Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Car Upgrade?
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Whether 'tis better to fix our car or get a new vehicle, that is the question. We recently got an estimate on its current condition; it needs:

-- Major tune up (spark plugs shot, distributer cap, wires)
-- Fuel filter
-- New water pump
-- Timing belt kit
-- Engine valve cover
-- Oil pan seal
-- Crankshaft seal
-- Front brake pads (rear are OK)

Taking care of all of this would come to about $1300, which is what, about four months' worth of new-car payments?

The clutch is still good (as long as we keep putting in clutch fluid); to replace clutch element is another $500.

We paid it off some time ago, so we've been living the life of no car payments, which means a lot of freedom, although we do have repair bills from time to time. The car has about 195,000 miles on it, but we're comfortable with it, and we like it. It still works well, and with a tune-up no doubt it would work a little better.

We both dread shopping for a new vehicle (and by new I mean mean just new to us, not brand new), although something like might alleviate some of the pain. I am strongly opposed to buying a brand new car simply because they lose so much value when driven off the lot.

Continuing to get by with our present car seems to be the best bet. Since its value is fairly low, our insurance rates also stay low. Having a new car would be nice, but we don't really need it at this point. Of course it would also be nice not to have to deal with repairs, but if there's nothing really wrong with it that an overnight mechanic visit won't fix, then replacing it is only bowing to consumerism.

Given that we both cycle to work a lot of the time we're not putting that many miles on it these days so it should last a while yet. No sense having a new vehicle sitting in the garage not being used. Maybe we'll revisit this next summer after the repairs have paid themselves off.

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