Opnions welcome - Car trouble woes.

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by dmangler, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    Hey all,

    I have been asking around my circle of friends for their opinions and might at get yours as well.

    My 2009 Subaru Forrester w/ 165k miles on it need some major repairs. (right after I just spend $1000 getting all the wheel bearing replaced of course)

    It needs a new head gasket, timing belt & water pump. I have been quoted from a couple places but the lowest was $2300.00
    There are also some other things that need fixed as well but are not pertinent to keeping the car running, for example my AC is broken.

    So, it leaks oil from the head gasket, not at a alarming rate, but enough that I have to keep a close eye on it.
    Also, it shudders/wants to stall when sitting idle on any sort of incline.

    So I figure I have a couple options here.

    1. Keep a eye on the oil and run it as is until shes dead.
    2. Bite the bullet and pay for the repairs. I was told that I could I could potentially run it to 300k miles after these repairs.
    3. Sell it and my 95 Chevy Silverado and get something else, however this would involve car payments which suck.

    What do you think? Are there other options available that I'm not thinking of?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Chevrolet4x4s

    Chevrolet4x4s Guide

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    Is the head gasket only leaking oil? You may be able to snug the bolts up a little(very little). Are you at 160k miles on the timing belt or has it been replaced in the past? Is the water pump leaking or making a noise?? Have you had your fuel pump replaced? Is it an automatic or a standard transmission?

    Do not get rid of that Silverado, a new engine for it is under $2000 and has a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty straight from the GM Dealer
    http://vi.raptor.ebaydesc.com/ws/eB...ategory=33615&pm=1&ds=0&t=1523466970000&ver=0
    Hopefully it is a 5 speed truck because the 95 automatics were a 1 year only transmission.
    Shane
     
  3. Red Wing

    Red Wing Guide

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    Well its leaking out and not in the engine so that's a huge plus.

    Water pumps aren't bad from what I've heard as far as replacements.

    With the timing belt, did it jump and slip off driving?

    I'd say fix it and keep a second truck and no car payments. Sounds crappy but it would be worth it to me.
     
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  4. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    Yes its only leaking oil, I cant really get at it, it has one of those Baxter motors that go sideways & I'm not real mechanically inclined to boot. The timing belt/water pump just make sense to replace since they have to tear the whole front end off anyway. And no, nothing has been replaced, its all original.

    As far as the truck goes, that thing is bomb proof. I have put a little money into that as well, but its a great truck. Runs great, rusty as all get out.
     
  5. Red Wing

    Red Wing Guide

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    "I would fix it. The reason you do water pumo timing belt and all that at the same time is because your there so do it while your in there. I would think a 2009 forester is worth doing especially with the wheel bearings just being done. I also believe thats an engine out service so thats why its a little more than normal."

    Per my car buddy. Additionally,

    "He can also try a product called blue devil that helps restore head gaskets basiclly plugs the holes in the head gasket....

    But in general if he has the money i would repair that engine those are great cars and beats having a car payment"
     
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  6. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    :) This is the general direction I have been leaning. I need to get a few more quotes first though.
     
  7. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I would fix it too. Car payments suck.
     
  8. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Axe'aholic Hobbyist Bushcraft Friend

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    This^
     
  9. Kelly W

    Kelly W Love the Axe Supporter

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    my Scooby has been leaking from the left side head gasket for about 80k miles now. I check my fluids regularly and keep on trucking.
     
  10. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Fix her right up 2-3 thousand is nothing in the grand scheme of things today. I bought my 2004 Outback used in 2010 with 68K ,swapped even for my 2003 F-150 2WD pick em up truck so no money or loans out of my pocket and immediately did the Head gasket, timing, rotors and exhaust since to the tune of about $2,800 total. Now at 143K
    and good for another no payment 100K, only issues is 2 deaf front radio speakers and minor rear fender well rust from Maine winter road salt which I will eventually fiber glass patch.
     
  11. cbrianroll

    cbrianroll Professional Tinkerer

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    Do not let the belt break!! I believe that's an interference motor and you will bend valves and other bad things. a guy I know spent 5000 at dealer for New motor. may be an option? I'd fix it subs run forever when treated nicely
     
  12. quietmike

    quietmike Hardwoodsman Supporter

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    $3,000 is about six months of car payments.

    Fix the water pump/timing belt. Oil leak is either some type of stop leak or the repair.

    Haven't had a car payment in 20 years, so I might be biased.
     
  13. aaronu

    aaronu Armchair Bushcrafter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Speaking for myself we always have one new or new-ish vehicle for my wife to drive. The rest of them, I don't care much. At the moment that means vehicles from 1991, 2005, 2005 and 2012. My wife's SUV is one of the 2005's and is up for replacement. We are looking at new mid-size SUV's (Durango, Explorer) or lease return Tahoe or Yukons. I like cars, so two of our vehicles are not what you would call practical. The older rig is a 1991 Chevy 4x4 that refuses to stop running.

