Here at the Findlay Subaru Prescott we understand there can be a sentimental relationship with driver and the vehicle. Memories have been made, trips taken, times of reflection along solo drives, what ever grips at your heart when thinking of your precious automobile, Subaru Prescott gets it. We know that making that decision to repair or to buy a new car can be a tough one. We hope to help you weigh the pros and cons...

Do You Fall into One of These Scenarios?

Scenario #1: Smooth Cruising Until...

We prefer to trust our vehicles day in and day out to get us from point A to point B - like, picking up and dropping off the kids for school, then soccer practice. To get to the office on time every day and back home for dinner with the family, or to important appointments in town or in Phoenix...

Subaru Check Engine LightAnd then that daunting ding of the check engine light goes on, or there is a horrible vibration when the brakes are applied, or it’s approaching a 98-degree day and the A/C blows nothing but hot air.

Some fixes may not seem that bad if large sums of money haven’t already been put into the vehicle, but, if the vehicle is getting up there in miles, this may be the first of a slew of repairs that are needed. 

Scenario #2: Ride ‘til She Dies?

Or maybe you’re driving around in a clunker where you are pouring out your savings, or worse, charging the plastic to afford the upkeep of an unreliable vehicle. There is nothing worse than driving around in a vehicle when you never know if it will make it to your next destination, especially driving along the desolate highways of Arizona with hit-or-miss cell reception. An unreliable car is never a good feeling.

So, when is it time to buy a new car, or to make that one last repair that just may spare the vehicle one more year...?

Plan Ahead for Normal Wear and Tear Repairs

Service Inspecition @ Findlay Subaru PrescottThe mileage of your car is a key indicator as to when it will need special attention. As with most vehicles the higher the mileage, the more risk of problems you may encounter. Giving your vehicle the proper maintenance that is recommended is the best way to save money and prevent or further delay issues later on down the road. For instance, the Subaru 30,000 (30k) mile service schedule and the Subaru 60,000 (60k) mile service schedule are prime examples of recommended checkups and tune-ups for Subaru model vehicles to assist for this very reason.

On average for most vehicles when they start approaching 100,000 miles there are a few common repairs that are more prone to pop up such as:

  • Water pump replacement
  • Timing belt
  • Other drive belts

These tend to need replacing around the same time, or if one goes out, the others may be recommended to also be replaced. This may add up to a total bill of around $600-$1,000.

Other Repairs that May Come Along That Cost a Pretty Penny

Mass Airflow Sensor – the computer-generated output of correct airflow needed to cool your vehicle’s engine down. With a bad mass airflow sensor, symptoms would be experienced with the engine:

  • Hard to start
  • Stalls
  • Hesitation and jerking
  • Rich idling
  • Hiccups

This repair could run around $400

Air Conditioning Compressor – also known as the AC pump, has a role is to compress the refrigerant to increase the temperature. A clear sign that the AC pump has gone out is if you notice the air is not cooling the inside of the cabin as efficiently as before.

This repair could run $500-$1,500

Brake Line – allows the pressure from the brake pedal to apply the brakes on the tires. There is a line of fluid that transfers the pressure from the pedal to the brakes. Signs of poor brake lines are noticing brake fluid on the ground, or if you are pushing the brake pedal all the way to the floor. Corrosion is also a sign if there is moisture and, of course, if your brake fluid light is lit up.

Brakes ensure the stopping power of the vehicle, this is a must repair that could run $1,000.

Exhaust Inspection available at Findlay Subaru PrescottCatalytic Converter – the device in your vehicle that converts toxic carbon monoxide into less harmful carbon dioxide. Signs that you may have a bad catalytic converter:

  • Poor acceleration
  • Vehicle does not start
  • A sudden drop in fuel efficiency
  • The check engine light is on

This repair could run $1,500

Head Gasket – there is engine oil and coolant that are both needed for a smooth-running engine, but these two fluids need to remain separate from each other as they travel from the engine to the cylinder head. This is the job of the head gasket to separate the two fluids so they can each do their job effectively. An obvious sign of a blown head gasket, oil and coolant are dispersed making a great mess, plus there will be white smoke coming from the engine.

