Metric for when it's time to move on

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So for a long time people would refuse to put into a car a repair that was equal to the value of the car. One could argue that it should have been the cost of replacing the car, but whatever: for most, once repair cost = car value -> time to move on.

I took a quick look at trade-in and my '11 Camry is $2,400 give or take in fair condition. I think I could hit that this year in work. But some of that is deferred maintenance. Should I count that as part of this year's cost? Motor mounts, struts, tires, rear brakes (to R&R the dust shields and parking cables is a grand alone and not something I can do). Tires and struts are normal wear items I know, but I managed to time it all to be worn out at the same time, which was part of my plan, but my plan didn't include a pandemic and its impact on the car supply.

I realize dropping 2-3 grand into this car and getting another year is economically sound... I just need to be reminded. :)
 
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Tough call in normal times. But easier in today's times. If you take your car's worth on the market, add in what it will cost to repair it, and you might get $5000 or $6000. You won't find anything better than what you have at that price; it will be worse or much worse than what you already have.
 
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Supton, You may want to add also what a new or different car acquisition costs might be.....sales tax, additional personal property tax (high value = higher tax), insurance (full coverage vs liability only), operating cost differences (will new car cost the same to drive per mile vs existing car?), lastly license transfer cost if any.
 
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If the maintenance and repairs have already been deferred, can they be deferred one more year? Betting so if that's all the longer you're thinking of keeping it. Or is there a single "must do now" item that can be done without getting so deep on the rest?
 
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Maintenance costs ≠ repair costs

If someone uses the cost of oil changes, new tires, a new battery, etc in order to justify buying a new (to them) car, they just want a new car. That replacement car will need oil changes, new tires, a new battery, and so on as well one day too.
 
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So for a long time people would refuse to put into a car a repair that was equal to the value of the car. One could argue that it should have been the cost of replacing the car, but whatever: for most, once repair cost = car value -> time to move on.

I took a quick look at trade-in and my '11 Camry is $2,400 give or take in fair condition. I think I could hit that this year in work. But some of that is deferred maintenance. Should I count that as part of this year's cost? Motor mounts, struts, tires, rear brakes (to R&R the dust shields and parking cables is a grand alone and not something I can do). Tires and struts are normal wear items I know, but I managed to time it all to be worn out at the same time, which was part of my plan, but my plan didn't include a pandemic and its impact on the car supply.

I realize dropping 2-3 grand into this car and getting another year is economically sound... I just need to be reminded. :)
Or maybe consider the must-do items, like tires or rear brakes. What another poster said above is spot on, about what are you going to replace it with? Besides, some is deferred maintenance not unexpected major repairs.

If these mechanical repairs mean it can go another 2-4 years, I'd say do it. A Camry is a reliable platform. If rust is silently threatening everything, well...may be time to reconsider.
 
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supton

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If the maintenance and repairs have already been deferred, can they be deferred one more year? Betting so if that's all the longer you're thinking of keeping it. Or is there a single "must do now" item that can be done without getting so deep on the rest?
So I have until Nov to do the struts. Starting to leak and was told I should wait until spring (which is now). I'm pretty sure they are toast as I have a boat ride and I think it may be bottoming out on the highway on some of the heaves. I might be able to run the summer on the tires, then slip on the snows so as to finish them off, the a/s are getting to the 4/32 spot where I usually take off.

The parking brake gives me pause. That has to be working in order to pass inspection in Nov. Technically they might be working, just not releasing. I'm guessing the cables might come out without too much cost?

So... not really.

I could just wait until this fall to do anything. That's an option.

Maintenance costs ≠ repair costs

If someone uses the cost of oil changes, new tires, a new battery, etc in order to justify buying a new (to them) car, they just want a new car. That replacement car will need oil changes, new tires, a new battery, and so on as well one day too.
Yeah that's why I'm trying to figure out if I should include struts & tires into any decision. To me, struts are a repair item, tires are a wear item.

If I delay buying a new car this year the question will come back next. IMO this car has about 2 years max left with me, gauging by the rust I will send it down the road in less than 2 years.
 
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236 K.....almost 20K per year....owned (and cared for) since new? It sounds like general dependability isn't a concern.

One complication is that some of the math is "trade it now vs. drive it for 2 more full years" because new struts + brakes won't increase the trade in value one penny.
Maybe dividing the repair costs by 24 yields a number which helps clarify the picture.

Where's the rust? I liked the "black bottom" rust repairs we saw in years past. Hmm....maybe more on pickups.
I assume the $1.000 rear brake price tag is due to rust adding to the repair time.
 
