e are experts at car repair, so people will often ask a simple question of us. “Is this car worth repairing?” Here is why that is actually a very difficult question to answer. Financially, it almost always makes sense to repair a car. The average payment on a new car in 2016 was $493 (Experian) and that single number buys a lot of car repair. Even a $2,000 repair bill is only 4 car payments. But it can be much cloudier than just basic math.
Older Vehicles Require More Work
An older car is probably going to need more consistent work as the months and years go by. This can be emotionally draining since the car was so reliable early in its life. That it is still much less expensive than a new auto becomes less important since it feels like the car always needs work. Furthermore, the car will continue to age which will reveal failures that occur simply due to the passage of time. Plastics will crack easily, gaskets and hoses will fail, and your mechanic will be kept busy replacing small but expensive components.
Professional Mechanics Are Your Consultant
If a breakdown occurs, your confidence may be shot, although it was a single event! We rely on our cars to start every time we get in them and to serve us safely. Investing in repair is money well spent but it takes a dispassionate appraisal to understand that, sometimes. A professional mechanic can help you understand when it is time to put money into a car and when it is time to instead replace it because eventually, all machines wear out. Use your mechanic as a consultant if you have questions or doubts about repairing your car.
Drive Safely, The High Road Crew