When to retire a car

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Last seen: 11 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 21 2004 - 01:45
Posts: 74
Um, now.

I'm a mechanic, and I'd be willing to bet you're losing oil from an intake manifold gasket going bad. Check the front of the engine (the engine, not the front of the car. You're looking where the belts are) for leaking around the timing cover, coming from the valley between the cylinder heads. These engines are famous for those gaskets leaking, and it's a 6.5 hour job. Usually costs several hundred dollars to fix. The question I ask people when they ask me whether they should keep spending money on a car or dump it is "Do you love the car?"

If the answer is no, then it's not time to keep it any longer. At that point you're only trying to reason with yourself why you should keep it, when you know you want to get rid of it.

Think of a car like a computer. Unless you've lived your entire life under a rock somewhere then you knew when you were buying it that it wouldn't be your last car forever. Now that you're trying to figure out if it's worth keeping, you know the answer is a resounding no.

Also book value on your car has to be something like $13.

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Last seen: 8 years 9 months ago
Joined: Apr 22 2004 - 15:37
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Good news

I've finally had some time and money to have more work done to the car:

1) Fix the engine mounting bracket (the original mount that was repaired was the wrong one). It was removed and welded into one piece.
2) Repair the auxiliary oil pump. This was a major cause of the oil leak (1+ quart per week).
3) Replace the master cylinder. Over the last few weeks the brakes have been more difficult to engage.
4) Tightened the pleunum.

They even cleaned the engine!

After those things the major issues with the car are fixed. It runs like it was 4-5 years old instead of 14. Starting the car for the first time after the repair my jaw dropped because I could not hear it running. Smile

While the trans axles still need to be inspected and a few other minor things done to it, it's now a joy to drive.

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Re: Um, now.


Also book value on your car has to be something like $13.

The tax value was something like $1200 last year. If someone were to buy it I would guess about $300 or so. Especially after the custom spray paint job to take care of the peeling white paint and rust from said paint. Got to love the paint GM used on these cars. It peels off like paper. Smile

I know when I buy a car it's not going to last forever. I just try to drive them for as long as possible, mechanical or accident issues aside.

1988: 1975 Oldsmobile Starfire (engine seize after oil pump failure one month after I start to drive the car.)

1988-1990: 1980 Chevy Chevette (rear-ended by full-size Ford pickup. Ate alternator housings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Lol

1990-1991: 1980 Pontiac Sunbird (transmission problems)

1991-1995: 1977 Plymouth Volare (rear-ended Chevy Beretta + 2 deer. Built like a tank. Still drivable after all that, but you couldn't see much because the headlights weren't anywhere near straight. Traded it in after a snowstorm. Got $25 for it. Lol

1995-2000: 1995 Buick Skylark (T-boned by an someone that didn't know how to stop at an intersection when the power was out. Only 8 payments left until it was to be paid in full. Best car I ever had. Grrrrr)

2000-current: 1993 Chevy Corsica

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Re: iantm has a point

there is something to be said for older technology. There isn't much that can go wrong with a mechanical throttle body, as they too are spring loaded to 'fail safe', i.e. should the throttle cable snap, they will spring shut, returning the engine to idle power. (ok, so, it isn't guaranteed, but nor is it with an electronic throttle body).

Unless the spring which pulls it back comes unhooked. I've had that happen, mainly because I forgot to rehook it while working on something. Fortunately, I was still in the testing-in-the-driveway stage and not trying to put it into gear and drive somewhere.

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...

In which case the appropriate procedure would be to clutch in, shut the engine off, and roll over to the break-down lane / side of the road.

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Speaking of keeping cars...

I have my Fiero for it's 16th year. Inspection cost me $14.50 (instead of $39.95). Love my Fiero. Smile

Over Christmas break I did some repairs on the car as all the rubber seals around the windows are gone basically. The passenger side got a new window motor, new dew wipes, and mirror was fixed.

Will try to lube the driver's side door window mechanism at some point in the next few months, and change the dew wipe on that side.

And then there is the moonroof seal. Car has other issues.

