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Old 02-01-2013, 03:10 PM   #1
pachap OP
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I guess I need to buy a new car...

Just looking for some opinions here...

I have a P.o.S. 2004 Mercury Mountaineer. It has 172k miles. Its a piece of shit. Wife ragged the Hell out of it before I took it over last summer. The thing is... I love it despite it being a POS. Don't ask me why, I don't know. But it needs a lot of work. The dash needs to come out to fix the air diverter (or is it a damper?). Cheapest estimate is $1000. And the transmission is giving me a wink and a nod every so often. A rebuild runs around $2000 here. And it needs some fresh paint.... etc. But the KBB on it is only $2000 at best. And I am looking at minimum $3000 in necessary repairs. And it's a piece of shit. And I don't know how long the engine might last after that, I personally don't trust it.

My gut tells me to just to go buy a new car, primarily because I don't want to put $3000 into a $2000 piece of shit. But I really do not want a car payment right now, even though I could afford a modest vehicle pretty easily.

Am I thinking this out right? Give me some opinions about this.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
KeithinSC
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Might as well get this out of the way....



Buy a TDI









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Old 02-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #3
RockyRaccoon
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They say it's almost always cheaper to keep an old car running than to buy a new one. What you're paying for in a new one is greater reliability, peace of mind, comfort and known monthly expenses.

That said, if I were going to keep an old car going, I'd probably want to start with something other than a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer.

If you're determined to keep it for another 5-10 years, go ahead and fix it. If you're going to end up getting rid of it in less time than that, it's probably better not to sink the money into it.

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:32 PM   #4
twowheelpilot
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"But the KBB on it is only $2000 at best. And I am looking at minimum $3000 in necessary repairs. And it's a piece of shit. And I don't know how long the engine might last after that, I personally don't trust it."

looks like you have your mind made up. you could get a decent used car for not too much more than the 3k min you'd have to put into the POS.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
madeouttaglass
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I just sold my POS Tundra and bought a much, much better used Tacoma for only $1500 more. Be glad you got the miles you did out of the Mountaineer. Put it on CL and see what happens.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
papaduc
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At 172k it sure doesn't owe you anything.
No need to buy a new car, there are plenty of good vehicles that morons like me get rid of every 3 or 4 years.
What's your favorite color?

Great, now go buy a used car.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:14 PM   #7
josjor
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Should you buy a new car?

Hell no!

Buy a nice two year old car. Let some other stupid schmuck lose 40% of the sticker price.

This from the guy that bought a one year old 2001 F150 from a dealer for just over half of the new sticker price.......and is still driving it 12 years later. Last year got the wifey a really nice low mileage two year old vehicle.....again, at just over half off the sticker. For the first several weeks we were driving it, our friends all though that our business must be kicking butt 'cuz we bought a new car. That's how good it looks.

On the other hand, if the rest of the vehicle is OK, buy a used tranny at the dump for $500.00 and get two cases of beer and a friend that's a mechanic. If my F150 blew the motor tomorrow, I'd put a new motor in it. The rest of the vehicle is in great shape and it would sure cost me a LOT more to replace it with something as nice.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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I just paid $3800 for a spotless low mile 1999 Jeep Cherokee, as posted above, put that thing on CL and let some other chump deal with it. For 5-7K you can have a far better vehicle and (probably) own it outright.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
pachap OP
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What I mean by "new" is "new to me". I hate even the thought of it, but I guess I need to do it. As someone mentioned above, I could use some peace of mind with this.

I guess I am just going to grin and bear it and buy a year or two old vehicle. I will soon be working on my graduate degree and I don't need to worry about a piece of shit car. It is possible that I will be commuting to school to the tune of a 500 mile round trip every week for two and half years (that is whole separate bitch-fest). That certainly necessitates a dependable ride.

Thanks for the advice. I guess if I end up with a new one sometime soon I'll post some pics.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:23 PM   #10
twowheelpilot
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here you go, seats 2:

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Old 02-02-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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That's funny. I went to KBB and got prices from 3200 to 4500 (of course, I don't know the exact configuration of yours).

I say if it went 172000 miles, especially after being "ragged on"for several years, that isn't a POS, it is a pretty fair car. If you like it as you say, fix the air duct, replace the tranny and go another 150,000 or so. You will
likely find some other stuff wears out or breaks, but a newer comparable vehicle will probably cost a bunch more, and it may wind up needing some fixing as well.

As they say, you pay your money and take your chances.

As one of the other posters said, it surely doesn't owe you anything at this point.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:26 AM   #12
broncobowsher
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You are also getting real close to the nickle and dime time as well.
My thoughts are just about everything should last 10 years and 150k with little more then oil changes. Add in a couple of moderate fixes (an alternator or A/C compressor) and a new car will last a decade with little attention to it. After that then it turns into a local car. Something to drive in town, not doing any epic cross country trips. Good car for kids first car.

I tend to ignor the signs of death and drive them about a year past expiration. In hind sight I think about what it was showing me and realized I kept it too long. Should have dumped it sooner. It sounds like you are getting the signs I ignor.

