I was holding out hope that the diagnosis would be something totally different than what we feared, but, alas. The bill for fixing the car will be half of "private party value" and 70% of "trade in value". A rule of thumb suggests the cutoff point for repairs is half of the car's value. So we're at the line where some would say to go one way, some the other.
We've got the money in the emergency fund to fix the car. The price of another, comparable car, minus whatever we'd get for trade-in for this one, would be more than the cost to fix this one. The decision remains.
Just so I don't get too off-topic- Is there a justice lesson in all of this? What questions should we be considering?
- Is it part of our disposable culture to consider replacing before repairing?
- Is it good to give people jobs in this economy by opting to have service done?
- Should we "do without" to cut down on our carbon footprint, and insurance and registration bills?
What would you do?
UPDATE: It has been decided. We'll fix the car. The engine will be rebuilt, and then the emergency fund will be rebuilt and then we'll start a car fund, because we see the importance of it, even with two "reliable" cars. Lesson learned.