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Understanding what I'm going to say is hard to measure - it worth factoring how you think the purchase price on the next one is going to change X months/years in the future depending on when you can defer purchase until based on the situation we are in, and what the value of something new without a breakdown is worth today if that is a concern.
 

supton

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236 K.....almost 20K per year....owned (and cared for) since new? It sounds like general dependability isn't a concern.
More like 25k/year, wife stopped driving it when we got her the new car. My WFH is finally changing back into 2-3 days back in office so it'll go back to 25k/year I think.

Dependability is a concern. I mean, I can keep my '99 Camry as a backup but still, I really don't want something circling a garage.

Wouldn't say it was taken care of, oil changes and tires when needed. Occasional wash and vac. Didn't need much else. Didn't expect to keep past 10 years anyhow.

Where's the rust?
Cars rust from the bottom up. Paint looks passable but you get underneath and it's starting to spread. I patched a hole that was hiding behind the wheel liner and FF behind the liner on both sides, but once rust starts, it tends to go exponentially. There's patches of rust breaking out on the floor boards now, cosmetic of course but all the same, it's spreading.

The garage I go to has already said to start watching what I spend on this car.

*

I don't care about trade-in value, well not much. I bought the car to run into the ground. 10 years and 200k. I've beat that goal. It owes me nothing. I don't want to just give it away... but I could and I wouldn't feel bad. What would make me feel bad is if I dropped $3k into work this spring, followed by another $1k on whatever breaks next over the summer, only to give it away this fall when the next thing breaks. I don't want to go down the path that you sometimes see on CL, where a car being sold has all sorts of repairs--the owner hit the straw that broke the camel's back.
 
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What's your budget for a replacement?
You are on the fence right now, and your mechanic has indicated it's probably time to do what you are doing, think hard about your next move.
So take your budget and see what you might get for what you are willing to spend for a replacement, and then decide. If there is nothing that trips your trigger, spend what you need to spend to get another year or two out of the 11 Camry.
 

Nick1994

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New car prices are blown up a bit, but if you spend $3k now on this one instead of $3k extra on a new car, is it really that big of a difference?

I think you're at a good point to sell this one before you sink stuff into it while it has some value.

Maybe if @Hermann decides against his Maverick he can sell you the reservation :sneaky:
 

supton

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What's your budget for a replacement?
Haven't gotten that far yet. I hadn't budgeted for a car replacement this year, so if I were to do something, I'd have to make it fit into said budget. Hadn't budgeted this much money for repairs either but I do sit on money for this reason.
 
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I change vehicles when they hit 100K +- and they are usually 10 + years old. I don't do car troubles.
 
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To me, struts are a repair item
Yeah, I kinda agree. I do see people that believe shocks and/or struts "only last 75k miles" and they have to be changed, so they believe they are wear items. I'm confident those folks are the minority though and normal people only change them when they leak or bounce too much, etc, etc, so yeah, that's a "repair".
 
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So for a long time people would refuse to put into a car a repair that was equal to the value of the car. One could argue that it should have been the cost of replacing the car, but whatever: for most, once repair cost = car value -> time to move on.

I took a quick look at trade-in and my '11 Camry is $2,400 give or take in fair condition. I think I could hit that this year in work. But some of that is deferred maintenance. Should I count that as part of this year's cost? Motor mounts, struts, tires, rear brakes (to R&R the dust shields and parking cables is a grand alone and not something I can do). Tires and struts are normal wear items I know, but I managed to time it all to be worn out at the same time, which was part of my plan, but my plan didn't include a pandemic and its impact on the car supply.

I realize dropping 2-3 grand into this car and getting another year is economically sound... I just need to be reminded. :)
Definitely. I always thought it was stupid to dump a car if repairs were equal to its value, especially if those repairs are just normal wear items (which they are in your case). If the engine and transmission is still sound and it's not a rusty tetanus hazard then fix it up and enjoy many more years of service.

Even before the pandemic messed up the market, if you needed $2k in work done and the vehicle value was only $2k, what're you going to do, dump it for $1500 (which is all you'd get if you were honest about it needing work) and buy another junker for $1500 that you haven't maintained yourself in 150k miles? Often times fixing the car you know is better than swapping it for a car you don't.
 
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Yeah, I kinda agree. I do see people that believe shocks and/or struts "only last 75k miles" and they have to be changed, so they believe they are wear items. I'm confident those folks are the minority though and normal people only change them when they leak or bounce too much, etc, etc, so yeah, that's a "repair".
It really depends how bad the roads are where you live. Up here in Massachusetts they're pretty much shot after 75k, but so are things like ball joints and control arm bushings. If you live down south where the roads are nice and smooth and there's a lot of highway driving then you can definitely get 150-200k out of them.
 
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