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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I LOVE my 2010 2.5i Limited. It runs like new, but in past year alone I've spent about $6-$8K maintaining and repairing. It has minor signs of wear & tear (door dings), but still very nice looking.

About a week and a half ago I was enjoying my drive to Big Bend National Park. Right after turning south @ community of Marathon, TX the "high temp light" came on. Thanfully I was in an area with basic services.

Of course the head gasket is blown. None of my options were ideal. After a good sleep & filet mignon, and a lovely snow day, the grocery store ownet offered a lend me his Prius to continue my journey into the park. The next morning a ? tow truck (flatbed) hauled my Outback to Buddy's auto repair in Alpine, TX (he does have a good reputation; tow to Midland Subaru would cost $800).

Had a nice trip, and took 800+ mile trip home on Amtrak. Heard from Buddy today. As expected, it'll take about a month & $3400 to get car repaired (not sure if that include cost of bringing head to Midland machine shop 3 1/2 hpurs away; local Subaru shop says the machine shop charge is additional cost).

Buddy hoped it wasn't the head gasket since the car runs incredibly great (though now overheating). Tried a new thermostat, but no luck.

Now the headache begins. I'll have to decide to fix or not, to sell "as is" or not, decide what to buy if I don't keep Outback, arrange local transportation for month that car remains in Alpine, TX. If I fix and keep car, I'll take Amtrak back to Alpine when the car is fixed.

Thoughts? It has 115K miles, has been maintained, everything works (not including head gasket). If I sell it, I'm not sure I'd get another Subaru (it's not my my 1st Outback with a blown head gasket)
 

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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm seriously thinking about it. It runs like a dream. I thought I was devrloping the Subaru shake, but it stopped completely after balancing tires.
 

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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #4
Silver
I LOVE my 2010 2.5i Limited. It runs like new, but in past year alone I've spent about $6-$8K maintaining and repairing. It has minor signs of wear & tear (door dings), but still very nice looking.

About a week and a half ago I was enjoying my drive to Big Bend National Park. Right after turning south @ community of Marathon, TX the "high temp light" came on. Thanfully I was in an area with basic services.

Of course the head gasket is blown. None of my options were ideal. After a good sleep & filet mignon, and a lovely snow day, the grocery store ownet offered a lend me his Prius to continue my journey into the park. The next morning a ? tow truck (flatbed) hauled my Outback to Buddy's auto repair in Alpine, TX (he does have a good reputation; tow to Midland Subaru would cost $800).

Had a nice trip, and took 800+ mile trip home on Amtrak. Heard from Buddy today. As expected, it'll take about a month & $3400 to get car repaired (not sure if that include cost of bringing head to Midland machine shop 3 1/2 hpurs away; local Subaru shop says the machine shop charge is additional cost).

Buddy hoped it wasn't the head gasket since the car runs incredibly great (though now overheating). Tried a new thermostat, but no luck.

Now the headache begins. I'll have to decide to fix or not, to sell "as is" or not, decide what to buy if I don't keep Outback, arrange local transportation for month that car remains in Alpine, TX. If I fix and keep car, I'll take Amtrak back to Alpine when the car is fixed.

Thoughts? It has 115K miles, has been maintained, everything works (not including head gasket). If I sell it, I'm not sure I'd get another Subaru (it's not my my 1st Outback with a blown head gasket)
 

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I LOVE my 2010 2.5i Limited. It runs like new, but in past year alone I've spent about $6-$8K maintaining and repairing. It has minor signs of wear & tear (door dings), but still very nice looking.

About a week and a half ago I was enjoying my drive to Big Bend National Park. Right after turning south @ community of Marathon, TX the "high temp light" came on. Thanfully I was in an area with basic services.

Of course the head gasket is blown. None of my options were ideal. After a good sleep & filet mignon, and a lovely snow day, the grocery store ownet offered a lend me his Prius to continue my journey into the park. The next morning a ? tow truck (flatbed) hauled my Outback to Buddy's auto repair in Alpine, TX (he does have a good reputation; tow to Midland Subaru would cost $800).

Had a nice trip, and took 800+ mile trip home on Amtrak. Heard from Buddy today. As expected, it'll take about a month & $3400 to get car repaired (not sure if that include cost of bringing head to Midland machine shop 3 1/2 hpurs away; local Subaru shop says the machine shop charge is additional cost).

