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Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


I'm currently in a situation where I have to make the decision whether I want to put money into my current car to try and keep it running for a while longer, or to sell it now while it's still running and buy a newer used car.

I'm driving a 90 Honda Accord I've owned for about 7 years now that has major cosmetic damage from a wreck about 5 years ago, and has a bunch of small unimportant poo poo breaking (antenna doesn't go up/down, heater/ac knob broke, electronic locks don't work,etc.) The paint is also peeling because why wash a car with a giant rear end dent in the side?

So this means that the car is running fine but I'd probably be lucky to get $1000 for it on the used market right now to put towards a newer used car. My car just hit 200,000 miles, needs new tires in the next 6 months, and I have a CV joint/axle that needs replaced. So either I sell this car soon or I put money into it to try and keep it running for a while longer.

The only debt I have right now is about $11,000 in student loans and I've been paying over the minimums on those so I should have them paid off within 5 years instead of the 10 if you just make the minimums. My cost of living is ridiculously low since I have cheap rent and am super frugal about nearly everything else, but I make poo poo for money (although I just got a raise!) so I don't have a lot left over at the end of the month.

For a newer used car I'd be looking for something in the $3000-4000 dollar range, and I'd want to take out a loan for it. I've got a 6 month emergency fund saved up but I don't wanna raid that for a car. I've been putting $200 a month into savings for a big expense I'll have in December, so starting in January I could put that money towards car payments, and I've got enough available cash until then to cover payments because of me working 10+ hours of overtime every week. So basically I could make minimum payments til January then throw another $100-200 a month on top of them after that.

I haven't finalized what I want in a car yet, but I'd be looking for something from 95 or newer and right now I'm leaning towards a Subaru or a Volvo. I want a manual transmission and I'm either looking for a 4 door or a station wagon.

Right now I'm leaning towards just throwing the money into my current car and hoping it lasts another two years so I can save up for something else. I'm going to make a decision within the next few days and if I decide to keep it I'm going to get the CV axle/joint replaced right away, get the water pump and timing belt replaced at Thanksgiving when I can have a mechanic our family has used for a long time do it and have him tell me any other preventative stuff I need done, and then buy tires probably early next year. This all together probably would only cost $1000 or less. So this looks like the best option to me, but I'd love an outside perspective on it. It seems a little silly to me to put $1000 into a car worth $1000, but I'm worried about buying a different car then still having to put $1000 into it anyway.

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Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Doddery Meerkat posted:

Personally I would never throw that kind of cash into a car that old. You simply can never be sure how much you'll get out of it/ how many other future expenses are waiting around the corner. If you were certain you could get another 50k out of it, sure, but you will be kicking yourself if 10k miles down the line another grand of expenses come up.

I also wouldn't spend much on a 95 volvo or sub, when I could spend a grand or two (6000-8000) more and get a 2002-2004 corolla / civic / camry/ similar with <80k miles. You just get so much more for the price. It will be much easier to get a loan on a car like that as well. Even with great credit it can be hard to get loans on used cars.

Straight up I'm not going to spend $6000+ on a car. I'm just not comfortable spending that kind of cash on my salary. So my choices are what I laid out. I realize I may not get too much more out of my car, but if I were to buy a different older car I have that same kind of uncertainty. I know it's a gamble either way but that's the situation I'm in.

I'm also not really looking at 95s, I'd be looking for something newer than that but I'm still not excluding older models if they're low enough mileage and in really good condition. I mean I saw an 89 volvo sedan that only had 74,000 miles on it on Craigslist. If it was well maintained that could be a really nice and reliable car.

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


CornHolio posted:

Do you plan on trying to sell your current car when you get a new one, or trade it in? If its the former you might be able to recoup some of the maintenance you put in, if its the latter probably not.

If you're for sure buying another car soon anyway, and can afford it, you might as well just get it now. Otherwise, I'd suggest fixing your current car, as long as everything else checks out OK by the mechanic. Your car could go for another 100k miles easily if it was maintained properly, or it could be at the end of its useful life, its hard to tell without looking at it.

I'm planning on selling it when I get a new car, pretty much no matter what condition it's in. Whether it's still running or dead and I'm selling it for a parts car I know I'll get more out of a private sale than a trade in.

Like I said I'd rather keep my current car and save up for another car in the meantime, so I probably will just do the repairs/maintenance on my current car and hope it last for a while longer. It hasn't given me any major problems in the time I've owned it and unless something random happens I'm hoping it won't give me any major problems for at least a year or two. The longer my current car lasts the longer I'll have to save up for a different car, which means if it lasts for a while I should have a pretty decent chunk of cash for a different car.

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Well my transmission ripped me a new rear end in a top hat last night at 3am. Luckily this happened when it did cause I was about to drop $500+ on having my timing belts and water pumped replaced. Problem is how the gently caress do I buy a new car?

