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Ask Goodwin

1 year ago

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Colin Goodwin | Journalist


6 February 2023

Dear Colin, I read a few years ago about your Saab 9-3 convertible that you bought for a couple of thousand pounds. I’m running a Volvo V70 estate using the same bangernomics philosophy. I think the gearbox might be on the way out (it’s an auto) and I’m torn as to whether to have it repaired/replaced or to get shot of the car. Do you have a rule of thumb for this type of dilemma? Bruce Hutton

Dear Bruce,

Your use of the word bangernomics indicates that you are a disciple of the great James Ruppert (ex Car magazine, now writing for Autocar). I’ve always set an upper limit in my head for how much I would spend fixing a problem and that is influenced by how good the car is. Our Saab’s engine is strong and the body is still sound and has many years left in it. I’d spend a grand on a replacement turbo, gearbox or on any other area without hesitation. I think if the bill got to £2000 I’d look for a replacement car.

I recommend you take a similar approach, but be careful because it’s possible to get very attached to your old nail and start breaking your own rules.

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