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Old 03-12-2020, 12:20 PM #1
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where do you draw the line on repairs?

at what point do you say "this is no longer worth fixing?"

is it a dollar amount, a certain part breaking, something else?

I am under the assumption that as a general rule it is cheaper to fix than it is to get another vehicle. I am speaking just of mechanical issues, not damage from accidents or anything

My 99 needs the knock sensors and harnesses replaced, new brakes and tires, fluids need to be flushed, new alternator, coming up on time for new water pump and LBJs, and probably new bushings and shocks. Possible something else I am not thinking of.

It still drives really well and I feel like if all that was replaced then I should be good to go for 5 more years or so. I know most of that list are items that every car eventually needs to have replaced. Even if everything listed cost $4k-$5K and I was able to get 4-5 more years before anything else major was needed then I am looking at driving it for around $100 month, way cheaper than buying another vehicle.

Or I could put the $4k-$5k into buying a $15K vehicle and also get 5+ years without anything major, albeit with a higher cost.

Anyone else been in a similar situation? If so, what did you do?
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:25 PM #2
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The math works out very differently if you are a DIY type person or you have to pay somebody for every service / repair.

In my opinion, if you are fairly capable with DIY stuff, almost anything but an accident or (serious) rust is worth fixing. Worst-case single repair (say, engine or transmission replacement) is under $2k, which is 4-5 months car payments on a new car not counting depreciation.

If you like it, keep it running well! (that's a general statement, not specifically to the OP)

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Old 03-12-2020, 12:28 PM #3
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After owning it for 20 years at this point I don't even think about the line. I just fix it.
you can get the knocksensors and wiring harness for a couple of hundred bucks from a parts yard. I prefer used toyota parts over cheap after market, if I don't buy new oem.
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Old 03-12-2020, 12:44 PM #4
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If you have something that gives back as much as these 20 year old trucks do, I say stick with it. Pertaining to transportation, is 5k truly even remotely a lot of money to consider to invest in a vehicle that will run for another 5 years? That's $2.74 cents per day invested into a working 4x4 Toyota that has proved itself as reliable if not more reliable than any "modern" truck today. If from a personal point of view there are aspects that appeal to you about a 15k vehicle, create a critical parts list on your 3rd gen for much less than 5k and fix those components and then go buy your 15k vehicle and have two. Youll find youll still want to drive the 3rd gen after a while, because it will keep the miles low on the one you're invested in 15k and over the long run this is the best investment because then you have a 3rd gen that's reliable, and something newer that is "hop in and drive across the country" reliable. These 3rd gens are some of the last vehicles that you can work on everything DIY with no formal special vehicle training. That in and of itself for me is worth keeping mine around forever. everyones gonna be driving electric trucks in 15 years and ill be in my 3rd gen haha
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:44 PM #5
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I think there's a huge value in knowing your vehicle. It makes troubleshooting a whole lot easier, since you know exactly what has been replaced and when, and how things looked when you did the work, etc. Even the best repair history can't match that. You also (hopefully) have confidence in your own work that would not transfer if you sold it (think about when you bought your truck and the PO said "Yeah, I just replaced this, and took care of that, etc." - how much faith did you have that he did it right?) Both those facts mean your vehicle more valuable to you than it is to others.

Barring an serious accident, I can't think of a failure that would make me want to get rid of mine. But if had serious rust and/or body damage issues AND a major mechanical failure, then that might do it.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:28 PM #6
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I keep a 24-month running total on repair costs. When it starts averaging above between $150-$175 a month I start thinking about changing, considering my time, frustration and current $$ on hand.

This allows for the occasional major repair and also helps track vehicle maintenance.

It does NOT include normal interval maintenance items like fluids, batteries and tires.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:34 PM #7
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I can echo what is said above. Unless I total the body, ill keep this rig for a long time. Paid off...so the only "monthly" with this is insurance.
Do it yourself saves tons. Ive done all the work you mentioned myself. This past spring I had to do the knock sensors and harness...as well as all the misc parts to get to it, but then anything old got replaced on the way ( vc gaskets, wire set, plugs, gaskets, fluids, cleaned ICV and Maf while off...etc). I went Toyota knock sensors and harness as too many threads out there about aftermarket issue on knock sensors. All told I think that ran me about 500 in parts..

you mention brakes....well I did the and stainless lines for less than what is quoted in the area just to replace stock ( shop doing stock, me doing TBU).

