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2000-2005 Discuss your 2000-2005 Bonneville SE, SLE, and SSEi Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-12-2009, 11:41 PM   #1
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Need your help and opinions. I have a 2000 SE with 172,000 miles on it. The gas guage sender needs to be replaced, the rear window cables have snapped on both sides, the air conditioning compressor is shot, and it is starting to leak oil in the front of the engine and pools up so when I hit the brakes or turn the hot oil hits the exhaust and stinks. The body and interior are in really goos shape though, no rust and interior is perfect. I was in sales for the first 160,000 miles of this cars life. So my questions are?

I have a quote for $500 to fix the leak. I figure another $1K for new air and other repairs. Is this car worth keeping with this many miles?

I am considering getting an 04 or 05 GXP if I get rid of her. Do these models handle in the snow like my SE? I have BF goodrich traction T/A'* and that car goes through snow like a raped ape.

Thanks to all for your opinions, I am really trying hard to decide what to do. A newer bonnie would be nice, but the payments would suck.

Popp
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:47 PM   #2
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If you did your own work you would save a lot, then it may be worth keeping. The AC may only need a clutch adjustment. Or you could do a delete for about $50. I'm sure the oil leak can be fixed easy as well, depending on what it is.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:28 AM   #3
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I have a 01 se with 170000 and its still nice also,I would put up to a grand in it if I had too,I love the car,however a layoff at my work place is pending(thanks dhl) and will have to sell it this year.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Having a car headed for 10 years old and starting to need things can be frustrating and a hard decision to replace. Especially when the model still looks sharp and current in it'* styling. Back in the 2000, I had a similar experience with my wifes 91 and my 92 Park Avenues. I put alot of money in each, and eventually sold the 91( didnt get my repair money out of it) and the 92 sat and rusted after the gas lines rusted in multible places and spliced everywhere, sending unit giving out, fuel gauge not working right, gas tanking leaking, tranny slushy, battery always going dead. (I think you get the picture) Alot of people like Dan keep up with these things and enjoy their older models foor many years. Me personally wish I had dumped the 92 while it was still sellable. The GXP is awesome on snow. I have the all weather Goodrich g-forces. With these tires and TractionControl, I get around great with a steep driveway and rural setting.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:37 PM   #5
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Read this article on used cars and choices to help keep or sell them.

Quote:
Make your car last 250,000 miles

Small, routine steps taken throughout your vehicle'* lifetime can save you headaches and a lot of money in the long run. Here'* how to get the most out of your car.

By Liz Pulliam Weston

The interior door handles are held together with Krazy Glue. The gas gauge hasn't worked in at least 20,000 miles. It'* got dings and dents. But the old beast still runs -- and reliably so.

Not everyone wants to drive a car that just clicked over the 250,000-mile mark, as our 1993 Ford Explorer has. But most of us can, since today'* vehicles are better built than ever and can easily surpass 200,000 miles with regular maintenance (for more details, see "Cars that last a million miles").

Keeping an older car can save a ton of money. In my book "Deal With Your Debt," I figured that owning cars for 10 years instead of five could save the typical person a quarter-million dollars over a lifetime. Hanging on to your cars longer means:

Fewer car payments. Unless you take out a ridiculously long loan, you can be payment-free after four or five years. If you take care of the car, any repairs you'll need are likely to cost far less than you'd shell out in payments for another vehicle. (Our repair costs for this car for the past eight years, including a transmission rebuild and valve replacement, average out to about $83 a month.)
Lower insurance costs. Premiums tend to drop pretty steadily as your car ages. You can save even more by dropping collision and comprehensive coverage when your total premium exceeds 10% of the car'* fair market value (see "Dump the insurance on your clunker"). Our annual premium for this car is just $373 -- about $31 a month -- and that'* in Los Angeles, known for having pretty high insurance costs.
Time to save for the next car. Every month you can put off replacing a vehicle is another month in which you can build up your down payment for the next car. Put off the replacement long enough, and you could even pay cash.
So making your vehicle last as long as possible is clearly a smart move. That'* particularly true now as the economy slows. It'* not a great time to be adding a big expense like a car payment, as much as automakers would love you to do so.

You snooze, you lose

How do you get the most out of your car? Here'* what we did, based on advice from car experts:
Follow the maintenance schedule. Duh, right? Except many people don't, and this is where a few hundred bucks' worth of prevention each year can stave off thousands in repairs. Your owners manual details what you should do when, but you can also keep track online -- plus get reminders of upcoming services, safety recalls and even a running trade-in value -- with MSN Autos' My Car feature. You should budget $500 to $1,000 a year or more for these expenses, depending on the age and type of car; Edmunds.com'* True Cost to Own calculator can give you an estimate of typical annual maintenance costs for most cars.

Also, keep a file of everything you've done to and for your car. Not only does that help you track when maintenance is due, but having the records can help with resale value.
Be alert for recalls. My Car allows you to print out recall notices for your car. You typically can take these notices to your local dealership and get the defects fixed for free.

Take it easy on the engine, Part I. I advocate buying used cars to save money, but one nice thing about owning a car from the start is that you get to be in charge of the break-in period, the first 1,000 miles or so a car runs. Keeping your speed below 55 mph and avoiding idling for long periods in these critical first miles can help prolong the engine'* life. Even afterward, it helps to avoid jackrabbit starts and racing the engine while it'* idling. You can reduce wear and tear even more by bunching your errands into fewer trips, since most of the damage done to an engine happens its first few minutes of operation.