Buddy hoped it wasn't the head gasket since the car runs incredibly great (though now overheating). Tried a new thermostat, but no luck.

Now the headache begins. I'll have to decide to fix or not, to sell "as is" or not, decide what to buy if I don't keep Outback, arrange local transportation for month that car remains in Alpine, TX. If I fix and keep car, I'll take Amtrak back to Alpine when the car is fixed.

Thoughts? It has 115K miles, has been maintained, everything works (not including head gasket). If I sell it, I'm not sure I'd get another Subaru (it's not my my 1st Outback with a blown head gasket)
Sell it.

I say this from experience. We had a 2011 Legacy 6spd we handed down to my son when we bought the wife the Outback. It was in great condition. Shortly afterwards- you guessed it head gaskets. 6 months later a deer hit and insurance totaled it. The money we had put in over the year didn't make a difference. Tires, T-belt, Windshield and the head gaskets.

All it take is one accident that is out of your control and you'll lose the money you've put in.

478968
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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Sell it.

I say this from experience. We had a 2011 Legacy 6spd we handed down to my son when we bought the wife the Outback. It was in great condition. Shortly afterwards- you guessed it head gaskets. 6 months later a deer hit and insurance totaled it. The money we had put in over the year didn't make a difference. Tires, T-belt, Windshield and the head gaskets.

All it take is one accident that is out of your control and you'll lose the money you've put in.

View attachment 478968
Very much disagree, what are the chances of being struck by a deer or other animal or your car getting totalled in an accident? Assuming the OP is an aware driver with a clean record and not a magnet for accidents then it would make more financial sense to put the money into the Subie than to buy a new (or used) car. If the car gets totalled after a fix then yes that would suck but statistically it is a better choice long term. Case in point - you don't play the lottery to make your retirement money even though some people do win.

As stated above you know about the rest of the car and that everything else has been maintained. On Subies HG's are considered wear items, albeit expensive ones. If all 4 brakes needed replacing you wouldn't hesitate to do it...

I say sick it up and pay the cash and have a good well running Subie for another 100k miles. If you really put $6k into it over the past year then almost every other wear item should have been replaced.

Side note, that repair quote seems really steep, not sure what others thoughts are on that.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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That price seems high. I do HG repairs with the EJ255 head gasket for 2000 to 2500 depending on head condition when I take it apart. This is all EJ253 gaskets otherwise with timing kit, thermostat, plugs, oil, filter and coolant.

Most engines I've repaired that have a breech in the HG do not need refacing. The head will have a good plane after cleaning.

If the engine is repaired proper with the MLS head gaskets, the oil leak issue is taken care of and the chances for a HG breech in the future is slim. This alone prolongs useful life of the engine.

If you have that shop do the repairs you'd have to make sure he uses a Subaru, Mahle or Beck Arnley thermostat. FelPro valve cover gaskets don't fit proper and will leak; Subaru or Mahle again is the best choice. And DO NOT let him replace the water pump.
 

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price is high on that repair, I had mine done at the dealer along with a reseal and 4 new pistons to correct piston slap and it was 2400 all in. 80K later....still going strong... this was for my 2003 legacy...
 

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Very much disagree, what are the chances of being struck by a deer or other animal or your car getting totalled in an accident? Assuming the OP is an aware driver with a clean record and not a magnet for accidents then it would make more financial sense to put the money into the Subie than to buy a new (or used) car. If the car gets totalled after a fix then yes that would suck but statistically it is a better choice long term. Case in point - you don't play the lottery to make your retirement money even though some people do win.

As stated above you know about the rest of the car and that everything else has been maintained. On Subies HG's are considered wear items, albeit expensive ones. If all 4 brakes needed replacing you wouldn't hesitate to do it...

I say sick it up and pay the cash and have a good well running Subie for another 100k miles. If you really put $6k into it over the past year then almost every other wear item should have been replaced.

