I have a 1989 Buick Century with about 74,000 miles on it (inherited from my Dad when he passed away in '94). Sentimental value aside, I like the way this car handles. I don’t care for the new models because the rear ends are built up and make visibility difficult for me when backing up. My dilemma is, should I get the Century fixed up–it still has the original belts, hoses & shocks-- or should I junk it? Right now it needs a new muffler, and–the most serious problem–it’s leaking transmission fluid. That’s pretty expensive to fix, and my husband doesn’t want to spend the money, preferring to just replenish the fluid as needed.
Does it need a new transmission or is it just leaking? How often do you have to refill the transmission fluid?
The only time I go to buy a new car is if the cost of repairs is more than a down payment and monthly note. I would bring the car to a mechanic and ask about the transmission. If he says it looks like you will need a new one soon, I would just drive the car until it gave out. If he says it looks like you have some mileage left in the car I would get the work done. I always drive my cars until the only place for them to go is the junk yard.
If you have the V6 engine, I’d spend the money to get it repaired - especially with only 74,000 miles. Even if you end up spending $1500 on repairing everything (worst case) you’ll know what you have with only 74,000 miles on it. The GM V6 engine/transmission power trains in those cars is usually pretty good and get decent fuel mileage while doing it. Look at the pricing on something similar that’s 8 years old or newer with 74,000 miles, the repair bill will be quite minor in comparison.
The problem with refilling a leaking transmission is if you forget or drive a long ways with it leaking and run it low, you could easily ruin it and then you’re looking at a huge repair bill or another car.