Where's the tipping point: Dump $$$ into a car vs. Dump the car? - Page 2
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    1. #26
      Join Date
      Sep 28th, 2006
      Wilmywood NC
      If your wife still enjoys the car, I'd fix those couple issues and keep the car. The only problems you know for certain are the door lock module and the a/c. That one year old battery very well could be bad.. the suspension is likely still good for another couple years, and at some point during even 100% problem free ownership, you'd need tires and brakes.

    2. #27
      I'd personally just fix the issues and drive it until the wheels fall off. As you admit the car is basically worthless at this point anyway. The 2.5l is a very stout motor and my 2.5l currently has 154k miles on it. I have done brakes, rear springs (they broke), and transmission flushes. Otherwise the car has been bulletproof.

      Unfortunately for me these repairs have all come while I am still making payments due to the high mileage I drive for work but it still hasn't broken the bank.

      My opinion is fix what needs to be fixed. If your wife isn't inconvenienced by the A/C, heat shield, and locks then don't let it bother you. Start taking the money you would be spending on a monthly payment and put it in a separate account to cover repairs and save for a downpayment on the next car.

    3. #28
      Member KingUnderpants's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 8th, 2004
      Ontario, Canada


      As the owner of a car on death's door (Acura CSX), I can say your problems sound very minor and worth fixing. Once you're burning oil and people are scared of driving in your wife's car... then you should re-evaluate.

    4. #29
      Member madrussian's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 29th, 2003
      Akron, OH
      am i the only one who doesnt understand how brakes, tires and shocks are un-scheduled maintenance items?

      you do realize that at higher mileage you replace things like that as well as timing belts, water pumps, tranny fluid, etc.

      as others have said, i think you're just looking for an excuse to dump the car. the issues you described are far from the point where they justify dumping the car for the issues you stated. now if you said you were dumping it just because you hate it, thats a different dialogue.

      also, how the hell do you bend steelies?

    5. #30
      Senior Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 5th, 2004
      Southern Indiana
      Quote Originally Posted by PiSSAT4motion View Post
      If your wife still enjoys the car, I'd fix those couple issues and keep the car. The only problems you know for certain are the door lock module and the a/c. That one year old battery very well could be bad.. the suspension is likely still good for another couple years, and at some point during even 100% problem free ownership, you'd need tires and brakes.
      Indeed. I should've mentioned that in my post. I've seen a few batteries fail at a couple of weeks old and many after a year. Some are slightly defective from the factory and fail after a few (or quite a few) heat cycles. Alternators generally last several times longer than batteries, but of course there are exceptions to that as well.

      Food for thought: In one extreme case I've seen a bad battery, starter and alternator. A bad battery can take out an alternator or a starter (it usually melts the solder in the windings), a bad alternator can boil off a good battery (by overcharging) and kill it and a bad starter can cook a battery. I have no idea as to which started the cascade failure, but they were all gone.
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
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    6. #31
      Join Date
      Sep 20th, 2013
      Cle Ohio
      Tipping point is when it will take more in parts / labor vs what you can just go out and buy for that money.

      I just ditched my truck because would need 3 stage cat. Full suspension redo and some body work paint. When I can buy one fully done up even a bagged one with 70k for 8k or nice used examples needing nothing for 4 5k

    7. #32
      Quote Originally Posted by madrussian View Post
      also, how the hell do you bend steelies?
      The wheels are black alloys with chrome plastic trim rings/covers

    8. #33
      Member Mike!'s Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 17th, 2002
      Ontario & Ohio
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      Add in non-scheduled maintenance (new tires and brakes will be needed soon, new struts/shocks not long after), plus a couple of newly slightly bent rims, and the value proposition is starting to favor a new car.


      It's always a struggle pinpointing this decision, to repair + maintain an old car vs. trade it in for new. Money "wizards" insist it's better to maintain a paid-for car than borrow $$$ to buy something new, though they never take into account the time and inconvenience of repairs + bumming rides to/from repair shops.

