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Thread: When To Stop Putting Money Into Your Car?

  1. #1
    n00b
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    Default When To Stop Putting Money Into Your Car?

    I think I've hit this point and I've only had my car a month. I'm not sure how much longer she will last. Her interior and engine are good, but the rest of her seems to be falling apart. And fast! I've spent $400+ in this past month to fix the rusted power steering fluid leak, which included the return line, some newer used tires, an oil change (had a coupon for $15....couldn't beat that!) and I still need to get my idler and Pittman arms fixed, possibly some new brakes, an oil pan to stop mine from leaking and EGR stuff. I paid $1,300 for her. 1995 GS with 70,025 miles as of today. Her age seems to be really playing against her because a lot of things need to be replaced and now, when I turn, there's a very loud creaking noise she makes. Any slight movement in the steering wheel causes the noise and you can hear it with the radio on as well. I'm a broke college student and I couldn't address some of this stuff earlier because I didn't have the money and still really don't, so I think she actually got worse. I've been thinking of not putting anymore money in her and ride out the summer as is, but I'm not sure if she can even do that now, at least not safely without stuff breaking. Some people are telling me I should sell her ASAP to save some money, but even that doesn't sound feasible and if I get $1000 for her, I still can only buy another "junk" car, so to speak.. What do any of you think? There's another post on here by me with pics of her and underneath her body.

  2. #2
    Vinyl Cheese, Meat Pasty SVT98t's Avatar
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    You have to take an educated chance.
    Say you fix the current issues. It could run for quite some time without having any problems and save you money in the long run.
    But what's to say all that will fix it. It may not. Then you're out money and have a broken car.
    I'd drive the piss out of it and save your money. These do last a while if you take care of them. My 93 has 216k and I drive it daily, up the road in Buffalo, NY. It's quite solid as well.
    I don't know what your mechanical abilites are, but we do (for some odd resason) have a ton of members from Ohio and the Cleveland area. If any of them could help you out repairing your ride, that would be hugely beneficial. If you do go that route, rockauto.com is your friend. Lowest price on everything. They sponser our site and even have 5% discount code in available under the "Online Vendors" thread.
    Doing work yourself saves you TONS of money, and you (should) gain a better understanding of your vehicle.
    If you do sell it, you just wasted more money on tax, title, registration, inspection, etc. At least get your moneys worth out of it.
    Just my two cents.

    -ryan s.
    08 Lincoln Navigator L - 177k
    03 Mercury Marauder- 61k
    97 Ford Crown Victoria HPP "Tank of Justice III" (TOJ3) - 193k -->578.9 miles on ONE tank of gas<--
    73 VW Super Beetle "Bunky" <----- Wifey's
    Quote Originally Posted by pantera77 View Post
    Well my buddy tells him he knows exactly who loves buying shitboxes.

  3. #3
    Member fmansfield444's Avatar
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    I would think that the majority of your $400+ was the tires? If so that's routine and any car new or old uses up tires.

    Idler/Pittman arm should be no more than $50 from rockauto if ya do it yourself (very easy).

    I'm always for keeping an old car around and running over buying new. Nickel and dime parts are cheaper than a car payment. Just my opinion.
    1985 LTD Crown Victoria - Currently restoring after she caught fire! CFI to SEFI to Carb swap, all custom wiring, Duraspark 2 ignition, Motorcraft 2100 Carb, slicktop, Shorty headers dumped before rear axle, 140 Speedo, 3G alt, And currently building an engine for her.

    2000 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series - 165XXX, PI intake swap , 30 MPG Easy on the Highway, All options except dual exhaust. Currently looking for 2 front seats: Heated, Memory, and Light Graphite color!!

  4. #4
    Vinyl Cheese, Meat Pasty SVT98t's Avatar
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    My idler arm was $11 through RA.

    -ryan s.
    08 Lincoln Navigator L - 177k
    03 Mercury Marauder- 61k
    97 Ford Crown Victoria HPP "Tank of Justice III" (TOJ3) - 193k -->578.9 miles on ONE tank of gas<--
    73 VW Super Beetle "Bunky" <----- Wifey's
    Quote Originally Posted by pantera77 View Post
    Well my buddy tells him he knows exactly who loves buying shitboxes.

