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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #1
matnic
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Default what to do-gas is effecting me

almost time to make a vehicle purchase, but what, and what to trade in?

Here's the situation: We own 3 vehicles, but the YJ won't play a part in this decision, as its a minimal daily driver/weekend toy/no winter use. I am driving a '00 Chevy Malibu with 147,000 miles. Gets about 25mpg average, mostly 25 mile commute each way. Wife (and 3 month old baby) drives a '01 GMC Sierra 1500 regular cab long box, has about 85,000 miles, gets maybe around 16-18mpg, if that, mostly short trips and the occasional 25 mile trip. The Malibu is paid off, the truck has less than a year left, probably owe about $2000 (haven't called the bank yet for the payoff $).

So, we would like to stay at only one car payment at a time. The Malibu has been a great car, but its getting up in the miles, and its starting to nickel and dime us (just had to replace the front springs, for instance). The Truck is a great truck, but is a killer on mpg, plus, its probably worth more in trade-in.

So, do we trade the truck in and get another car (maybe a newer Malibu or small suv like a Libby with good mpg), I keep driving the old Malibu till it dies (larger gamble)...
Or, do we trade the Malibu in when the truck is paid off, and get another good mpg car, and keep the truck and bite the gas bullet for another 5 years?

opinions please?

--cliffs notes-- trade in truck for car and keep old car, or trade old car in for newer car and keep truck?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:20 PM   #2
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Do you need to use the truck for anything regularly?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #3
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If the Malibu has the 3.1 or 3.4L V6 I would dump it with those miles if you haven't done the intake gaskets ($600+)

If you don't need the truck I would dump the truck in favor of 2 vehicles with good mileage.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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if shes getting 16-18 in the truck, you wont see any better MPG with a Libby.

trade in the truck for a Kia.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:26 PM   #5
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Drive car till it blows, any nickeling will be cheaper than current truck payment or a new car/suv payment. Get free and clear and wait out the gas game till after election and first 100 days of new admin...
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #6
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steal gas.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #7
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I just ate Nacho's for lunch so I'm sure the gas will be effecting me soon too!!

On a side note your truck may not have the trade in power it once had , I'm being told people are dumping the Trucks for gas savers so like any flooded market you may be dissapointed in what you get for it .

Side note to the side note : you should feel lucky to get that kind of MPG out of a truck , you could drive my Hemi truck and get half your reported MPG. Thing is I use my truck a lot for the hauling capacity so I just bite the bullet and pay for my poor choice.

Please do not go to the Import side suport our semi american made products.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #8
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My brother and his wife traded in their libby for the HHR. The HHR gets 30mpg and still has plenty of room. They seem to really like it and there not too expensive.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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Front springs always break on the malibu's
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #10
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Don't need the truck for anything regularly, though it is nice when I need some long 2x4s or when a friend/family needs to move. Maybe a 04+ malibu with the folddown seats would fit 2x4s...

current Malibu has 3.4, yeah, I think a shop did say a gasket needs replacing (have to put coolant in every once in a while, never overheats, but I did put some radiator stopleak in, seems to have helped.). So, jeapfreak, you say do BOTH? Can't do it, not gonna have 2 payments right now.

Not doing a Kia (clown car), I do have some pride! Was thinking of 04 or 05 Malibu 4 cylinder, get 30 mpg, or similar (kind of partial to GM products, won't do Dodge again, though I do like their styling).

Mikey1258, good point about sticking out the truck till paid off, then see whats going on in the world...

Any recomendations for replacements? Like having a 4wd for those bad winter days when the plow truck doesn't come by for a few days. Have been happy with the '00 Malibu, too. I like the HHR's, but the wife doesn't.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matnic View Post
Don't need the truck for anything regularly, though it is nice when I need some long 2x4s or when a friend/family needs to move. Maybe a 04+ malibu with the folddown seats would fit 2x4s...

current Malibu has 3.4, yeah, I think a shop did say a gasket needs replacing (have to put coolant in every once in a while, never overheats, but I did put some radiator stopleak in, seems to have helped.). So, jeapfreak, you say do BOTH? Can't do it, not gonna have 2 payments right now.

Not doing a Kia (clown car), I do have some pride! Was thinking of 04 or 05 Malibu 4 cylinder, get 30 mpg, or similar (kind of partial to GM products, won't do Dodge again, though I do like their styling).

Mikey1258, good point about sticking out the truck till paid off, then see whats going on in the world...