So I agree if you can diy then you can be into all those repairs including the suspension repairs for well under 4k...id guess near 2k

Don't forget to budget a little money for new tools
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:04 PM #8
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If you love it, keep it. If you donít love it, dump it on someone who will love it.


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Old 03-12-2020, 05:56 PM #9
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Better the Devil you know, for me.

I know what I've replaced and what I've yet to replace on my '96 1kz-te. Buying into someone elses problems, especially at the $15k pricepoint could easily be a can of worms. I'd stick with what you've got. You know (mostly) how its been driven, how well its been looked after, etc. To a degree, all second hand car buying is a bit of a lottery, even if you do your checks. Sometimes you just can't know everything about a trucks history..

Same with my little '89 Golf GTI. Since I've owned it I've dropped in a new engine, gearbox, calipers, rotors, pads, suspension all round, bushes all round, steering rack etc. Over the 7 years I've owned that Golf I've basically replaced everything, and now I'll never sell it.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:07 PM #10
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Is your 4Runner an appliance or a family member?

Mine is family. My truck is an appliance.
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Old 03-12-2020, 09:53 PM #11
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I just poured almost $6k in repairs and maintenance into my runner. Iíd rather it go into that and have a few more years with it than pay a bank for a new used runner that might not be as good.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:17 PM #12
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Agree on so many points above. I have no line, I just fix what I can when I can to keep ahead.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:19 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewiswilkinson View Post
Better the Devil you know, for me.
You beat me to it- I know it as " Keep the devil that you know". If you are considering getting rid of your current 'Runner and getting another 3rd gen, you won't gain any ground with the maintenance requirments. At this age, the "nice" ones for sale are usually needing that laundry list of repairs. Keep yours and just fix it. My 2 Zlotys.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:26 PM #14
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Being my fleet of 4 runners are mostly work beaters and hobby rebuilds. I dont mind spending money on them. I can buy a heck of alot of parts and full vehicles complete and still not even be half the cost of a new one.

I look at it this way. Older vehicles cost at lot less on insurance. As I can probably run 3 or 4 3rd gens for the cost of 1 new one. Being a hobby mechanic, I dont mind working on them at all. Actually I find it very relaxing and therapeutic from my day job.

If these vehicles are maintained and or brought back to being well maintained they will run a very long time before failure. Now if they are neglected and abused. One would have to repair the damage of previous owners.

It really depends on how ones perspectives are. Mostly folks that are new to Toyotas are amazed at their lifespans. While some of our users have had them for a very long time.


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Old 03-13-2020, 07:11 AM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillo_76 View Post
Older vehicles cost at lot less on insurance.
I guess you don't live in Georgia... I have 4 vehicles (and know what I was paying on the prior 2 against the two newest I now own) ~ they range from 1966 to 2018 and ALL of them are within $50/6 months of each other. Yup, my 1999 4runner costs just as much to insure as a 2018 vehicle that I paid more for than a brand new 4runner. And yes, I have a "perfect" driving record (nothing reported since 1999), and "perfect" insurance history (zero claims in my lifetime). "Insurance" makes me want to kill myself sometimes, so much fear-mongering for profit going on, and the Endless price increases ~ I haven't gotten a bill that HASN'T increased in the 9 years I've been in Georgia.

OP, it's 100% personal preference. What you described as needed are all expected items. My threshold is when Unexpected items keep happening, things that don't just wear out, but actually break/fail. Or, if the single repair begins to approach the value of a vehicle were I to sell it. Or, if I'm simply sick/frustrated with a vehicle and no long feel it's reliable. But I'm also a mechanic who doesn't have to worry about a day job (meaning I have ample time, and enough money). So my perspective is different than most.
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