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CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 22, 2013 08:42AM
My aging (156K miles) 2002 Honda Civic was having 'issues'. AC compressor was fried, brakes were not functioning properly, and the check engine light went on while I was driving it to the repair shop (NOT the dealership).

When all was said and done, the Civic now has a new AC compressor with a 2 year / 24K mile warranty, new front brakes from the calipers on out, a new Evap canister, and a new 'load sensor' circuit in the charging circuitry.

I figure I just made a year's worth of car payments in exchange for 5 more years of driving. And now I have to drive my little civic, and let my eldest son drive the CRV. whine smiley

The only surprise was the discovery that one or more mice had wintered in the car trunk while I wasn't driving it. Moral of story.. don't leave a box of granola bars in your car. Om nom nom nom...
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: May 22, 2013 08:54AM
My 01 Dodge had all sorts of EVAP issues. Drove me up the wall. Something so useless keeping me from getting it inspected. I pretty much replaced the whole system piece by piece over several years.



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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: decay
Date: May 22, 2013 08:56AM
you think the transmission is good for 5 more years with that mileage, cbelt?



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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 22, 2013 09:01AM
That's a lot of money. I wouldn't have paid more than $600 for all of that. I would have bought the brake pads myself and let the Latino gentlemen at their place on International Blvd put 'em on for $90, which includes resurfacing the rotors. I would have bought the Evap Canister/AC Compressor and let my guy Gordon install 'em for about $100 bucks (+ he has the deal that can reveal what the check engine light means).

It would have been done in stages because I would have driven with the check engine light on until it was time to get the car smogged. One of my cars is a '93 Camry that drives like new and looks good too.

If I found myself in Cleveland, I would have driven to an area where there was a collection of "brothas" in their late 20 or so hangin' out and asked them where do they get their cars fixed. Then I would have gone there.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 22, 2013 09:06AM
Standard transmission , pretty much infinite life since I'm very careful with it. The AC was the big issue . I usually do brakes , but I figured , what the hell. The body is sound, engine is good . Little 1.7l Hondas are very tough !

I reasonably expect another 50k miles at least out if it. And blue book is about $4k for that year . It was worth it.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: May 22, 2013 09:08AM
I had an 89 Cavalier with 250,000 miles that I finally got rid of last year because the repairs were getting to high and parts getting harder to find (tires included). As long as cbelt takes care of the car it should last another five years easy. My AC compressor went south a long time ago - I never bothered to fix it - went without AC in the summer.

And my limit on car repairs was $2000 a year. Up until last year I only hit that every other year.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: May 22, 2013 09:09AM
I bought a Honda at 225K miles. I did have to put a tranny in it at 240K. It's at 310K, looks like a car with 31K miles and doing fine. Total cost so far has been less than $5K.

cbelt3 needs a neighborhood cat, that's all.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: May 22, 2013 09:13AM
Plus I replaced the Cavalier with a 2005 Honda Civic LX that my mechanic had for sale at his place - 135,000 miles for $4500. Gas mileage is great and fun to drive. Except the SO "had" to really learn how to drive a clutch smiling smiley Me? been driving standards since college and prefer them.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: May 22, 2013 09:18AM
Quote
Lizabeth
Except the SO "had" to really learn how to drive a clutch smiling smiley Me? been driving standards since college and prefer them.

I'd love to get a manual. But the SO cannot drive one. It's not that she doesn't know how, but she has bad knees and pushing the clutch in and out all the time really aggravates them.



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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 22, 2013 09:38AM
Quote
bazookaman
Quote
Lizabeth
Except the SO "had" to really learn how to drive a clutch smiling smiley Me? been driving standards since college and prefer them.

I'd love to get a manual. But the SO cannot drive one. It's not that she doesn't know how, but she has bad knees and pushing the clutch in and out all the time really aggravates them.

A clutch can kill you, if you have bad knees.
My husband had one car that the clutch was so hard to depress, it was like driving a logging truck. Not good for my knee at all.
The clutch on my Miata is nice and easy, no pain, but they are not all like that.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: decay
Date: May 22, 2013 09:53AM
glad to hear it's a manual, cbelt - makes a lot of difference!

you guys should see our 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL... smiling smiley



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2013 09:54AM by decay.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: michael_s
Date: May 22, 2013 10:03AM
I just bought a 1998 civic for $1500 to use as a daily driver. I replaced a 1995 Accord with 330k that I passed along to my son. It still runs great.

