SWMBO drives a 2000 Sable with the 24 valve 6 cylinder engine, that now has 125K miles and was pondering whether to keep it going till the bitter end or buy another one.
Had the thing since 6K miles, and it's actually been a great car...no problems whatsoever, and with plenty of power it's pleasant to drive. But she drives 600 plus mile interstate trips every month or so, and I kinda worry about an unexpected break down. Runs perfect now, but it does leak oil to the point I really should do something about that.
Since the body style is getting a bit long in the tooth, the current ones depreciate like crazy the first year, and one can buy a 2006 24 valve Sable with 8K miles, leather, warranty, etc for only $13K, so it's tempting to just buy another one and feel "confident" for another 6 years.
So, what say ye..."go the distance" with the current one, or buy another "new" one ?
Buy an "almost new" one and hope it is as good as the present vehicle.
Buy another. Miles are still within reality to sell and get at least something, though it's well on the long side. Much further and you'll be likely to start seeing major troubles IMO, AND combined with old styling, it will likely become impossible to unload.
Give in to the temptation.You're asking for validation for your instinct about a machine in relation to your wifes safety.Trust your instinct....
....so it's tempting to just buy another one and feel "confident" for another 6 years.
Shes getting to the point where it will need some care...Myself would not trust it for long trips, but then again, as a mechanic its always in my mind all the things that can go wrong...
On the other side of things,new domestic vehicles are made poorly...more and more so each year...as the $ goes up...
what size engine is it?
3.8L are major trouble in a ford
If it was a Lincoln or a Crown Vic, they have a real frame and the 4.6L engine. Good for 250,000 miles easy.
Guy at work had a Tarus that he drove to about 400,000 miles, most of it on the interstate hiway. He said the major issues with going that far was weak inner tie rods that needed replacement every 125,00 or so, and the automatic transmission. That was for a 1990 or so.
Personally, I expect, and do, get over 200,000 out of my cars (all domestics). The secret is to do most of the work yourself and expect to have to put some money into it sometimes. But that is cheaper than buying new.
I have the same car, with about 116,000 and I'm facing the same decision.
I've had no real problems with it, but I'm thinking to trade it in, and find another for two reasons:
First, Bronto48's comment is right on target -- I have to replace the inner tie rod ends.
Worse, though, it has started to go through oil and, since there is none on the garage floor, I'm thinking that my piston rings are getting loose around the collar, and I'll have an engine to replace soon if I keep it.
So, I'm going to be heading to the dealer after IMTS.
If it has been maintained properly, you probably have a few trouble free miles left. The biggest problem I see in the shop with them is lack of maintenance.
It will start nickle dimming you to death. Now that you have raised the question about reliability, you will start to worry every day the wife makes it to work.
With that said, time for a new one. I'm sure you have already came to that conclusion.
I am probably the most patriotic American you'll ever meet, but I have to say hands down, the Toyota Camry is the best bang for the buck.
I am still servicing one/two owner Camry's with over 300k. One customer has over 450k.
The tranny will go first and probably cost as much to repair as the car is worth.
The 24 valve engine runs well but is very difficult to work on.
Beyond 125K you might get lucky or you might not. Are you a gambler?
I would have a trusted mechanic check out the under gear, tie rods, suspension etc, seems if that is good to go, you should be ok safty wise. then question is, can she stand to drive it? When I went off on my own I needed a cheap road vehicle to get me through the first year and I had a friend who had a 1989 Chevy Celebrity salesmans car with 100K on it, 2 years old, looked good, $1000.00. So I figured I could drive for a year for 1000 bucks. I drive that to 172,ooo miles and it just kept going. Finally I donated it for a tax write off that was worth more than what I paid for it. So I drove for 72,000 miles for the cost of an exhaust system and brakes, and tires. Near the end, my daughter would complain about the car, and I would tell her that the car was paying for her ballet lessons. That was a lucky brake, but I consider that every mile over 100K in the north east is a free mile.
