Q: Should I get rid of my car?

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My 2004 Mercury Monteray has 94K miles. Purchased it 3 years ago from a dealer who showed all the work was done by the dealer and not one item was skipped. Purchased at 60K miles. Now at 94K miles there has been a transmission slip. It's sporadic and had disappeared for the past two weeks. The slip was there for about a month. So, with the mileage, I don't want to replace the transmission anytime soon. it's about $3500. The car is only worth about that much. Should I sell it?

If so, should I go for a used Toyota Highlander with no warranty, or a Certified Preowned Dodge Journey with 7 year 100K mile warranty?

Transmissions are often repairable in the field, on or off the car. The cost of the repair will depend on exactly what has gone wrong with the transmission and so the best thing to do is get the issue properly diagnosed so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. Some transmission faults arise because the the fluid level is too low, there could be a plugged filter, faulty shift solenoids or other frankly mundane and easily (on the car) repairable faults. As far as the larger issue of how to decide between repairing a car that you already own versus buying "another" car, the economically relevant comparison is the total cost of the repair(s) versus the total cost of the alternative. In particular, the current "market" value of your car is irrelevant to ANY calculation because the simple fact of the matter is if and once your present car is repaired, it will be fully functional and provide the exact same transportation service you would get if you bought "another" car. The bottom line is, if your goal is to minimize your total cost, there are really only two numbers to compare: the cost to fix what you have versus the cost of buying another car. I have performed this calculation, and used this strategy, uncounted times over four decades: you will almost always be better off, often much better off, just fixing what you have and not buying "another" car. If you desire that the problem with the transmission be diagnosed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request a transmission shift diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you, particularly if you just need more information to make wise, informed decision.

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