So, after that crazy fuel and brake lines incident last fall, my high
pressure and return hoses blew on my power steering this past
Thursday. My mechanic could have repaired it for $580 out the door,
the same dealer who fixed my fuel and brake line wanted $844+tax.
Needless to say, I traded ol' girl in for a shiny new 2013 Elantra
GLS. Ol' girl had 145K and was starting to whisper sweet nothings in
my ear...like "Money Pit." Much as I wanted to fix it and save up some
cash to get a Tucson, it just wasn't in the stars. I'm digging the
Elantra so far, especially that it has heated seats for the killer
Chicago winters. But it gets hella better mileage than my Sonata does.
Plus the traction control and ABS is something I didn't have before.
The sucky thing is that it comes with no spare tire, just this
inflation kit. WTF? Dealer said spare kit for this Elantra is $400
with jack & kit, rim, tire and mounting. It's $99+29 shipping on eBay,
without the tire.
Dealer said full size spare won't fit in the cavity of the Elantra GLS
but I put the full-size spare tire for my old Sonata (which is 16"x6",
not 16"x5.5" like the Elantra has) in it just fine. Spare tire cover
has plenty of extra room. So, gonna find me a full size rim, get a
cheap 16" tire and be gold.
Hope you enjoy the upgrades. Probably many new features compared to
your old car. I understand the money pit thing.
Many cars, especially smaller ones, are sans spares these days. Mixed
feelings. I cannot recall the last time I needed a spare, it was well
over 25 years. But traveling on some dark and lonely roads, it is a
nice security blanket.
Yeah, I've been good to my Sonata but at 145K, the likelihood of
something else going wrong was just too great. I should have cut my
losses when those lines rusted out but you live and you learn.
Yup, same here. I haven't needed a spare since someone taught me how
to use those plugs. However, I appreciate the tire pump thing being
included. One thing that stinks is having plugs to patch the hole but
then nothing to inflate it after it's been plugged. Plugs are useless
without good pressure still left in the tire. More useless when the
sidewall gets a tear. Still, I found a new full-size rim online for
around $165 shipped. Just need a decent used tire for it and I'm good
to go. I'm guessing it'll add 30 or so pounds to the car which might
knock off a mile or two on MPG but it'll still beat the MPG on my old
Sadly, I'll now need a jack and lug nut wrench. I was able to find the
parts for Hyundai's jack and wrench kit parts but someone said Harbor
Freight has a cheap jack and lug wrench so I might just go that route.
My son carries a floor jack in his car. He got it at Harbor Freight.
I have a small type spare tire in my 06 Kia. A tire gets destroyed
once or twice per year and I am glad I have a spare.
I also carry two cans of inflate stuff and a bunch of rope plugs
Any sizzer jack would work but you probably could get a parts yard
Hyundai one. I also would look for a space saver spare that has the same
bolt pattern at a junk yard... Otherwise I thought that the space saver
tire/rim was more like $80 new? (if you got the jack elsewhere)
I am fixing up our '99 Elentra for my son to have a 2nd car in Chicago.
It only has 156k miles on it. Turns out the timing belt and water pump
were OK but both are 10 years old and it had not had radiator fluid
changed often enough. So over a 2 year period total repair cost to have
it all ship shape:
$1500 tranny rebuild (due to an old mistake catching up with me)
$450 rear struts and alignment
$150 timing belt & water pump
$350 AC compressor replaced/installed
Car payments for a new car over 2 yrs: aox $6000
In this case the old Elentra makes more sense. I could sell the car now
or after he's used it for 2 yrs as a "walking man's friend" for about
$2250. Meanwhile it is cheap to insure, we don't care if it gets dented
sliding on snow/ice, etc.
I confess, I am Scottish. Second confession is I bought a new 2013
Accent a month ago and love it!
'03 Santa Fe
I have a couple junk yards nearby (good ol' Victory) so I might see if
they have any Hyundai's with jacks and wrench still in them. Otherwise
Harbor Freight has a 1.5 ton jack for $20 out the door. I can find a
lug wrench anywhere. Cheers from another Chicagoan too.
- Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP]
So I spent $1300 in September to fix my fuel and brake lines that
rusted out plus evap stuff and hoses. Then I dropped $200 more to find
a last evap leak and convince the state I dropped enough money to give
me a waiver for a plate sticker. Then I buy 4 new tires for $350 and
new front rotors and brakes for $200. Then my power steering hoses
blow and it'll be at least $580 to fix that. So 1300+200+350+200=$2050
later, you think I am using the money-pit excuse to drop another $580
on a 145k mileage car that within 6 months has cost me $2050 (and
doesn't have working A/C)? These things happen in threes and I wasn't
sticking around to find out what number 3 would have been.