Amazingly, the car recently went through two incidents. One where it was run off the road. Car checked out fine at my tire and alignment place.

Car was backed over by a large truck, which marred my hood and destroyed a headlight mount. Luckily my family multiples of the Fiero, so the parts were quick to come by and all that was changed quickly. Just need to get some paint on that hood at some point. Smile

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It's gone!

I sold the Corsica last year for $100 to someone whose van's engine blew up on them and needed a vehicle to get to work. It worked for several months, then the head gasket went out. At least it is out of my parent's yard....

I'm now driving a light green 1998 Nissan Frontier 2WD 5-speed pickup. So far I have only had to get the brakes worked on and I changed the three v-belts on it. Now it doesn't sound like it is attacking small animals when the A/C is running. Next is spark plugs/wires and a replacement headliner. My wife still drives the 2005 Taurus. If only I can teach her how to drive a stick shift.

I'm amazed this thread has continued as long as it has.

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Re: When to retire a car

My old BMW (which i mentioned back in this thread when it was started) is still running strong. Pic from a recent road trip:

IMAGE(http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/329/e28iv.jpg)

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Re: When to retire a car

I just got a new car, my first, after having driven family castoffs since I got my license. Both of my old cars were well into their teens when I parted with them, and I would have kept them if the cost of repairing them would have been less than the value of the cars themselves and if the parts I needed were easier to obtain.

I intend to keep my new car, a 2011 Civic, for at least a decade, if not longer. Honda seems to make parts for a long time after they discontinue a model plus the cars are extremely dependable. This is why I decided on a Civic--my first car was an antiquated Acura which rarely broke down, even in its old age. (My second car was a Volvo, another well-built vehicle known for running for a long time).

The old saying is true--take good care of your car and it will take care of you. I'm a stickler for maintaining cars, often having them serviced before the scheduled interval using only new OEM parts, and am one of the few who hand-washes a vehicle in the era of automatic car washes. Age will catch up with this car someday, just as it does with all vehicles, even the most meticulously maintained ones. Fortunately, I know I won't have to answer the question about retiring the car anytime soon. That question will come when parts are either unavailable or nonsensical due to the vehicle's value. (However, Civics tend to retain their value very well, so this won't be a huge factor down the line).

For now, I'm enjoying this vehicle immensely, and I must say, it feels great having a brand new car for the first time. Driving it home from the dealer's lot was perhaps the best moment I've had in a car since the day the license examiner told me I had passed my test and earned my license (on the first try!) back in high school.

XT
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Re: When to retire a car

The only problem I have with sinking $$$ into a older vehicle is what happens when you have a accident with the vehicle. I hear stories all the time of people who buy cheap cars for whatever reason, be it a cheap winter beater or a person who needs it as their primary vehicle due to having little to no money. They buy the car for 500-1500 dollars, and sink money into it to keep it going. A year or 2 later they have sunk 3 to 4 grand into it and it runs like a top now. 2 days later they get t-boned by a drunk and the car is totaled. Since the money put into the car has no bearing on the blue book value, They are offered 400 dollars for the car, take it or leave it. Now they are worse off than when they started.

I heard the other day at work about a couple who purchased a 1971 Monte Carlo for a grand, sunk in 8 grand restoring it, and then get hit by a drunk driver and have the car totaled only to get offered 300 dollars for the car. Even with the receipts for all the work performed, it did not matter. In the end they were able to persuade the insurance company to get them $700, and that was most likely because they knew the agent for years and he fought a bit for them. I am not sure of the fine details, but maybe classic car insurance would offer full appraised value when the car is all restored? Not sure. If not, i wouldn't sink that kind of money in, not worth it. I drive a older car for winter that isn't worth much. Although I like it, if something major went on it that required the big bucks, because of the above, I'd lose tons of money if someone hit me. Not worth it.

Jon
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Re: It also does depend on the dr

Hey, an update. Earlier this week the Ram turned over 439,000 miles. He's thinking it may turn 500k before it's replacement, a '96 Ram, is put into service. Both run the v10, which is a very nice and sturdy engine. The '94 is still on the original motor/tranny with no rebuilds.

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