Friday, December 28, 2018

Repair Or Replace

Last week I was driving home from the gym when the check engine light on my trusty 2002 Honda CR-V came on. I pulled over as quickly as I could, then called AAA and had them tow it to the repair shop we've used for years. Later in the day I got the news that the car would need close to $1,000 worth of parts and repairs.


I told the shop I needed to figure out what I wanted to do and would call them back. A Google search for the phrase "Keep old car or buy new" offered about 2,360,000,000 results. I chose the article How to Decide Whether to Keep or Replace Your Car. After reading it I made a list of the pros and cons of keeping my current vehicle.

  • The car has been very reliable. Other than routine maintenance I haven't had to put much money into it.
  • I don't have a monthly payment, and it would be great to keep it that way.
  • Because of the age of the car the insurance and personal property taxes are low.
  • The body is still in pretty good shape. I'm not embarrassed to be seen in the car.
  • On an older vehicle there's no guarantee something else won't go wrong.
  • A newer model would probably get better gas mileage
  • January is a horrible time to replace a vehicle. That would mean I would be obligated to renew the license plate right after the holidays for as long as I had it...and years from now might have to spend big bucks in repair work to get it to pass the required safety and emissions inspection our state requires.
The repair shop said that if I had the work done my car should last for a long time,so in the end I authorized an immediate oil change and made an appointment to have the rest of it completed today. Right before dinner I got a call it was ready to be picked up. Driving home, the ride felt much smoother.

I'm glad I decided to stick with my old reliable wheels, but if I get the chance I think I'll start researching what else is out there. That way I'll have the information available if I need it.

Five years ago today: Petite Predicament


  1. Your plan is well thought out, good research and decision making.

  2. You made a good choice. A thousand dollars is minor in the world of car repair. I wouldn't think about replacement until the third or fourth thousand dollar repair, several years out.

  3. My 2005 subaru goes in next week for a $2000 head gasket job. I'm not planning to get rid of the car. It has been, and will continue to be, a good car with lots of safety features. I'm waiting until self-driving cars are on the market.

  4. I would have called HeWho tows and told him the engine light was on. He would have told me to keep driving home and then he would have taken a look to see what the matter was. I am a kept woman as far as vehicles go. Sometimes the engine light will come on just because the water is low or the oil needs to be changed. I refuse to even consider a new car. I don't want payments and I am old and set in my ways!

    1. I completely freak out when I see the Check Engine light go on! Even after the issue was diagnosed and I was waiting for my repair appointment (and had been given the OK to drive) I still had a second of terror every time I glanced at the dashboard and saw the glow.