She loves the darn thing...that's why I was thinking in terms of just buying another one just like it ! Heck, I offered to buy another one 15,000 miles ago and she didn't seem interested !
then question is, can she stand to drive it?
If it was up to me, I'd be looking at a Subaru Outback, Toyota Camry, or small SUV of come sort, but she loves that damn Sable...thinks the Camry and Sube are a little too small inside. Toyo Avalon would be fine size wise but too pricy....I figure over $14K more for an Avalon same year/milage,with same features.
For that kinda money could buy two Sables and just keep one in storage for backup. [img]smile.gif[/img]
seems like the new Camrys are about the same size as the Taurus. I had a 02 that was great and was a step up in size from the 00 which my stepson totaled for me.
The other problem with a Camry is she would insist on the 6 cyl engine, and as I recall in the past, Toyota charged an insanely high premium to get the 6 cylinder versions...seems like it was only availble with some 'options' package that ran the price sky high. Is that still the case ?
And then there is the slight problem of the name "Camry".....which has got to be the most doofus sounding name for a car ever conceived...sounds more like a cookie...even "Le Car" was better than that ! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Only you know how well it has been maintained, I'm not a Ford guy so I don't know them. it also depends on what KIND of miles are on it, highway or city short runs etc.
Personally I would keep it, and drive it til it pukes. I have never had a vehicle that would nicke and dime me as bad as a car payment if you can do your own work.
I sold my motorcycle in 2003 because of leg weakness caused by MS. I looked for something inexpensive and fun as a replacement, and settled on a Ford Focus ZX-3. Christine and I love that car!. Drive one on a twisty road and be astonished! Anyway, I bought it at year end at Dale Jarret Ford at a whopping $4,500 off of list. I think it the best value in transportation today. Great fun to drive, over 30mpg, and plenty of luggage room.
Christine's 1998 Crown Victoria just turned 100,000 miles, and we plan to run it until it drops dead. My 1995 Toyota has 120,000 miles and will probably exceed the 267,000 my 1975 Toyota truck had.
My experience with six cylinder Ford engines was not good. I bought an 80's Ford T-Bird with the V-six. It was clean and well cared for, but the engine was a mess at a little over 100K. Just about everything in the engine was worn out, and it cost twice as much to rebuild as a 5 L. Ford engine.
I vote for getting her another Sable, but let her try the Focus too. I think supporting the American industry is important right now. I know that a lot of the foreign brands are now made here and support our economy, but the profits go overseas. (I know, we use a lot of imported stuff in our cars).
Jim, a Focus would be ok with me, but please note from my previous posts, it would be too "weak" and too small for her.
And it's been my experience it would be easier to move a mountain than to change the mind regarding an automotive transport choice of most of the double X chromosome gender
I vote keep it. The odds of duplicating it's durability are 50/50. Give it a general pampering and keep going. We all know how there are just some products that come off the line ..."happy". The one immediately behind it is inexpicably troublesome. You know this one. A "new" is unknown, could be better could be worse.
By the way isn't that motor the Yamaha item that started life in the SHO?
Keep on driving it. Keep a good mobile phone in it for that unexpected maybe of a problem. Car will probably go 200K no problem. I would ask one question though. Does it have a timing belt or chain. If belt, have you changed it?
If you havent done so, change all accessory belts and all hoses at this time. Now Im sounding like a service manager.
I think the later 24 valve v6's were a Ford design. I had 2 SHO's and regret selling the last one... it was a very dependable car. I have over 175K on my 1996 4.0 L explorer, and I figure its good to 250K. Bottom line if she adores it let it ride and stay on top of things like the timing belt, etc. The rear toe in was easy to knock out of adjustment and the inner tie rods were the weak link a taurus of that vintage's steering. The telltale of weak inner tie rods is a slight shimmy on braking and you will see it in tire wear a little too. You can secretly shop for its replacement but as it always happens, the car you want to die so you can crush will run forever.