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Old 05-19-2017, 06:18 AM   #11
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I have always had three cars for my wife and I. It reduces the stress when one of them craps out and I need to get it fixed (with kids and no public transportation....you HAVE to have transportation). I have become pretty good at fixing my own cars because the shops will rip you off BUT new car depreciation will really kill you. Get all 3 cars running, even if you have to have a pro do it. Drive those three cars until they rust in half or they are 15 years old and something super major happens (engine catches fire or transmission fails completely) Then buy a 2 yr old car and keep it forever. I have always figured an amortization cost of about $1000 a year when trying to decide if a repair is worth it or not. So if fixing your Subaru for $1800 nets you 2 more years of use then by all means do it. BTW, youtube is full of videos that detail whatever fix you need to do on your car. Sometimes it feels overwhelming to rip into a car and fix it but after you do it (with the aid of the video) you realize "that wasnt bad". Recent example: I had never done AC work on a car and was tempted to pay a shop to fix the AC on my old Grand Prix but I watched a couple of videos and after spending $85 in parts off of EBAY I replaced my condensor and drier in a couple of hours. It was super easy. The shop wanted $1100! Other than our house, we have been debt free for 20 years and I attest it to the fact we havent been blowing cash on new cars. Buy and Hold....it works in a lot of things money related (women, real estate, stocks).
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fourpaw View Post
Apparently you shouldn't use anything besides OEM for crank sensors. Car won't run right now with the Chinese knock-offs, hence why I am waiting for the OEM one.

By the way, we are a single income household with two kiddos, always have been...so finances can be pretty tight at times.
Fair enough, and a good point; sometimes it pays to go with oem parts. In this case, since they're back ordered, I'd still suggest a trip to the junkyard (or eBay where someone has probably already pulled and tested it for you - just be sure they're offering a working oem version obviously). If you're a car guy the occasional trek thru the pick-n-pull is a fun, often productive outing.

And one income two kids is tough. Did that as a regional FO for many years after 9/11. Develops character
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:33 PM   #13
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If you're getting strapped for time by lifestyle, then newer cars are better. Agree with don't pay the new car depreciation, but a 3-5 year old car from carmax will last a long time if you avoid niche brands which are trouble-prone.

RA and other generic parts vendors are a huge crapshoot. I get on the forums for any car I own, and get the gouge on parts there. I typically get parts from the dealer or a REPUTABLE brand specialty house. More than worth it for the reliability... I like to plan my wrenching, and not have it plan me. In some cases on older cars the dealers have migrated to re-branded aftermarket crap (RA crap at dealer prices), but the forums can help you identify the best source for major parts.

If you're going to drive beaters (or land rovers ), yeah you need at least three cars for two drivers.
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:57 PM   #14
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trade in the Jeep and the Subaru (or sell them) and get a reliable used car e.g. Honda or Toyota. Jeeps are crap when it comes to reliability.
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:17 PM   #15
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Find a reputable shop to take care of your head gasket issue, and press on.

You're saving cash for a new (used) car, right?

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Old 05-19-2017, 09:32 PM   #16
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We went to one car and haven't looked back.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:12 AM   #17
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All my cars are used. But I have tools, a lift in my hangar and a buddy who is a mechanic. Most are uninsured unless I need them. The ones I insure are between $25 to $60 per month.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:36 AM   #18
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We would definitely not buy a new car.

While I can put 12-15k on a used car right now, I don't want to because it will eat into our 6 month cash reserve, i.e. Savings.

One option I've considered is a loan but paying it off over the course of one year instead of five. I've been making extra payments on my house. I could switch to the car instead.

Either way...I found the OEM Mopar sensors on eBay. They cost substantially more but are factory parts.

I can't stand taking the cars into mechanics. I feel we get screwed every time, hence why I have learned how to do all my own work. I am capable of doing the head gaskets myself but the real issue comes down to time with my current upgrade. It would take a shop probably 3-5 days to complete with sending the heads off. It will take me probably 2-3 weeks doing it part time. I have all the tools just not the time. Cheapest quote I could find was $1800 with no valve job on the heads. For me to do it, it would cost around $500.

I went to a dealer and test drove a car and got a quote for $1200 trade in value on my Subaru! I know private party is higher but with leaking head gaskets I don't know...

Thanks for all the great replies.
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:39 AM   #19
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For those of y'all considering similar options, I halve found this cool little website that accurately compares price of car with repairs vs cost of car note over the course of a 5 year ownership.

Fix-it or Trade-it Calculator | ATRA
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:30 PM   #20
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single income household with two kiddos
Well on your side with only one car payment, teach her to drive it or sell/trade it.
My wife wants a new (used) car as well, I tell her the bigger the stack the nicer your car will be, shes OK with it and completely understands. We have three cars and all paid for, the house is also paid for. To quote James Brown.. IT FEELS GOOD!!

Side note> If your thinking about a newer car (under 30K miles) the money guys are all saying that three years ago leases went crazy and cars are now coming off those leases in the thousands. Used car prices are already seeing a lot of downward pressure.
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