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Old 05-18-2017, 05:27 AM   #1
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Default Continuing to fix car or replace

Good Morning APC,

My financial question comes in regards to my vehicle situation.

I have three cars. One newer Mazda with a small loan ~7k and a small monthly payment. The car is a stick and I'm the only one who drive it because my wife can't. It has been almost trouble free over the three years of ownership *knocks on wood."

Car two and three are my wife's. Both are older and made sense at the time but have recurring maintenance issues. I am fairly skilled at working on the cars and have managed 98% of all repairs myself with the maybe once per year outsourcing.

Recently a couple of major issues have come up with both of my wife's cars. One being a sensor on my Jeep that is on back-order from the dealer and now the car is dead in the water until it comes in.
Next is my Subaru...I have been fighting a head gasket issue since I bought it. I have literally done everything to this car. This is about an $1800 job. Early model Subaru's have terrible head gaskets.

SO....long story short. With my current upgrade, IE back to a crappy schedule, I am nervous about fulfilling my duties as car mechanic when I will be back on reserve elsewhere's (for now obviously).

Our cash on hand situation could support a newer car but as someone who follows Ramsey ideology pretty closely, I just won't do it. She wants a car note on a newer car. I am strictly opposed to having two car notes.

Any outside perspective on this issue? I wanted my Mazda to be the last car payment we ever have. We otherwise live a debt free lifestyle and want to keep it that way.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:36 AM   #2
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She wants a car note on a newer car. I am strictly opposed to having two car notes.
This has nothing to do with cars.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:56 AM   #3
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Spend one hour teaching her to drive a stick. It just isn't that difficult (unless you live in SFO I suppose). Go to the junkyard or rockauto.com and get a sensor for the jeep that is now your airport car. Sell the pos Subaru and pay down the Mazda note. Get her to buy into a zero debt lifestyle somehow, someway. Once the debt is gone and you can swing a nicer car for her with cash the jeep can be traded for her mostly status-based car desires and you get the Mazda back.

Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:01 AM   #4
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Spend one hour teaching her to drive a stick. It just isn't that difficult (unless you live in SFO I suppose). Go to the junkyard or rockauto.com and get a sensor for the jeep that is now your airport car. Sell the pos Subaru and pay down the Mazda note. Get her to buy into a zero debt lifestyle somehow, someway. Once the debt is gone and you can swing a nicer car for her with cash the jeep can be traded for her mostly status-based car desires and you get the Mazda back.

Good luck.

I live off of Rock Auto, 99% of the time they are they best deal in town. This whole issue with the Jeep began with replacing an old sensor with a Rock Auto sensor. 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.

She is very into the debt free lifestyle, just need to understand the concept of depreciation when it comes to cars. By the way, we are a single income household with two kiddos, always have been...so finances can be pretty tight at times.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:33 AM   #5
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Learned many years ago that Rock Auto is not the place to get quality parts. First time the new part from them failed I thought it was an anomaly. Gave it another try and the same thing happened. Never again. Fool me once kind of thing.

After that I figure it's worth the extra $$ to go for a more reputable part. It's not all about the money differential. Like many others, I'm busy with work, kids, and life. It really chaps my rear end to have to do the same job twice just so I could save 20 bucks. All the sweating and busted knuckles saved is worth it to me.

Same goes for Amazon with regard to parts. Been burned there multiple times. Buy from someone who's name is on the part and therefore has a reputation to uphold.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:40 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by swaayze View Post
Spend one hour teaching her to drive a stick. It just isn't that difficult (unless you live in SFO I suppose). Go to the junkyard or rockauto.com and get a sensor for the jeep that is now your airport car. Sell the pos Subaru and pay down the Mazda note. Get her to buy into a zero debt lifestyle somehow, someway. Once the debt is gone and you can swing a nicer car for her with cash the jeep can be traded for her mostly status-based car desires and you get the Mazda back.

Good luck.
Everything he said
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:09 AM   #7
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Good advice on this thread.

I will add, ...sounds like you are good with cars.

Watch this YouTube vid. This guy does a Subaru head gasket change in his front yard. Now you have an excuse to the wife to purchase more tools to save more money
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PLdz-lXnQA

If the Jeep is drive able as is, would help in juggling repairs until you get caught up.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:38 AM   #8
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I may have missed something, Why does your wife have two vehicles?
YOU should have two (one primary and one just for fun)

Fix the two (when able) and sell them (or keep one only)
Trade in the Mazda for a newer, pre-owned Mazda with a "slush box"
Save some upgrade dough and buy a fun car for yourself, you know like that Corvette you wanted as a kid.... If you need more seats, go with a Mustang or Camaro

Seriously though, downsize and simplify!
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:24 PM   #9
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This whole issue with the Jeep began with replacing an old sensor with a Rock Auto sensor. 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.
Ha! How did I know you were referring to a crankshaft position sensor in your first post???? Even the OEM ones suck.
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:33 AM   #10
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Ha! How did I know you were referring to a crankshaft position sensor in your first post???? Even the OEM ones suck.

Yeah first one from RA lasted about 50 miles. Second one lasted just minutes.

No time frame on OEM sensor, have no clue what to do. It just sits in the mean time, kind of ridiculous one little sensor can take the whole car down.

Test drove a '13 Altima yesterday. It had lots of vibrations. Apparently '13 on up Altima's with CVT have shudder/vibrating issues.
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