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Hi. Our OB has 84K miles on it. Today found out it needs 2 head gaskets, a timing belt, and the water pump is leaking fluid. Ballpark estimate is $2,500. Also, last week backed into a tree and got a $2,000 estimate for those repairs. My friend swears that it would be ridiculous to pour that money into it at this point, saying this is the tip of the iceberg. She says- get a new/slightly used car. I must admit- I (and my husband) are not good at maintenance; oil gets changed every 5-6k but other than that, minimum. No tune-ups, etc.. Please help me out on this decision. I love this Outback (leather seats, moon-roof, and it is PAID OFF).

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Diane, Thank You for writing into AskPatty!! My answer is based solely on opinion, so let me begin with PAID OFF is always a great thing!! If you are in a financial situation where a $2,500 repair investment is more suitable to your situation, that may be the direction you and your husband may want to look at. In the sense that you are not a regular maintenance stickler, I recommend that with either way you choose, you make a plan together to prevent this situation again. In that, you perform your regular and recommended maintenance to reap the long term benefits of a "well oiled machine". I would weigh the financial options together, and base your decision on what is best for your family at this time. A. J. Valle

Diane Larson, Owner/Manager at Larson's Service Good Morning Diane, Your Subaru Outback is a great vehicle, 84k and 8yrs old, may be worth still investing in....Find a quality shop (Internet Search for reviews) to do a head-to-toe complete inspection and evaluation of the vehicle, documenting any concerns coming up and then you would have the information to make your decision...it might be a great time to trade-in and upgrade...Once you have all the facts, it should be an easy decision. Have a Fun Day! www.larsonsservice.com

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Diane, Great job keeping your vehicle running for 84,000 miles! You have definitely reached a crossroads and based on your maintenance history, you may want to look for a new vehicle. However, before you do this, I would review the manufacturer's recommended services and see what other items will be coming up soon. In addition, an inspection by your local AskPatty certified shop should be done to help with this decision. Once you have this information, a decision should be easier. If you do decide to keep this car, you have to commit to regular maintenance to keep any surprise and costly repairs from popping up! With this commitment, I'm sure you'll get many, many more years from your Outback! Good luck and I hope you decide to keep it!

Kerri Papajohn, Marketing Director at USA Sealants, Inc. Hi, the company I work for manufactures the Blue Devil Head Gasket Sealant. It's money back guarantee and you can purchase it at any major auto parts store. The heads would be the bulk of the price tag. More info: www.GoBlueDevil.com. Good luck!

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Diane, You really need to decide if you want to make payments on another vehicle, or stick with what you have....understanding that there are going to be costs to maintain it. You should do recommended maintenance so that you can catch things before they develop into more costly repairs. If you find it hard to stay up with this, then owning something newer may work better for you. If you haven't put much money into it, then $2500 isn't too bad for 84,000 miles. And remember, the $2000 was an accident...not something that happens all the time. If you put away a couple hundred a month, you should be able to afford repairs and keep the vehicle for another 100,000. Lori Johnson www.ladiesstartyourengines.com

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