Drive It or Ditch It?

Tennille has a 10-year-old car with a failing transmission and other problems. It will cost more than $4,200 to fix it. If she does, she'll only have $200 left.

QUESTION: Tennille in Tennessee is on Baby Step 2 and Baby Step 3 at the same time. Her 10-year-old car has a failing transmission and other problems. It will cost more than $4,200 to fix it, and she has the cash. But if she does, she'll only have $200 left. The car is worth $4,000 fixed up. That gives Dave his answer.

ANSWER: We don't spend $4,000 on a $4,000 car. There are two possibilities here. Go to Kelley Blue Book's website and look up your car to see what it will sell for, private sale if it was fixed and running all right.

Once you have that, get at least one other bid on fixing this car from a reputable, independent mechanic. The most expensive place to repair a car is at the car dealer, so get another bid. You might try Christian Brothers Automotive; you can trust those guys.

The other option is to sell the car as is, with a broken transmission, and it brings $1,000 or so. Then take $3,000 and add it to that and you pay $4,000 cash for a car that's running fine.

Go down to Christian Brothers and get a second bid. See what the car is worth on Kelley Blue Book. Then you'll either sell the car like it sits or you'll fix it and drive it, depending on what it costs to repair it. If it costs more than $2,000 to repair it, then sell it.

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