To Repair or Not, that is the Question
Whether you sensed there was a problem brewing or your engine’s failure comes out of nowhere, you know that whatever the reason, the repair will most likely be costly. And, if your car has a significant amount of miles on it, you have to wonder whether pumping budget-breaking money into repairing the problem is worth it. Is your car’s breakdown a sign from the universe that it is time to go shopping for a new or new-to-you set of wheels?
“This is a dilemma lots of car owners face,” explains ThoughtCo.com writer Matthew Wright. “On one hand, you have a car that you still use, still enjoy, and still know what to expect from. On the other hand, every vehicle reaches that point of diminishing returns where you need to unload it before you waste any more repair cash on it.”
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According to WomenAutoKnow.com, traditionally repairs will run a less expensive tab than what a new car tallies, but “depending on the make and model of your car, critical damage to your engine or transmission could lead to a repair that costs as much as a used car. “
When you’re faced with such a quandary, WomenAutoKnow.com recommends researching your car’s value with a source like Kelley Blue Book and evaluating your finances, which should help you determine if the repair cost and your attachment to the car is worth the repair investment.
“If you have a car that’s valued at $2,000 and the repair costs $2,000, your intuition might say, ‘Time to replace it!’ In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that,” according to WomenAutoKnow.com. “Let’s say you want a new car that costs $20,000 and one year of car payments costs $4,000. All of a sudden, that $2,000 repair doesn’t sound so bad… does it?”
Wright, too, agrees that paying a hefty repair cost warrants strong consideration as long as the numbers add up.
“If your car is worth $3,500 and needs $2,000 in repairs, it may still be worth it. If you spend $2,000 on the repairs, and you go back to enjoying a reliable vehicle, it’s smarter to spend the repair money than to spend lots more on a different vehicle,” according to Wright.
But, if this pricey repair is more of a recurring situation, WomenAutoKnow.com advises moving on, and to remember that buying a new car is not your only solution to your car troubles—consider purchasing a used car of a model you like but in an older trim, which will save your money.