The “Car Talk” guys say that as long as the wheels haven’t fallen off and the body isn’t total rust, keep it going.
Things I take into account (that haven’t been mentioned):
Would it be cheaper to just buy the same car instead of getting it repaired? This is really hard to figure though. The state says my car is worth less than $250. I’ve seen people selling similar ones for that up to $1000. But my car is worth well over $1000 since I know what condition it is in, and so on. So a $500 repair that will not have to be redone for many years is a no brainer. A $2000 one would make me go to plan B.
Getting parts. I can still get parts, but some have to be ordered and take days to arrive. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to know what will need to be replaced and order ahead, then make arrangements with my mechanic ahead of time (he calls when he has a free slot) so the repairs are cheap.
How much am I willing to pay per year to keep this thing going? I figure anything under $500 a year is a win. And I beat that by a large margin almost all the time.
I see this ads for car leases in the $300-$400 per month range and wonder what is going thru those people’s heads. But 2 late model used cars, if one needs to go into the shop, drive the other.