How to Know if You’re One Car Repair Away from Financial Ruin

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Buying a new car is more expensive than ever. The situation is exacerbated by the rising costs and the supply chain issues affecting a large portion of the world. With these factors in mind, you may have chosen to ditch the idea of getting a new car and fix up your existing automobile instead. 

Car Repair

But if your car is fairly old, it could take quite a bit of money to fix up. On the other hand, you could have gotten quite attached to your car at this point and have countless memories attached to it. Not to mention the fact that you've spent a lot of money on maintaining the vehicle over the years. 

You may seek feedback on extended warranty providers, like Endurance, and look for Endurance warranty reviews online. However, getting insurance on your old automobile will also end up being expensive. Since there's sentimental value involved here, you may ultimately decide to repair your old automobile, regardless of the cost. This could end up being one of the biggest financial mistakes you make, with the potential disrupt your overall finances.

Here are some of the ways you can know when that car repair you've really wanted is just not worth it:

1.   When You Can't Obtain the Necessary Parts for Your Car

The supply chain issues mentioned above also impact the stable supply of car parts, which is essential for minor and major car repairs. More crucially, if your car is older and has been discontinued by the manufacturer, getting those parts can be almost impossible. There are ways to get used parts online, but you wouldn't know if they work as they should or if they will last long enough. 

If you're already resorting to buying used car parts due to the lack of availability or supply from the car maker, you're already in a tough spot. There are several reasons why a particular part would be unavailable. The manufacturer may have upgraded the parts' design or deemed it unsafe for use after conducting detailed research on its performance. In many cases, the parts simply don't exist because they have been replaced by newer and better versions, which expectedly won't work on your older vehicle. 

2. When Your Car Is Unsafe 

When you're driving an automobile, especially with your family, safety is the priority. One of the common characteristics of older cars is that they're not so safe to use. Maybe the seat belts are broken, or the check engine light doesn't work. These are recipes for disaster. 

Another factor to consider is rust. If your car is relatively older, it is quite likely to be rusted. While the rusting of exterior cosmetic parts can be managed, it's nearly impossible to fix rusted internal components, such as the fuel lines, brakes, or the gas tank. Since repairs are incredibly difficult, you may feel like there's no option but to continue using the vehicle. This is extremely dangerous, as well. We recommend having a trusted mechanic look over the car for signs of rust damage. They may recommend discarding the car and getting a new one when you reach this stage. 

Getting a newer car also means you get newer and better safety features in line with existing standards. Additionally, new automobiles can manage collisions better thanks to years of research by design and engineering teams. 

The common notion that older cars are better built simply doesn't hold in modern times considering the significant technological advances made in this area over the past few decades. If newer cars dent or crumple easily, it's because they are designed that way. By absorbing impact with the body, the occupants of the cars are relatively safe. The inclusion of airbags goes a long way in saving lives, too, which are virtually non-existent in older cars. You can compare model safety ratings of new cars easily online.

Car Repair

3. When Repairs Cost Almost As Much As a New Car

As we've discussed already, sentimentality can play a big role in our decision to retain an old car. This emotion may lead you to spend your hard-earned money on repairing the vehicle. If you've reached this stage already, it's important to ascertain if the repair will improve the car's value. 

For many of us, cars are important for the functioning of our everyday lives. Whether it's for taking our kids to school, driving to work, or picking up groceries, a car is what keeps things running. If you are emotionally attached to your automobile, you may only want it to do the necessary tasks correctly, i.e., moving from point a to point b without breaking down. Moreover, selling your car at a profit may not be your primary objective.

But you may realize that getting a new or used car could mean seeking out a loan and paying taxes or insurance premiums—not to mention any additional maintenance charges you may incur during the course of your new car's early years. So in cases like this, it's important to ensure the safety of your car even if it's old. If it's broken down to the point where safety components –such as the the brakes– don't work, it's probably time to give it up and invest in a new vehicle.

Car Repair

4. Unreliability

Cars need to be safe and ensure you get to where you want to go on time. If it doesn't serve this purpose correctly, you may be looking at a hefty bill from the mechanic, particularly if it's an older automobile. What good is a car to you if it cannot go a few miles without stopping and abruptly giving up on you? This is your car's way of telling you to retire it and switch over to a new model. To add to your woes, a car that frequently stops on your journey could also incur hefty towing charges. Or even worse, you may have to call a family member or friend to pick you up, putting them through worry.

The Bottom Line

For most people, their old cars work just fine. We tend to ignore some of the problems of our old vehicles simply because they remind us of a better time in our lives. For some, their old cars work exactly the way they used to when they first bought them. This is likely due to an exhaustive maintenance regimen, ensuring the car never loses its capabilities. This is precisely how some retro cars still manage to function, albeit with severe limitations. 

So decide what's right for you. If your car has to be towed every other week, it's probably best to say goodbye and invest in a new car. You can save big money if you decide to buy used cars, but make sure it works as advertised, and take it for a test drive if possible. 

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