I have a 2004 Honda Accord EX. It has close to 200k miles but is paid off. KBB says its worth is between 2500 for trade in or 3500 for private party sale). I don't know much about cars but it seems to still be in good condition. I've brought it in every 10k for servicing and have it up to date on any recall repairs required.
At the last servicing, the dealership said that my brakes needed replacing (~$800 at the dealership, probably cheaper elsewhere). Also, the tires were old but they still had some wear left (7 yrs old but measured at 6/32). Estimating about $600 for tires from Costco. I was advised to look into getting new tires due to the rubber starting to break off and having a possible blow out on the freeway.
So right there is around $1400 in repairs, about 1/2 the value of the car. Someone told me if the repairs are cheaper than a car payment, then do it. In this case, if I keep the car about 4 months, then it's close to break even.
However, due to the car's high mileage, it's possible that something might come up within this 4 months and to break even on whatever the new repairs are, I will need to keep it longer and thus a possible endless cycle of repairing/keeping an old car to break even.
So, does it make sense to put in ~$1400 to fix now and drive for at least another 4 months or start looking for a new car and not worry about repairing a possible money pit?
UPDATE: This is a 2004 Honda Accord EX in "good" condition (good after answering the questions from KBB)
UPDATE #2: Seems like the price can change too. I just checked on KBB again for the price and it says my vehicle is a low volume vehicle and can't give me a trade in price but gave me a private party sale price. I guess the price can change from week to week (or in my case about 3 wks ago) depending on the market.
EDIT: I just realized I should clarify my thought process in this situation. There were a couple times in the past where my family kept putting money into an old car b/c "they don't make them like they used to" or "it's still a good car. Don't get rid of it", or like everyone is saying here in the answers and comments. One car we had, an old Volvo, needed repairs and we put about 9k over 18 months into the car and it still wasn't working right. We sold it but only got 1k from the buyer after pouring so much money into it.
Another time, we had another car that needed a 2k repair. We calculated that to get our money's worth, we needed to drive it for about 7 months to get our money's worth and break even. We drove it 2 months before it broke again and needed a 1k repair. We estimated needing to drive an additional 3 months to break even. After another 2-3 months, something else broke but we kept throwing good money after a bad problem. I don't remember the total amt we wasted in the 2nd case but the issue was the same, we put a lot of money in but didn't get our return and didn't know when to cut our losses.
So, this is why I'm asking this question now with my current car. The lucky thing is, I've looked up the KBB price before anything happened (we didn't look up before with the two previous cars since there was no internet or iphones at the time) and I'm more knowledgeable due to personal experience. Hopefully this explains my thought process in this situation. I don't want to get caught throwing good money after bad or feeling like I need to keep driving to get my money's worth from the repair. Thank you for everyone's answers and comments thus far. They've all been helpful.