Should I Fix My Transmission Or Replace My Car?

That is a difficult question we help our customers with many times each day.

We have been helping with that decision for over 58 years and we have identified 5 questions we think you should consider when you are confronted with this decision. If you are faced with a major repair such as an engine, transmission or a body work ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does it still perform the task I bought it to do (family car, work truck, etc)? If my driving needs have changed, is it time for a different vehicle? For example...if I drive a sports car and I just had twins, a mini-van would be more practical.
  2. Do I feel safe and secure while driving it or do I constantly worry it might break down?
  3. Do I feel embarrassed while driving it?
  4. Has it been routinely maintained or have needed repairs built up?
  5. Do I just want an excuse to buy another vehicle?

If answering the above questions didn't help with this tough decision, then think about this.

  1. Just as a surgeon wants a patient to take a physical before an operation to discover other potential problems, we think the same logic works when trying to decide if it makes economic sense to do a major repair on your vehicle. In fact, we produced a form to help you with the car's physical called a "repair forecast". We think it will help when wrestling with the I fix it or should I replace it?
  2. Once the physical is done, add up the cost for the repairs and divide that total by the number of months you want to continue to use your car. The resulting dollar figure will be your monthly cost to keep it. If it is too much or you can buy another vehicle you know will be dependable with a lower monthly it.
  3. If you still can't decide, call us and we'll help with more "common sense" questions that may help you make the final decision. Just remember 4 things:
    • It is difficult to financially justify replacing a vehicle that's been routinely maintained and in need of either a replacement engine or transmission.
    • A QUALITY REPAIR is your least expensive approach if you keep your vehicle for a year or more.
    • Most of us look at our expenses on a monthly basis. We develop a "feel" for how payments will fit into a month... cable, phone, rent, mortgage or car payments. Look at your car repairs the same way and how they "fit" into the month.
    •'ll probably make this decision with your heart and disregard what your brain is telling you. Why? Because it feels good to have a new car, at least until you make the first of at least 60, 72 or 84 payments.