more if you fix or buy another junker, And then a few more grand in a year or two, and so on and so on, you may think about reconsidering.

I usually finance vehicles, and end up around $300 a month or $3600 a year. Everything is under warranty, works great and worry free. After a few years, and its paid off, you could easily get many years of hassle and payment free years, for far less than what you pay for "junkers"(especially with a new Subaru). Add up purchase and repair cost over the last 10 years for junk cars. If you are around $2000 a year, get a new base model Subaru for $18,000 and you will be ahead of the game, and without a headache. (And close to 30 miles per gallon)

For me, not having to worry about coming up with a few thousand if and when the tranny etc goes, is worth the monthly payment.

And, after a year or two, if I want a new one, I take the equity and put it towards another one. I had $3000 of equity in 18 months in my last Subaru, so I just traded that towards a 2017


Food for thought



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart


If you put $4k into the Subaru, you will essentially have $9k in the car.
You might as well buy a better car to start with than taking a risk with a cheap one.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 05:56 AM
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a reply to: BadBoYeed

Agreed. OP, if you are in the position to do it, I say give it some thought too.

I purchased my first brand new car in 2011, loved it but it developed unfortunately developed a major fault in 2014. The super awesome part is that I had options. The car was still under warranty so they would (did actually) replace the faulty transmission. But I just told them how unimpressed I was so they looked at the equity I had in my car and said 'Well..... you seem to be eyeing off that car over there, how about we give you the keys for it and we will just restart your loan from today"

I said yes please, signed some papers and drove out in a brand new car, paying the same as I was before, just having a bit longer to pay it off over.

Try that with a junker and see where you get.

And that new car they sold me - 2 1/2 years of perfect motoring, no issues whatsoever. I plan to keep it well past the final payment date.

So all in all, for the price you are paying for throw away cars per year I have a new one that has all the latest safety options, cleaner emissions, is super plush to drive and most importantly a factory warranty that covers me for big problems like the transmission that went in my first one.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 07:40 AM
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a reply to: Look2theSacredHeart

Subarus hold their value TOO good - a 200,000 mile used car really isn't the right car for you if you're not doing significant repairs yourself. Even if you were to get amotor from LKQ (rebuilt engine company), it'd probably be $2500 installed (ballparking.)

I realize you're not interested in loans (or probably leasing) but a base model automatic, brand new Forester lease would run you $230/month for 3 years with under $1800 down. It'd be a fairly inexpensive way to have a reliable, safe vehicle with no surprise costs for the next 3 years while you work on those hospital bills.

If you replace that engine, what else is ready to break? Or should be replaced? Have the brakes, suspension, steering components, alternator, axles, etc been replaced? If not, the Forester still has a lot of expense ahead - and likely isn't safe to drive as it is. Don't fix it - it's worth scrap ($200-300) now and most likely does not have any years of trouble free use left in it if you replace the engine.

If you must buy an inexpensive used car, have a mechanic do a pre-purchase inspection first. Make sure safety-critical components (brakes, steering, suspension, wheel bearings) are sound, as well as the engine/transmission. And if you're spending under $5k, buy something that loses value quickly, like a Nissan, not a Subaru or Honda.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 08:58 AM
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a reply to: Gothmog

Car that paid for itself? If you want to give me 30,000 dollars now, I will gladly repay you 4,000 dollars in 11 years. Then gas, insurance, maintenance........



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