No matter how much you pamper your car, the harsh reality is that it won’t last forever. Things will eventually go wrong: parts might fall off, the body may begin to rust, or the engine may simply give out due to age.
Soon the costs of repairs and maintenance start inching up into the hundreds-of-dollars realm. And your beloved vehicle isn’t as enjoyable as before. It is at this point that you must decide whether to retire your ride and buy a new car or stick with it until the wheels fall off.
If making this decision is difficult for you, then it is a good thing your reading this article. Here are factors to consider when thinking of repairing or replacing your car
- Identify Repairs Needed: The first thing to do when having car trouble is to figure out what’s wrong. If it is an ongoing problem, you’ll likely already have a reasonable idea of what’s needed and how much it will cost to fix. But if you’re not a gear head, employ the services of a mechanic to take a look under the hood and provide a solid estimate for repairs. If the cost of those repairs is greater than the value of the car, it is the right time to find a replacement.
- Determine If You Can Do The Work Yourself: Many basic car repairs can be done by a non-expert like yourself; all you need are the right parts and a YouTube video for guidance. So if you can determine that the repair requires only minimal skills and a few basic tools, you can save money on both labour costs and the price of a new set of wheels.
- Examine Your Budget: Another crucial factor to consider when making this big decision is your budget. You need to honestly and critically assess your finances. Do you have saved up cash for emergency auto repairs? Do you have plans for major repairs, new car payments, or for the outright cash purchase of a replacement? Having a budget will help you know exactly how much you can spend when it’s time to decide what type of car to buy.
- Can the Repairs Wait? After assessing the repairs needed and getting the costs, talk to your trusted mechanic and ask for an educated estimate of how long he expects the car can be safely driven before it gives up the ghost. The answers you get can have a huge impact on whether to delay purchasing a replacement. However, if you’re not much more than a few weeks away from another major problem, this might be the perfect time for a trade-in, to put it up for sale, or sell it for scrap.
- New or Used Car?: When thinking of replacing your car, make sure you weigh your options properly. While purchasing a new car will give you peace of mind and eliminate the need for repairs anytime soon. Buying a used car could place you back in the repair shop much sooner than you might imagine.
- Make Value-driven decisions: Ensure that your decision is hinged on the value you’re getting for your money. For instance, if repairs are running more than $2,000, you’re likely just throwing money away and should seriously consider parting ways with the vehicle.
Undoubtedly, car repairs are incredibly expensive. This is why it’s crucial to know when to replace your ride. Despite your attachment to your car and how much you’ve invested in taking care of it, sooner or later you’ll have to break up and say goodbye but the trick is knowing what time to do that. The tips outlined above will help make that decision less frustrating.
Auto Heaven is a licensed scrap yard serving Southern Ontario