car tuning

30 Oct 2007

Reliability issues when to scrap the car.

One of the most annoying things about car ownership is unreliability. When it comes to breaking down I think I have to be a gold medal holder and got to be on first name terms with the AA recovery call center staff. This goes back to the time I owned a Rover 220 Gti, a car which I greatly loved and my first real hot hatch.

The previous owner had neglected servicing. Actually he thought servicing entails topping up the oil when the oil light comes on. Needless to say after a few weeks the engine went. I replaced this and within 200 miles the new engine had gone as well! A garage diagnosed a serious drive shaft wobble in the gearbox which I likely to have caused the engine to fail. So next time round I got the replacement engine stripped down and sources a stronger gearbox from a 220 Turbo which had a torsion diff and lower gear ratios.

Even after this I had trouble with oil leaks, and minor electrical component failures. Starter motor, rear washer, split core plug, exhaust failure due to a speed bump.

I got into the trap of throwing good money after bad in the hope that there was nothing else that could go wrong! In the end the car cost me £1000's in repair bills. It would be far simpler if there was a simple formula we could use to determine if a car is worth repairing. So here is my philosophy which I will now set in stone (or type at least)

Repair the car if:

  • The total cost of the repair is lower than 30% of the value of the car and the total mileage the car has covered is under 70,000.
  • If a car is over 7 years old and the repair cost is lower than 50% of the value of the car and the car is under 80,000 miles.
    If the car is over 15 years old and the repair costs less than 80% of its market value (we are getting into collectors car territory here.)

Do not repair the car if:

  • The mileage is over 100,000 and the repair cost will exceed 50% of the market value of the car. Or if the total cost of repairs exceed 60% of the value of the car.

Each time you repair the car deduct 50% of the cost of repair from its market value for the next calculation. (That way if a car become unreliable you will only lose a certain amount of money rather than need to finance it with a bottomless pit.)

Make a business decision and dump the car before it sucks all of your money and time and cut your losses and invest in a newer car.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I am writing a post about car tuning and i was hoping you could help me find some link to some of the coolest cartuner in the world ? i Need some crazy pictures of cars.

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