Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

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zuzimb
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Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by zuzimb » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:20 pm

Relevant Details:

Age - 21
Income - $46,600
Total current cash - $8,000 (unwilling to go below 1k)
Retirement - 42% of after-tax income. ~15k ROTH 401k, 5500 ROTH IRA (fully funded 2016/2017)
"General" Savings - $1,100 monthly ($7,000 for the year since 5500 went to IRA and a little overspending here/there)
Tax filing - Single, living with parents with expected move out Q1 2018
State: Texas


The Car:

2007 Hyundai Sonata Limited (bought in 2014, paid ~7k all told)
161K Miles
Repair Item - Internal Compressor (AC) ~$1,200 (car value private is $2,400 KBB... lets assume $2,000)
Tires need to be replace, was trying to come to a solution before having to replace the tires... a flat changed that plan :oops:
There's likely a laundry list of things that could use fixing on the car once the mechanics start opening it up. (said it was in good mechanical shape when asking if I initially wanted work done).


I'm at a loss as to what to do.

Options:

1) The boglehead in me says keep the car, don't repair, the summer is only 4-6 months long and I can leave either before the sun is up or change at work (Texas summers). But I drive about 400 miles a week for about 3 hours minimum most days.(girlfriend doesn't like this plan, not sure how much undue influence that's having on my decision)

2) Or I can repair the AC and hope the transmission doesn't fall out or nothing critical breaks for the next 2 years/40k miles whichever comes first.

3) Based on 10% rule get a car for ~5k, don't really want to pickup another car that I'll have to replace in <3yrs.

4)Use the 20% or little higher rule and get a car for somewhere between 8k-12k from Hertz or similar place. I would have to finance with 0 credit history in this instance (issues with SS that are being sorted out). May need parent to cosign loan.... Keep this car for upwards of 10 years.

If going with option 4 I'm looking at a Hyundai Elantra (10k), or Sonata (13K) if I want to splurge. I'm sure there are other options out there for similar price ranges, just not sure which would be good. I just happen to be familiar with Hyundai. The Malibu, Focus are about the same price range. Toyota Camry is closer to 14-15k.

All of this is complicated by the fact that I expect to be moving out at the end of this year, which will be a large expense. Right now I'm planning on 3 months of rent upfront ($1,100) and I'd like at least another $3,500 in the bank for moving costs/very small emergency fund. More would of course be better. With luck I'll have a roommate and be paying much less than that amount, but I want to use a conservative assumption.


I don't really want to reduce my contribution to the 401k, because with any luck this will be one of my lowest earning periods, there are no state income taxes, every dollar contributed today is (on average) worth more than the dollar contributed tomorrow. I have been considering swapping a portion of the ROTH contribution to Traditional, but because of the above have been very hesitant to do that.


Thanks to those who made it through the longwinded post. Tried to keep it concise but doesn't seem that happened.

Purpose311
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by Purpose311 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:35 pm

I say get a new car. How much longer will the car last you? Try to get some value out of it now and buy another cheaper new car (finance at a cheap rate if possible)

MathWizard
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by MathWizard » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:14 pm

I'd get the Elantra, or something cheaper.

Your current car is at the point where it will likely start eating you up in repair costs, and you
want to get ahead of the curve.

Any school loan debt?

PowDay
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by PowDay » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:27 pm

This may not be traditional Boglehead advice, but consider pairing back you 401k a little. It's great that you are saving $20k a year on a $46k salary, but not if it's preventing you from starting your life (Moving out and having reliable transportation)

What do you do for work where you are making almost $50k? Are there advancement opportunities? Do you have you bachelors?

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bottlecap
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by bottlecap » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:37 pm

If I liked the car and there were no other problems, I would fix after getting a couple of quotes. Don't take it to a dealer if you don't have to.

In fact, made a $1,200 repair on a 12 year old vehicle worth about $2,000. I was willing to pay up to $2,000. Five years later, I'm still driving it.

