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Author Topic: Time to let her go?  (Read 1668 times)
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2003 in Electric Blue

« on: June 21, 2016, 09:43:42 AM »

Hi all,

Well, I'm once again pondering whether to keep my favourite vehicle ever, or let her go. I have an '03 with 271,000 km (that's about 168,000 miles for my American brethren) - I had to rebuild the transmission not long after I bought her in '09 (think the tranny rebuild was in 2012), I've done the LIM gasket, shocks and struts, water pump, control arm bushing, and assorted other odds and ends. Now, Blue is looking at another tranny rebuild (can feel it off the line, have to be gentle til she's in gear) and now my AC condenser is dead, just in time for a hot Toronto summer. Because of the wonderful way the engine is sandwiched into the compartment, the AC repair will be effectively $1000 with the labour, and the tranny would net out around $3,000, so all told about $4K.

At first, it seems like a no brainer to let her go, but I'm torn and could use some input - here's the factors:

1. We love it, hands down, awesome vehicle for the family, pulls our small tent trailer (about 1500 lbs) and is just outright terrific.
2. Finances are tight - wife just finished school making a career change and is looking for work. Taking on a monthly payment (at least a significant one) is not an option, so would be looking used for sure with a limited budget (maybe $6K - $7K), and probably not able to do newer that a 2009 if I'm lucky.
3. Can't pull the trigger right now on a newer vehicle, likely won't be able to for a few more months at least - unless a family member who owes us $5K comes through with the repayment soon, which is unlikely. Living right now with no AC, but on days like yesterday (35 Celsius plus humidity) that's brutal, and sure puts a damper on road trips, not to mention being in traffic.
4. It's paid for.
5. Did I mention I love it?
6. She'll need new tires before next winter, although that I can pay off interest-free over 12 months on my trusty Canadian Tire card, so not too much of an issue.

So, I find myself wondering whether stick with the devil I know and repair the AC and nurse the tranny for as long as I can before rebuilding and hopefully get 3-5 more years out of her after that, or whether to sweat it out til I can afford to replace her, then roll the dice on a newer used ride. Current contenders include maybe a Dodge Journey, a Santa Fe (with a 6 cyl of course) and maybe another GM SUV. Essentially need a 2500-3000 lb towing/load capacity, and something that's not a maintenance horror.

Any and all thoughts and advice appreciated, including recommendations for a possible newer ride if it comes to that. My heart really wants to keep my Tek, but the head is torn lol.

Thanks all!!

Former owner of a 2003 Electric Blue beauty who met her end at 271,000 Kms.
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