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Old Yesterday, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Minnesovia
2,546 posts, read 651,618 times
Reputation: 1561

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If you have an older car, and you are at a conundrum where you don't want to keep throwing money at it,but don't have the resources to buy a "new" car, at what point should you be done with it?

Instead of buying another junker that I don't know the history of, wouldn't you be better off just sticking that $300-500 brake line job in the car you know the history of, instead of buying that cheap car on CL that allegedly is good to go?
I have a Taurus (3.0 engine which apparently was bullet proof) that my dad owned and took care of, and any money I put into it now will not be recouped (I don't suspect) but instead of buying a Saturn for $1500 wouldn't I just be better off just to keep paying for random repairs on Taurus?

At what point do you know it's time to send your car to the graveyard?
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Old Yesterday, 09:59 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Seattle, Anchorage, Reykjavik
1,657 posts, read 704,466 times
Reputation: 2312
Is the Taurus a typical Minnesota rust bucket? Is it otherwise reliable? If the brake line is the only issue I'd fix it and drive it. The only time I have ever sent a car to the graveyard (or just got rid of it) is if a hate the car, it has bad rust, or electrical problems. Minor mechanical problems or maintenance items to be dealt with are not a good reason for junking a car that you like.
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Old Yesterday, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Minnesovia
2,546 posts, read 651,618 times
Reputation: 1561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonepa View Post
Is the Taurus a typical Minnesota rust bucket? Is it otherwise reliable? If the brake line is the only issue I'd fix it and drive it. The only time I have ever sent a car to the graveyard (or just got rid of it) is if a hate the car, it has bad rust, or electrical problems. Minor mechanical problems or maintenance items to be dealt with are not a good reason for junking a car that you like.
Minor rust considering the climate. My pops was parking it in Winters for a while, which might explain that.

220k on odometer though. That 3.0 really is a clean running engine. I hate ford's but that engine has changed my opinion on them somewhat.
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Old Yesterday, 10:08 AM
 
4,734 posts, read 4,866,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
Minor rust considering the climate. My pops was parking it in Winters for a while, which might explain that.

220k on odometer though. That 3.0 really is a clean running engine. I hate ford's but that engine has changed my opinion on them somewhat.
There are TWO 3.0 engines for these.
3.0 OHV Vulcan
3.0 DOHC Duratec

The Vulcan engine is virtually bullet proof as it is an older style cast iron engine. The Duratec is an aluminum alloy engine. The debate is endless as to which is the better engine.

The automatic transmissions are the issue for these cars. Some wear out prematurely.
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Old Yesterday, 10:10 AM
 
4,734 posts, read 4,866,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalier View Post
Minor rust considering the climate. My pops was parking it in Winters for a while, which might explain that.
Oil undercoating to prevent rust. Annually. Been mentioned a kazillion times here. Never too late.
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Old Yesterday, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,774 posts, read 59,773,480 times
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Weak point on the Taurus (and most older cars) is the transmission. If it is already shuddering, jerking, slipping, etc, then I would not bother. If it has been rebuilt already - definitely fix the brake lines. If it has not been rebuilt but you have not noticed any problems, then I woudl probably gamble on fixing the brake lines.


Unless that Saturn is a manual.

of course if it is a post Saturn Saturn, it depends on the model. ION - I am not sure I would switch, the nylon steering gear wears out and replacing it is not worth the cost/trouble.

The obsession with rust puzzles me. It was a huge problem int he 1970s and 1980s. Now? Not really. We have a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII by way of example. It does have a small amount of rust in the rocker panels, but it is not noticeable. It is a nice looking car. Son has a 1996 Chrysler Sebring Convertible, it has a considerable amount of rust through around the rear fenders. One of the crappiest cars ever made with a terrible failing paint job, but it is certainly usable and not horrific looking. Rust is not what kills a car, except in very rare circumstances. It is almost always the transmission, head gasket, suspension or fuel delivery system (or death by 1000 little cuts) that sends a car to the scrap yard. Rust is just an aesthetic issue except in the very rare cases it becomes a structural issue. OUt of 18 old (15-20+ years) cars in our family during the past 8 years only one had a significant issue with rust. All were from the late 1980s through early 2000s. Even the one that had a big rust issue, it was not rust that killed it. We could not jack it up because the pinch welds and body "frame" tubes were all too rusted and the jack would push right through, so we had to use ramps to work on it, but it was brakes, fuel injection, and suspension that rendered it not worth fixing. When we look at used cars (by the dozens) we are looking at cars 10 to 20 years old. We see almost no rust, or so little it is not an issue of concern.

