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  1. #1
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    Default Car repairs or car payments...

    If you have been following my ambition to buy a new car and making new excuses not to, you'll put together that I'm torn between the notion of repairing all that goes wrong with my existing car and being in car payment hell for the next five years or so.

    I've never financed a car before, and while my credit is decent enough to qualify for a good APR rate, I just have to think to myself, is this going to be a bigger headache than taking it to the shop for even the bigger repairs such as a blown head gasket or even an engine overhaul?

    What is your experience? Am I overthinking?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I hate debt, so I prefer to fix my vehicles. But I am not really into how my car looks (etc) as long as it gets from point A to point B dependably and with adequate climate control.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #3
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    I haven't been following your ambitions but the last part of the first sentence paints the picture rather well. I don't know what kind of repairs you have had to make so far so I guess I would ask...are repairs constantly being needed or is it just some occasional things? Does your current car drive ok or repeatedly breaking down?
    A couple of things to think about:
    1. New cars are covered by warranty (I'm going on the assumption that you own your current car outright) which could save a lot of hassle/headache/money although it would be new so not much "should" be needed.
    VS.
    2. I don't know what its like where you live but where I'm from if you own the car outright than you only are required to have liability insurance but if you owe ANY payments you have to have full coverage. The difference in cost is actually enough to make some repairs rather worthwhile.
    Good Luck with whichever you choose!
    I'm never wrong, I'm just sometimes less right

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    If it was me, I would fix the old car.

    You get the experience and knowledge of working on a car, and the satisfaction of driving something YOU are keeping running.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponyboy View Post
    I haven't been following your ambitions but the last part of the first sentence paints the picture rather well. I don't know what kind of repairs you have had to make so far so I guess I would ask...are repairs constantly being needed or is it just some occasional things? Does your current car drive ok or repeatedly breaking down?
    A couple of things to think about:
    1. New cars are covered by warranty (I'm going on the assumption that you own your current car outright) which could save a lot of hassle/headache/money although it would be new so not much "should" be needed.
    VS.
    2. I don't know what its like where you live but where I'm from if you own the car outright than you only are required to have liability insurance but if you owe ANY payments you have to have full coverage. The difference in cost is actually enough to make some repairs rather worthwhile.
    Good Luck with whichever you choose!
    Yeah, I always forget about the insurance.

    Well, my car is heading for 200k miles pretty soon. And in that time, some of the more expensive replacements have been the clutch and steering rack along with the power steering pump. And there's more, but I don't feel like listing all of them.

    I seem to average anywhere between $300 to $500 each month in repairs...sometimes a bit more. Though I've charged much of that to credit cards, which i've paid off on time. I wonder if it's possible to put car payments on a credit card as well?

    And sometimes I just think about how I could've put that money into a fresh new machine.

    That and I just want a new car. Sometimes making car payments sounds like less of a pain in the ass than taking it into the shop.

  6. #6
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ü™ View Post
    I seem to average anywhere between $300 to $500 each month in repairs...sometimes a bit more.
    WTF???? Dude, you are either being seriously ripped off or you definitely need a new car!!

    Edit: Of course they'll take payments by credit card. If you give them money in any form they will gladly take it!
    I'm never wrong, I'm just sometimes less right

  7. #7
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    That does seem like a lot. We put a few (or maybe several, I can't remember) hundred in my 2000 Focus in the spring but it's been fine since then. If it was costing us that much, we'd junk it and buy another used car.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    That does seem like a lot. We put a few (or maybe several, I can't remember) hundred in my 2000 Focus in the spring but it's been fine since then. If it was costing us that much, we'd junk it and buy another used car.
    LOL, I have an '02 Focus.

    And @Ponyboy, I'm not talking about basic maintenance (if I'm not being lazy, I do oil changes myself), it just has a lot of things going wrong with it, although I never was the kind of person to be really by-the-book on proper maintenance.

    And I was looking at a '13 Focus or even a Fiesta, since the latter has a lot of cool tech features uncommon for the class.

    Also looked at a Chevy Cruze and Chevy Sonic (but only in blue)...and of course, a Dodge Dart, though that's a brand new model and might have more than a few annoying reliability issues.

    Hondas and Toyotas are extremely boring to me, and Nissans imported to the US aren't all that impressive either. Though a Mazda3 seems enticing.

    Of course, I'd get a higher performance vehicle if the insurance rates weren't so high.

    Another problem is dealing with car salesmen. I hear you could knock down the sticker price by a couple grand, but I don't really have experience dealing with them or negotiating with them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Ü™ View Post
    LOL, I have an '02 Focus.
    I love mine except for it not doing well on icy roads and the really crappy cup holders. But I really don't drive a lot and half the time, I drive the family mini-van.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #10
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Buy a used Honda or Toyota. You say they're boring, but if money is what you really care about, that's something you can overlook.

    Don't buy a new car unless you can pay cash. Otherwise you're just giving money away to finance companies each month.

    If you're set on buying a new vehicle, demand to pay invoice price (you can find it on the internet). You might even be able to get some of the "holdback" if you know what you're doing. If they refuse, walk away. They'll likely give in on the spot or call you the next day. Also, go in to look on something like a rainy Tuesday, where the salesmen and dealers are more desperate for sales. Don't go on a busy, sunny Saturday.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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