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If you are diy and can do many of the repairs and maintenance an older, high mileage car is worth keeping. You will avoid monthly payments, sales tax, and higher licensure fees as well as lower insurance premiums. However if you have to invest funds out of pocket for maintenance and repairs I always worry about an accident. You can be involved in an accident though no fault of your own, and the other's insurance company will look at the value of the vehicle as it will probably be totaled. You will receive the value of the car, which is next to nothing. They don't care if you put in several grand of repairs and maintenance.

Scott
 

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My 02 SEL, with the 24V engine, recently turned over 225K miles. Runs like a champ and the transmission works perfectly. I drive it everyday. I love the old car. It is loaded with options and rides nice. In the past couple of years I have replaced the normal wear items. Tie rod ends, ball joints, spark plugs, PCV valve and rebuilt a rear wheel cylinder. Personally, I would keep it and fix a couple of things at a time.
The car drives well, rides nice, has plenty of room, and is not perfect, so i don't have to worry about a small scratch or ding happening.
 

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Hi,

I had a similar case here a few years back. At the time, I needed to pay for a timing cover job that cost around $~1500.
Since I maintain the car well, later I decided to make the repair. I am happy with that decision although the repair cost was higher than the value of my car at that time.

I learned lots of car repairs from this forum and many people here helped me.
Things like Fuel filter, plugs, brakes, tie rod, you should be able to address yourself. If you don't have tools, it is time to buy it. If you don't know how to do it, it is time to learn it.

I also asked a local shop to replace the ball joint and let the Ford dealership do alignments for my car. If you don't lose too much oil from your front & rear valve cover gasket, simply leave it and check the oil level frequently. The oil is cheap and you will be fine.

Best
 

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I agree with the other commenters. These older cars are basically projects for diy enthusiasts. I didn't know much about cars until I bought my 03 Taurus last year. I've learned so much by fixing everything myself. It feels good taking on the constant issues and winning the battles until another declares war.
This has been my experience! Worked on my cars as a young guy, but when family/job responsibilities hit I had to pay mechanics to do it all. Decades later - having discovered YouTube videos, this forum and some others - it's been challenging and fun to learn again about the different parts and systems, and challenge myself to try new things while saving $$$ at the same time. Started off with minor part fixes, then changed oil for the first time in years, and last week changed the ATF, pan & filter on my 2004 Duratec.
 

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You can be involved in an accident though no fault of your own, and the other's insurance company will look at the value of the vehicle as it will probably be totaled. You will receive the value of the car, which is next to nothing. They don't care if you put in several grand of repairs and maintenance.
True - I put over $2K into my '98 Sable in 2012 just a few months before the xmission totally disintegrated during vacation trip. Had to rent a car for rest of the trip, then got a couple hundred for donating Sable to some nonprofit.
 

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^^^^^^ Totally agree with not worrying about dings! In the 3 years we've had our '00 bull, the bumpers and doors have gotten several bruises, and I'm glad I can just shrug them off. Lots of narrow parking spaces and whatnot. I've replaced the passenger side tail light twice now and it's been pretty easy to get replacements at the junk yard.

Last month, someone ran into the car and crinkled the driver's side rear panel above the wheel. Their insurance totaled the car, so I've got $780 coming in the mail any day. Meanwhile I took it to a guy who used a slide-weight hammer who pulled the metal out pretty good, for $10. I also had the alignment checked to make sure the wheel or frame didn't get bent, and it's fine. I was really lucky they didn't hit the door or make it un-driveable somehow, but I'm also lucky (as well as the other guy) that it's an older car and I'm not concerned about it's re-sale value.

Now, on the other hand, there are some aspects of a newer car that are appealing... maybe safer, just from having more modern design and engineering (but you never know); a higher confidence of reliability (but again, you never know... newer cars have problems too); and some of the electronic extras would be cool like blind-spot and rear cameras.
 

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I will agree with everyone else's posts, you have to decide what the car is worth to you. There are benefits to owning a older car, especially if you can do the smaller tasks yourself. It can be cost efficient. I would check the valve cover gaskets, Fords have a tendency to leak from there.. And keep in mind, if you do decide to get something else, there is the element of surprise. Mine was BADLY neglected before I got it, I am still trying to undo the damage that was done to it. At least here , you have plenty of folks who will help you and take the time to read up on some of the repairs. If you do decide to do some yourself, do not just watch one video, watch at least three as the perspective and approaches may change.
 

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^^^^^^ Totally agree with not worrying about dings! In the 3 years we've had our '00 bull, the bumpers and doors have gotten several bruises, and I'm glad I can just shrug them off. Lots of narrow parking spaces and whatnot. I've replaced the passenger side tail light twice now and it's been pretty easy to get replacements at the junk yard.

Last month, someone ran into the car and crinkled the driver's side rear panel above the wheel. Their insurance totaled the car, so I've got $780 coming in the mail any day. Meanwhile I took it to a guy who used a slide-weight hammer who pulled the metal out pretty good, for $10. I also had the alignment checked to make sure the wheel or frame didn't get bent, and it's fine. I was really lucky they didn't hit the door or make it un-driveable somehow, but I'm also lucky (as well as the other guy) that it's an older car and I'm not concerned about it's re-sale value.

Now, on the other hand, there are some aspects of a newer car that are appealing... maybe safer, just from having more modern design and engineering (but you never know); a higher confidence of reliability (but again, you never know... newer cars have problems too); and some of the electronic extras would be cool like blind-spot and rear cameras.
I have had much pain with new car warranty. See Pic. Lin Cont. My experience, one trip to diag and order parts, one to have it fixed, another to have them repair what they messed up working on it. I had 4 Lin under OE warranty, others not as bad but enough. Brake pedal sticking and ruined rotors, dealer put on wrong rotors, bad battery cable caused inst lights to default to out. New engine at 20K. And then, Buick Lucerne, '11. 25 pages of instructions on how to set the menu's. I condensed that to one page of block labels in a spreadsheet. Owner's guide ~3X the size of Sable.
-chart-
 

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If that mechanic is sure can help your car then spending $3000 would be worth it. Or else you will do the repair on your own until the next day you will need to repair it again.
 
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