I have bought a car for $7700 back in October. I had to fix plenty of things after that, but it never left me stranded. I have spent $2000 more on fixes and $1000 on maintenance. Now it seemingly only have smaller issues, but they annoy me.

I since discovered that this is unreliable model, and should not have bought it in the first place. If I sell it now (lets put aside the current market state because of COVID-19) I would get around $6200.

Would it be worth to sell it, if a possible future worst case scenario would not cost more than lets say another $3000?

  • Define what you value. Define how you want to assign risk.
    – paulj
    Apr 10, 2020 at 17:16
  • You mean if I value money over reliability? What do you mean by assigning risk?
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 17:48

3 Answers 3


The problem that I see is if one pays a shop for repairs as opposed to doing them yourself. If you pay for repairs ,it is pretty easy to make a financial case to buy a new car. For most of my life I did my own repairs so had older used cars; two at a time so one would be working to go get necessary parts. Also carry a tool box. I could write a book about repairs, some on the side of the road. I did need to tow two home ( with the second car) : one broken cam belt and the other was simultaneous failure of the coil and starter bendix. The other side of the story : I now have a Nissan I bought new ,it has 80,000+ miles that has never needed service ( I change oil myself, old habits die hard).

  • I'm actually pretty handy, but these would've required special tools. Replacing an oil pump, replacing the timing chain, new injectors which require coding... Thermostat and brake fluid were also replaced: the former is in a hard-to-reach spot, the latter is not diy compatible. I have replaced what I could myself: the ignition coils, back light, filters.
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 21:33
  • It is just more of the same ,except the computer stuff ( my weak link).I have done all my own brake work including a few master cylinders,: never needed to bleed more than one brake line - I think most brake bleeds are just money makers. That is another advantage of doing your own work : the garage can't sell you extra service. Apr 11, 2020 at 1:34

Many people that run used cars do their own auto repair. Or many people that run used cars have a car model of particular interest.

So when considering the cost of auto repair done by auto repair shops, the financing cost of a new car under warranty is probably appealing.

I would suggest buying the new car of interest but with a plan of keeping the car some certain number years so as to average the cost. However that plan returns to the problem of maintaining the car after the warranty ends. So the next suggestion is to finance new cars of low to moderate cost.

Actually, to investors, I often recommend premium rear-wheel-drive coupes or sedans with 2.0L turbocharged engines. The 2.0L turbocharged engine represents less fuel use than a V6, less air-pollution, and a lower car cost but the engines are well developed for the premium model cars.

  • Erm... How does this answer my question?
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 17:48
  • My suggestion overall was to sell the used car and finance a new car under warranty.
    – S Spring
    Apr 10, 2020 at 18:12
  • Thank you. The thing is, I have read plenty stories of worthless warranties. White Lamborghini became yellow, they offered a repaint and no compensation, Fords with rust after 1 year, again, only restoring and no compensation, etc. I also think that you cannot know how reliable a new model is, since it did not pass the "trial of time" yet.
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 18:32
  • Yeah, I had a Mazda service agent trying to deny a car warranty and I didn't even have a problem. I suppose there was a rumor of a wild sports car around town. But your post didn't include any personal inclinations such as outperforming the cost of new car ownership. I can say that shops can be found that efficiently replace both the engine and transmission as if in one unit. The replacements are often rebuilt units that come from commercial suppliers.
    – S Spring
    Apr 10, 2020 at 18:58
  • (I have edited the question so its more clear that the car does not currently require a new engine)
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 19:03

How much do you value reliability?

Can you afford a reliable option?

These two questions should be in your mind when deciding which car make, model and year to purchase.

For example, I value reliability above anything else, and can afford a reliable option, so I buy only new Toyotas.

Where I live, in the new car market reliability is not for some reason priced in to the vehicle. A Toyota costs practically as much as an equivalent Peugeot.

However, for old cars the reliability of the particular make and model starts to affect the used car price a lot. So an old Toyota is not a better purchase than an old Peugeot because the reliability is "priced in". But if purchasing a new car, it would be foolish to choose anything other than a Toyota.

If you decide that your purchase was a mistake, and can afford a non-mistake, cut your potential losses, sell it and buy a more reliable car to replace it.

If you on the other hand cannot afford a non-mistake, you should start to create a budget for how to keep the car in a running condition. Do discard it when it's so broken that it doesn't make sense to continue driving it. Generally, for someone who does not value reliability, the cheapest miles/kilometers can be obtained with a used car and not with a new car. The miles/kilometers are not risk free, however.

Also, an option to consider. A long, long time ago I purchased a used car that was a mistake. Got rid of it and replaced with the smallest new Toyota that was available. I essentially admitted I did a mistake, and decided to move to a much smaller car because I couldn't afford a new large car. If you physically fit into a small car, consider such a car: the smaller the car, the cheaper it is to purchase and to run.

If you decide to change your car, do replace it with something that is much more reliable and much newer. It doesn't make sense to purchase car of year X, then admit you did a mistake, purchase car of year X+1, then admit you did a mistake, purchase car of year X+2, and so on... So do move to a much newer and more reliable car, if you decide to change your car.

  • Thank you for your answer. After reading this, I think it would be best to keep the car for 1-2 years, so the money I've spent on it will make sense, then selling it. Trying to save up for a new(er) one in the meantime. Luckily its already a 11 year old car, so its price does not degrade rapidly.
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 21:36
  • ... and hoping I don't have to spend much to keep it running in the meantime...
    – stihl
    Apr 10, 2020 at 21:49

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