    It really depends on your financial outlook and how much you ego you have wrapped up in your car. Think of it like this. Some folks lease. Some trade in at 100,000 miles. Them folks break in engines and work out all the bugs for the rest of us. You just have to get a car that was treated right. Since you already own the car you know how it's been treated. And you know best whether cars just get you from A to B and just need to be functional and reliable or if driving a new, cool car is worth spending $$$ or having a fat car payment.

    In your case, you already said car payments suck so that's a clue. :)

    If you like the car then by all means fix it up and drive it. Maybe even do the A/C or fix up a few little things if you would like to keep it long term. That would definitely be the fiscally responsible decision. The even more fiscally responsible choice would be to keep whichever of the two vehicles is most useful and ditch the other. I mean, if you are considering getting rid of the Chevy just to help pay for something new, how different is that from selling the Chevy to pay for the repairs on the Subaru? Or vice-versa (keep the Chevy and sell the Subaru)?

    If you decide not to keep it, price it out and see if you can sell it yourself. You'll do better that way than using it as a trade-in.
     
  14. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    You need to ask yourself if the car is worth $2500.00 to you., and will it last long enough before the next problem to justify it. In some cases yes, in others no. I keep my wife in a newish, good car. I myself have an '88 F150. It has a few problems, but nothing I can't deal with. None of us, or anyone else can really help you with your decision. Possibly a nice used vehicle? Car payments do suck, but so does being stranded. joe
     
  15. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    Thanks for all the input. I am calling around to get some more quote before I go one way or the other. I really don't want to buy another car, I think if it came down to it I would just drive my old truck but I have a commute to work every day and those miles will start to stack up against the ole girl plus it isn't the best for gas mileage, I bought it because I got tired of it smelling like dead critters during hunting season and a truck was something we just flat out needed. Like you guys said, my wife also has the nicer car & I don't really care what I'm driving as long as its reliable.
     
  16. Chevrolet4x4s

    Chevrolet4x4s Guide

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    I would not put a stop leak into the engine, I would definitely get the timing belt replaced it is a ticking time bomb with that many miles.
     
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  17. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    with that many miles on her she is living on borrowed time as to the timing belt

    you have exceded the belt's recommended replacement interval and as stated above this is an interfearance engine which will self destruct if the belt breaks :-O

    'buru's will easily live to 300k if properly maintained which you have neglected

    $2300 isn't too much when you amortize it over the past 165k( 1.4¢/mile)

    $1k isn't too much to have spent on bearings and that only bumps your expenses up to 2¢/mile

    maintenance expenses are commonly less than new car payments

    if the body and interior are still acceptable for daily use paying for the repairs would be your least expensive avenue IMHO
     
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  18. southron

    southron Scout

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    DIY on new timing belts / water pumps is a royal pain.

    The older pickup, look at a crate motor and drop in something that suits, fix the mechanics to correct and replace any hoses etc.

    If it's auto transmission, consider saving for dropping in a manual when the auto dies.

    Modern automatic transmissions fall into the pain to repair.

    The problem isn't so much the parts cost, but the amount of other removal and replace to reach them, plus getting everything back adjusted and in time, etc.

    Nephew just dropped a inline 6 into a 88 chevy LWB with a granny low manual on the floor. THe inline he rebuilt himself and the whole swap after the rebuild was less than a day out in one of the family barns.

    It moved cattle for him and other family all weekend, and pulled the hay from one of the family hay fields.

    They did use the spike on my tractor and his Mom's to put it up from the wagon, but the truck did the rest.

    The truck belonged to an uncle and he gave $200 for it, The engine he rebuilt cost under 500 bucks, mostly for parts and then maybe 500 more to get everything together. I gave him a pair of mud grips for the rear and he put the best two tires on the front for now and kept the other two on junk yard rims as spares.

    ETA: rough estimated MPG is hovering around 18 with mostly local / farm use on that truck. Top speed probably 50 - 60 mph with the low geared work transmission. Might do better with a different gearing, but then it wouldn't work for him. Being a Farm truck it has Farm plates and he can use it on the farm expenses / depreciation so that helps with lower farm taxes this and next few years.
     
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  19. Roamer

    Roamer Guide

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    I would prioritize things. Do the timing belt first (you're WAY overdue for that). Then take a wait & see approach on the oil leak. Oil leaks are common in Subies of this era, sadly. So you may not need to worry about it. But I would do a compression test and/or leakdown test on the motor, as a health assessment.
     
