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Car advice sought

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, May 6, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I have one payment left on my current car, a 2001 Ford Taurus with 163,000 miles on it. By the end of the month, I need to get repairs done for it to get an inspection sticker. These repairs include, at minimum, a right outer tie rod, which is badly worn, and whatever has caused my check engine light to go on. Plus God knows what else.
    It still runs, though the last time I turned on the ignition, I heard a disturbing grinding/roaring noise. The suspension isn't the greatest either after four years of driving on the motocross courses that are this state's roads.
    My plan for the last year or so was to make sure it lasted at least until it was paid off. At this point, could I make the final payment a few weeks early, get the title, then trade it in for another car? I doubt I'd get much for it, but it would be something. My credit is not horrible, but not spotless, which may be a problem in this economy, so I'm not sure what my chances of getting another car loan are.
    Would I be better off getting it fixed and trying to get another year or so out of it? (Though at this point if I can get another car loan, that may be more affordable than trying to fix it)
  2. KevinmH9

    KevinmH9 Active Member

    I had a problem similar to this about a year ago when I returned from college. I had an old 1992 Honda Accord, that, to pass inspection, would need very costly repairs to pass inspection. In fact, the repairs would have cost more than the whole car was worth itself!

    I look at it this way, if the repairs you need exceed the car's value, get rid of it.

    With how the economy is, you can find a decent used car at a cheap price or even buy a new car and get a good deal on it. Some people may not take your current car, some will.
  3. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    there comes a time when repair costs far outweigh the freedom of a paid-off car. i think it's time to put the taurus out of it's misery.
  4. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Grinding/roaring noise might be CV joints, which would be a few hundred dollars.

    It sounds like you've been thinking of getting a new car, and it sounds like it might be time. If you're a member of a credit union, try there first for a loan.

    Let me know if you want a copy of OTD's patented car-buying tips.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    There's probably still value in the old car, though.

    You mentioned your credit may be an issue. If it's going to drive up payments on a new one, just have the old one fixed and keep driving it.

    Look at it this way ... $1,000 to fix a $500 car is better than $400/month payments for five years if money's a little tight.
  6. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    tbf, is right.
    My father's friend growing up always had the best line on this matter.
    He was an expert on the subject(s):

    "Cars are like wives. It's always cheaper to keep the old one."
  7. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Yup. Key is to find a mechanic who can pinpoint the specific problems. That is, they might be low-cost repairs that could make the car worth keeping a while long. They could also be long-term issues that will make you run ... fast ... now.

    The tie-rod could be a bent suspension arm or just a product of facing too many deep potholes. It could also be replaced at a relatively affordable price - take your pick on what you deem affordable - combined with a proper alignment for caster and camber.

    The grinding/roaring noise could be CV joints - run fast! - or worn-out bearings, which can be replaced at a decent rate or even just bearings which need repacking.
  8. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Buy used. Buy Japanese.
  9. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Well, there's this suggestion as well. About as solid as suggestions get.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Don't worry about getting a loan. The banks are already at it again.

    I bought a car on Tuesday and they gave me a good interest rate. I told the guy I was considering having someone cosign to get a better rate.

    He called me back the next day saying he "toyed" with the numbers and was able to get me a percent and a half lower.
  11. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    That's exactly what they used to tell homebuyers ;)
  12. Hank_Scorpio

    Hank_Scorpio Active Member

    When I bought my car in February 2007, I got a very low interest rate (I think it was 0.9 percent, but can't remember exactly right now).

    I also was able to put $5000 down, not that that really affected the percent rate so much.
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