Edmunds Answers

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  • avatar Stever@Edmunds 02/12/13 9:55 am PST

    This is one of those "cusp" questions and I could go either way.

    Using the Gas Guzzler Calculator here, your monthly gas savings are going to be around $107 a month, with a 102 month payback. Over 8 years in other words (I assumed $3.85 a gallon for gas).

    Assuming a trade-in of $2,419 for your Maxima (I'm ignoring repair costs here), $3,000 down and 4% interest, your payment would be $274 a month for 36 months. (Monthly Loan Payment Calculator)

    So that's only two months of payments in your best case repair scenario and six months of payments using your worst case estimate.

    But you could fix the catalytic converter and have something worse break next month.

    I'm using lots of assumptions (your trade in value may be hard to get for example), but if your mechanic says the rest of the car appears to be in good shape, and you say it's in very good condition, I'd fix it and try to get another six months minimum out of it.

Answers

  • texases 02/11/13 8:57 pm PST

    I'd avoid leasing given the miles you drive (actually, I'd avoid it regardless, the most expensive way to own a car). So how about C: Save up as much as you can over the next several months for a larger down payment and get something a step up from a Venza. I'd not get an Impreza unless you need awd.

  • gfre0705 02/11/13 10:15 pm PST

    thank you texases for the first comment. not looking for a step-up of the maxima but rather how best I can save in the long-run which is the #1 priority. as mentioned above, I don't mind owning a basic car in the versa as long as it gets me from A to B if that means saving $90-105/mo. in fuel alone. by the way, recommended fuel for '00 maxima's is premium so you know which is also another factor in my consideration of a new/er & higher-mileage vehicle aside from the financial part of it which is the reason why leasing sounds attractive.

  • texases 02/11/13 10:33 pm PST

    Good idea to minimize costs. If you can wait a month or so the new Consumer Reports car issue is coming out and will have lots of info on cars that fit your needs. I'd look at the Mazda 3 Skyactiv. Lot nicer than the Versa, great mpgs, but more $$.

  • Stever@Edmunds 02/12/13 9:55 am PST

    This is one of those "cusp" questions and I could go either way.

    Using the Gas Guzzler Calculator here, your monthly gas savings are going to be around $107 a month, with a 102 month payback. Over 8 years in other words (I assumed $3.85 a gallon for gas).

    Assuming a trade-in of $2,419 for your Maxima (I'm ignoring repair costs here), $3,000 down and 4% interest, your payment would be $274 a month for 36 months. (Monthly Loan Payment Calculator)

    So that's only two months of payments in your best case repair scenario and six months of payments using your worst case estimate.

    But you could fix the catalytic converter and have something worse break next month.

    I'm using lots of assumptions (your trade in value may be hard to get for example), but if your mechanic says the rest of the car appears to be in good shape, and you say it's in very good condition, I'd fix it and try to get another six months minimum out of it.

  • texases 02/12/13 9:59 am PST

    And if you do repair the Maxima, make sure of what the problem is first. Lots of things can trigger the P0420 code. Read more here:
    http://engine-codes.com/p0420_nissan.ht
    ml

  • knowledgepower 02/12/13 11:05 am PST

    This is an interesting request that begins with asking for a 2 cent answer but I'll comment anyway, the new car option with the Versa is the best way to go. The Impreza lease is totally out to lunch since you'll be over your mileage allowance quickly and you still have to pay it before you purchase the vehicle. The repair of the Maxima to drive those excessive miles is also too much, with 190k miles it's a great second vehicle. I'd check with Midas to fix the converter and they'll tell you if they can based upon your converter design if they put on an aftermarket or have to have the Nissan part. I did this with my wife's Neon which needed the original, Midas got the original and installed it for less than the dealer price.

  • Stever@Edmunds 02/12/13 11:10 am PST

    I'm biased for continuing to drive it because my '99 Nissan is still plugging away at 182,000 miles. But I have a backup ride. :-)

  • gfre0705 02/12/13 1:05 pm PST

    I looked @ mazda 3 skyactive texases, a nice car but price point is more than $20k to get the 39-40mpg highway I believe. out of the picture.

    exactly steve. worst case scenario calculation without a down and trade-in value only @ $2k get me the new car @ $275/mo (less the fuel savings) which is only 2 mos of the repair.

    knowledgepower,thanks for that info that I had to pay the excess mileage before the purchase as I'm not familiar with leasing a car.

    to make it a little bit complicated, I do have 2 other vehicles where 1 is an everyday use for drop/pick-up kids at school while other 1 is so old and a lot of miles that I use it sparingly nowadays. I was also thinking of adding the little remaining value of the 95 camry to add as down and that would save me another $25/mo.
    I'm presuming the insurance savings for the maxima & camry will offset the insurance for a new car.

    looking at the possible scenarios, either I keep the car, shell out $107 more in fuel, $500 in having it fixed on the cheap end and hopefully there will be no more repairs in the next 3 years OR go for a new car, shell out $250-275/mo but has that guarantee that is is repair-free in 3 years time and has more life ahead.

  • gfre0705 02/12/13 1:59 pm PST

    let me rephrase the last part above.

    option A: keep the car, shell out $500 to have it fix on the cheap end and hopefully there will be no more maintenance repairs in the next 3 years-- a risk I have to take considering the car is in good condition. with persistent savings in 3 years time less the $500 repair, I could have $8500 saved ($250/mo) plus maybe $1k in trade-in value = $9500 to use as down to purchase a new car by then.

    option B: go for a new car, shell out $250-275/mo that comes with a repair-free guarantee in at least 3 years time and has presuming 10 more years of useful life ahead after it is paid-off. a versa I'm guessing is cheaper to maintain than a maxima in the long run.

    who knows in 3 years, good economy is back with interest rates hovering probably in the 7%.

  • Stever@Edmunds 02/12/13 3:26 pm PST

    Only problem with your latest option A is that the repair could be triple that.

    It's hard for me to knock the Versa. One of the Forums hosts here (pf_flyer) has had four of them at last count and I think he put over 200,000 miles on one of those. (link)

    Source: 

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