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  20. Chevrolet4x4s

    Chevrolet4x4s Guide

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    2010
    Engine Assembly
    Subaru Forester 2.5 SOHC SEE STEVE 57,000 miles $1750 Brickyard Imported Cars USA-IN(Brooklyn) 1-317-831-2627

    2010
    Engine Assembly
    Subaru Forester 69,000 miles $2000 Wilkins Auto Parts USA-IL(Chicago-Heights) 708-980-2638

    2010
    Engine Assembly
    Subaru Forester 2.5 70,871 miles $2250 Diamond Auto Parts USA-WI(Fond-duLac) 1-888-236-7731

    Have you thought about a lower mileage engine?
     
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  21. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    No, I haven't. I wouldn't know what to do with the thing, I would still have to pay someone to have it installed.
     
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  22. southron

    southron Scout

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    A lot of new engines need the timing belt / head / valve covers etc removed to replace the water pump, if you put a new belt on and the water pump is bad you will have to double your expense to get the pump later if that is the case.

    This happened when timing was fine, but water pump was bad on daughters dodge stratus. (hate that car, the cooling system is backwards and ya have to bleed it to keep the water flowing, which was what ended up with the pump failing.) Modern design leaves lots to be desired.

    I still say every car made the engineers, each one on any team, gets a set of back yard mechanic tools and has to fully disassemble them and re assemble them with no special expensive equipment unless they purchase it out of their own pocket. A lot of cars would be designed differently if the engineers had skin in the game that way.
     
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  23. slysir

    slysir Guide

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    I've been in the same boat. Depending on the vehicle, sometimes I fixed sometimes I bailed. It all depends on how much you like the vehicle and have confidence that not much else big is going to need work.

    Car payments or repairs...no one drives for free!! :rolleyes:

    -John
     
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  24. Ragman

    Ragman Supporter Supporter

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    My vote is to do all repairs.
    That timing belt is due.
     
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  25. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    I know the feels. We just had to choose to send a car off to charity. Catastrophic engine failure and replacement cost is more than the car value.
     
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  26. DarrylM

    DarrylM Supporter Supporter

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    And those pencil necks must wear sausage finger gloves and fatsuit to increase their arm diameter. And do it in blowing snow, failing light, after the last parts store closes and go to work before 6 in the morning. A ride to work is acceptable but must get back on the wrenching right away after work.
     
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  27. Toytech

    Toytech Tracker

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    I dont know what the used market in your area is like but could you upgrade to a lower mileage few year newer forester for a reasonable amount ? You could drive your forester with the leak for now ,save up and then sell it off (someone will buy it even with the leak , lots of backyard subi guys do headgaskets ) pay the difference and get a different forester with less miles .
     
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  28. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    It's already been mentioned that your overdue for the timing belt and water pump. Also it's been mentioned that used replacement engines often need or should have timing belt and sometimes head gasket. Yes this is true and my nephew just found this out himself. While your there just replace the water pump head gaskets and even the thermostat can be a bear to replace on some vehicles. It's saves money to do it at one shot.

    Bottom line is to do it right and repair and maintain it instead of blowing coin on car payments.
     
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  29. pb0201

    pb0201 Tracker

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    Easy fix.keep it.get yourself a torque wrench and some mm sockets and go to Subaru forums you will find all you need right there!!! Good luck!!
     
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  30. americanstrat98

    americanstrat98 Wanderer Supporter

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    Since it's a Boxer is a horizontal engine and you have a head gasket leak, I'd just repair that one head gasket. You have two on opposing sides. Since the motor will most likely be pulled, putting the timing belt on, and the water pump should be cake. Timing belt and water pump should be $450-500. Don't ask me about the head gasket. I do my own wrenching so I usually just pull the motor, put it on a stand and get to work. The AC can be a real easy DIY repair. Especially since the AC, Power steering, and Altinator rest atop the motor.

    There could be some erosion in the head if it is leaking badly, but you don't know till you are inside. As far as sputtering, check coil wires, plugs, pcv valve, fuel filter, Mass airflow sensor, 02 sensor, to name a few.



    $2000 seems pretty steep for a gasket replacement, unless they are doing both heads, honing the cylinders, checking head alignments, and installing all new bearings. Then that would make since. However from a "I don't wrench" standpoint, that isn't bad at all. Drive your truck, and let them fix your ride. Once it is finished keep the oil changed regularly.

    My advise is to pick up a Chilton manual, and learn to wrench. It is extremely easy to wrench with proper tools, and very gratifying. Just changed the timing belt, pump, trans / engine oil and it only cost $230 for all the parts, and $8 for Guinness.
     
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  31. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    Well, I called around to about 10 different shops. A few wont even touch it because of the boxer motor, but I got a appointment scheduled for tomorrow morning. Quotes ranged from $2200 - $4500. The dealership turned out to be the cheapest, which was surprising.
    Although learning to do it myself sounds appealing, I don't have the time to learn or the tools to do it properly so Ill let the experts handle it and spend the $$.
    Thank you for all the input!
     
