The Escapadian’s Used Car Conundrum

Today is a sad, sad day. The Escapadians super deluxe time traveling machine has finally kicked the bucket. Or I should say, Mr. FE’s beloved vehicle otherwise known as “The Turtle”. You see, born on May 2002, this Mercury Sable has been a part of our lives for a very long time.

The Turtle has been used primarily as Mr. FE’s mode of transportation, and he’s become so attached to her, that he just can’t bear to let her go. But he just might have to where she failed her yearly inspection, and according to our very trustworthy auto technician, the cost to fix her will be a mere $2980!

Here is the front…

Not only is she still a sight to behold, but she’s 100% fully owned and titled to the Escapadians.

…and the back. I did tell you that I was an “aspiring” photographer. Anybody offering lessons where I can’t seem to get the whole car in one photo?!

Here are five reasons why we love “The Turtle”:

1) As previously stated, she’s 100% fully paid for. We can save by not making a car payment every month and are able to invest the money instead.

2) We don’t have to worry about “keeping up appearances”. She’s not exactly going to win the next auto show! We can drive her freely and not worry about a scrape here or a ding there…or even if a piece of the interior door falls off!

Check out the stuffing from inside the door!

3) She is our time machine on wheels. We’ve toured five states together and created lots of memories. It will be hard to see her go.

4) She’s practical and fits the Escapadian lifestyle. She’s got lots of room and the seats are very comfortable. Plus, we were able to lug our deck furniture home from the store along with a 50″ TV. Not bad for a sedan!

5) Did I mention that she’s theft proof? Well, that is unless someone chooses to steal her for parts. But truthfully, I’m fairly sure we’re safe on this one.

Here are five reasons why we may need to let “The Turtle” go:

1) There is a one foot hole under the back seat that is all rusted out. New England weather is tough on cars and it’s easy to get salt and sand damage. Lesson learned: wash undercarriage more often.

2) The heat/ac unit is broken. Not good where we live in New England and need the defrost. Unbeknownst to me, the defrost will only work if this unit does.You’ll have to forgive my lack of tech knowledge when it comes to cars.

How about that mahogany accent?

3) It’s dead. It will not start, but we do believe that this is because it hasn’t been driven in a while. I’ve been dropping off Mr. FE to work every morning until the we decide what to do with the car. We think she just needs a little juice to the battery.

4) We’ve discovered that it’s not so bad having only one car in the household. We are able to save on maintenance, insurance, taxes and registration fees. Mr. FE works only 2.8 miles away from our home and could ride a bike to work when the weather cooperates.

5) The cost to repair all of this will be about $2980 on a car that’s worth far less. We also need to see if we can secure the auto parts to fix it. But we don’t object to buying used parts if necessary.

Here’s our dilemma:

The car only has 89,000 miles on it, but this model seems to be a maintenance nightmare, and we were told by our auto technician that it most likely won’t last too much longer. Mr. FE would like to get the car fixed and try to keep it a little longer, while I would much rather donate it and buy another vehicle.

So now it’s up to us to decide if we keep “The Turtle” or let her go. Is she worth fixing? Tell us what you think!


7 thoughts on “The Escapadian’s Used Car Conundrum

  1. I go back and forth on this but I have come around a bit towards the new car thing. I have a 2005 Camry that still runs great, is paid for 6 years ago, and shows no signs of slowing down. I paid ~ $16,000 for it brand new. I know everything about the car, it rides great still and I am not inheriting someone else’s issues. I expect another 5 years at least from this gem. That would be 16 years of ownership. I used to always buy used but after repairs and not getting good results, I have switched to new cars. I think it is more cost effective in the long run provided you don’t buy an expensive car and you take good care of it. Good luck with your decision as it is not an easy one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We couldn’t agree more with you regarding the new car thing. All of our cars have been purchased new or near new so we didn’t have to worry about how well the previous owners have taken care of the car. We have tried buying an older used car before and it turned out to be a maintenance nightmare. We realize that new cars depreciate quite a bit in the first two years, but if we are keeping the cars until they die it doesn’t effect us anyway.

      Now if only I could convince Mr. FE to bury this car and buy a new one!

      Thank you for the comment! We really appreciate it!


  2. We’ve been in that place before. We ended up sharing a car for about three months before purchasing a new one. I say give Turtle a big hug and use the ~$3K on a new Turtle 2.0. And by new, of course I mean “new to you”, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! We more or less will buy new or nearly new so we can avoid having a maintenance headache. The depreciation doesn’t bother us because we tend to keep them until they die. We have been doing okay with one car, but we are fairly certain this may become a challenge during the winter months. Now I just need to convince Mr. Fe to let the Turtle go!:)

      Thanks for the comment! We really appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I car pool and drive a 2003 Mazda Protege that we bought 3 years ago for $2,500 at a car auction. Never had any problems with you and paid cash for it (of course). I can totally relate to the reasons why you love your car. I feel the same way too.
    Its nice not having to keep up appearances. Way to go on your saving and investing goals.

    Liked by 1 person

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