JT

zuzimb
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by zuzimb » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:45 pm

PowDay wrote:This may not be traditional Boglehead advice, but consider pairing back you 401k a little. It's great that you are saving $20k a year on a $46k salary, but not if it's preventing you from starting your life (Moving out and having reliable transportation)

What do you do for work where you are making almost $50k? Are there advancement opportunities? Do you have you bachelors?
I'm lucky enough to have graduated without any debt.

I graduated last Spring and ended up getting a job as an entry level accounting (degree in lowly correlated field). There are plenty of opportunities for advancement if I seek them out (at other companies). Job in degree field, higher up position in accounting. Just trying to get some job experience at the moment and not look like a job hopper (been with current company ~9 months).

And the way I look at it is that I graduated a year early from college, so I'm just trying to live the college life as best as possible for that time to get further ahead. I have been reconsidering moving out earlier, but at this time I'm content to keep living with my parents until I either A) move up in salary B) move for a job C) it's 2018 (at which time I will reduce 401k contributions and move out). The way I see it is there will never be an easier time to save money, so I better make the most of it. Which might be why getting the newer car is hard for me to rationalize, kinda feels extravagant or like I have better use for the money since my current car has thus far been 100% reliable getting me from point A to B.

I appreciate the input from everyone. I expect I'm overthinking things, but cars, houses, and school are three big "stones" to get right for financial bliss so I want to make sure I get this right early on.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:09 pm

You mention Focus. Do not get an automatic focus. They have multiple catastrophic failure points in the transmission
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Boats day
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by Boats day » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:26 pm

I am impressed by your thought process at age 21 you are doing well . I think I would drive the car as is and not repair it. Be on the look out for a replacement vehicle .

Good luck

KATNYC
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by KATNYC » Sat Apr 08, 2017 2:39 pm

I love that you are thinking this through with your future income & debts in mind! I wish I could get my nephew to join this forum who already ruined his credit with a new car purchase that was totaled.

As a parent, I'd be worried about you driving 400 miles a week without a reliable car although right now it's just the AC. Second generation mechanic's in my family would say sell the car & trade up to something only 2-3 years old. 10-year-old cars generally start to become a problem. We sold our older car after the AC died & then the suspension & struts became problems (family member bought it). This was after the transmission died & was replaced.

zuzimb
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by zuzimb » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:55 pm

Thanks everyone for their input! It is much appreciated.

A decision still hasn't been made, which I guess by default is a decision.

The plan going forward is to see how the car handles once the tires are replaced, which should be easy since I'll be going on a road trip this weekend. If the car ride is unbearable then I'll look at replacing the AC/car. Otherwise I'm just gonna keep pushing "the decision" off until I can't bear the heat anymore or summer is over (after which point AC no longer matters).

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deanbrew
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by deanbrew » Thu Apr 13, 2017 4:19 pm

It's admirable that you are saving so much money, but a 10 year old Hyundai with 161k miles is clearly on the downslope of life. It probably isn't worth much at all without a working AC, and not all that much more with it working. I wouldn't fix the AC, but would start looking around at vehicles. You can figure out what you might like and buy before it becomes an urgent necessity. Needing to buy a car in a hurry because yours is kaput is the worst time to shop for a vehicle.

FWIW, I wouldn't get fixated on a 10% purchase price rule (I don't think I've ever heard of any such thing anywhere else away from Bogleheadland). As you mention, buying a $5k car will just buy you someone else's problem. I would look in the $15k to $20k range at nice used Hyundai Sonatas and Kia Optimas - they depreciate fairly rapidly upfront, and you should be able to get a lightly used one still under factory warranty in that price range.

Good luck.
Last edited by deanbrew on Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

Nate79
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by Nate79 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:50 am

Unless you expected a significant salary bump in the near future I would switch to traditional 401k. This will give you some additional savings vs the Roth 401k.

