No. of Recommendations: 7
I have about $5000 set aside for "maintenance". It just sits in a savings account at 4.75%. I'd have to carefully consider whether I'd spend more than $1000 in one chunk for a car that's only worth about $1100 according to Edmunds TMV or $2000 according to NADA.

The main thing going for my car is that I know the entire maintenance history of the car so it is worth more to me than a equivalently priced used car. If it's a single mechanical failure I'd likely opt for something as extensive as a complete engine or transmission replacement. If it's involved in an accident though requiring both mechanical and structural repairs I'd probably just buy something newer.

Greetings, Lurker1999, this is what I do and how I think, too (I have somewhat less than $5K set aside but I am getting there). In fact, I put it to the test when I found my car was burning oil. The engine rebuild was about $1400 when my car is only worth maybe $3K as far as the Blue Book is concerned, but it has been my car for 15 years and is totally otherwise reliable. So I went ahead with the rebuild since my mechanic said there was nothing else on the horizon that looked like a major repair to him. I rationalized that the $1400 was maybe 5-6 car payments on a newer (used) car. In 500 more miles I will FINALLY have 100K on the odometer and have not had a car payment since 1994 (car was purchased new in 1992), so my car is *still* my car, engine rebuild notwithstanding. It is going great so far and it was a good decision for me. Now I am intrigued to see just how long I can keep my car going, though I have continued to set aside funds for another one in case the lifespan ends up being shorter than expected. Till now, though, it has been a fount of reliability (*knock wood*) and I do not forsee that changing. And my insurance premiums are relatively tiny, so it is a further win-win.

of the much-posted-about 1992 Toyota Tercel
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