I'm loving poor, I only want something that's in the $3000-4000 range and that means getting an older car. Apparently banks won't give you a loan for a car that's more than 7 years old, which is what I'm looking at. So yea, how do you get a loan in this situation?

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Sock on a Fish posted:

A line of credit or dealer financing are two options. If a car isn't a necessity the better choice for your checkbook would be to save until you can afford to buy without taking on debt.

In my situation a car is pretty much 100% necessary. I work 15 miles from my house and while the bus technically runs near my work, I work a lot of overtime this time of year and get out of work after the bus stops running or have to be into work later than the bus runs. I do have some money saved up, but basically just enough to put me back into something similar to what I had which isn't all that helpful.

Nija posted:

https://www.penfed.org is how you handle this situation.

At one point in time they were prepared to loan me $18k to buy an '87 turbo t regal. I'm sure they can throw you a few bones.

I'll definitely look into that, thanks.

On a slightly positive note since it's Thanksgiving coming up and my parents are only 3 hours away me and my dad are renting a tow dolly tomorrow and are gonna try to hobble my car back together over the day and a half I have off work while I'm visiting my parents. If I can get it running for cheap, and it'll survive the 3 hour drive back to my house I'm just gonna run it into the ground while I save up more cash and keep searching for a halfway decent car.

I've been seeing a decent amount of late 90 and early 2000 Volvos without a million miles on them for fairly cheap, is there something that fails on these cars pretty regularly that I should know about? My short list of cars I'm looking at are Subarus (that have had the head gaskets replaced since apparently they blow), volvos and hondas/acuras. I basically just want a manual transmission that gets at least 25mpg, I'm really not picky about the car as long as it seems reliable. I also don't want parts to be super expensive, or it be really difficult to work on since I want to get more into working on my own car. If anyone has suggestions for what to look for I'd love to hear em.

Josh Wow fucked around with this message at 09:52 on Nov 24, 2009

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Yea I've been looking on Craigslist, but I'm pretty wary of getting another high mileage car. When you get up around 200,000 miles you've gotta replace water pumps and timing belts, and stuff like cv joints and bushings start needing replaced. If I can get my car running again I'm hoping to save up enough so I can get something decent that has under 150,000 or so on it. Also a lot of those you posted were automatics, and I'd rather have a manual both because of personal preference and because you generally tend to get a little better car for your money with a manual. If I can't get my car running or get into something else that I can drive for a few months I'll pretty much be forced to buy a high mileage car, but until I know that's what I have to do for sure I'm gonna hold out for something that'll hopefully last longer and cost me less with repairs.

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Well my car is back on the road. Turns out what was wrong with it is that I got a cv axle replaced about a month ago, and for some reason it held out until this past Saturday when the clip that's supposed to hold it in failed. When my dad came down to check it out he saw what was wrong so we towed it to the shop where the work was originally done and they fixed it for free. Pretty sweet. I'm still looking to buy another car since I don't want to sink $500+ into my current car for the water pump and timing belt to be replaced, but at least now I have more time to save up some money.

Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Anybody have experience with auto auctions? There's one every tuesday one town away and I'm in need of a cheap rear end car so I'm probably going to go to it next week. Just wondering if there's any tips I should know. They have private sellers and have some pretty good looking cars listed.

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Josh Wow
Feb 28, 2005

We need more beer up here!


Kefit posted:



I figure I'll glue it once again, perhaps with an adhesive that is more suitable to the task. But I don't know whether I should reveal this issue to a potential buyer. I wouldn't feel like I'm scamming anyone if I kept quiet since it doesn't affect the drivability of the car in any way, but I could see the buyer getting pretty irritated if it just falls out on them one day. Thoughts?

Clean the area where you'll be reattaching the light and just put it back on using some epoxy. Should last a long drat time this way.

Between this and something else I read in an earlier post you definitely need to realize when you sell a used car, especially a cheap/lovely one, as soon as the person buys the car it is 100% their problem. You should definitely disclose any real issues the car has, but small poo poo like reattaching a light that still works doesn't matter and if something breaks on them even hours after they buy the car from you that is their issue to deal with. You might get a nutjob from craigslist calling you up complaining when something breaks down the line but just ignore them.

The guy I bought my current car from was deathly afraid I was gonna come back to him and complain after I bought the car and he made a big deal about writing down a spiel on the bill of sale about how there's no warranty implied and the car is sold as is and blah blah blah. Thing is it was a 90 Volvo station wagon he was selling for $600 because the brake lights wouldn't work. I knew it was going to have all kinds of problems and poo poo was gonna break, that's what happens when you buy a cheapass used car. I found all kinds of issues with the car he didn't know or didn't tell me about, and it was completely on me to deal with.

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