repair it or get rid of it?


Old 03-30-07, 04:06 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39
repair it or get rid of it?

i am the original owner of this 1993 infiniti j30, with 175,000 miles. many repairs over its lifetime - a rebuilt trans (my fault) about 8 years ago; a manifold in about 1995, and another "unusual" (as they described it) repair a year after that - i don't remember what it was. new sunroof. air conditioning repaired 2 years ago. power steering lines replaced a couple of months ago, as well as something else related to power steering - i can't remember its name, but it's connected to the power steering fluid system.

anyway, now i have noise in the shift mechanism for the trans; also oil and coolant leaks, possible head gasket (?) etc. so just these two things could run to about $3,000. or so, if both need to be fixed. and there could be further leaks my mechanic didn't find, because i did not have him repair it.

the problem: do i sink 3, 4, or 5,000 $ to 're-build' this car, or just buy something new.

needless to say, 5K is a lot of money to fix a car, but much less than the 40-50K it would take to replace the car. also, i really love this car, and have always hoped to "keep it forever." i thought it might be simple to just buy a new engine when i needed to, but this running together of numerous problems is unexpected, i'm being 'nickle and dimed' to death - a thousand bucks at a time.

i have located a few used j30's, for between 4-6K, but have not investigated their condition - their mileage levels are in the 80-110,000 mile range, much better than my own 175K, but still a lot.

anyway, lots of variables; i'd appreciate your take on this - anyone's opinion of how things balance out - and in particular whether it is worth it to even think about 'rebuilding' the car; btw, in case i did that, i'd be prepared to 're-build' it again a few years down the line - after all, if i replace it, i'd probably have to lease to afford it, and then i'd be spending at least 18K every 3 years, or even more.

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Old 03-30-07, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Floriduhhhhh Us of A
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You know your car as per what maintenance has been performed.........If it needs $3000, think of this...........$3000 is $500/month for 6 months.........A NEW one is $500/month for 60 months.............and you'll probably need tires or brakes in that 60 month period........
For my money, if I knew ALL I needed was an engine to bring my vehicle up to par.......I'd get a JASPER rebuilt and be done with it
Old 03-30-07, 05:05 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39
thanks, wrench. that's exactly my thinking.

but part of my problem is that i know nothing about cars, so i don't know whether the leaks - including possibly a water pump - and the coolant leak - are part of the engine, or external parts that is over and above the cost of the engine itself.

even at that, i'm willing to pay for those repairs, if i thought this more extensive repair work / re-building would substantially cover the problems. even so, $3,000 every 3-4 years, is better than $4-6,000 everyyear for the term of the lease - then every year after that for the term of the next lease!!

and that's with buying cars that are a step down from what i have: in 1993 the j30 stickered for $35,000. today, i looked at a couple of lexus's and a nissan 1 that sticker between $35-48,000, and - don't get me wrong - very nice cars, but the j30 would probably be $50-55,000 in today's market!

drives me nuts: how can i spend $45K and get less car than i have already? of course, i understand that, it's just that i'm not that rich.

anyway, bottom line question: i don't know or understand the range of problems with the j30 - i'm trying to give you guys a sense of it so you can help me make the call and tell me what is the motor, and maybe what else i should think about.

another question: are there people who specialize in "rehabbing" cars like this? i like my mechanic - a midas guy - and he takes good care of me, but can i trust him with a job rebuilding a car?

thanks again.

Old 03-30-07, 05:09 PM
HotxxxxxxxOKC's Avatar
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I'll have to go opposite of Wrench.

I would, personnally, get rid of it and buy new. At least with a new vehicle, you have a piece of mind because you have a warranty. If something were to go wrong with it while under warranty, you don't have to pay for it.

Another thing to think about which is probably the most important; you would not have to worry about having your vehicle in the shop every year for some major work.

I say scrap that puppy and get a nice, new, reliable vehicle.
Old 03-30-07, 05:29 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 39
yes, hot, i know that also. it's the one thing that gives me most trouble: i love the car, but all the repairs have worn my affection rather thin.

but there are still two questions at least:

1. can a major re-build, even every few years, get the car back to a tolerable condition where it won't be in the shop all the time. in fact, the last 2-3 years have been pretty clean in that regard, except for more normal stuff.

2. a "nice, new car" that i can afford is much less car than what i have. especially considering that what i can really afford is considerably below the lexus's i looked at today. so the j30 is a real prize for me. i even drove a cadillac cts today on a special $299 lease - nice car, and lacking punch, roominess, handling, comfort, and style!!!!
Old 03-30-07, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 553
in the end, is still a '93 dude, no matter how much you spend on it it's still a 15 year old car ( considering it was built in 1992 ), why not just worry about your monthly payment and be done with it, instead of driving an old car and not knowing what part will fail next.
if you have good credit get a lease, or get a good deal on a new one.
Old 03-31-07, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 279
Strictly my opinion here...

