Okay our Ford Focus is needing a lot of work. Sigh, 70k miles on a 2000 car and more repairs. We couldn't afford to get out of it before, but now we can. Suggeted by two different places, we need to do the water pump, timing belt, probably the clutch, the gas gauge, the radiator fluid. All in all it's getting close to $3k and the car is worth $4-5k.
Now it doesn't need to be done instantaneously, but it will need work in the next year. I'd like to consider dumping this car and instead buying another used car in the $4-5k range. What I'm looking at are 97-98 subaru wagons. We could use the AWD and they are known to be reliable cars.
Now more about the Focus, we have totally redone the car twice. One someone smashed into us, and once DH hit someone else. Even with that we have had to replace the spark plugs, retune/clean the engine because the spark plugs were misfiring @ 30k miles, replace the brakes/rotors at 24k miles (we were told this is not unusual with fords), replace the gas pump, replace the steering column, and the door locks are starting stick as well as the hatch door lock doesn't shut well. Also two rims are bent (DH's fault).
Now I realize we're pretty much rebuilt this car it feels like multiple times, but I just don't understand why it's such a wreck. I have a 99 corolla and all we've done is change the brake pads and rotors once (recently at almost 90k miles), oil change and services. Nothing else. Runs like a dream. I can easily see myself keeping the car for another 10 years.
But what is the potential for keeping the Ford long term? Are we throwing away good money after bad? Should we suck it up and keep the know crap car instead of risking buying someone else's lemon? If we do all these repairs and then the engine or tranny blows (again fords have bad raps), then we really just flushed money down the toilet.
I know this is a case of sunk costs. But before we sink the $$$ into a car we aren't sure is worth it, I need to think about what the possible pros and cons are of doing so.
FWIW, we're not trying to spend money on a new car, hence we're trying to get a car for approximately the same value and mileage. Unfortunately it's 2-3 years older because Subarus are rated as more reliable cars according to consumer reports.
Maybe I'm being stupid and greedy, and I should just stick with our paid for car. We would not finance the car, but it's risky to trade a known evil for potentially an unknown entity. My DH is voting dumping the car because he doesn't like the idea of sinking more money in.
This will be a long debate probably. With guests in town we'll have a lot of time to mull over the different options and examine any deals that may come up.