The civic had 148k when i bought it. I've spent about another $1200 on tires, new brakes, new struts on all 4 corners, timing belt, tune-up and other misc. The body is rough with hail damage, but it's averaging about 38 mpg and should require anything but oil changes and gas for the next 30-50k miles.

My commute is about 120 miles a day. I plan on keeping the civic until the wheels fall off. I'll come out way ahead in the long run.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: lost in space
Date: May 22, 2013 10:52AM
If it was me, I'd have done it. The economics make sense to me.



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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: davester
Date: May 22, 2013 11:10AM
We're in that decision zone now. We recently made the decision to drop about $1,500 on my wife's 1999 Mercedes which has 200,000 miles on it (new cat, O2 sensor, coolant pump, heater control motor, full service, all new brakes. I found a great mechanic who bills about half the rate that the Mercedes dealer would charge. When cars get up into that zone it is difficult to determine whether you are making a smart investment since you don't know when a major component (engine, tranny) is going to fail. I spent a lot of time on the Mercedes forums before making this decision. Many members are running 300k miles plus on this model without much difficulty.

What I really like about that car is that it still has the feel of a new car. Previous cars I've owned with that kind of mileage have had worn out, ratty interiors and lots of squeaks and rattles. The Merc still has almost a new car feel. Comfortable, quiet, and looking good.



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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: ADent
Date: May 22, 2013 01:00PM
Quote
cbelt3
I figure I just made a year's worth of car payments in exchange for 5 more years of driving.

What are you buying that is only $160/month?
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Wailer
Date: May 22, 2013 01:08PM
Quote
davester
...
I found a great mechanic who bills about half the rate that the Mercedes dealer would charge. When cars get up into that zone it is difficult to determine whether you are making a smart investment since you don't know when a major component (engine, tranny) is going to fail.

I think any honest mechanic is going to be better than a dealer mechanic and every independent mechanic should be less than half the hourly rate. The service department is the biggest source of profit for most dealerships and they have an inherent conflict of interest in servicing your car. They prey on ignorant and fearful people with deep pockets who seek illusory peace-of-mind while drinking free lattes.

Repairing older cars is all about probability. If my car is otherwise reliable and has a good track record (ie, not a model know for mechanical or electrical problems or rust), it seems worth doing repairs up 25% of the replacement value per year. The "replacement value to me" is the value of the same car with a known history and not the market or blue book value. Even if you only get a 2 more years out of 10-year-old car it, it's probably worth it to fix provided your livelihood doesn't depend on a reliable car. However, there are no guarantees that new car isn't going to have more problems only, in most cases, an increase in the probability that it'll be more reliable.

Frankly, I trust my 15-year-old ES300 more than any car older than 5 years with an unknown history, ie used even if a mechanic checks it out. Blue book is only $4k but its replacement value to me is more like $6k, so I'll repair up to $1500/yr if I feel confident it will go 2 more years. The leather stitching is tearing, the gas cap doesn't flip open anymore and the power windows are slow. However, every month we drive it, we are saving about $400 in depreciation, additional insurance, cost of capital of a ~$25k replacement car (liability only insurance is dirt cheap). Eventually it will need to be replaced or won't pass smog testing without throwing money at it, so I'm casually looking for a quality replacement at a bargain.

A reliable, low maintenance car is the most important factor to me (more than safety), so I'm willing to pay to increase the probability of it being more reliable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2013 01:11PM by Wailer.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 22, 2013 01:11PM
Quote
vision63
That's a lot of money. I wouldn't have paid more than $600 for all of that. I would have bought the brake pads myself and let the Latino gentlemen at their place on International Blvd put 'em on for $90, which includes resurfacing the rotors. I would have bought the Evap Canister/AC Compressor and let my guy Gordon install 'em for about $100 bucks (+ he has the deal that can reveal what the check engine light means).

