- 3 years ago
- Wedding: March 2014
So, my car needs repairs. The steering rack went, I need a new O2 sensor (not mandatory but keeps setting off my check engine light), and I have a brake fluid leak from unknown causes.
This is just from normal wear-and-tear and age, no incidents or anything of the like.
The steering rack alone will cost about $800. The O2 sensor he already had estimated at $147, and the brakes are an unknown problem and cost (the mechanic stopped evaluating the car after figuring out the cost estimate for the steering rack)
My mechanic says he’ll do the repairs if I want him to, but he also said it might be a good idea to think about putting that money towards a newer car.
I trust him, honestly – he’s the type of guy who will not only show me the old parts when he changes them, but explain what went wrong and how to avoid it. He runs and operates his own business with no outside help, and he likes us – even recognizes us if we bump into him outside of the shop. He’s a very rare type of mechanic.
My car is a 2001 Chevy Cavalier with about 120,000+ miles on it (sorry, can’t remember exactly). I’ve had it about 3 years. In the condition it’s in right now, it’s worth somewhere around 1,100 trade-in or 1,900 private sale (according to kelley blue book).
All of the repairs were estimated to cost me somewhere in the 1,200+ range (parts, labor, and this includes the work for the brakes if it’s just a leak), so it’s putting me in an odd place (and somewhere I’ve never been before – this is my first car)
Do I repair it?
Do I sell it as-is and find a “new” car?
And if I do that, do I buy a car with cash (my preferred method) or finance a car and pay the loan off early (to improve my still-fresh-out-of-college credit?)
Any car I buy (fiance or otherwise) would be used and less than $10,000 (probably around $5k-7k).
I mean, I think I know the answer (don’t repair, sell it and buy a reasonably priced used car) but I am not sure it’s the right answer for me right now (not sure about any of my options)
This sucks. Not only is my car presenting problems, I have a wisdom tooth that needs to be checked (and probably pulled), a wedding to pay for, and home repairs that we’re in the middle of.
I know – that’s life.
But I think it’s just that much harder because I really don’t know what to do about the car.
I’m not stressing out about this as much as it sounds (it’s not the end of the world) but it is making me hella cranky.
I am sure others on the bee (anyone anywhere, really) have more experience with car situations than I do.
What would you do?