I have an older car. I bought it for $4,000 when it had 100,000 miles on it. Today it still has only 110,000 miles on it.
During my 4 years of ownership, I have had to spend only about $200 on its maintenance, including regular oil changes.
I do not use the car much — I have never really driven it outside a 10-15 mile radius. And whenever I do drive, I am extremely careful with it.
The car was running perfectly until yesterday when it started making a noise — as if there was something seriously wrong with it.
The mechanic opened it up and said that the crankshaft seems to have suddenly broken and I am lucky that I even made it till his shop.
Now I have the options:
A) Rebuild the entire lower part of the engine by buying a new crankshaft, bearings, and other parts. That would cost me about $2,300 including tax and labor;
B) Buy another used engine that he has located. This engine from LKQ already has about 70,000miles on it. He would install that engine into my Civic for about $2500 total.
If, for the next few years, I am likely to have the same driving requirements that I have had for the last few years, then what are the pros/cons of the options (A and B above) and which is better?
If I were to instead just buy another used car, would that be unnecessarily expensive for my needs?
If not, what range (mileage/cost) of used cars should I be looking at to buy?
If I get these same repairs done at a Honda dealer, rather than an independent shop, would it be worth the extra amount that dealers supposedly charge?
I am just thinking what would be the dollar value of my Civic today before repairs and later after these suggested repairs?
And since the car is already pretty old, what are the chances that I would have to do expensive repairs again in the upcoming weeks/months?
Any tips, suggestions about my current situation — or new options I haven’t thought of — will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much!
You have asked most of the relevant questions yourself without any further help.
Only you know your finances, personal needs and desires, and how far you are willing to push your limits.
Pause, sit down with a pencil and paper, and list each question on the top of separate pieces of paper. Draw a vertical line down the center of each page.
List the pros and cons and, if appropriate, the costs involved for each question and its various answers.
Do not agonize over each and every detail and the trivial — or less important details.
After each question has been answered as briefly and concisely as you are capable of doing, review your answers.
You will see your optimal path.