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deanbrew
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by deanbrew » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:25 am

I have to jump back in and get clarification on the OP's "Based on 10% rule get a car for ~5k".

Do you really mean you think you should only spend 10% of one year's income on a car? Where did that silly yardstick come from? Ten percent of one year's income for an asset that lasts ten years? That seems exceedingly conservative to me, and out of line with modern life for most people.

Look, I get that some people spend too much money on vehicles. But the average income in the US is about $53k. And the average new vehicle sold in 2016 is about $33k. Do the math.

My rule of thumb, for what it's worth, is: Don't buy a car you can't pay off with a three year car loan, considering whatever you can put down as a down payment, and also whatever that means for the rest of your lifestyle and budget. Paying off a car in three years with a decent downpayment means you are never upside down, and you are building up equity to use for your next car purchase. After you pay off the loan, keep putting the same monthly payment in a savings account. After six years or so, you will have a car that is still worth something plus a bundle of money as a downpayment for your next car. After doing this a couple of times, you can probably pay cash for the next car.

If you need to take out a five, six or seven ( :shock: ) year car loan, that is proof you can't afford that vehicle. Note that none of this pertains to taking advantage of subsidized 0 or 1 percent interest car loans as a tactical maneuver.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

barnaclebob
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:34 am

You bought a used Hyundai once and were burned, don't make the same mistake again. I for sure wouldn't put that much money into a hyundai with 161k on the clock.

My advice is to get a Honda Fit or Civic or the Toyota equivalent. You can get fairly low mileage on the fit for $10k and it should last you many years. I will be honest that I haven't done any research on the forums for common problems these cars have so check that before you buy.

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Watty
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by Watty » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:50 am

I agree that your current car is not worth fixing.
zuzimb wrote:If going with option 4 I'm looking at a Hyundai Elantra (10k), or Sonata (13K) if I want to splurge. I'm sure there are other options out there for similar price ranges, just not sure which would be good. I just happen to be familiar with Hyundai. The Malibu, Focus are about the same price range. Toyota Camry is closer to 14-15k.
One issue with buying a Hyundai is that I am pretty sure that the full warranty does not transfer to the second owner so be sure into look at that.

The Camry and Sonata are more of a family car so they may be more than you need. I would add the Honda Fit, or Civic, or the Toyota Yaris or Corolla to your list of cars to consider. My local Hertz car sales regularly has Yarisis for well less than $10K.

Before you buy you should also get quotes for car insurance for the different car models since they can vary a lot by car model and you insurance will be high until you turn 25.

One thing to try to do would be to not finance a car for longer than it will take for powertrain warranty to run out. Even with a reliable model you could get unlucky and have an expensive car repair while still make car payments.

traveltoomuch
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by traveltoomuch » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:27 am

I hear your fears about this car failing. How realistic are those fears? How well have you and the previous owners kept up with maintenance? How often have the oil and the transmission fluid been changed? The 2007 Sonata has a timing chain, not a belt, so there's little risk of a failure there. More importantly, what are the odds that this car will cost more to keep on the road than the Elantra you propose to buy for 10k? Unless you have reason to believe that this car is unusually prone to failure, I'd say that any older used car risks the occasional failure, and the differences between this and some other used car you get for 10k are pretty minor.

I have owned Hyundai Elantras of this vintage and, based on that experience, I would not be anxious to get rid of this car. I tend to prefer "the devil I know". A new used car will have problems that you didn't spot on the inspection. Maybe the brakes aren't in good shape. Maybe the timing belt will be overdue for a change. You already have new tires on this car. That, at least, is one thing that shouldn't fail immediately.

How about getting another quote for the AC repair?

zuzimb
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by zuzimb » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:59 pm

deanbrew wrote:I have to jump back in and get clarification on the OP's "Based on 10% rule get a car for ~5k".