Any recomendations for replacements? Like having a 4wd for those bad winter days when the plow truck doesn't come by for a few days. Have been happy with the '00 Malibu, too. I like the HHR's, but the wife doesn't.
the eco-tec engines tend to break timing chains about a 1000.00 repair just a heads up
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #12
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If you don't need the truck regularly I'd get rid of that. You can rent U-hauls for cheap and save yourself a lot a year in gas.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matnic View Post
Don't need the truck for anything regularly, though it is nice when I need some long 2x4s or when a friend/family needs to move. Maybe a 04+ malibu with the folddown seats would fit 2x4s...

current Malibu has 3.4, yeah, I think a shop did say a gasket needs replacing (have to put coolant in every once in a while, never overheats, but I did put some radiator stopleak in, seems to have helped.). So, jeapfreak, you say do BOTH? Can't do it, not gonna have 2 payments right now.

Not doing a Kia (clown car), I do have some pride! Was thinking of 04 or 05 Malibu 4 cylinder, get 30 mpg, or similar (kind of partial to GM products, won't do Dodge again, though I do like their styling).

Mikey1258, good point about sticking out the truck till paid off, then see whats going on in the world...

Any recomendations for replacements? Like having a 4wd for those bad winter days when the plow truck doesn't come by for a few days. Have been happy with the '00 Malibu, too. I like the HHR's, but the wife doesn't.
Sorry I meant dump the Malibu if you haven't done the gaskets, and keep the truck - it is close enough to being paid off you wouldn't have the payment long... The cost of having the gaskets done is almost half what you owe on the truck. I had a 3.1 in my Buick, your lucky if the gasket is bad that it isn't dumping into the oil -- that is what mine did.

or dump them both, pay cash for a beater and get a new car. (I really like the HHR SS but it takes premium)

or sell the truck, suck it up and do the gaskets on the Malibu and get a new car.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #14
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If you get a malibu i'd suggest the maxx. I love it. I avg 24 with a hard foot.

I have been looking at HHR's as my next. Only because of the space and MPG thing. I can get a 4 CYL HHR with a stick and have as much room as the Malibu Maxx. With GM I am happy with the styling of alot of the cars, but the roof line and Door Pillars make getting in and out uncomfortable for me. Plus space in the rear with a car seat is important to me.

I personally would talk to a dealer before making too many decisions. Lately seems they will deal with you more on the gassers than the eco's. Sometimes the savings on price with a gasser will outweigh the extra fuel expense.

A handy tool carsurvey.org

What is the book value on both cars?

You can get a low mileage lease turn in for 12. Assuming 12+ on the truck and 2 on the malibu, you probably can get two low mileage used cars and only have 1 payment.

Last edited by deuce228; July 17th, 2008 at 12:53 PM.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #15
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If you like GM, have just one child, and only occasional needs, then something like a HHR would work. Maybe still get the 0% interest for 6 years.

Heh, I use my minivan for 95% of my stuff-hauling needs. Gets double the mileage of my truck, and is easier for loading anything clean (lower load floor than the truck = easier). Dirty stuff I just put some plastic down first.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #16
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Keep both, pay off the truck. Save some money and buy a vehicle cash. Don't pay any payments, problem solved.
Gas and maint (except major repairs obviously) are much less of an issue when you are not making $3-500+ car payments every month. $5-6000 a year buys a lot of fuel, even at $5 a gallon.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I really like the HHR SS but it takes premium

The SS is very nice but I believe it prices in around 24,000 or so.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #18
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Let's go against the grain. . . how will you plan for tomorrow when you're feeling the squeeze today?

Break your comfort with maintaining car payments and pay off the truck. Drop full coverage insurance in favor of PLPD, comprehensive, or whatever else that'll free up a few bucks. Plan a route for your errands and choose your trips wisely- avoid impulse shopping trips. After the truck is paid, either make "payments" to your savings account in the amount of the truck payment or use the money to pay down other debt.

If your commute requires 2 gallons of gas round trip, keep the Malibu and stay current on preventative maintenance. Yea, it sucks balls paying a $1k repair bill on a beater, but how many car payments would equal $1k- two, three, five? Keep the car in good shape. If a serious repair which you can't justify the expense is necessary, sell the car for parts and scrap the rest.

This will probably get laughed at but, put the Jeep up for sale. If your situation should continue to degrade, you'll probably arrive at this conclusion anyways. Selling it today will allow you to ignore the bottom-feeders praying on the desperate and sell the YJ for your top dollar. It would be a double blow to the ego if your faced with an emergency and selling the Jeep for pennies on the dollar is your only way out. You can always buy another Jeep when your economic situation improves.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:40 PM   #19
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If you really want a jeep go with a compass or a patriot 2wd.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #20
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thanks for all the input! I am starting to lean one way, but keep the opinions coming! Some good points I hadn't thought of...

btw, a NEW car is not an option, never will be. I don't see myself EVER buying a brand-new car.

another thought...IF we sell/trade-in the truck, keep the car and drive it till it dies, get another car with lower miles (hopefully under 35,000), who should drive what? Wife says I should drive the low-mile car cause I'm driving so much farther than her, I say she should since she needs the reliability and has the daughter and will keep that car low on miles for longer.
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