By - g00b1n4t0r
Take it to a different mechanic - the dealership is always going to be the most expensive quote. And if there's nothing else wrong with the car, assuming you're not expecting any big wear and tear expenses soon and it hasn't been breaking left and right, then there's no reason not to keep it.
Also, if you can't afford a $4K expense right now, imo, you don't have any business taking on a new car payment. Get your finances in order then shop around for a new car if that's truly what you need and not just want.
This. Find a good independent auto repair shop. The building might look like crap, but the mechanics are usually some of the best.
Find a garage you can trust and have them work on it. Dealerships are a racket that are designed and managed to separate you from your money.
I just went through something similar. Trade in a Ford Fiesta with 120,000 miles and some problems or buy a new car? I ended up getting a used Jeep in great condition and also kept the Fiesta. I’ll get the issues fixed over time, and I’ll use that car to keep the mileage down on the Jeep. That actually ended up saving me money on insurance, because I could report the Jeep as a low mileage vehicle, and this will let the Jeep last longer because I won’t be running up miles on it the way I do now with the Fiesta.
So maybe there’s a middle road.