Do you really mean you think you should only spend 10% of one year's income on a car? Where did that silly yardstick come from? Ten percent of one year's income for an asset that lasts ten years? That seems exceedingly conservative to me, and out of line with modern life for most people.
It's just one of the many figures I've found when searching "how much to spend on a car" for example the below:
https://www.moneyunder30.com/how-much-c ... you-afford
http://whitecoatinvestor.com/how-to-get ... -5000-car/

And I agree it is exceedingly conservative, but I like to look at all potential options, sometimes the outcome can be surprising in a good way.
Watty wrote:One issue with buying a Hyundai is that I am pretty sure that the full warranty does not transfer to the second owner so be sure into look at that.
I would add the Honda Fit, or Civic, or the Toyota Yaris or Corolla to your list of cars to consider.
One thing to try to do would be to not finance a car for longer than it will take for powertrain warranty to run out. E
Thanks for the advice, I'll look into the warranty transfer.

The reason the Fit/Civic/Yaris weren't on the list is because no one within my search range had any. Extending out to 500 miles the Yaris and Civic show up, but there are no Fits available on the Hertz website. Will definitely look into those, the Yaris seems solid for the price.
Traveltomuch wrote: How realistic are those fears? How well have you and the previous owners kept up with maintenance? How often have the oil and the transmission fluid been changed? The 2007 Sonata has a timing chain, not a belt, so there's little risk of a failure there. More importantly, what are the odds that this car will cost more to keep on the road than the Elantra you propose to buy for 10k?

How about getting another quote for the AC repair?
This is the issue that I'm facing. I have no particular reason to believe the car is going to fail anytime soon, but I also have no foundation to believe it won't. There were handling/shaking issues at highway speeds, but new tires have fixed that. There's likely a small oil/radiator fluid leak but neither are critical or any cause for concern. A potential issue is sometimes it feels like the gearbox gets stuck passing through neutral. But after putting it in park/drive a couple of times it's smooth as silk again.

And maybe I end up buying a total lemon.

Getting another quote will definitely happen before a decision is made. The original quote was $1200 for filters/compressor/labor and then they came back with 900 for compressor/labor since the compressor died rather than exploding.

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deanbrew
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by deanbrew » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:13 pm

The main Hyundai and Kia 5 year/60k mile bumper-to-bumper warranty transfers to subsequent owners, along with 5-year roadside assistance. Original owners get a 10 year/100k mile powertrain warranty, but this is shortened to 5 years/60k miles for subsequent owners. These warranties are pretty good compared to most manufacturers.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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deanbrew
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by deanbrew » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:28 pm

zuzimb wrote:
It's just one of the many figures I've found when searching "how much to spend on a car" for example the below:
https://www.moneyunder30.com/how-much-c ... you-afford
http://whitecoatinvestor.com/how-to-get ... -5000-car/

And I agree it is exceedingly conservative, but I like to look at all potential options, sometimes the outcome can be surprising in a good way.
I looked at the links you provided. I can't really argue very strongly against such a strategy from a purely dollars and cents standpoint. For me,though, I like cars, like driving, and like having a safe, comfortable, convenient vehicle. I like new or newish cars that still feel tight and responsive and don't rattle or creek. In short, I think a 10% of income rule is exceedingly and unnecessarily conservative, more frugal than necessary by a significant margin. I just can't see someone earning $50k buying a $5k car, or someone earning $100k buying a $10k car. I think it makes sense to spend substantially more, and keep the vehicle longer to reduce the per-year depreciation. But to each his own.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

psteinx
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by psteinx » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:28 pm

Check into an inexpensive new car. If your credit is good, you should be able to finance on attractive terms - not too much down and low/no interest.

This board often frowns on financed cars and new cars for those who pay cash. But I think your case is an exception to the norm. Your car is on its last legs. You haven't been working that long, and you're obviously saving, but just haven't had the time to accumulate that much. Especially with your heavy usage, I think a reliable new car, with a working A/C for Texas, is a reasonable purchase.

alfaspider
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:46 pm

Has the problem been definitively diagnosed by a professional as the compressor? Are you at all handy? If yes, it may be something you can do yourself (mostly). You would want to have the refrigerant professionally evacuated and refilled, but there are a/c specialist shops that will do that for under $100.

