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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I’ve had a 2007 Mazda 3 Hatch, 5 speed, for about 3 years now, and have loved it. However it has about 170k on it, and the clutch just went out completely.

I was already thinking of selling it to get something newer, but now I’m not sure what to do. A new clutch replacement will be around $1,000. Does it make sense to replace the clutch to catch a higher value on the resale? Or am I dumping money into it that I won’t see returned when the car sells? I’ve never tried to sell a car someone can’t test drive.

Also, what is a reasonable value these cars are selling for these days?

Appreciate any advice or feedback.

Cheers
 

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I did my clutch at about 175K and just rolled over 185k. The nicest clutch kit on RockAuto is $212, then I paid about $500 labor. Was well worth it to me to keep her on the road.

The way I see it, Kelly Blue Book values the car between $2000 and $4000. I get way more utility out of driving it, for free, than that - I'd have to spend 10K at least to get into something else I was happy with. So, I keep fixing her up until such time as I can't anymore.
 

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I did my clutch at about 175K and just rolled over 185k. The nicest clutch kit on RockAuto is $212, then I paid about $500 labor. Was well worth it to me to keep her on the road.

The way I see it, Kelly Blue Book values the car between $2000 and $4000. I get way more utility out of driving it, for free, than that - I'd have to spend 10K at least to get into something else I was happy with. So, I keep fixing her up until such time as I can't anymore.
I explain this often to people. STOP considering resale value when considering repairs to a vehicle. If you're going to sell a vehicle that is not in optimal condition (i.e. paint, interior, needed repairs), then don't get upset when the market value is well below what you perceive is its value. Some repairs may have a negative ROI, meaning $1,000 spent on repairs, may only increase the resale value of the vehicle $200. Conversely, sometimes $50 in repairs may yield a $70 increase in resale value.

Two years ago, the transmission in my MZ3 was acting up. NADA for the vehicle (then) was $2,300, while the estimate for having the transmission completely overhauled was $1,800. The car was (and still is) in very good condition with strong mechanicals and a solid body. Most "experts" would say spending more than 50% of the vehicle's value in repairs is a Fool's Errand; however, that's short sighted thinking and does not look at the overall economic benefit. Plus, I perform all of my maintenance and know the history of the car very well.

First, see my description of the vehicle. Since the transmission is the only culprit, and $1,800 in repairs is a fixed cost, I prorate those funds spent for each additional month/year of ownership. Second, trading the vehicle in on a newer car (assuming I purchase used) means $500 at trade-in, if I'm lucky, and then I'm getting a vehicle that may not actually be reliable as I have no idea as to the maintenance history. I've known people who purchased a "nice" car only to endure constant mechanical issues afterward. Other costs incurred on a newer vehicle are higher insurance rates, tag, tax, and transfer fees. Like I said, the "experts" don't look at the overall economic picture.

Vehicles are depreciating assets that provide a utility. Period. The only exception are super cars, which fall outside of the scope of this discussion. Look at the guy who put one million miles on his Volvo P1800. He purchased the vehicle brand new (something I would never do) and maintained the vehicle religiously for several decades.
 
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