Posted 14 March 2013 - 19:52
This car costed you 0 to get. You have a car in working order right now. You are making no monthy payments right now to own said car. If you have to put in 1000 or even 2000 by the end of the year for things that aren't routine maintanence (not including brakes, tires, fuel, air filters, oil changes, and other normal wear and tear stuff), that is roughly 100 to 200 a month. And if you don't put that much into the car by the end of the year that is a big fat whopping 0 a month. So it needs a heater core, yes it is in the dash and the dash needs to be removed to get to it. It can be plugged up, but you will not have heat in the car if you do plug it up (this is the most cost effective way to fix the issue but not the best you or your kids can freeze in the winter).
I say let it ride for as long as you can, put a limit on what you are willing to spend on it by the end of the year and if you reach that amount prior to year ending sell it or get rid of it. It is costing you absolutely nothing to own it as it sits, this is where cars start paying you back instead of a month to month payment to the bank. Reliability and cost of ownership run hand in hand, you want a reliable car you will pay a lot for a new or newer car. I say drive the car until it really starts giving you problems.
I gave my sil a car, trans still good, engine still good...but they need a $300 part that they can't afford to put into it (exhaust) So instead they want to scrap it. I will take it back and put the exhaust on it, have it pass inspection and sell it to someone who can use it for 1500-2000. really, ride it until it dies...it is worth more to you to get from point a to point b and save some money than it is to sell it and get almost nothing for it.