  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Some of us have not been wise enough to ever reach that point. I used to tell people I was into my car for about 10 grand, but its probably more like 15 now, and thats just a guess. I don't add up the receipts, its too depressing. I just drive it.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  6. #6
    not embarrassed on a scooter 85crownHPP's Avatar
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    Those noises you hear could very likely be cured once you replace those front end parts... These are generally good cars, once you take care of the pressing issues it may be fine. This is a gamble you take with any used car though. You could have the windows quit, the intake blow up if its not all or partially aluminum, the axle seals could start leaking...
    But again, any used car could have needs of similar cost (or worse) spring up. If you like the car otherwise, I'd stick with it.

  7. #7
    Domestic Tourist Lincolnmania's Avatar
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    if its got tits or tires it's bound to give you trouble

    old cars need maintenance

    new cars need payments and higher insurance premiums and maintenance

    1986 lincoln towncar signature series. 5.0 HO with thumper performance ported e7 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, warm air intake, 65mm throttle body, 1/2" intake spacer, ported intakes, 3.73 rear with trac lock, 98-02 front brake conversion, 92-97 rear disc conversion, 1" rear swaybar, 1 3/16" front swaybar, 16" wheels and tires, loud ass stereo system, badass cb, best time to date 15.94 at 87 mph. lots of mods in the works 221.8 rwhp 278 rwt
    2006 Lincoln Town Car Signature. Stock for now
    1989 Ford F-250 4x4 much much more to come, sefi converted so far.
    1986 Toyota pickup with LSC wheels and 225/60/16 tires.
    2008 Hyundai Elantra future Revcon toad
    1987 TriBurner and 1986 Alaska stokers keeping me warm. (and some pesky oil heat)

    please be patient, rebuilding an empire!


  8. #8
    I post a lot...
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    These are reliable cars, even consumers reported then a reliable. As everyone said, any car will cost you money. If you do not need a car, sell her and save your money and concentrate on a degree. If you really need a car then you probably have something decent, based on these being cars that are made to last. Luck still comes in to it no matter what the brand or model.
    "X" car 89 Colony Park LS Mods>Engine delete, SS duals magnaflow hflow cats, 2010 Must GT mufflers, auto air shocks, Posi, Tran cooler, big front brakes, 03+ rear disks, Large 3g alt, Tripminder, GS grill, 86 seats, 16" HPP wheels, winter boots=96 Cartier wheels, 215-65/16 Goodyear ULTRA GW3 snows, pi rear sway, alum driveshaft.
    03 Marauder DBP, HS, 6disk, Organizer, Silver Stars, M&Z rear control arms, Oil deflector.
    02 SL500 Silver Arrow
    08 TC Signature Limited, HID's Mods>235/55-17 Z rated Cooper Zeon RS3-A, Addco 1" rear Sway, Posi, Compustar Remote Start, floor liners, trunk organizer, Winter=05 Mustang GT rims, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R-2 235/55-17

  9. #9
    Member BigT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lincolnmania View Post
    if its got tits or tires it's bound to give you trouble

    old cars need maintenance

    new cars need payments and higher insurance premiums and maintenance
    This!

    When I shell out $400 buck for tires, I think that's only one payment on a new car. I don't count up my receipts either because it costs money to have vehicles. Any vehicles. In the long run I go months (maybe years) without a major parts purchase. So that whole time I'm not paying car payments, I'm saving. Then when it's time for a big purchase, it doesn't hurt so much.

    You can put me in the catagory of keeping the old car as long as I can...!




    I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.
    George Burns

  10. #10
    I once owned a box panther... BuffaloRider's Avatar
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    Never. Or I guess I would say only when the price to fix it is more than the price of buying it new the year it was released.

    It can be especially frustrating to buy an older car that hasn't been maintained as well as it could have, because then you have to catch up on the maintenance and fix everything that needs fixed first, but once you get it all taken care of it'll start paying for itself... I hope...


  11. #11
    Presidential Ride L1011tristar17's Avatar
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    I like to categorize repairs for these older cars as either being urgent or something that can wait for later. New tires would definitely be something important, but I'm also not going to shell out money to replace the door lock actuators or new headliner until I have money to spare. It wouldn't be any good for me to have a car with new goodies sit in my driveway needing a $1200 transmission rebuild.

    1989 Lincoln Town Car 249k miles, current project car
    2018 Toyota Tacoma bone stock, daily driver

  12. #12

    Default

    It just depends on what you can afford and are you willing to.

    I've been driving my 1996 CV LX daily for seven years now. I bought a new car (2012) this springs in anticipation of replacing it but as strange as it sounds, I'd rather drive the Vic (or maybe that isn't strange at all). I've actually been thinking of selling the new car...

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