I did not want to buy a new car but there is no sense in throwing good
money after bad. I *loved* my Sonata. I wanted to fix it but the
likelihood of some other major expense happening with it was way too
great. I just cut my losses. I'll probably recoup some of my losses in
the oil changes and fuel I won't have to spend money on this whole
- Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP]
I still drive a 1994 Chevy K1500 pickup. It works hard as a plow and
firewood truck and I put $1,000 to $1,500 per year into it. Everytime
it needs significant work, my wife asks me why I am putting money into a
truck that isn't worth it.
Well, my analysis is like the other gentlemen that replied: I figure how
many months of new truck payments I need to get back my repair money. A
new truck equipped to plow snow is around $40 grand which yields
payments north of $500/month for any reasonable loan duration ($556 for
a 72 month 0% loan!). So, $1,000 of repairs is paid back in less than 2
months and even $2,000 would be less than 4 months. And that isn't
counting the extra insurance cost as I would have to carry collision
during the term of the loan. I might save a little with better gas
mileage and fewer repairs, but I am still nowhere near the $6,672 annual
break-even point with my repair costs.
Consumer Reports did an analysis some years ago and they went as far as
they had data (something like 14 years as I recall) and the "money pit"
scenario never developed. It was ALWAYS cheaper to repair the car you
have rather than trade for a new one.
I always chuckle when I hear this excuse as I can almost always prove it
wrong with a few quick calculation.
There are a lot of intangibles in the calculations. Down time, getting
the car to the garage, the insecurity that the car will let you down
on a trip, stress, etc.
How many miles do you put on the plow truck? Pretty hard to justify
40k to replace it, probably cheaper to pay someone to plow for you.
(unless you are generating income by plowing).
I'd rather cut my losses at some point and buy a newer vehicle. Not
to mention the new goodies that come with it.
Good point about down time and other intangibles. I had an '85 Crown Vic
wagon that I could drive with no problem... took a little finessing
because it tended to stall when stopped. My wife got stranded a time or
two with it when the kids were small. I was able to drive over to where
she was, start it and drive it home. But she didn't trust the car. TURNS
OUT there were so many vacuum tubes on the motor that if one was cracked
or melted you would not know it and it would cause stalling. Fixed it
right before I was "convinced" to sell the car.
It also makes a big difference if you can do repairs yourself (or have a
GOOD, reasonably priced repair facility close by) vs paying a high
I would also argue that if you had bought a Renault Alliant, a Yugo, or
an AMC Gremlin (certain years) you probably WOULD have a money pit that
would not make sense keeping on the road. Also if you had a car that had
been in a flood or wrecked then it may have issues that make it unreliable.
In general, however, one can keep things running. Now aesthetics....
the EPA has left us with few options in the paint department. Base
coat/clear coat paint tends to peel after a while and look bad - the '99
Elentra is one such example. I did find a place where a "hobbyist" would
paint it for around $1250 - good job usually - but with the economy such
as it is I don't think I have that much to plunk down on it.
As I also confessed, my wife "convinced" me to get a 2013 Accent a
couple of months ago... so I understand your point about a new car -
just have to be sure I stay employed so I can pay for it. :o
My truck has never yet left me stranded. I do most of my own
maintenance and minor repairs so I inspect the truck often. I almost
always find issues (stiff u-joint for example) before they fail. I
change belts and hoses before they fail. Most things that strand a
vehicle are due to poor maintenance. Catastrophic failures are very
rare, even with older vehicles if they have been maintained well.
I trust my old truck as much more than my newer vehicles. It has far
fewer things to go wrong. No air bags, no ABS, no power windows or
seats (the most troublesome things on my three newer vehicles), etc.
I don't drive it a lot, 142,000 miles in 19 years so less than 10,000 a
year. It does more than plow. It is my daily driver to work in the
winter when I can't ride my motorcycle. The bike gets about 5,000 miles
a year and the truck the balance.
There are no losses to cut with respect to getting a new vehicle. One
gets a new vehicle because they WANT one, not because the economics
justifies one. That was my point. I am not knocking that at all, I
just laugh when people seem to lack the courage to simply say "I wanted
a new car so I bought one." They try to camouflage the reason with
things like "it was a money pit, etc." Strange we humans at times...
I actually test drove the large Toyota (Tundra??) when it first came out
a few years ago. I got a $50 Home Depot gift card for doing a test
drive so I figured I couldn't lose! I drove my old Chevy to the Toyota
dealer and drove their truck. I honestly did not like it much at all.
