TTAC Commentator bpscarguy writes:
I need some advice – I am struggling with a decision on what to do with our daily driver. It’s a 2002 Infiniti I35. 140,000 largely trouble-free, easy, no fuss miles. It does everything we want, has some creature comforts, is in very good, clean condition.
The problem is, last month I put on new front brakes to the tune of $245.00. At that time my mechanic told me of some looming items that will likely need addressing in the next month:
- Leaking head gasket – $535.00
- Front axle boots – $385.00
- Front wheel bearing – $620.00 ( I did the other one last year)
This car has been the most trouble-free I have owned, but I also understand that it is getting on in age and will likely start needing more and more attention. I am very tempted to sell it and get something newer (not new) with less miles on it. Likely another Infiniti or possibly an A4 or older E class Mercedes.
Or should I repair it and just chalk this up to bad timing that all of this is happening at once, and therefore making it seem worse than it is?
Thoughts? Many thanks!
Isn’t it funny how one decision can cause a chain reaction? Or-if you choose wisely-not?
Here’s the deal: if you buy a used A4 or E-class (lacking a handy CPO warranty) you’ll regret not dumping a pile of cash on I35 reconditioning. The I is certainly an older car needing
constant frequent attention, but it’s not a money/time sucking Pit of Disappointment. With those nasty German parts costs and labor rates, that perhaps you aren’t considering.
Perhaps one day we can say a 4-10 year old vehicle from this part of the world is a fair proposition for people living in the USA: perhaps time will tell.
A newer Infiniti is the smarter choice: it keeps you in the premium luxo-sedan game and is less likely to punish your wallet than the German alternatives. But newer Infinitis lack the I35’s inbreeding advantages with the Nissan Maxima. With that in mind, dare I suggest a Camry-bred Lexus ES?
Generalizations are all fine and dandy–it’s at the core of the Internet in general and Piston Slap in particular–but what does it boil down to?
It’s about your time value of money.
Is the I35 gonna leave you stranded more often than a newer car? Likely. Will it be cheaper to fix those unexpected surprises and the normal wear items? Most definitely. So will you miss the I35 if it goes bye-bye?
If you replace it with an out-of-warranty Benz/Audi, I can almost guarantee it.
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.