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Repair or replace??
Old 10-21-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
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Repair or replace??

We have a 2005 Chevy Colorado crew cab with ~100k miles.

It runs great and our mechanic says it is mechanically sound. We put ~12k miles on a year (if that) and find having a truck handy and we need either a truck or SUV to tow our boat.

However, the body has a couple dents (compliments of DW ) and significant rust. To fix the dents and address the rust would cost ~$4,500 and after the repairs the truck would be worth $10-11k.

So my choices are to spend the ~$4,500 and drive it for 3-5 more years or trade it in. I think a new truck would be ~$24-28k and we would get ~$7-8k in trade given its condition.

I'm on the fence. Part of me would like a nice new truck and the LBYM side of me leans to the repair. Our other vehicle is a 2008 4-door sedan with ~50k miles.

What would you do?
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #2
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$4500 out-of-pocket for 5 years of service, or $20000 out-of-pocket for 15 years of service. Being a cheap b@stard I'd stick with the old one, but if the new one gets better mileage or looks way more cool, I couldn't blame you for going that way. The per year cost isn't that different between your two options.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
........So my choices are to spend the ~$4,500 and drive it for 3-5 more years or trade it in. ............
What would you do?
I'd argue that you have a 3rd choice, just maintain it and drive it with the dents and rust. Unless the dents or rust are impeding safe driving, I don't see the return on investment.

That's what I'd do.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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I'd argue that you have a 3rd choice, just maintain it and drive it with the dents and rust. Unless the dents or rust are impeding safe driving, I don't see the return on investment.

That's what I'd do.
Yep, that's what I would do too.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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I think because the vehicle is mechanically sound, that makes the decision more difficult.

It it was me, I'd probably repair. But I owned my last car for 17 years, so may be one of the extremes
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:18 PM   #6
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I'd argue that you have a 3rd choice, just maintain it and drive it with the dents and rust. Unless the dents or rust are impeding safe driving, I don't see the return on investment.

That's what I'd do.

+1

In my world, trucks are supposed to have dents in them.
Any of them will go 200k reliable miles easy these days, it just depends on whether you want to put up with the rattles and squeeks that the bodies pile up at that mileage.

My recently replaced ranger 4 cylinder had just started to use a little oil at 218k.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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I'd argue that you have a 3rd choice, just maintain it and drive it with the dents and rust. Unless the dents or rust are impeding safe driving, I don't see the return on investment.

That's what I'd do.
I agree. My experience (unfortunately quite a bit) is that rust can never really be fixed without a frame-off restoration so I'd drive it as is until you can't stand it anymore and get the new one.
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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I have a feeling that if it has dents and rust, a dealer isn't going to give you much of a trade. But then, fixing it up, there's a good chance that once the body shop tears into it, they'll find more rust and other issues that hadn't been discovered before.

If it was me, I'd just drive it until it drops dead, and just do the basics on it. Then dump it if it becomes unsafe.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:02 PM   #10
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I'm on the fence. Part of me would like a nice new truck and the LBYM side of me leans to the repair.
Why not drive it without the cosmetic repairs (as other have suggested) for a year or two until you find a terrific deal on a new truck? You can have your cake and eat it too.

The lack of desperation in your low key search will give you a great negotiating position.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:21 PM   #11
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I'd argue that you have a 3rd choice, just maintain it and drive it with the dents and rust. Unless the dents or rust are impeding safe driving, I don't see the return on investment.

That's what I'd do.
+1. The more beat up a truck gets, the more utility its got. The rust might be worth attending to (just to keep things from getting worse too rapidly--sand it down, apply rust converter, apply primer, apply paint, call it done). Unless being seen in the thing is destroying your self image, just keep driving it.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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Agreeing with the others. I drove my husbands 95 Dodge PU truck to work today. We're going to invest in a new bench seat - but aren't bothered by the dings/scratches in the paint... It's a truck - we use it for hauling stuff... that means it has dings and scratches.

We have even more reason to replace ours - we still have minor kids and it's a standard cab - so the family can't all fit in it. (seats 3 across the bench). That said - it's reliable and paid for... so we use my SUV for family trips or carpool days.

