your help in evaluating whether to keep 1990 525i

1990 525i with 243,000 miles
Problem: - Auto-transmission died/fried/dead - I mentioned louder than normal noise from engine and mechanic said the
manifold gaskets are blown and there might be a hairline crack in the block but the engine runs fine - interior headliner starting to come down in back - the paint both bumpers chipping and wearing off - 1.5 inches play in steering wheel - possible front end work?
Other side: I love the car's look and feel!
I found a used tranny with 70,000 miles for $300 + shipping, labor would be about $450.
I started looking at used cars - Lexus, BMW, Honda,... and, even for used cars, you loose $3500 - $5000 as soon you drive it off the lot. This makes me think....I could spend $3500 - $5000 and have the 525i back in good shape!
Is this just false hope is this realistic thinking and evaluation?
Thanks for any feedback!
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Notgiven wrote:

If you love the car then by all means make the repairs and keep it. But do not be deluded into thinking you will be making a sound financial decision putting thousands of dollars into a car that is not even worth that much.
Yes, you will take an immediate hit on a car purchased at a stealership, but not as large as you represent on a used car (new car - yes). OTOH, if you shop carefully (or better yet, buy from a private party) that hit can be minimal, negligible or non-existent. And even if you do take a hit like that, the car that remains will be worth more than the hit was. In the case of your old 5'er that may not be the case.
But I am probably not the one to present these factors as I too tend to put more money into my old cars than they are worth. A proper reward for prior loyal service... it has to be worth something, right?
--
-Fred W

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Fred - thanks. Looking at Carmax cars because it;s so easy to go to one place and buy. If you look at Kelly Blue Book values of trade ins for what you buy there, you absolutely lose $4k - $7k off the lot.
SOrt of afraid to buy from, 3rd parties these days - takes long to find them and dreive them to you mechanic - pay $90 for them to inspect them then off to the next one if it doesn't past his muster.
Know what I mean?
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Notgiven wrote:

Yep, sure do. Carmax prices are "asking price" (I would never pay that) and Kelley's trade-in values are generally too low. I think they suck-up to the dealers so the dealerships will use them. You can compare the trade in to NADA book value for a better idea, but they only list the later models online. In fact, you can compare the Carmax prices to NADA retail for a good idea on what the real difference between retail and trade-in should be...
http://www.nadaguides.com
Here's a couple of examples:
2000 BMW 328i w/ 60k miles Average retail $19,230, Average Trade-in $16,405 difference $2825
2001 BMW 525i w/50k miles Average Retail $23,375 Average Trade-in $20,150 difference $3225
obviously as the value goes up (or down) so too does the initial depreciation hit...
--
-Fred W

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thanks - I'll check that out!

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At that age with all those miles the list of repairs will likely continue to grow as you fix the problems it has now. Repairing does not seem to be the right financial decision now. I'd say don't throw any more money at the old car and find yourself the youngest 5 series you can in your budget. 16 years and 240K+ miles is a good run!
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AGH! wrote:

Exactly. As I like to say sometimes, "That car doesn't owe you anything."
--
-Fred W

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On Fri, 24 Feb 2006 07:38:08 -0500, Fred W

I can agree with this statement as well. Problem I have is that I really like the E30 series cars. Might get myself into a little bit newer 3 (E36 I think) but not much newer than that. The current crop of Bangleized cars just don't trip me.
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On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 13:31:15 -0500, "Notgiven"

From the fact that you list labor to replace the tranny, I'm going to assume you don't do much work on the car yourself. This could get quite expensive.
Steering play is probably bushings and ball joints (if the 5er has similiar suspension to my 3er). Head liner's are cheap these days and a car that age is probably due a paint job.
My son and I have put about $800 into his 87 325is (not including tires, just parts since we do the work) that hew got for $1000. Not too bad for a kids first car in my opinion. The car is probably not worth what we have in it but he loves the car.
I am getting ready to completely redo this inside of my 89 325i at a cost approaching $1000. This is all new upholstery including the door and rear side panels. I also need a little body work and new paint. Is the car worth this amount of money? Answer there is no, it probably isn't. Haven't looked at blue book but that's just my gut feeling. I also love my car and I plan to keep it until it's not economical to keep on the road. With the ease of getting parts and the willingness to do most of my own work, that could be quite a while. Car payments are expensive and if I spend $100 a month on repairs I'm still making out. I haven't spent much on repairs over the last year so I'm well under the $100 a month example.
Bottom line, it's up to you. If you're not going to keep the car, make it known and you may find that someone close by will love your old car as much as you did.
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thanks
wrote:

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Thanks for everyone's feedback. I ended up getting a late 1990's 528. I don' tmiss the old one near as much as I thought I would now that I have a newer version.
Thanks again
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Notgiven wrote:

Good move. I'd sort of like to get one of those myself...
--
-Fred W

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Good move, it is tough letting go of an old friend. It took a new E91 3 series touring to get me to part with my old V6 2.5L Mitsubishi Galant which was starting to cost as much in repairs as the car was worth each year. A mere youngster as it was a 1998 build with 115,000 miles, part of the problem is my local dealer closed down which made servicing a real pain. I prefer to stick with the dealer for servicing even if it does cost a little more.
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