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Q: Should I repair or trade-in my car?

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I have 2003 VW New Beetle that I bought new. I lived in OH where no inspection is needed to register a car, and have had check-engine light on for a couple of years. I have recently relocated to MD for a new job where car inspection is mandatory. Apart from check-engine light, speedometer became inaccurate, and the engine occasionally started to make ticking sound and gets rough whenhumid. Changing ignition plugs and coil (cracked) seemed making the situation worse. Before relocating, I took my car to the dealer to find a culprit, but they gave ma a laudry list of things that supposed to cost me $5k to fix everything, including: (1) Replace exhaust redonator ($1769.12); (2) Parkign brake cable ($518.92); (3) driver's side lower ball joint ($238.04); (4) replace front strut moutns and bearings ($423.44); (5) Rare brake pads ($333.85); (6) Speedo drive gear ($1034.04); (7) Wiper ($34.96); (8) O2 sensor ($315.88). Cosmetically, it has several dings and scratches. Should I repair or..?

My car has 82000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. You will likely want to punch some numbers. Driving with the check engine light on for several years makes this a hard choice. The amount of damage that can be done due that amount of time allowed to pass with a fault is extensive. Even if the light was for a sensor or other simple component, the result of the computer not having the correct information from the sensor over a long period of time can create a number of issues. Without knowing what the check engine light was on for, it is a guessing game of what the issue is. The mechanics are then put in a position where the only thing they can do is asses the condition of the vehicle as it stands now. All of the repairs they are suggesting be made are reasonable. The pricing for these services will vary and you may be able to get better pricing. You may also not need to make all of those repairs at once. Take the blue book value of the car as it stands and compare it to the repairs that need to be made in order to register. Then compare it to the cost of getting a new vehicle and make your choice then. The only thing you can do is compare the cost of repair to the cost of a new vehicle.

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