Rockauto.com will sell you a new compressor and component kit for your car for $250 (some places will sell you units even cheaper, but rockauto is a pretty legitimate place). So you can do the job for about $350. Add another $200 if you need to buy the basic tools for the repair (jack, jack stands, basic mechanic's tool kit).

Here's a video showing what's involved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZtCYVATqg

Book time on the job is 4-5 hours, count on 10 as an amateur still figuring things out.

All in, if the motor isn't consuming oil and the transmission isn't slipping, this car is far from a lost cause. 10 years old and 160k miles is not "last legs" these days. Spending a weekend and $350 might be well worth it if gets you another two years out of the car.

Finally, if you can get under the car, there's a lot of inspection you can do yourself that will give you a sense of what else the car may need. Check for things like play in suspension components, any significant corrosion, torn CV boots, remove the wheels and check brake pad wear.

zuzimb
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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by zuzimb » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:57 pm

alfaspider wrote:Has the problem been definitively diagnosed by a professional as the compressor? Are you at all handy? If yes, it may be something you can do yourself (mostly). You would want to have the refrigerant professionally evacuated and refilled, but there are a/c specialist shops that will do that for under $100.

Rockauto.com will sell you a new compressor and component kit for your car for $250 (some places will sell you units even cheaper, but rockauto is a pretty legitimate place). So you can do the job for about $350. Add another $200 if you need to buy the basic tools for the repair (jack, jack stands, basic mechanic's tool kit).

Here's a video showing what's involved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZtCYVATqg

Book time on the job is 4-5 hours, count on 10 as an amateur still figuring things out.

All in, if the motor isn't consuming oil and the transmission isn't slipping, this car is far from a lost cause. 10 years old and 160k miles is not "last legs" these days. Spending a weekend and $750 might be well worth it if gets you another two years out of the car.
I like to think of myself as handy, my original thought was to try and replace the compressor myself. For whatever reason I decided against it, unsure of which part to order or something or cost was still high. In the past I've refilled the refrigerant without issues, but I've never evacuated it so I'd have to look into that or get them to do it. The shop said the issue was the internal compressor, so I have no reason to doubt that.

Will definitely look into it again, as I think it would be fun to do and definitely a cost savings option.

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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by alfaspider » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:28 pm

zuzimb wrote:
alfaspider wrote:Has the problem been definitively diagnosed by a professional as the compressor? Are you at all handy? If yes, it may be something you can do yourself (mostly). You would want to have the refrigerant professionally evacuated and refilled, but there are a/c specialist shops that will do that for under $100.

Rockauto.com will sell you a new compressor and component kit for your car for $250 (some places will sell you units even cheaper, but rockauto is a pretty legitimate place). So you can do the job for about $350. Add another $200 if you need to buy the basic tools for the repair (jack, jack stands, basic mechanic's tool kit).

Here's a video showing what's involved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZtCYVATqg

Book time on the job is 4-5 hours, count on 10 as an amateur still figuring things out.

All in, if the motor isn't consuming oil and the transmission isn't slipping, this car is far from a lost cause. 10 years old and 160k miles is not "last legs" these days. Spending a weekend and $750 might be well worth it if gets you another two years out of the car.
I like to think of myself as handy, my original thought was to try and replace the compressor myself. For whatever reason I decided against it, unsure of which part to order or something or cost was still high. In the past I've refilled the refrigerant without issues, but I've never evacuated it so I'd have to look into that or get them to do it. The shop said the issue was the internal compressor, so I have no reason to doubt that.

Will definitely look into it again, as I think it would be fun to do and definitely a cost savings option.
You can evacuate yourself, but venting to atmosphere is an environmental no-no, and purchasing the tools to evacuate the system is not cost effective unless you do a/c work on a regular basis. Refilling can be DIY, but filling improperly can cause damage to the system.