Yet some people here make wild assertions like every Dodge truck more then 5 years old is a rust bucket (goo luck finding a 5 year old RAM with a speck of visible rust). It is weird. Are people just caught in the past and cannot get over it?
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Old Yesterday, 11:08 AM
 
Location: San Ramon, Seattle, Anchorage, Reykjavik
1,657 posts, read 704,466 times
Reputation: 2312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
The obsession with rust puzzles me. It was a huge problem int he 1970s and 1980s. Now? Not really.
Yet some people here make wild assertions like every Dodge truck more then 5 years old is a rust bucket (goo luck finding a 5 year old RAM with a speck of visible rust). It is weird. Are people just caught in the past and cannot get over it?
I'm not sure if you actually daily drive or not but, yes, cars in Michigan and Minnesota rust. As they do in Ohio and the northeast. On cars, even if the body doesn't rust the sub frames do. Take a look at the Facebook Marketplace car ads in a winter salt zone - there will be a lot of cars that look nice but are being parted out because of the rust underneath that can't economically be fixed.

And, yes, pickup trucks rust like crazy. Especially rocker panels, cab ends, and truck bed wheel wells. Painted bumpers too.
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"Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-2015-09-22_15-53-44-610x458.jpg   "Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-2020ca16-4a2f-11e8-92fe-08c2b5433029r.jpg   "Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-07170c96-0f04-11e6-815e-11c196ac9a02r.jpg   "Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-hqdefault.jpg   "Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-images-1.jpeg  

"Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-images-2.jpeg   "Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-img_0796_zpsdztitgle.jpg   "Old car": to keep fixing or not to keep fixing-unknown.jpeg  

Last edited by Stonepa; Yesterday at 11:19 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 11:44 AM
 
4,218 posts, read 1,554,255 times
Reputation: 5294
Quote:
Originally Posted by unit731 View Post
There are TWO 3.0 engines for these.
3.0 OHV Vulcan
3.0 DOHC Duratec

The Vulcan engine is virtually bullet proof ....

The bottom end of Vulcans are bullet proof but the top isn't, far from it. My wallet just took a bullet replacing head gaskets, which Vulcan V6's are notorious for.
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Old Yesterday, 11:58 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,494 posts, read 50,828,716 times
Reputation: 28841
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliott_CA View Post
The bottom end of Vulcans are bullet proof but the top isn't, far from it. My wallet just took a bullet replacing head gaskets, which Vulcan V6's are notorious for.
Yes, in fact we had some Taurus wagons in our fleet at work and I used on, it blew a head gasket at 60,000 miles.


It's silly to get rid of an old car and replace it with another old car. keeping it means at least you know what it has had done, how it's been maintained, and what it might need. Buying another used, high mileage car means you are taking a big gamble. Of my 30+ cars over the years only one went to the "graveyard", a 1973 VW Squareback. I got $50 from the wrecker, where I managed to drive it while on it's last legs. The rest I have traded in for new or late model used by about 140,000 miles.
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Old Yesterday, 12:35 PM
 
330 posts, read 670,685 times
Reputation: 251
I am debating this now myself. I have a 2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport. I am not the original owner, but have had it about 5 years. It has been pretty reliable, but I have had to replace the alternator (twice) and the radiator. The problems it currently has are:


- Leaks oil, which is common with this 3.5 engine. I tried to fix it myself by replacing the rear seals, and valve cover gaskets. I wasn't successful. The oil leak is probably what took out at the alternator 2 times, and will likely take the new one out.
- Has a check engine light, and is throwing the following codes: P0107 (MAP sensor circuit low voltage input), P0113 (Intake air temperature sensor circuit high input), P0403 (EGR circuit malfunction), P0421 (Warmup catalyst efficiency below threshold). It has been throwing the P0403 code for a while. I replaced the EGR valve and relay, but that did not clear the code. The other codes are more recent. Despite these codes, it appears to run fine.
- The vehicle has 170,000 miles on it, and I don't know when the timing belt was replaced.
- Needs new rear tires.


If I get a "new" car, it would actually be something 3 or 4 years old with less than 100K miles on it. Just don't know if it is worth it to go in debt for something "new", or spend money to fix/have someone fix the Mitsubishi.
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