      TCL, how do you make this decision, and what would you advise in this case?
      Spending an additional... let's call it $10,000... to get a new car with new tires, new brakes, and new shocks doesn't make financial sense, if those items are only, say, $2,000 or so for the old car. You're effectively paying the maintenance you would have paid anyway, plus the difference extra, which then will generally depreciate away over the next few years. The old car would depreciate too, but likely at a slower rate.

      You buy a new car if you want to, if it suits your needs better, if its running costs are lower, or if financing it allows you to free up cash for some other more effective purpose. It probably doesn't make financial sense (unless you have, say, a $6,000 Porsche that needs an $15,000 engine rebuild).

      New VWs are still well-discounted, and dealerships are more than happy to unload a Beetle (what the wife still wants) from their inventories. OTOH the wife "loves" her car, it's paid for, it's not particularly "old," and its Tornado Red / Beige color combo makes it a unicorn.
      This is where the decision to keep it should become clear.

    9. #34
      Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 17th, 2005
      Ontario, Canada
      A 60,000 miles 5 year old car is not anywhere near a point where i'd consider dumping it.

      Hell, i've BOUGHT cars as dailies that were 10+ years old and maintained them until they were 20 years old before finally cutting the cord.

      This is just maintenance, the fact that it's paid off is a bonus.
      Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
      yes, i am bored by FWD driving dynamics, and anyone who doesn't drive there cars to the limits and the beyond.

    10. #35
      Member adrew's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 14th, 2003
      For me, it's if it's in the shop more than a couple times a year (due to inconvenience, getting rides, etc.) or if it has two repairs that, together, start getting close to a year of car payments (like two $1000+ repairs).
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    11. #36
      Member Cabin Pics's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 19th, 2008
      In The Woods
      This will go well.

      If you have it in your mind that you want it gone, that's what you're going to do. Car payments aren't cheap, repairs aren't either. But even if you spend $1,000 this year repairing the car, that's only a couple months worth of payments if you buy something else. I'd keep it.
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    12. #37
      Member g-man_ae's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 20th, 2001
      Twickenham AL · USA
      Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
      Fix and keep driving. Any other decision is purely based on emotion.
      I don't make this decision lightly - if I did, I would've already made it without a TCL post, do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

      I'm leaning towards this as well. I agree it seems silly to dump a car of this age and mileage. My concern was whether or not any/all of this is a sign of a money pit about to open - in which case, better to trade it in now while it still has some value.

      The Missus is 50/50. She loves her car but has no opposition to a replacement. So "emotion" isn't much of a factor.

      Quote Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
      The wheels are black alloys with chrome plastic trim rings/covers
      This, and she cut the corner of our driveway too close, going off the curb on the passenger side (where both rims are bent)

      Whatever happened to the TCL meme about women and kitchens?

      Last edited by g-man_ae; 03-27-2017 at 10:52 AM.
      "Upgrade with OEM Parts" -- Roger Moore and SVTWEB, you are missed

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
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    13. #38
      The taxes on a new car purchase would be more than repairs.

      If you buy brand new, the first mile would be at least three times the cost of all repairs including all new shocks. New car will loose 3k as soon as you sign for it.

      So between taxes, tags, docking fee, and new car depreciation your looking at beyond 4000$

    14. #39
      Member Accidental L8 apex's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 26th, 2008
      Podunk, Ohio
      Financially, you're not even close to the tipping point, but running away from VW is usually the smart answer.
      Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain

    15. #40
      Quote Originally Posted by Fe2O3 View Post
      I favor keeping the car in cases where you do all or nearly all of your own maintenance and repairs. If you're paying shops to do everything, add that to the fact it's a VW, then I'd dump that thing yesterday
      This. Where are you getting the latch for $300 from? Genuine VW from dealers I checked have it as low as $120 and list is $170. Same latch in all Mk7 and B7 too, so if there are any in a junkyard, most sell them for $5-10. Those door panels are a lot easier to remove than anything from the 90s and earlier that used individual screws and clips all the way around the entire door panel. I'd consider all the issues relatively minor and simple repairs.

    16. #41
      Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 4th, 2003
      West Coast, not that west coast. Bay area, not that bay area.
      You're nowhere near the point of needing to dump it on a financial basis. The depreciation of a new car (and the sales tax as someone else mentioned) greatly outweigh the cost of repairs at this point. And 60k on a car like this is probably less than 1/2 way to the point where costly repairs will be needed.