Let's see here...
AC compressor: $200
Calipers: $80
Pads: $20
Rotors: $40 (generally modern cars need their rotors replaced when pads are replaced, not positive on the civic)
A/C Evaporator: $45
load sensor - overload relay?: $35

That would be tough to get under $600. And those are for the cheapest versions of those parts, maybe cbelt3's aren't bottom barrel. Plus, not everyone has a trustworthy shop that doesn't go by book rate and have an hourly rate over $100/hr. Does Gordon warranty his work for 2/24?

Quote
davester
We're in that decision zone now. We recently made the decision to drop about $1,500 on my wife's 1999 Mercedes which has 200,000 miles on it (new cat, O2 sensor, coolant pump, heater control motor, full service, all new brakes. I found a great mechanic who bills about half the rate that the Mercedes dealer would charge. When cars get up into that zone it is difficult to determine whether you are making a smart investment since you don't know when a major component (engine, tranny) is going to fail. I spent a lot of time on the Mercedes forums before making this decision. Many members are running 300k miles plus on this model without much difficulty.

What I really like about that car is that it still has the feel of a new car. Previous cars I've owned with that kind of mileage have had worn out, ratty interiors and lots of squeaks and rattles. The Merc still has almost a new car feel. Comfortable, quiet, and looking good.

For the engine, get a blackstone report. That's a fair indicator. For the transmission, does the pan have a magnet in it? When the transmission fluid gets changed, is there anything stuck to the magnet? That's another good indicator.

I know a guy who dropped $12k to get a new engine in a 10yr old car because it was cheaper than buying a new one and he ends up with a much better car.




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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: decay
Date: May 22, 2013 01:18PM
A/C work is time consuming; which is why we didn't get it done on our 97 Jeep, and traded it in instead. the Jeep had over 223K on it as well as being a gas guzzler.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2013 01:19PM by decay.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Z
Date: May 22, 2013 01:47PM
$1900 seems a bit steep for the scope of work, but as noted, some of the AC stuff is time consuming. That said, the Civic isn't going to lose any more value and so long as it runs well and isn't going to pieces, repair>>replace.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 22, 2013 02:08PM
Quote
M A V I C
Quote
vision63
That's a lot of money. I wouldn't have paid more than $600 for all of that. I would have bought the brake pads myself and let the Latino gentlemen at their place on International Blvd put 'em on for $90, which includes resurfacing the rotors. I would have bought the Evap Canister/AC Compressor and let my guy Gordon install 'em for about $100 bucks (+ he has the deal that can reveal what the check engine light means).

Let's see here...
AC compressor: $200
Calipers: $80
Pads: $20
Rotors: $40 (generally modern cars need their rotors replaced when pads are replaced, not positive on the civic)
A/C Evaporator: $45
load sensor - overload relay?: $35

That would be tough to get under $600. And those are for the cheapest versions of those parts, maybe cbelt3's aren't bottom barrel. Plus, not everyone has a trustworthy shop that doesn't go by book rate and have an hourly rate over $100/hr. Does Gordon warranty his work for 2/24?

Quote
davester
We're in that decision zone now. We recently made the decision to drop about $1,500 on my wife's 1999 Mercedes which has 200,000 miles on it (new cat, O2 sensor, coolant pump, heater control motor, full service, all new brakes. I found a great mechanic who bills about half the rate that the Mercedes dealer would charge. When cars get up into that zone it is difficult to determine whether you are making a smart investment since you don't know when a major component (engine, tranny) is going to fail. I spent a lot of time on the Mercedes forums before making this decision. Many members are running 300k miles plus on this model without much difficulty.

What I really like about that car is that it still has the feel of a new car. Previous cars I've owned with that kind of mileage have had worn out, ratty interiors and lots of squeaks and rattles. The Merc still has almost a new car feel. Comfortable, quiet, and looking good.

For the engine, get a blackstone report. That's a fair indicator. For the transmission, does the pan have a magnet in it? When the transmission fluid gets changed, is there anything stuck to the magnet? That's another good indicator.

I know a guy who dropped $12k to get a new engine in a 10yr old car because it was cheaper than buying a new one and he ends up with a much better car.