It had far more power than my Chevy and I am sure would have at least
matched the gas mileage, but that was ALL I liked about it. It was too
high to climb into and out of, the visibility backward was terrible. I
had a small car pull up behind me at a light and it COMPLETELY
disappeared behind the tail gate! That truck did not have the backup
camera, but I can see where you would have HAD to have one. The front
pillars were thick with huge blind spots given the new roll-over
protection requirements. The steering felt vague and the brakes were
I came back the the dealer was sure I'd buy it given what I drove up in.
When I told him I liked my old Chevy better I am sure he thought I was
blowing smoke up his nose, but that was my honest answer. That was many
years ago and I still am content with the Chevy. However, the rust is
getting pretty bad now. I think it will pass PA inspection only one
more time (PA is pretty tough on rust) so I may get one more winter out
of it. But, come next spring, it will be 20 years since I bought it new
and I will have to trade.
Another reason I have kept my 94 is that I like standard shift and this
is simply not available on pickups anymore unless you get the very heavy
duty diesels. I really don't want an automatic, but have no choice. If
I could have gotten a standard shift truck, I probably would have traded
up several years ago.
I am waiting now for the GDI engines that Chevy is supposed to release
this year. That may give me some incentive to trade up next year, but
sure wish they would offer a manual gearbox!
On 4/22/13 5:26 PM, in article 2Oidt.9180$ email@example.com, "Voyager"
I have been driving my Dad's 1962 1/2 ton Chev pickup since 1970. I agree it
is cheaper to keep and old one fixed. I have antique plates on it which are
$60.00 for five years, no inspections anymore and it runs great, plus I can
fix most anything that needs to be fixed.
Did they factor in the owner(s) living 12+ miles from work? Did they
factor in having to also drive and drop off kids to school *on time*
with 100% reliability when the school is 12+ miles away? Did they
factor the cost of missed days of work and wages to employee and cost
to employer for having the car in the shop? Lost vacation / sick days
used to be off work while the car gets fixed, only assuming the
employer allows sick and vacation days to be used as such? Added cost
of having someone else fix it quickly and correctly the first time?
What if not fixed correctly the first time? What if there is no money
to fix the car or continue to maintain it? What if they person is
*not* a "car guy/girl" who can DIY? What if this is the only family
car? What if this car also carpools another spouse to work?
Cars from the 90s and older are far more easier to maintain and fix
than modern cars. To say I am skeptical of anyone's anti-Money Pit
argument is grossly understated. Those stats may work for the person
whose kids/spouse are grown and drive their own car and the person has
infinite time to dick around with their car. My time is a bit more
valuable. I've replaced my own valve cover gaskets, various evap
hoses, spark plugs and other parts on old Sonata myself. I don't have
the time nor money to baby my car to the point of a car wash every
week and a full detailing by myself a couple times a month. I was
*meticulous* with my car maintenance and changed things when they
needed to be changed. And lo and behold, it still broke down. It
lasted me 12 years with not one single thing going wrong. I did not
see anywhere in my schedule of maintenance to change the high pressure
hoses for my power steering or I would have and would likely still be
driving my car. A couple hundred bucks to replace some high pressure
hoses with labor and I would have, but not for $600.
Send me this almighty report from Consumer Reports that details the
mythical ideal situation whereby no one should ever need to buy a new
car if they keep pouring money into their current car and they are all
expert mechanics who can install all the parts on their own and work
walking distance away from home and their kids school and they never
need their car for any other utilitarian purpose? This report does not
exist and whatever it was that you read doesn't factor in any of what
I mentioned above.
- Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP]
This analysis was probably 10 or so years ago and I don't keep my CR
magazines that long. And you can only see their data if you are a
subscriber, which I am guessing you are not.
How much each month did your new car cost you? How many months of those
car payments and higher insurance costs would it have taken to recover
$600? I'm guessing two months at the most and probably less.
I don't know of any maintenance schedule that specifically says to
replace high pressure hoses, or often even heater or radiator hoses.
However, almost EVERY manual tells you to inspect items such as these on
a regular basis and replace them when required. It isn't rocket science
to know that rubber and plastic parts age. When they start cracking,
getting stiff, etc., the end is approaching. And high pressure hoses
rarely fail catastrophically. Those on my truck started with a slow
leak which I saw during a routine engine cleaning and inspection. I had
them replaced with no downtime as my local dealers (Chevy, Chrysler and
Hyundai) all will drive me to work and pick me up at the end of the day.
It's not a big issue one way or the other. I'm fixing up my old Kia
Rondo for about $700 because I like it and you can't buy them in the
U.S. anymore. I may get the new car bug someday but not yet, I like
this one. It is, however, far cheaper to fix it then get something
else at this point.
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