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Motors Keep or Replace?

Discussion in 'General' started by boiled_elephant, 2 Feb 2021.

  1. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    I guess this can be a general thread for these situations, if there are enough of them on the forum. I suspect it happens all the time. Here's mine.

    My car's an '07 Astra 1.4 petrol, on about 50k miles now. It's physically tidy and no major problems other than what I've inadvertently caused. I ran it a fair number of miles (had no choice) with a failed crankshaft position sensor, which seems to have caused further issues down the line: it now has a rattly cam follower, and blew a timing chain prematurely, which I had repaired. It also had a pre-existing oil leak around the head gasket, and oil going into the coolant.

    See where this is going? If you do a head service/replacement you solve all three problems at once. New cams and followers, new gaskets and seals.

    This costs about £1k or so. Question is, would it be better to do that or to put the money towards another second-hand car? (Buying new is out of the question, and my budget for a car will never be more than about £2k.) You can't buy a vehicle in as good condition as this for £1k; nor can you buy a significantly better vehicle for £2k. But if I knew what I was doing, perhaps I could save money in the long run by sidegrading into a more reliable £2k vehicle. I don't know.
     
  2. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Multimodder

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    If it were mine and I were doing the work myself I'd keep it.
    A quick google (assuming Z14XEP engine) and a cam kit can be had for £245, a skim if needed would be around £100, new gaskets and head bolts budget around £75, so all in with fluids and replacing a few bits that'll get broken when I loose my temper with it it'd be around the £500 mark, and take a weekend to do (1 day strip and skim, 1 day rebuild).

    If I was going into it knowing it'd cost £1k, I'd drive it as is until it blew up and then replace it.
     
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  3. Spanky

    Spanky Minimodder

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    Im gonna agree with the above. You seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place here. Me ,personally no , i would not sink a grand into that Astra, though i once owed a 55 plate 1.6SXI and it was a great car .. had a rattle on the cam aswell when it was cold .. prob because i thrash the damn thing everywhere , only ever had a water pump go wrong in 3 years.

    For 2k what are you going to get? Not much , im sure there are plenty of cars out there for that , but how much will they need spending on after youve bought it .. could be said for any car i suppose.

    Id go with run it into the ground , spend as little as poss to keep it legal and the wheels turning. If you know eventually you need a new one .. and you will then id prob keep that 2k and build on it as long as needed.
     
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  4. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    I would say keep it, if everything else is OK with it. You're dealing with a known quantity and not gambling on another older car. One of my customers does up and sells cars and he's trying to stick to '08 and a bit older as there are fewer electronic items to cause grief, and you can still work on them without too much laptop action. /2p
     
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  5. blackerthanblack

    blackerthanblack Minimodder

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    I guess it may depend on how many miles you are adding to it - 50k miles is not much at all, and I've probably done less than a thousand since last March.

    If you're only doing a few miles I'd be tempted to keep running it as it is until you can comfortably sort it. If you're doing lots of mileage, probably sort it sooner rather than later.

    Having said that, I've run a few cars with leaks and niggles for ages, as long as you have some mechanical sympathy it's amazing how long they can carry on.
     
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  6. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    50k on a car is nothing. Seem wasteful to just bin cause you didn't do the upkeep when you should've. Do some research and then fix it yourself. You save half the money while learning some stuff.
     
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  7. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    I'd fix it up TBH. Better the devil you know...

    If you buy another car it's likely to cost more and you won't know the full condition of the car (and you may have to spend more money to repair it). In the current market second hand cars are more expensive then they used to be - so there's less choice at that part of the market.
     
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  8. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Yep fix it and keep it if a) you like it well enough and b) you won't need something different to suit an impending need (e.g. estate for children)

    Even just doing a service and a pair of tyres on a replacement car would see you well on your way to the equivalent cost of sorting the current one.
     
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  9. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    50k is very little and yeah unless there's a specific reason you'd want a new car I'd suggest keeping, even if you didn't do the things yourself and paid for it all. I only upgraded my 03 corsa last year after it hit over 100k not just because each year things were starting to go wrong but also wanting something a little bigger/nicer to drive over long distances (I mean of course if I could have predicted the way 2020 would go maybe I would have just rented one..... :D)
     
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  10. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    I'd go for fix it, too. Better the devil you know, it's good to repair things yourself if you can, and even if you get someone else to do it, keeping the car going is probably better for the planet than chucking it away, too.
     
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  11. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    Thank you for all the input! Sorry for being a likes whore but you're all just making such good points.

    It's tidy other than the internal stuff, my mechanic's eyes lit up because it had steel wheels (not alloys) and had no rust on it, and as mentioned above, not many electronics gizmos to go wrong. I guess I'll keep plodding on for a while longer, see how things progress. The anxiety, of course, is doing the £1k repair and then having something else pop on it shortly after - but then that's a valid concern for any second-hand vehicle. You can listen and inspect but you can't really predict when the next thing will pop.

    This one's curse was that it was underused by the previous owner, so it's in good nick but some stuff has degraded in the specific ways they do when left to stand a lot and only used cold on short journeys.

    The big reason to sidegrade away from it, for me, would be if Astras were known to be particularly unreliable or expensive to maintain, and if there was some other second-hand model that'd be much more reliable or cheap to maintain.
     
  12. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Multimodder

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    I've had three, all 1.6's, 2 blew their head-gaskets, I'm a slow learner.
    But all 3 were used hard and long, and the 2 that went pop didn't give me any other grief after I'd fixed them, they're common cars so parts are cheap and plentiful.
     
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  13. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    Vauxhall stuff is pretty easy to source parts for, and if my old Corsa is anything to go by, fairly easy to work on. I say go for it.
     
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  14. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    No they're fairly average - fairly reliable without being bomb proof. Parts should be relatively plentiful and cheap - so it shouldn't cost too much to keep running.
     
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  15. blackerthanblack

    blackerthanblack Minimodder

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    Have to agree with this, every car will have things that will go wrong more often over time. For the money you were quoting to buy another car, you would be looking at something with much more mileage, so much greater chance of something wearing out sooner.
     
  16. slimithy

    slimithy What's a Dremel?

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    Yeah I thought that. Then I bought a diesel GTC, and all of a sudden all spare parts were twice the price, and almost no aftermarket major parts. But, it depends on the range.
    I love Vauxhall though (pre Peugeot buyout), their diesel engines really are rock solid.
     
  17. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Minimodder

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    Has this conundrum myself recently
    I have a 2001 BMW 325Ti Compact which I love.
    Needed pretty much the entire rear end suspension, handbrake, discs, pads, drums etc replacing as well as a diff repair and both front control arms.
    Autoscan in Swansea (Reputable BMW fixer upper) quoted me £1600 so was seriously considering scrapping it.
    Then looked at what I could get for that money and decided to go with the repairs as I knew the car so well and it is pretty solid all round.
    I then replaced the water pump, thermostat, hoses and upgraded the cooling fan from a clutch based one to an electronic and she's like new again.....until the next time!
     
  18. ElThomsono

    ElThomsono Multimodder

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    Wise choice, it's a rare beast with the 2.5 straight six, miles better than any of the other options it came with.
     
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  19. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Also a 325Ti owner - mine is cosmetically hideous, but just about everything underneath is new now save the rear arm bushes.

    Does exactly what I want - practical hatchback, but with a proper engine that sounds great, manual gearbox, RWD silly slippy about handling. I have a bike for going fast, so this just has to make a good noise and let me go to the tip.
     
  20. bollywilly5

    bollywilly5 What's a Dremel?

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    save some money, sell your old car and buy a second hand car of a better condition
     

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