Fixing vs Buying a Car


The decision to fix an ailing car or to buy a new one with no problems at all seems to be rearing its ugly head in my household again. Not too long ago (almost a year now) I had the same dilemma with my wife’s car which was a 2000 Nissan XTerra. At the time we had two cars that were almost or over 10 years old so it was just about time to replace a car. The XTerra was just approaching 100K in mileage but it never really was driven anywhere for close to a year since my wife stayed at home all the time for her job and we didn’t put my daughter in day care. But there were enough problems with the car that I wanted my wife to have a reliable car at home while I was away at work that we decided to replace her car with a new van. Also the repairs were starting to add up and I was getting tired of bringing her car to the shop on the weekends and ruining any plans we might have had because we had to wait for repair estimates and then had to go get the car at the shop when it was done.

My car is starting to get on in age as well like my wifes car but the decision to buy a new car vs fixing it is a little different than when we decided to get my wife a new car. For one thing, my car is now an airport car for the most part. I drive it to and from the airport for work so it maybe gets 60 miles a week, maybe a little more if my wife uses my car on the weekends for her yoga classes but other than that there aren’t a lot of miles being put on it. We also don’t use my car on the weekends when we go out, thats what the new van is for since it has way more creature comforts and its easier to get the baby in and out of the car with the sliding doors. Finally, it just doesn’t make a lot of economical sense to get a new car since I only have an airport car and my car also sits outside so it almost seems like a waste to pay a lot of money for a car that doesn’t go anywhere.

Right now my car is currently in the shop and it needs a lot of work done to the rear end area (sounds a bit dirty doesn’t it?). The rear shocks need replacement, I need 2 new tires, and one of the bearings in the rear also need to be replaced.  Thats on top of all the gaskets  that were replaced in October, the engine mounts, a wheel alignment/rotation/balance, and 4 sensors to make sure that my car actually cranks.  Even totaling both jobs it still hasn’t totaled my car.  It’s really really close but not quite there yet.  If my car can last me another 3-5 years, I think I’ll be good.  I’d prefer it last another 6 years so I can get my mid life crisis car when I turn 40.  By that time my car should be pretty worthless but if its still running its probably going to continue to be my airport car for quite a while unless something happens (like me getting a fat raise or something) in which I will invest in getting myself a sweet ride to take me to the airport.

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