But a car is a car and nothing can beat a reliable one. If you are really thinking frugally and know what would suit your needs, you need not look further than your nearest Toyota dealer. You can get a very nice and reliable Camry that would easily give you 20 years of service with regular maintainance, without needing a major repair. I'm not fond of their design, but their reputations are certainly worthy and I've known several people to own their Toyota's for well over 20 years. In fact, the only incidences I hear of people actually selling their Toyotas is because they just want something flashier. In fact, I know a couple people who regret selling thier 15 year old Toyota because their newer car is much less reliable.

With that said, if I were you, I'd look into similar Hyundais (think Sonata) and Mitsubishis (think Galant/Diamante). They come with a 10 yr/100K warranty and do what they're made for (driving). They'll be fairly reliable, backed by their manufacturer for any major problems, and cost significantly less than the Lexus which, by my thinking, does the exact same thing for a lot more guap. In fact, I'd recommend the Diamante over anything strictly because of its value. Huge glove box and lot's space, semi luxurious, etc.

Another consideration is the Chevy Impala. Built and perform so well, and at such a value, that most police forces use them in their fleets. Plus you'd be investing in America (I know, not much comfort to you). Seriously though, if you can live with great value then I'd say buy new, but if you must have the 2007-8 version of your J-30 then keep your 1993 version and rehab it. What you're looking for is sentimental and you won't get that out of today's Infiniti or Lexus. Buy a tank (Toyota) that's all I can say.
Old 03-31-07, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 202
Red face leaks

First thing to do before checking for leaks is take it to a car wash and use the engine degreaser that most car washes have, if not buy a can and wash off the engine while it is running and warm. Just cover the distributor with a plastic bag and don't spray around it. If the engine starts to stall point the spray gun away from the distributor cause if it stalls and won't start back up then you might have to take off the distributor cap and dry out the inside. Next get the vehicle home and by that time the engine should have dried, then lay a big piece of clean cardboard under the engine so you can see where any drips occur. After the engine cools down remove the radiator cap and pull the engine dip stick and see if there is any green or yellow coolant on engine dip stick, suggesting a leak between the engine coolant passage-ways and the oil passage ways, most likely in head gasket. If the head gasket blows than it could blow between cylinders and/or any combination of oil,combustion and coolant passage-ways. Also look at your exhaust pipe for any signs of coolant coming out which would turn the sky white as coolant is leaking into the cylinder through a blown head gasket or worse cracked head. Look into the radiator for bubbles that most likely are combustion from the cylinders leaking in the head gasket and also look for oil in the radiator and coolant on the engine oil dipstick. As far as external leaks they are easiar to spot. Look around where gaskets are, also you may use motor oil and squirt some around the top of the head where it bolts to the intake and see whether it gets pulled into the engine suggesting a leaking intake manifold gasket. Run your hands along the exhaust gaskets being sure not to touch anything hot and feel for exscaping exhaust gases suggesting a blown exhaust manifold gasket. Usually if a head gasket is blown between 2 cylinders the engine will backfire up through the carb or fuel injection unit cause you get fire from 1 cylinder going through the leaking gasket into a cylinder that could be on a intake or exhaust stroke. Intake, backward and exhaust stroke misfiring out the exhaust. Blue exhaust is oil, black is gas and white is coolant or tranny fluid. Hope this helps...Also if tranny fluid leaks into the radiator it will turn pepto-bismal pink, suggesting a leak in the radiator in the tranny cooler. If that coolant gets into a tranny say goodbye.
Old 04-01-07, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
If you have the time, money and knowledge to do it yourself i would fix it. But if you cant do it all your self and have no one to help a new car is defenitly the way to go.

Teen Mech
V8 swap chevy s10 age 17
Old 04-01-07, 04:41 PM
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Hmmmm well according to kelly blue book you have a rotting hunk of iron worth around $3,000.00 if it were in good operating condition. I personally would sell it for what I could get out of it (maybe 500) and put that money plus the 5k that you were going to spend for repairs to the old clunker towards a nice 3 to 5 year old low mileage replacement. $5,500.00 will buy quite a bit of used car.
Old 04-01-07, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 526
From my perspective I would have to ask how the interior and body looks.
If the body and interior are in good shape I would locate a wreck of the same car and exchange the engine and trans if the mileage is fairly reasonable on the wreck......could buy yourself about 5 more years.
And I'll take it one step the job yourself and save even more $$
Old 04-01-07, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Floriduhhhhh Us of A
Posts: 611
Exactly Mack!!...........If it LOOKS good, fix the way it RUNS............If it RUNS good, fix the way it LOOKS..............When it doesn't LOOK good OR RUN good, replace it

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