Paying for more and more expensive repairs may not be an economic win for your car, even if you love it and have an emotional attachment to it. Here’s an analysis of when it no longer makes sense.
The dilemma posed in our headline is becoming increasingly relevant in these difficult economic times. With rising energy prices, inflation, and the general rise in the cost of living, many people are considering postponing the purchase of a new (or used) car for another year or two and trying to make do with their current vehicle. Even though its operation requires more and more investments to keep it in working condition. At JunkCarsUS we buy junk cars in Dallas and other places. But we will tell you exactly whether you need this service and not another. We offer some tips on when it is still worth investing in a car, and when it is better to give preference for a new car.
Determine the realistic price of your car
The first step is a realistic assessment of our car’s worth. Fair value. Check the classifieds, or visit a reputable car dealership and ask how much they would buy your car for and its real price. That’s where the next steps come from. An unwritten but generally true rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t invest more than roughly half of what the car is currently worth, which of course, doesn’t include everyday consumables, brakes, filters, wipers, or minor repairs.
Consider the need for more expensive repairs
But it already covers major and more expensive fuel system components, wiring harness parts, major chassis replacements, and bodywork sculpting for corrosion. Example: our car has an absolute value of 80,000 crowns. We have an emotional attachment to it. However, its years are showing, the injectors will soon be asking for a replacement, the turbo is quite audible and leaking, and even those front wheel hangers need almost everything new, ideally a full repair kit. All in all, a repair can easily run to somewhere in the region of 30,000 crowns, and it’s far from being the final sum.
Vehicle faults can get expensive
- Defects in the fuel system, pumps, injectors, nozzles, etc.
- cylinder head repairs, seals, milling
- piston ring replacements, cylinder liners, cut-outs
- defects in automatic transmissions
- replacements of complete chassis parts
- expensive timing kits (located on the rear of the engine, etc.)
- wiring defects requiring, for example, removal of the dashboard
Repairs will not increase the price of the car
In the info box, we’ve described some of the major faults that can easily cost tens of thousands of euros to repair and can take a significant hit to your budget. It’s not a complete list, but if any of these items (or even a few) concern you, it’s worth considering whether it’s worth investing in your current car just yet. Even if the repair can turn out great and the technician can promise (not guarantee) that the car will keep running for tens of thousands more miles. However, paying for the repair will not increase the price of the car.
Which is perhaps one of the biggest problems. You’ll spend 30k to repair a car that, before the repair (as a working car), was worth at most 80k. After the repair, it will no longer be “as good as new”; it will be working, but the price will not really be 110k. All those lists of repairs and lists of spare parts in advertisements of what has been replaced are indeed motivating to buy, but only in the sense of saying that the car will continue to function for a month (year). They don’t really raise the price, or only minimally. It may be a disappointing finding, but it’s true. And it’s a good thing to count on.
Emotional attachment to a car does not ensure reliability
Because however much you have an emotional relationship with your car, it’s a relationship between you and the car, turning it into money isn’t very realistic. You might as well just keep the car. Or put “in good hands only” in the ad, or give it to someone in the family and keep the option to “be around it all the time”; there are plenty of options. But if, under the weight of necessary repairs, you decide that you’d rather part with your current sheet metal species and try something new, it’s a good idea to be clear about a few things beforehand:
A new car takes the hassle out of the car
First, you’re making the change for the purpose of not being in a similar situation six months from now. Going from rain to shine is not the ideal way to avoid getting wet. So, the seller of your next car (with a budget of ± 80k, of course, a used one) should at least guarantee that similar glitches will avoid your car for a while, maybe just because it’s had the repairs you were planning on having done on your already-sold one. Or it may be a completely different type of car that does not suffer from similar faults.
In short, always choose to turn uncertainty into (at least some) certainty. Sometimes it pays to increase your budget a little for a newer year of your car. Or you can go down the road and go for a simpler, smaller, but a more reliable car without the fatal faults that simply don’t occur with it. Or change the “field of action” completely and try to pay off a brand-new car with a warranty (nowadays, often five years or more), where your worries are almost completely eliminated, however, at the cost of a monthly payment. The decision is yours. Fingers crossed, and we wish you many years without (serious) faults!