I'm cheap. I vote keep it - don't fix the dents.
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Old 10-21-2013, 01:56 PM   #13
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+8. Old and midlife trucks are supposed to look worn. I'd do the basics to stabilize the rust, maybe push out the dents (odds of success are dramatically better if you do it right away as you prob know) and any basic repairs to keep it running soundly. I'd never consider putting $4500 into it, but that's just me. Sam Walton drove his old truck as-is and he was a billionaire...
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:11 PM   #14
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I would repair. $4500 for a truck that could easily get you 100k more miles is a bargain. I would repair because I hate driving an ugly truck almost as bad as I hate truck payments. :-)
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:31 PM   #15
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I went through a similar situation recently and decided to keep my old vehicle. Would love a newer, sexier machine. Even test drove the new ones. But the numbers just don't support it. My 10 year old reliable vehicle has about 142,000 miles, liability only insurance, $10 of property tax and no worries when I park it in a crowded lot. Oh, I need to top off the coolant every six months. And the remote doesn't work any more.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:36 PM   #16
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I am not one who cares too much about impressing strangers. Still, when it comes to a vehicle, there's only so much rust and dent that I can tolerate.

Of course, people here are the same, and it's mostly a matter of degree.

So, is the OP's truck like this?



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Old 10-21-2013, 02:37 PM   #17
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:25 PM   #18
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There is a 4th option to consider, be on the lookout for that rare truck that is approx. the same age as yours but in much better condition. If you can sell yours for $5,000 and purchase a super clean one for $10,000 you can probably drive the clean one for another 10 years. I would much rather do that that drop $4,500 into a dented up rust bucket with 100,000 plus miles.

In case you think there is no such example available, I would be glad to show you my 2003 Silverado which I purchased new, ZERO dents, ZERO rust, 74,000 miles, there are ZERO scratches in the bed. All original paint and many personalized options such as a bedrug (google it) and tonneau cover, etc. etc.

Service manager at local Chevy garage said it is the absolute cleanest used truck he has ever seen. I know they are out there as I own one. Mine is not for sale though. If you are not in a hurry, and have time to look, you may consider that option. There is a definite "cool" factor to driving an old pristine vehicle.
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
We have a 2005 Chevy Colorado crew cab with ~100k miles.

It runs great and our mechanic says it is mechanically sound. We put ~12k miles on a year (if that) and find having a truck handy and we need either a truck or SUV to tow our boat.

However, the body has a couple dents (compliments of DW ) and significant rust. To fix the dents and address the rust would cost ~$4,500 and after the repairs the truck would be worth $10-11k.

So my choices are to spend the ~$4,500 and drive it for 3-5 more years or trade it in. I think a new truck would be ~$24-28k and we would get ~$7-8k in trade given its condition.

I'm on the fence. Part of me would like a nice new truck and the LBYM side of me leans to the repair. Our other vehicle is a 2008 4-door sedan with ~50k miles.

What would you do?
As long as it is mechanically sound and has not left you sitting waiting for a tow keep it. But once it leaves you sitting by the roadside, then you can no longer trust it, and its time to replace it. If you wonder if you will get back from an out of town journey with out a visit from the tow truck, then its time to replace.
I had a 2001 pickup that I kept until 2011 when the water pump went out in the middle of nowhere, it took 2 hours to get the tow truck there, (cell phone service was not good there). At that point the improved mileage of a new car along with the desire for a trustworthy vehicle led to buying a new vehicle (just about doubled the mileage).
So its once mechanical things start going wrong, that its time to look for a new vehicle.
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:41 PM   #20
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There is a 4th option to consider, be on the lookout for that rare truck that is approx. the same age as yours but in much better condition. If you can sell yours for $5,000 and purchase a super clean one for $10,000 you can probably drive the clean one for another 10 years. I would much rather do that that drop $4,500 into a dented up rust bucket with 100,000 plus miles.
I would not fix existing one either. I would drive with rust or do what Tom52 is suggesting.
Try to look for newer, but high mileage off-lease fleet vehicle - I got 1 year old old Quad Cab Dodge Ram with 90k miles for $12500, where original invoice was showing $30k.
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