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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by bottlecap » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:34 pm

zuzimb wrote:
alfaspider wrote:Has the problem been definitively diagnosed by a professional as the compressor? Are you at all handy? If yes, it may be something you can do yourself (mostly). You would want to have the refrigerant professionally evacuated and refilled, but there are a/c specialist shops that will do that for under $100.

Rockauto.com will sell you a new compressor and component kit for your car for $250 (some places will sell you units even cheaper, but rockauto is a pretty legitimate place). So you can do the job for about $350. Add another $200 if you need to buy the basic tools for the repair (jack, jack stands, basic mechanic's tool kit).

Here's a video showing what's involved: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZtCYVATqg

Book time on the job is 4-5 hours, count on 10 as an amateur still figuring things out.

All in, if the motor isn't consuming oil and the transmission isn't slipping, this car is far from a lost cause. 10 years old and 160k miles is not "last legs" these days. Spending a weekend and $750 might be well worth it if gets you another two years out of the car.
I like to think of myself as handy, my original thought was to try and replace the compressor myself. For whatever reason I decided against it, unsure of which part to order or something or cost was still high. In the past I've refilled the refrigerant without issues, but I've never evacuated it so I'd have to look into that or get them to do it. The shop said the issue was the internal compressor, so I have no reason to doubt that.

Will definitely look into it again, as I think it would be fun to do and definitely a cost savings option.
It's not in a great place, looks like a bit of a PITA, but doable if you have some ramps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrZtCYVATqg

New compressors go for about $150, unless you have the 3.3 liter, then its more like $350. Seems like it the job should be cheaper than $1,200 either way, but I don't know for sure.

Seems a waste to scrap a car for a wear item (things do wear out over 11 years) having no bearing on the vehicle's operating reliability, but I guess you have to draw the line somewhere. It's up to you to figure out where.

JT

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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by zuzimb » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:31 pm

Just wanted to give an update on what's happening.

I've been looking for cars to see if a deal pops up, after deciding to not fix my AC. Well as of a day ago my transmission stopped working properly, so a new to me car it is. It also happened to be right about the same time I found a car that looked very promising, below are the details.

2016 Mazda 3 i Sport
33k miles
Cost: $9,200
Out the door for $10,000
Purchase with cash

Reason for low cost is extensive hail damage. I don't care so much about the cars appearance so it doesn't bother me much at all. Certified by Carmax, who's comp cars are going for $15k.

It's not a Honda or Toyota but the reliability for Mazda has been on the up, and is almost comparable to Honda at this point from my understanding.

What do y'all think?

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Re: Repair vs Replace car for someone just starting out

Post by deanbrew » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:19 am

zuzimb wrote:Just wanted to give an update on what's happening.

I've been looking for cars to see if a deal pops up, after deciding to not fix my AC. Well as of a day ago my transmission stopped working properly, so a new to me car it is. It also happened to be right about the same time I found a car that looked very promising, below are the details.

2016 Mazda 3 i Sport
33k miles
Cost: $9,200
Out the door for $10,000
Purchase with cash

Reason for low cost is extensive hail damage. I don't care so much about the cars appearance so it doesn't bother me much at all. Certified by Carmax, who's comp cars are going for $15k.

It's not a Honda or Toyota but the reliability for Mazda has been on the up, and is almost comparable to Honda at this point from my understanding.

What do y'all think?
That looks like a great deal, so long as you understand and accept the hail damage. I checked a local dealer that has very good prices on used cars, and the cheapest 2015 or 2016 is $14,800, and most are over $15k. The Mazda 3 is a good car, and it will be more fun to drive than a Toyota or Honda. Quality is good, too. If you keep the car for several years, the value loss due to the hail damage will slowly diminish over time. By that, I mean that a ten year old car with hail damage won't be all that much less valuable than a ten year old car without hail damage. It sounds like a good deal.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

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