Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Should I get my 92 Saturn SL2 fixed? Brakes, Rotors, Struts...?

I have had my 92 Saturn SL2 since 2003. I bought it from a small dealership in California (I live in Michigan now). It said 152,000 miles on it but the dealer said a newer engine was put in it to pass the smog test (I never found out how many miles were on the newer engine, plus, the mileage stopped working at 172,000 miles).

Today the mechanic said I need brake pads and rotors ($170 parts/labor) and struts ($210-$280 parts/labor). SHOULD I GET THIS DONE?

I've already gotten so much fixed such as radiator, timing chain, tie rod, alternator, battery, serpentine belt, etc, over the years.

I also have an oil leak under the car - they showed it to me during the oil change (I'm not worried about this repair yet). The car idles high sometimes. Sometimes I have to %26quot;rev%26quot; the gas for it to start, and sometimes in neutral it makes the %26quot;put put%26quot; sound like it might cut off.

If I don't get repairs, then I would just drive the car AS-IS for a few more months.Should I get my 92 Saturn SL2 fixed? Brakes, Rotors, Struts...?
Well brakes are a matter of safety and struts are a matter of comfort and handling. I've always tried to get safety fixes done right away.

You need to have a mechanic that you trust go through the car and prioritize a list of repairs that the car needs and what the consequences of deferring each repair is.

New cars means a car loan so it's actually a fair bit of maintenance before a new car makes sense. If you set aside the money that you would spend on a car loan each month, you'll soon find enough money there to repair your car and have a tidy sum for emergencies. It's a good idea to develop the discipline to set money aside, some banks allow for subaccounts so that you can create virtual accounts within your account and effectively tag your money for various purposes.

If you tally up all the repairs that you've done and divide it by the number of months that you've had the car and that average is higher than a new car payment then you're probably better off with a new car. You could get really fancy and plot the monthly expenditures on a graph and fit a straight line or an exponential line to it in order to estimate future repair costs.

If you do want a new car, those Chrysler dealerships are desperate to unload stock in TX cause a state law prohibits them from selling new vehicles once they loose their franchise but they've already paid for their new stock. They basically have to sell everything they have in the next week or they won't be able to sell at all.Should I get my 92 Saturn SL2 fixed? Brakes, Rotors, Struts...?
Get a new car.. stop letting that be your money's quicksand. You can find a much better car for a decent amount of money. All used cars have problems... but stop throwing your money away! I just had to let go of my crappy old Taurus that was my money's quicksand. Sucks... and now i've gotten myself in a whole nother can of worms... but oh well. I at least know my car is going to safely get my from point A to point B!Should I get my 92 Saturn SL2 fixed? Brakes, Rotors, Struts...?
You are at that fine point where new car payments and insurance may be worth the peace of mind. Ford, GM, and Hyundai have payment rescue plans in case you lose your job, so I'd shop there. If you don't like to shop for a car, and are a AAA member, they have a really good auto buying program you should check out.
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