Rather than dumping the car, why not refuzz the dice?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

First of all, thank you for the knowledge you have given me and also the laughter you have added to my life. My husband and I are in our seventies. We have been thinking of buying a car. Would we be better off having a first class paint job done on our present car, buying four new tires for it, and having the seventy thousand mile service done by the dealer? We have a 1983 Chevrolet Celebrity which we purchased new. We have always taken it to the dealer for all the maintenance recommended by General Motors. We cannot afford to buy a new car outright, and the thought of four years of payments at our age seems silly. We will not be making long trips anymore, and this car has performed very well for us. Would this be a bad move on our part, or should we keep the car?

RAY: Of course you should keep the car, Marjorie. But before you go spending good money on tires and paint, you should have this heap thoroughly inspected just as if you were about to buy it from somebody else.

TOM: Ask your mechanic to examine the car bumper to bumper. Let him check the engine, the transmission, and everything else. Even ask him to check the dice hanging from the rear view mirror to see if they need re-fuzzing.

RAY: Seriously, before you put any money into the car, you want to know everything that's wrong with it. When you know the total cost of fixing it--cosmetically AND mechanically--you'll be able to make an informed decision.

TOM: And don't be scared away by a few major repairs. Even if the price of fixing it and painting it comes to a couple of thousand dollars, this is a car you know and like, and you'll never be able to get a comparable new car for that kind of money.

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