This repair could run $2,000

Camshaft – this controls the vehicle’s intake of air by method of opening and closing the intake and exhaust valves. Similar to issues with the catalytic converter, the signs that the camshaft may need repair will be evident with a noticeable difference in the performance of the vehicle such as:

  • Drop in engine power
  • Idles rough
  • Stalls often
  • Decreased gas mileage
  • Slow to accelerate
  • Check engine light is on
  • Vehicle fails to start

This repair could run up to $3,000, or more!

Subaru Suspension ComponentsSuspension – a vehicle’s suspension is made up of a system: struts, shocks, control arms, springs and tie rods. There are many signs that the suspension in your vehicle may be going out:

  • Vehicle starts to ride rougher, feeling every bump in the road with a bouncier ride
  • The vehicle drifts or pulls to one side
  • A forward tilting momentum when the vehicle’s brakes are applied, causing the car to take longer to come to a stop
  • Uneven pressure applied to the tires causing uneven tire wear
  • Fluid leaking from the shocks or struts

If any of these signs are present, it does not necessarily mean that the whole suspension system needs to be replaced.

Make sure a qualified, trustworthy mechanic, like those at a Subaru service center, looks your vehicle over for the most accurate repairs because replacing the whole suspension could run between $2,500 - $3,500.

Transmission – most vehicles now come with an automatic transmission, which automatically changes gears as the driver accelerates or slows down. Signs that your transmission may be going out:

  • A slipping transmission, feels like you’re driving in the wrong gear or the gear will change suddenly without reason
  • Shifting between gears feels rougher
  • The vehicle takes longer to engage
  • Fluid spills found under the vehicle
  • The transmission light is illuminated

Replacing the transmission can be quite a doozy coming in around $4,000 - $5,000.

Hybrid Battery – there are many benefits for driving a hybrid vehicle such as fewer trips to and less money spent at the pump, less emissions for an eco-friendlier transportation, and tax incentives. Also, the lifespan of the battery could last as much as twice as long as a regular car battery, though keep in mind, Hybrid batteries do run out of juice eventually. A hybrid battery could last for up to 10 years.

If your hybrid does lose power and a replacement is needed, this replacement could run between $1,000 to $6,000 depending if the computer system also needs to be replaced. This could be a hefty price to invest in a car that is already 10 years old.

Cylinders – there is a lot we can do, or not do, that can cause damage to a vehicle’s engine – mainly neglecting the maintenance of the vehicle.  A misfiring cylinder can be caused by a bad spark plug or an imbalance in the air or the mixture of fuel. A tell-tale sign of a misfiring cylinder could be an extreme vibration or shaking of the vehicle while it is idling. Ignoring this problem could lead to more serious problems with the vehicle as well. It is advised to get your engine inspected and serviced sooner rather than later to prevent further damage.

With that said, be sure to get a quote before any work is done. This repair could cost between $7,500 - $10,000

So, When Do You Decide to Repair or to Buy a New Vehicle?

Service Check-InThis decision is based solely on the individual and the circumstance.  If the owner put together a projected future spending plan for his or her vehicle and planned for the repairs of X, Y, and Z, then fixing some of the bigger ticket items mentioned above may not be such a big deal. Though, not all of us are planning the worst for our vehicles and drive in good faith, until one day we regret not listening to the latest and greatest advice of a financial planner.

More often than not, repairs are much cheaper than buying a new car. Buying a new care entails not only the ticket price, but the upfront down payment, insurance and registration fees, as well as the new monthly payment. A repair is, hopefully, a one and done occurrence for a good stretch of time extending the life span of the vehicle.