I don't need all of that. They'll turn the rotors that exist on the car. Calipers not an issue. Everything is included in the $90 bucks. No warrantee needed, they know I'll eff 'em up if they don't fix it. Car is old. I can get an AC Compressor for less than that. They'll sell you tires for $35 dollars too.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 22, 2013 02:18PM
The biggest problem that I have with my older cars are things like plastic door handles breaking from age. They sell those parts on eBay fortunately and other stuff you can get from Pick & Pull. I bought a radiator for the Camry online and installed it fairly easily and cheaply. Plastic, weatherstripping, hoses, annoying.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Black
Date: May 22, 2013 03:57PM
Quote
cbelt3
Standard transmission , pretty much infinite life since I'm very careful with it. The AC was the big issue . I usually do brakes , but I figured , what the hell. The body is sound, engine is good . Little 1.7l Hondas are very tough !

I reasonably expect another 50k miles at least out if it. And blue book is about $4k for that year . It was worth it.

I changed my own clutch on my '79 Civic wagon- the only time I ever did that particular repair. Worked fine even without all the bolt heads :-)
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: May 22, 2013 04:27PM
Quote
vision63
I don't need all of that. They'll turn the rotors that exist on the car. Calipers not an issue. Everything is included in the $90 bucks. No warrantee needed, they know I'll eff 'em up if they don't fix it. Car is old. I can get an AC Compressor for less than that. They'll sell you tires for $35 dollars too.

I'm referring to what the OP posted - you started off your reply with "I wouldn't have paid more than $600 for all of that" - were you not talking about what the OP wrote?

What's the wear tolerance on the rotors on your car?




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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 22, 2013 05:47PM
these days, if you have a "top hat" style front rotor, it may cost the same to replace it as it does to turn it, assuming they have enough metal left to turn.

I have several spare rotors for my 3 Buicks (same brake parts on all 3) I turn the rotors in the garage, then swap them out when doing the brakes, then spray down the old rotors with some long term firearms lube, and bag them up if they are still usable. They were made super thick back then so they didn't heat up and warp like the crappy, good for one panic stop rotors they use today. Every serious long hot stop in my Sable fries the rotors. Same with my old Tempos/Topaz.

I spent $2400 on the GF's transmission in her 10 year old Mountaineer at Christmas time. Didn't think twice about it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2013 05:59PM by Racer X.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 22, 2013 05:54PM
Quote
ADent
Quote
cbelt3
I figure I just made a year's worth of car payments in exchange for 5 more years of driving.

What are you buying that is only $160/month?

Hahaha, I was thinking the same thing. The total is like three months car payments for me.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 22, 2013 07:22PM
Quote
Racer X
They were made super thick back then so they didn't heat up and warp like the crappy, good for one panic stop rotors they use today. Every serious long hot stop in my Sable fries the rotors. Same with my old Tempos/Topaz.

This^



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: vision63
Date: May 22, 2013 07:39PM
Quote
M A V I C
Quote
vision63
I don't need all of that. They'll turn the rotors that exist on the car. Calipers not an issue. Everything is included in the $90 bucks. No warrantee needed, they know I'll eff 'em up if they don't fix it. Car is old. I can get an AC Compressor for less than that. They'll sell you tires for $35 dollars too.

I'm referring to what the OP posted - you started off your reply with "I wouldn't have paid more than $600 for all of that" - were you not talking about what the OP wrote?

What's the wear tolerance on the rotors on your car?

I had a civic for a number of years. I don't think he needed all of that. But it's not my car. I'm only concerned with what the car needs to run well without being jacked for too much money.

As far as the wear tolerance of my rotors, I'll get new rotors when they tell me I need them. If so, they're cheap too. My sister and mother make up for what I don't pay for car maintenance. I don't drive nearly as much as they do. Just for shopping and moving equipment. The bus, train and my bikes are preferable. My '93 Camry only has about 90 thousand miles on it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/22/2013 07:43PM by vision63.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: Octave Doctor
Date: May 22, 2013 09:54PM
A guy I know spent close to $2000.00 putting another engine in his rusted out '80's Chevy Citation (another Ohio car). Why'd he do that when he has other cars? He told me it was because it was such a good car for towing the boat trailer covered with plywood he uses to haul furniture.

I guess Ma and Pa Kettle sold franchises.
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Re: CarTalk: Just dropped $1,900 in repairs on an 11 year old car.
Posted by: microchip
Date: May 23, 2013 11:49AM
Makes perfect sense to me! Keep it on the road.
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