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Nissan Repair/Worth it.


QUESTION: How does one determine whether it is better to get a newer car or to keep putting money into repairing the old one? I have a 2000 Mitsubishe Mirage with almost 120,000 miles on it, and my mechanic forecasts that I will need to spend $250 or so on it at some point in the future, which by itself doesn't bother me, but he says much of the bottom of everything is rusted so I am guessing he is saying anything could go wrong, and maybe it is hard to determine the cost in the long run to keep it going. He keeps hinting that he doesn't want me to throw money away at it if I don't need to. I'd like to keep it as long as possible because I use it for work, and I really can't afford to get another car. I'd like to have a good $10,000 extra in my savings beforehand, and putting the rest on loan if I were to get a new car. But how can I determine whether or not the current benefit exceeds the costs?

ANSWER: Hi James -

This is a question often asked, and the answer differs. First of all the best way to do this is to take an assessment of the current condition. Obviously I can't be there to do this, although I would be happy to. But it is a best guess on how long the vehicle would last, taking into account body condition, engine components, interior, etc.

Keep track of what you spend on the car. A once in a while $500 fix is totally worth not getting a new car as the $500 would probably be the momnthly payment. But if you are spending a good amount of money on a monthly basis, after 2 or 3 months, a new car would be a serious consideration.

From what it seems like here, I would definitely hold off on going the the dealership just yet. Believe me, you will know when ou are ready -

Hope this helps -

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok, but for good measures I think it best I stay informed on the prices of new or like new cars out there and what features they have. I could probably come up with a long list of things I would want a car I purchase to have, and although I might not be able to find a car in my budget that has all of those things I was wondering if there is a datebase one could use to find cars by every conceivable detail of it?

Hi James -

I do not believe there is such a website, however, if you go to a BMW or MBenz dealership and ask for a new car selection catalog, they will list all options. The high end cars usually have all the bells and whistles.

The latest Mercedes even alarms you when you are falling asleep at the wheel. Don't know how it knows, but that's the latest.

Hope this helps -

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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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