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The redsedigned 2000 Cadillac DeVille DTS makes it worldwide debut in 1999 in Rochester, Mich. It was the 50th anniversary of the DeVille brand. (GENERAL MOTORS/General Motors)
The redsedigned 2000 Cadillac DeVille DTS makes it worldwide debut in 1999 in Rochester, Mich. It was the 50th anniversary of the DeVille brand. (GENERAL MOTORS/General Motors)

Rob's Garage

Is it worth fixing her 11-year-old car? Add to ...

Dear Rob:

I have a 2000 Cadillac DeVille with 102,000 km. It has an oil leak which has been there for years. The cause not discovered until after the warranty expired. My husband and I bought the car new and it has always been serviced by the dealer. I have been adding oil as needed. The leak has become much worse and the cost to repair it is $4000 to reseal the lower crankcase. The dealer is concerned the car could blow all the oil and I could be stranded.

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I realize this is not a car in demand for resale as the trade-in allowance is only $2500. The cost of gas is not an issue since I do not drive enough to be concerned. The car is otherwise in excellent condition and I would like to keep it if you think it's worth repairing, or is this just the beginning of large repair bills?

Sincerely, June

When is a car worth repairing and when is it time to cut bait? June I'm sorry but you are at the cut bait point with this car. When a vehicle's repair costs approach its replacement value, you should seriously consider the following:

1. What life can be reasonably expected in the future?

2. How old is the on-board technology?

3. Is this a gas guzzler by today's standards?

4. How reliable is the brand?

5. How loaded with accessories is the vehicle? These are all items that may require expensive repairs

6. And finally, and this is a big one - what sentimental value have you attached to this vehicle? This can be a big factor in the decision to replace a vehicle because of the emotional attachment many of us place on our cars.

June, from my perspective, it's time to move on. Not only is your repair estimate accurate, it far and away exceeds the value of the car. Add to this, point number three, and you are flirting with a serious dent in your bank account. I find it sad to talk this way about a year 2000 car, but consider that it is 11 years old. A lot of technology has changed and improved in those 11 years, even though Cadillac was (and is) a tech leader.

Best of luck June - I don't envy your decision.

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