It also comes down to your williness to live with issues and ability to fix them. I have driven cars that had issues (resetting a computer while driving down the highway by clutching, turn the key off, restart, release the clutch) that I was not happy with but was paid for and was what I could afford. I did not trust the POSs outside of town. I will admit that one I paid $700 for, drove for 2 years and sold for $500 was one of the best deals I ever got in transportation. But it had the penality of being a clapped out POS that kept me anchored in town not willing to make a road trip with it. So that cheap car had penalties outside of the car budget that many people won't put into the calculation of a cheap used car. Yes it did leave me stranded multiple times. $10 for a timing belt, $65 for an A/C compressor (needed since the pulley siezed solid, not just the A/C function) and a few other things. It drooled oil. Lost ignition coil. Broke an exhaust manifold. Real nickle and dime POS that I worked on myself. Had plenty of other problems that were hidden when I polished the turd to sell it.

I have never been one for having payments. I saved my coins and put a massive down payment and bought a new car 2½ years ago. Dropped every spare coin into getting it paid off in 9 months. Just got it out of the way. But now I have a new car, paid off. I have the comfort of a new car, the comfort to travel with it anywhere. It did cost me but I have a new car and comfort (mind and body) for years to come.

For what you describe it might be worth it to buy another and have another good vehicle for a decade. You comment it needs $3k now, what will it need next year? and a year or two later?







As for the TDI comment, I consider it a Terribly Dumb Idea.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:39 AM   #13
cogitate
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I agree with this post 100%. I just bought a new car, maybe not the most practical, but I will keep my 02 Civic to run around town, take dog to trails and beach, take to office five miles away and leave under tree with hundreds of birds shitting on it

the old car is also paid off, and I also put a massive downpayment and will pay off the new car much sooner than the terms.

For me, insuring two cars that split the driving is cheap. I will run the Civic as long at it goes, and if i replace it, will get a car off CL for the same duties.



Quote:
Originally Posted by broncobowsher View Post
You are also getting real close to the nickle and dime time as well.
My thoughts are just about everything should last 10 years and 150k with little more then oil changes. Add in a couple of moderate fixes (an alternator or A/C compressor) and a new car will last a decade with little attention to it. After that then it turns into a local car. Something to drive in town, not doing any epic cross country trips. Good car for kids first car.

I tend to ignor the signs of death and drive them about a year past expiration. In hind sight I think about what it was showing me and realized I kept it too long. Should have dumped it sooner. It sounds like you are getting the signs I ignor.

It also comes down to your williness to live with issues and ability to fix them. I have driven cars that had issues (resetting a computer while driving down the highway by clutching, turn the key off, restart, release the clutch) that I was not happy with but was paid for and was what I could afford. I did not trust the POSs outside of town. I will admit that one I paid $700 for, drove for 2 years and sold for $500 was one of the best deals I ever got in transportation. But it had the penality of being a clapped out POS that kept me anchored in town not willing to make a road trip with it. So that cheap car had penalties outside of the car budget that many people won't put into the calculation of a cheap used car. Yes it did leave me stranded multiple times. $10 for a timing belt, $65 for an A/C compressor (needed since the pulley siezed solid, not just the A/C function) and a few other things. It drooled oil. Lost ignition coil. Broke an exhaust manifold. Real nickle and dime POS that I worked on myself. Had plenty of other problems that were hidden when I polished the turd to sell it.

I have never been one for having payments. I saved my coins and put a massive down payment and bought a new car 2½ years ago. Dropped every spare coin into getting it paid off in 9 months. Just got it out of the way. But now I have a new car, paid off. I have the comfort of a new car, the comfort to travel with it anywhere. It did cost me but I have a new car and comfort (mind and body) for years to come.

For what you describe it might be worth it to buy another and have another good vehicle for a decade. You comment it needs $3k now, what will it need next year? and a year or two later?







As for the TDI comment, I consider it a Terribly Dumb Idea.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:38 AM   #14
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Lots of people discard thier perfectly good cars because they got dirty or something. I have made lots of (beer) money flipping cars over the years. My current driver is an 1989 F-150 4x4. Neglected when i got it 5 yrs ago with ~ 60,000 on the clock. needed a rear u joint. I paid $2000 for it. Bullit proof drivetrain. Has the big 6 and cast iron 4spd. I changed all the fluids, major tuneup, hoses etc. Just turned 100,000 miles, still has easily 100,000 miles left. Yes its slow and a little uggly, but not hard on gas. The only thing I have put in it is a battery and gas and oil since. best thing about it, It's PAID FOR!
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:59 PM   #15
pachap OP
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Random responses to comments above...
- It's already been a nickel and dime situation on this car for years now. Alternator, 2 "window appliques", new sun visors (retainer kept cracking and falling apart), 2 EGR valves that are a massive bitch to change, fixing the headliner, 2 sets of ball joints, harmonic balancer pulley, and I've changed both of the front wheel bearing assemblies twice each... I am probably forgetting some stuff.
- I am not taking this thing any further than the 12 miles to work or the 18 miles to school. And, as stated before, I could be making a huge commute to school starting as soon as January of next year. So I really am going to need a different ride before then. If I was just commuting to school and work, I'd keep it.

So all that said, I think I am going to fix the AC (it's a necessity where I live), and then just hope for the best. If it will last me until the fall, maybe first of next year, I'll feel a lot better about buying one. My wife wants me to wait until then. She said if I will she'll kick some money in to buy me a new sled for a graduation present. I really like a Focus ST...

Thanks for all the advice.
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