For your time,

Same car, but way cleaner than mine.

I seek wisdom from the hive mind of Oppo. When do you give up on a car? I don’t mean a project car you love dearly or have dreamed about since you were knee high to a grasshopper.

I’m talking about a car that gets you from A to B reliably but you don’t really care about it that much. It’s an appliance. When do you give up on an appliance?

Prompting this question is my Saab. I believe it has a valve seat issue that can be remedied for about 2K USD. It involves pulling the head, installing new valves and seat on the intake side, maching...... It is somewhat common for my car to develop this issue. Some say all will have it, others say it only happens to a small portion. Either case, once the mechanic does a cold compression test this morning I’ll know for sure.

The car is in a weird place. A hail storm messed up the body this spring but mechanically I’ve stayed on top of maintenance. If I do the valve job, I have no doubts I can get 4 more years out of it. At that point it will have roughly 200K miles on it and the truck will be paid off. I can get into a new (at least new to the missus and I) car payment without any budget shuffling. The car has been paid off for years, so the only costs are maintenance and other associated running costs.

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I think if I were to sell it, I might get $2,500. But I’d have to do some budget ninja work to get a replacement.

Which leads back to my question, when do you call it quits on an appliance.