repair or replace?


Old 10-17-03, 07:32 AM
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repair or replace?

Hi all. I have a '95 Mecury Tracer station wagon with 122K miles on the 1.9L motor. The auto trans has 50K less miles as it was a warranty replacement when I purchased the car used in '98.

I had an intake valve seat fall out at low speed in one cylinder and have found the bill to repair will be about $1200. That's for a remanufactured head, new piston etc. This includes labor done by my pro certified mechanic brother-in-law.

The car is in very good shape otherwise and I'm having trouble deciding whether to have it repaired or replace the car.

A local garage pulled the head and found the problem and I looked at the head and sure enough, the valve seat is gone.

I don't mind the repair route but will this happen again before the car is worn out? I usually drive my vehicles until there is nothing left then buy something else. The local garage mechanic said this is a common problem in these motors so I am concerned the money will go for a repair only to have this happen again.

Sorry for the long post but for some reason I can't make a decision here. Please advise.

Any and all input is welcome and I thank everyone for their thoughts in advance.
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Old 10-17-03, 10:09 AM
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My opinion would have been to pitch this long ago when the tranny went bad, but you already replaced it, so you're into this thing for a few bucks, if you paid to have the tranny done.

These cars are lackluster and bottom barrel quality, but if maintained they can stay together for a while. You've already won half the battle by changing the tranny.

$1200 at this point while severe might actually be worth it because a $1200 car (to replace this) will be another heap and you'll likely repeat the same repairs on something else.

I don't know that I would be charging my own brother-in-law for repairs, that seems a little odd. Maybe you can assist your brother in law (if he'll let you or he owns his own shop), with the dismantling of the vehicle and let him do the technical work. Depends on your arrangement there.

I guess I don't drive them till there's nothing left. I replace them when I feel like it. The trick with any car is not to drive it into the ground. It's to drive it till you find something better to replace it or you've been given something better to replace it. At that point, you can flip what you're driving for a few bucks and then have some coin in your pocket for other things....
Old 10-17-03, 12:47 PM
darrell McCoy
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A no win situation. Not worth anything the way it is. So Only way I see it, specially with those miles, is to take the 1200, add to it and maybe find a reman. someplace. But then you are committed. That and recent tranny job will way exceed value of the car. Sometimes you just got to bite the bullet. Ya do what ya have to do. However, if you got the COH, just get another vehicle.

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