      On the other hand, if you are tired of looking at the car. Want something new, shiny and with more up to date tech, then spend the money and buy a new car. But from a financial standpoint, this isn't the time yet.

    17. #42
      Member TooFitToQuit's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 5th, 2003
      A dealership
      Quote Originally Posted by Nicefeet View Post
      It sounds like you need to just trade both VW's in at a Toyota dealer.

    18. #43
      Member Dirty Hatch's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jun 15th, 2006
      At least get an estimate on how much it will cost to fix the current issues with the car before dumping the car.

      As for tires, suspension and Tires, it will probably cost you between $2000 - $2500 for a shop to do it. I did that to my Wife's Civic last year and it cost me around $1200, but I changed the struts, shocks and brakes myself.

      At 60K, you probably wont have to worry about the suspension for another 20-30K. You can easily check how much brake pad life you have left by removing the wheel.

      Personally, I would keep the car, until something major goes wrong with the car, or if weird stuff starts breaking on the car, unless you have the money to buy a new car.

    19. #44
      Member BostonB6's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 16th, 2005
      Boston, MA
      To OP: Honestly, if you dump this car, you should seriously consider leasing the next one. 3 years and you're done. Minimal unexpected costs.
      RIP BostonMk4
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    20. #45
      Join Date
      Mar 7th, 2010
      Phoenix, AZ
      It seems to me, that both you and your wife don't really love the car. In this case I would sell it/trade it. I've always done it with cars, that I didn't love, and I've never regretted it. Just be smart with the money part, and everything will be ok.

    21. #46
      Join Date
      Sep 20th, 2013
      Cle Ohio
      Think I've gotten the pic here now. So it's a vw out of warranty and you don't already own a vagcom and your not willing / able to do all the work yourself? If this is the case then yes it could become a costly vehicle.

    22. #47
      A beautiful Summer's Eve Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 28th, 2009
      Corner of salt water and vinegar
      My cause for dumping cars (aside from I just want something else):

      Recurring issues that money or time gets wasted on
      Annual repairs start to get close to annual car payment amounts
      Lack of confidence for longer trips
      Sharing the car with someone who can't handle the quirks or who could accidentally kill it
      Looming big ticket repairs based on the car (my E39 for example...right at the mileage and age for cats, timing chain guides, VANOS units and a clutch, repairs that far exceed the value of the car)

      Based on how I dump cars, I'd only get rid of the Beetle if I just wanted something else. If I liked it well enough, I'd just fix it and keep it.
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      Brendan told me to get the best discount, I had to send dick pics. I thought this was standard car buying practice.
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    23. #48
      Member cockerpunk's Avatar
      Join Date
      May 17th, 2010
      Twin Cities MN

      you fix the door
      you change the alternator
      you re mount the heat shield

      thats a solid evening or twos worth of work, and your willing to dump the car over it? a car she likes and is free?

      Quote Originally Posted by VigorousZX View Post
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    24. #49
      Welcome to consumerist auto ownership.

      It's all in what YOU want. If you want a trouble free vehicle without trips to shops, then either lease new or get on a purchase cycle to meet your needs. This will mean you can afford less car for your money.

      If you want more car for your money, you have to pretty much put a dollar figure to what your time and patience is worth. You also have to do the math on the long term major repairs and the probability of them happening and see what the break even point is.

      Brakes and tires are not reasons to dump a car. Neither is a weak a/c.

      A reason to dump a car is imminent VANOS failure, twin turbo failure, automatic transmission failure.

      Most of what you say above is total typical for nearly any car at some point. And maintenance is maintenance.

    25. #50
      Member BetterByDesign's Avatar
      Join Date
      Sep 7th, 2004
      morgan hill, ca
      Quote Originally Posted by Accidental L8 apex View Post
      Financially, you're not even close to the tipping point, but running away from VW is usually the smart answer.
      He is considering running away from VW only to run to another VW (new).

      People that like to run from maintainance and repairs I usually recommend consider leasing.

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