My husband and I decided to fix the air conditioner in our thirteen year old car. The estimated cost: $1,850. It’s definitely too hot to drive around during a hot, Washington, D.C. summer without air conditioning. Well, I know lots of people drive around without air, but I don’t plan to be one of them. So the auto mechanic is pulling off the dash board and replacing nearly every piece and part of the air conditioner.
Does it make sense to pay $1,850 to replace the major components of a vehicle constructed in 1997? Honestly, I’m not sure of the decision.
* According to Kelly Blue Book the car is worth between $3800 and $4200.
9 thoughts on “A Good Idea?”
How much is the trade in value of the vehicle? That might help you make a decision.
It's a gamble obviously, but it paid off for us. My wife's 1996 Ford Escort's a/c went out a few years back. We spent about a thousand bucks to fix it, but she drove that car for 4 or 5 more Oklahoma summers before we sold it. Just cross your fingers! 🙂
It drives me nuts how the cost of doing this type of repair in a car is pretty much the same (or darn close to it) as it would be for the same type of repair in a house. Tough choice.
I don't know if it's worth it… depends on the trade in value of the car. Might make more sense to put that $$ towards the down payment on a new car.
definitely not worth it. Just buy a new(er) car. Your car cannot be worth it.
4 years ago, I choose not to fix the air conditioning on my then '97 vehicle. I just drove around with the windows open in August. I kept the car for another 2 years before selling it for $600 (It had some issues and it was a private sale to a friend). Anyhow, It wasn't really an option for me, because I had very little money at the time, and I live in a cooler climate at that.
Similarly, we just paid $250 to fix a semi-old washer, and am wondering if that was a good idea. I think it will pan out, but I certainly was questioning it.
That's a tough one. I've had the same problem with my 1993 vehicle–the air's been non-functional for almost ten years! However, I live in SoCal near the ocean and most of the time open windows are enough to keep me relatively cool (plus I don't drive much…).
But I'm well acquainted with those hot, humid D.C. summers and if you're in the car a lot (especially in the middle of the day), it would be excruciating to go without air conditioning.
Wow, that seems like a lot for an a/c repair! We did temporary fixes on one of our cars each summer – we would put some more freon in it at the beginning of the summer and it would work well until the end. We didn't bother really fixing since we knew we weren't going to have the car for more than a few more years.
If my husband and I were in your position, I think we would sell the car and use that money (and no more) to buy a new older one that had working a/c. Actually, he'd probably spend lots of time trying to diagnose and fix the problem on his own. 🙂 Either way it's a gamble, it always seems to be with cars!
Well we decided to go ahead and pay for repairs. Now I just hope nothing else goes wrong with the vehicle.