Fix it or junk it?
April 11, 2006 8:59 AM Subscribe
At what point is a car not worth repairing?
posted by COBRA! to travel & transportation (42 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My 10-year-old 130k-mile Saturn is showing its age pretty badly—leaking oil, disturbing noise coming from the front end, crumbling exhaust system. I'm having a tough time coming up with a satisfying way to determine if it makes financial sense to pay for the repairs or to just ditch the car and buy a new one (living carless isn't an option, cool as it would be).
The Internet tells me the car's currently worth $700; one common calculation I hear is that if the repairs cost more than $700, they're not worth making. But on the other hand, even if the repairs were to cost twice the value of the car, $1400 is a lot less than the expense I'd incur getting a new one.
So I guess what I'm looking for is advice/perspectives on how these factors play against each other. Does anyone have any experience bringing an aging car like this back from the brink without essentially taking a large pile of money out into the garage and lighting it on fire?