Is it worth it?

Is it worth it?

Postby pdubs [OP] » November 22nd 2015, 6:45pm

I bought a 95 Astro in March with 218k and possibly a bit of a shady history (salvage title). Ran well all summer while I was building out the interior; replaced fuel pump and starter during that time too.
I hit the road three weeks ago, all was well for the first 1k miles or so. Then I started noticing a tranny fluid leak, which got worse to the point that I had to add a quart a day until I could limp it to a friends house. For the last couple days I started noticing a coolant leak as well.
When I got back to civilization I got the van checked out, the diagnosis was a couple bad freeze plugs as well as a leaking tranny fluid filter (not stock, apparently rigged up by the p.o.) and a leaky oil cooler line.
I got a quote of at least $500 to replace the freeze plugs, and of course a speech about how this might only be the tip of the iceberg.
I'm wondering how much permanent damage was done during my efforts to drive the van vs. having it towed. Probably 400 miles since I noticed the coolant leak and closer to 1k since I noticed the tranny fluid leaking.
All told I'm no more than $3500 into this van, and am having serious doubts as to whether I should go through with this.
Thoughts?
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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby chevymaher » November 22nd 2015, 7:27pm

This is totally objective. Do you want a van or not?

I rebuild mine when it is totalled on several occasions. 2 engines later. Rebuilt the rear end. I like having a van like I got.

So in the end this van or anything else you got to do maintenance nothing runs forever for free. It is your call. Spend it on the van. Or just keep going through things that are on their last legs.

It is like the divorce saying. In the long run it is cheaper to keep her.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby Lumpy » November 23rd 2015, 3:11am

I think you have two choices...

- Fix this current van

or

- Buy a car that never needs fixing


As Maher suggests, it's totally your choice.


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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby zzimmer3 » November 23rd 2015, 4:43am

There may be no damage at all, if the fluid levels weren't to low. Freeze plugs are just a pain to get to, nothing to trade the van off for. My oil cooler lines were leaking, so I just took them off. Not sure about your aftermarket Tranny filter problem. You can buy a freeze plug kit for about $10. I think. Good luck
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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby Big_kid » November 23rd 2015, 5:46am

My van was VERY low on water when I got it (7+ years ago), and before I replaced the leaking water pump it would sometimes get much lower than I'd have liked. I'm not recommending running without coolant, just saying my van leaked bretty badly and survived with no ill effects. If it still runs well and only leaks, I'd fix the leaks. Then you'll be good for the foreseeable future.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby AstroWill » November 23rd 2015, 8:42pm

Replace the external transmission filter/hose and add a second set of clamps if needed. Drain your coolant and replace the freeze plugs. $50 worth of parts later and you are up and running.

Leaking oil cooler line, remove the adapter to bypass the cooler completely for the low cost of $0.

Then take a step back and see where you are at, for $50 and your time you will be way ahead and can give your self time to think and see if there is any other damage.

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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby FrugalAstro » November 23rd 2015, 9:15pm

I think it would depend on how much of the work (if any) you can do yourself, and if you can afford another vehicle.

If you can only afford well used vehicles, you would probably be better off fixing what you already own.

It can quickly add up if you're trying to keep an old vehicle running if you can't do at least some of the fixing.
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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby beech2000 » November 23rd 2015, 9:44pm

AWD? You should sell cheap or donate to me :D
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Re: Is it worth it?

Postby AstroWill » November 24th 2015, 12:42am

beech2000 wrote:AWD? You should sell cheap or donate to me :D


But it's a 95 ;)

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