Take it easy on the engine, Part II. Avoid towing or carrying heavy loads. The Explorer has a tow package, but we've used it only a handful of times to pull a trailer with light loads. If something bigger needs moving, we rent a truck. If you do tow heavy stuff, you can try to offset the strain by changing the oil and transmission fluid more often (your owners manual will offer suggestions), but we'd rather put that kind of stress on someone else'* engine.

Be diligent about oil changes. I've been known to go a couple years without a physical, and I occasionally forget to floss, but I'm pretty conscientious about getting the oil changed. The owners manual says to do it every 7,500 miles or six months under normal conditions, or 3,000 miles or three months under "unique driving conditions," such as towing, frequent short trips in freezing weather, stop-and-go driving in hot weather or driving through dust storms.

As the car has aged and I drive less, I've adopted a "3,000 miles or six months, whichever comes first" schedule. Usually, it'* the six months that comes first. I also use synthetic oil, which is probably overkill, but it gives me peace of mind.

With every oil change, check the fluids, belts, tire tread and hoses. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, these chores add just a few minutes to the job. If you're paying somebody else, these inspections may be included, or you can pay a few bucks extra to have them done (our mechanic charges $12 for a thorough check).

I have to say I'm not much of a fan of the chain oil-change places; the only time my Explorer ever stranded me was the year I tried to save money by using one of these outfits, and it failed to notice a belt that was about to break. Now I stick with a mechanic I know and trust (more on that later).
Have a fill-up routine. Pop the hood and check your oil. While you're there, wipe the battery clean with a damp towel and check for corrosion, cracks or bulges. Once you're done, check your tire pressure. (Use a digital gauge, which is more accurate; you can find them for $10 to $20. I found one that talks, which is completely unnecessary but kind of cool.) You don't have to do this every single fill-up, but shoot for every other time.
Find a good mechanic or become one. Our current mechanic won our hearts by scoffing when we suggested fixing the gas gauge. It was an expensive repair, he explained, and unnecessary if we just reset the trip odometer at every fill-up. When the trip odometer nears 200 miles, we head for a gas station. We trust him to let us know when a repair is necessary or smart, and his fees are reasonable (the My Car feature has a calculator to help you check these things).

Don't keep up with the Joneses

Do a walk-around. While studying for my pilot'* license, I was taught to do a "walk-around" -- a careful inspection of plane'* exterior to look for potential problems -- before climbing in the cockpit. Doing the same with the Explorer has helped me spot flat tires, fluid leaks and the SpongeBob SquarePants stickers my daughter likes to sneak onto every possible surface. A simple walk-around also can help you avoid running over anything that'* been left behind your car, from someone'* bike to (heaven forbid) someone'* kid.

Drive defensively. Your car will never be the same after it'* been in a major accident, and its useful life can be shortened significantly (assuming it'* not already totaled). So slow down, expect other drivers to be idiots, and don't be one yourself. That means hang up and drive.

Keep it clean and waxed. I'm less meticulous about this than my husband was when this was his primary car, but regularly clearing off the grime helps protect the exterior, as does a regular paste wax (as soon as water stops beading on the paint, it'* time to wax again). If you live in a cold-weather climate, it'* important to regularly sluice off the road salt, sand and slush to prevent rust and other damage.

Know when to fold. Consumer Reports says you should ditch a car when the cost of a repair exceeds its fair market value. We haven't gotten there yet, but my bright line for retiring this car will be when I can no longer trust it to get me from Point A to Point B. If one repair follows another, maybe it is better to bail, but it takes a lot of repairs to outweigh the cost of car payments (or the interest we'd lose by using savings to pay cash for the next car).

Refuse to care what other people think. I'm convinced that many, if not most, cars are traded in before their time simply because people become embarrassed about driving them. I've chosen to turn that thinking on its head by taking perverse pride in showing up with the oldest car at any restaurant, preschool party or local event I attend. My motto: "Laugh all you want. It'* paid for. Is yours?"
Oh and Welcome to our club

Last edited by Toddster; 01-14-2009 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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i dont see this being much of an issue, from what it sounds like to me you cant be in for much more than a couple hundred bucks and a weekend in the garage with a buddy (assuming that you are willing to sacrafice the a.c.) and how much could you possibly need the a/c in WI anyway?

Any car that you like is worth putting a grand into, you cant replace a car for a grand unless your gonna get a shitbox that youll just need to put even more money into....
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:48 PM   #7
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The air compressor electrical connections got ruined when the pulley bearing went. The mechanic never caught the connections being destroyed and I paid $300 to have that repaired when I could have spent a few more hundred to get a new compressor. I am leaning toward the 05 even an SLE just to upgrade miles and try to hang on to that one for 10+ years. Nobody makes a new car right now that I want to purchase, so it'* hold on to this until there is a nice car built(2010 Lucerne is interesting) Or grabbing one of the last Bonnevilles while they still have low miles. Thanks for al your input. Those Cranberry red 05'* are georgeous.

Popp

G-force - how is that Northstar in the cold. We routinely hit -10 over winter and the 3.8 handles it nice.
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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If you want to do a delete, it'* very easy.

https://www.gmforum.com/t278805/
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:59 PM   #9
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My '05 was Cranberry Metallic, untill I Silver marbled it and layed out Blood Red Translucent Candy W/Pearlflake over the top. Cranberry is a beautiful color for OEM.
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