I hope it's OK to ask this here. This was the only site I could find related to cars.

I have a 2002 Honda Civic which I got in Nov 2001, so it is fully 12 years old. However, I've been commuting by train to work since 2005, so the car has only 120,000 miles or so.

It needs two expensive repairs -- it needs new front struts, and the air conditioning is broken. Each repair was quoted to me in the $850 range. It will also need a new clutch (manual transmission) sooner or later, which I'm told will be about the same price.

So the question I have is ... is it worth spending the money to repair a car of this age? I don't know how to predict if I will keep this car for another 10 years, or if the engine will fall apart tomorrow. $850 would be between 2 and 3 payments on a new car, but I don't particularly want a new car (or a new car payment).


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    Welcome to the site: you should be aware that this sort of pricing question is normally considered off-topic as it is too localized. Even the "is it worth it?" question is sketchy since it depends on your own situation. Can you afford to buy a new car? Do you need a running car? On the other hand, if you were asking "are these fixes I can do myself?", you'd get a different reception. – Bob Cross Nov 6 '13 at 18:43
  • I figured as much, and I know there's no single "correct" answer. I just didn't have any other good avenues to pursue. I should have been more specific about "just looking for advice and 'what-would-you-do' rather than 'the answer'." – hymie Nov 8 '13 at 14:53

A 12 year-old Civic with 120,000 miles is very unlikely to have an engine fall apart anytime soon unless it has been poorly maintained and heavily abused.

Make sure you shopping around on repair quotes and aren't just going to a Honda Dealer for pricing.

The rest of your question is a common situation that edmunds sums up nicely in this article: http://www.edmunds.com/car-care/fix-up-or-trade-up.html

To summarize it, the repair costs you have are not enough to justify replacing the vehicle, there would have to be some other non-economical factors as well.

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  • I agree. The typical Honda at 12 years old and only 120k miles is likely to be a good car for years to come. You may not even have to re-evaluate the decision to keep it until around 20 years old. :-) – Brian Knoblauch Nov 6 '13 at 17:13

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