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Old 08-26-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Modify or buy another car?

When do you decide not to modify anymore and buy/lease another car?

When do problems on the car become so much that you decide to just buy another?
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:49 AM   #2
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I never decide to stop modifying. I don't do much, but I enjoy doing it.

The turning point with regards to repairs varies, inversely proportional to how much I like the vehicle. I love my truck, and I'll probably keep it at least as long as it's cheaper to repair than replace, unless the repairs are so frequent that I can't get where I need to go and do what I need to do.

I had a '97 Grand Am whose engine died prematurely due to me driving it like I was in NASCAR. By the time 130,000 miles rolled around and the engine died, I really hated the car. I actually had to take a week to decide if I wanted to spend $1200 on an engine for it, even though the rest of the car was in great condition.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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when the cost of problems monthly becomes more than a monthly payment, i spring for the new car.

unfortunately your tracker should last quite a while if you dont live near the ocean..... my father had one and that thing was still running when he drove it too the junkyard with NO floorboards because they rusted out, NO top, NO exhaust, NO back seats, seized seat backs, and seized seatbelts. it was the ultimate beach mobile. i believe it was a 97 and he drove it to the junkyard back in 2006
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:21 PM   #4
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I usually only give up when there's major engine carnage and I can't wheel and deal up a spare, or there's major structural rot.

Trackers are meant to be good candidates for some interesting engine swaps, VW diesel, etc.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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You mod a car until you can't find anything else or don't feel like fooling with it for a while or forever.

You stop fixing a car when you reach the end of your tools (and can't/won't buy more), reach the end of your ability (and don't want/can't learn or figure it out), or get tired of fooling with it for a while or forever.

You buy another car when you get the itch bad enough.

At least, that's what I do...your mileage may vary.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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The engine is bulletproof as is the aisin transmission, a couple of stupid things with it, like the way suzuki decided to do the thermostat, but it's a pretty stout vehicle mechanically.

My question comes from when I go to be a full time student with full time work I won't have time to deal with anything should it break. The suspension is making funny noises, the ac is on its way out, the radio needs completely redone with an external amp because the internal one cant handle much more than paper speakers and keeps blowing them, the windshield needs replaced, there is a seal in the car that leaks when it rains and stinks it up pretty badly and I have no idea where it is, I feel a car should be a joy to drive, and well, that car isn't really.

One good thing tho, pretty much anything will fit under the hood. I've been considering a 4.6L SOHC Crown Vic Police engine swap into it.

The only thing stopping me from buying a new car is the payment. The tracker is paid off and I know I won't get anything for it so I was going to give it away. I'd rather my sister pay 1500 to fix the tracker as opposed to spend 1500 for a car she doesn't have a history on.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
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Well if you get a 10K 3 year bank loan, you can get one of the Hyundai or Kia "cash deals" on the stripper models that would run about $325 a month. Otherwise, if it's got moving parts, it will go wrong...... particularly if it says "Maintenance free" on it
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkjones96 View Post
My question comes from when I go to be a full time student with full time work I won't have time to deal with anything should it break.
That's the deciding factor right there. It's not a matter of opinion or tolerance level...it's a matter of being someone who needs dependable transportation, rather than someone who can deal with repairable transportation.
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:44 AM   #9
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Reliability is the key to it all.

I need to get where I am going and back. I deal with difficult people and sometimes I do a double shift. Sometimes there's 2 feet of snow or it's cold out. If I can't depend on it then it is just history. When things are difficult I just take the jeep and leave the car home. It will even take me places I don't want to go and never breaks down.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:23 AM   #10
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There isn't anything that can't be fixed for less than a replacement car. Either by pulling parts at a junkyard or rebuilding it yourself. (if you have the skills of course) Living in Colorado, rust isn't usually a problem. I get rid of a car when I'm bored with it or something better comes along and all of a sudden I have too many.
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