Sometimes it seems enticing to buy another used car for the same price it would cost to repair the existing vehicle. Though, consider the age, wear and tear, and how the car was maintenance (or not) by the previous owner(s) because you may end up another creek but in a different boat...

There is always more than one mechanic, a second opinion with a few estimates can help you make the best educated decision that you feel comfortable with. Though, know that working with the car’s dealership will usually guarantee the work and genuine parts for the vehicle, which helps to keep the vehicle’s authenticity and prolonged lifespan.

Or Are You Ready to Buy a New Car?

Driving around in an unreliable vehicle is a very unsettling feeling, especially if you have the family in tow. Getting to and from your destination safely is priority. So, when buying a new car becomes a thought, or a must, let’s face it, some do not correlate buying a new car with having a good time. Shoppers can feel intimidated by the process and experience of buying a new car.  They may feel apprehensive of getting locked into a deal they can’t get out of, just don’t want to have to play the car dealer game of negotiation, or even just the thought of bouncing from dealer to dealer can be daunting.

But did you know that the Findlay Subaru Prescott totally negates the typical car dealership experience? Customer reviews state that they felt well taken care of, no pressure, their needs were listened too, and they drove away in a new or used Subaru for sale.

The car dealership experience itself can make or break the decision to buy or repair as well.

There are more affordable pre-owned options that could offer a more peace-of-mind experience for the driver and passengers that won’t break the bank.

A few majors to consider – if your current vehicle is creating too many trips to the mechanic, is not safe or reliable to drive, and/or it’s an eyesore or an embarrassment to you, then buying a new or a newer car sounds like the ideal way to go.

If you take option B and are looking for a new car – keep this in mind to save you from experiencing the same hassle with your old car:

Research and Review Total Cost of the Vehicle

Do your research and read reviews to estimate a total expected cost of the vehicle you want to purchase, not just the ticket price on the window and the monthly payments. Plan for the future to see what will give you the most bang for your buck.

Kelly Blue Book offers a great service of reviewing vehicles to see which make and models offer the best value and is lowest cost to the owner over time.

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Kelly Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Award
– Best Brands

This award takes a look at the total cost of the vehicle ownership including costs to operate and other expenses incurred. Kelly Blue Book considered these key factors in deciphering the best brands with the lowest cost to own including, resale value, insurance, fees, estimated cost for fuel, maintenance and repairs as well as the vehicle’s acquisition cost. Every model and trim are evaluated to give a clear and concise layout of ownership costs.

For the 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Award – Best Brands Subaru was listed as one of the top brands with an excellent resale value, standard all-wheel drive, top-of-the-line safety features that decrease insurance rates, and because it is built for quality, durability and reliability, maintenance costs of the Subaru models are very low.

Subaru Promises the Best for its Loyal Community of Drivers

Along with a top-quality vehicle, that is built to last and to keep running for miles, Subaru is serious about service. To ensure a long running Subaru, which fits the slogan “Built to Last” with 97% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last ten years still on the road today – the service techs at your Subaru dealership encourages you to heed the Subaru service schedule. And look to see what Subaru Service Specials you can take advantage of too!

The Best in Subaru Service and the Best Shopping Experience at Subaru Prescott AZ

Findlay Subaru Prescott is driven to provide the best in service for their customers. The staff are caring, patient and sincerely value the needs of their customers, desiring to provide the ultimate satisfaction. The service is really all about you because it should be! Drivers of any vehicle are welcome to bring their vehicle into the service center to get the best care and maintenance from certified service technicians, with convenient Subaru Service Center hours. Subaru cares for the safety of all drivers and passengers alike and are happy to provide standout service, so you and your vehicle can enjoy a long ride together.

Findlay Subaru Prescott is equipped with a professional, courteous staff who go above and beyond. The Subaru dealership offers new Subaru cars for sale or lease, as well as used Subarus to provide an array of options for any budget, any circumstance.

Categories: News, Service