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  32. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    I thought I'd offer what little I can. I just bought a 2000 Forrester. Currently 320,000 km. Mild oil leak , tie rods, cv boots. All need attention. Tie rod and cv first. Despite that it runs like a top. I don't know if your motor is similar. But this car was abused and still going just fine. I think your on the right track fixing it. Good luck.
    Cheers Jim
     
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  33. drobs

    drobs Scout

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    Cheaper than a car payment.

    Never owned a Subaru but if I did I'd expect to have to replace a head gasket if I planned to own it long term. It's a given.
     
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  34. oldpinecricker

    oldpinecricker Supporter Supporter

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    If it's leaking around the head it will need gasket and they will almost surely have to have them milled after that many miles before putting together with gasket.

    Those Subarus are a PITA to work on as as most vehicles. Unless your absolutely competent as a mechanic dealing with cams, timing belts, timing, and cyl head repairs is a no go. It's best to let someone who's in the know deal with this. It's insanity to attempt it yourself and I speak from experiance from doing the exact same job on my V6 Nissan Pathfinder. It just wasn't worth my time and frustration doing it myself.
     
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  35. pb0201

    pb0201 Tracker

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    Unless the motor got so hot as to warp the heads" check with straight edge and feeler gauges" just pull the radiator,hang the ac out of the way" don't disconnect"take off alt and power steering .get a new timing belt kit and water pump to replace the old ones a head gasket kit they sell a couple diff ones I always opt for the " thicker" ones.by thicker it just means more squish to them than stock ones.it is easy to do with the engine in the car. Absolutely NO NEED to pull the motor.job for about $300 in parts,less if you shop online!! I have done MANY!!
     
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  36. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    I agree with the “learn to wrench” concept. I just did $1500.00 worth of work ( independent shop quote) on my Tundra for $300.00. The Steering rack started leaking and was rusted out under the passengers side bushing mount. Checked autozone and they wanted $450.00 for a rack.. Amazon $226.00 delivered and while I had the rack out replace tie rod ends and sway bar links and bushings. Week before replaced front brakes shop wanted $400.00 for pads and rotors ... Amazon new upgraded calipers ( had the first gen calipers), slotted rotors and pads $250.00 delivered and a couple hours to install.
     
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  37. dmangler

    dmangler Supporter Supporter

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    I did the breaks myself awhile back. That was a accomplishment for me. Taking the motor apart is beyond my abality level, it would sit in my garage and probably take me weeks to figure it out. Its at the dealership now getting wrenched on, in the mean time they gave me a sweet 2018 Impreza to drive around ;)
     
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  38. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

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    Ya man! Impreza are the tuner car of choice around here it seems. There's a few around here that are a blur when they pass. Since its a loaner, I'd put some miles on those tires. If it were me!;)
    Cheers Jim
     
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  39. Lichen

    Lichen Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Sometimes a vehicle reaches the point to where it just nickels and dimes you to death. I was going to suggest a Toyota but it sounds like you're already having it repaired.
     
  40. nymtber

    nymtber Scout

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    That Subaru 2.5L timing belt engine is KNOWN for head gasket leaks, lucky after about 2003, it was mostly oil leak, they rarely leaked coolant before oil, meaning you change them when they leak oil, and nothing is usually harmed. While the engine is apart, it just makes sense to have timing belt, tensioner and water pump replaced, since it's all right there for the mechanic. Letting a SUBARU dealer do it is good, otherwise a subaru specialty mechanic is the only other way to go. I believe the replacement gaskets are of better design than the originals.

    I had a 2007 Impreza wagon with 96k miles that had the headgaskets and timing belt replaced under (extended) warranty. Probably should have drove that car into the ground, but traded it in while it was worth a good chunk of change, and now have a '16 Crosstrek with warranty till 2023... I live alone with one vehicle, reliability is #1 for me.

    As long as the rest of the mechanics are solid, I think you made the right choice. I pay $259/month for my Crosstrek (Trade in and $10k down helped that) so your costs are not even a year of payments!!! If you get even 2 more years out of it, you're ahead.
     
  41. mjh

    mjh Supporter Supporter

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    Got rid of my forester at close to 180k, 16+ years, needed 3rd head gasket other repairs, burning oil, break assemblies and other under carriage rust issues coming due, I know 3 to 5 k in soon to be repairs still less than new car payment s, but 16 years hard driven, money saved for a healthy down payment, and I traded it in, yea monthly car payment is what it is but I'll hold on to the wrangler for 10 plus years...

    Tough .Call . Do you want the car payment of not?? What other repairs a soon down the road?
     

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