Side note, that repair quote seems really steep, not sure what others thoughts are on that.
The point I think your missing, the older it gets the less damage it takes to total. Even if you're rear ended by someone else, there's a good chance it's going to get totaled.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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The point I think your missing, the older it gets the less damage it takes to total. Even if you're rear ended by someone else, there's a good chance it's going to get totaled.
That point goes without saying, it's common sense and definitely not lost on me. I would counter that the point you seem to be glossing over is a pragmatic view of the likelihood of a car being in a situation that leads to the car being totalled. It would still take quite a collision to total the car out and statistically it isn't likely nor it is typically ever more cost effective to scrap the car and buy new based off of the insurance valuation of the car. The OP's car is likely around $6-8k wholesale give or take. A collision would have to be pretty substantial for it to be written off.

By all means make your decisions off of statistical rarities and worst case scenarios, but it is by no means the most logical way around things in most cases.
 

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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #12
Sell it.

I say this from experience. We had a 2011 Legacy 6spd we handed down to my son when we bought the wife the Outback. It was in great condition. Shortly afterwards- you guessed it head gaskets. 6 months later a deer hit and insurance totaled it. The money we had put in over the year didn't make a difference. Tires, T-belt, Windshield and the head gaskets.

All it take is one accident that is out of your control and you'll lose the money you've put in.

View attachment 478968
Thanks for your input. It certainly is worth considering getting rid of it.

If I hit a dear (very possible in Big Bend country), no doubt it would be totalled by insurance since the car is 10 yrs old; but only 115K miles on it. It runs like brand new, serves my lifestyle, etc.

While the car isn't worth much by insurance standards, the money already spent is water under the bridge. The car is running like a great brand new vehicle (except it now boils from blown head gasket).

You are right that the car is not worth much "as is"; I'd get very little for it if I sell or trade in. That means I end up with very little to put toward another car (even adding "as is" value with cost of repair).

So this is my predicament. Do I sell or trade in the Outback "as is" or fixed, and try to find another used maintained vehicle that runs great & meets my needs? The other option would be to figure out (& buy) my ultimate travel vehicle I hope would last most or all of my remaining road tripping years? Buying my ultimate road-trip vehicle will cost a moderate to large fortune more than the $3400 required t9 fix my Outback.

I'm old enough to take these issues into serious consideration. The Outback is great, but not necessarily what I want to drive the rest of my road tripping days. Buying the ultimate would require tapping into an investment I'd rather let grow. But, It can als9 grow after I tap into it, though more slowly. I'm disabled/retired, so taking on a major car note can't be taken lightly.
 

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'10 3.6R Outback Limited, 2zr swapped Toyota Yaris track toy, '05 AWD Pontiac Vibe
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Thanks for your input. It certainly is worth considering getting rid of it.

If I hit a dear (very possible in Big Bend country), no doubt it would be totalled by insurance since the car is 10 yrs old; but only 115K miles on it. It runs like brand new, serves my lifestyle, etc.

While the car isn't worth much by insurance standards, the money already spent is water under the bridge. The car is running like a great brand new vehicle (except it now boils from blown head gasket).

You are right that the car is not worth much "as is"; I'd get very little for it if I sell or trade in. That means I end up with very little to put toward another car (even adding "as is" value with cost of repair).

So this is my predicament. Do I sell or trade in the Outback "as is" or fixed, and try to find another used maintained vehicle that runs great & meets my needs? The other option would be to figure out (& buy) my ultimate travel vehicle I hope would last most or all of my remaining road tripping years? Buying my ultimate road-trip vehicle will cost a moderate to large fortune more than the $3400 required t9 fix my Outback.

I'm old enough to take these issues into serious consideration. The Outback is great, but not necessarily what I want to drive the rest of my road tripping days. Buying the ultimate would require tapping into an investment I'd rather let grow. But, It can als9 grow after I tap into it, though more slowly. I'm disabled/retired, so taking on a major car note can't be taken lightly.
I don't think any of us can really make that decision for you, it is something you will have to ponder over. But from the sounds of it, it boils down to two choices:

1: Financial, in this case the best option is to fix your current car

2: Personal Enjoyment/Use, In this case it is likely best to sell it as is and put what ever money you get from it to the car you seem to really want.

None of us know your personal financial situation nor do we need to but that is something you will have to navigate
 

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2014 Subaru Outback 2.5 Premium
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My initial thought is to fix it and you will have a good running vehicle for at least a few years to come. Not sure what your dream road tripper car would be, but investing in a new vehicle will lose you a lot of money initially. IMO its better to let the money grow and spend it on the repair that will get you a lot more miles.
 

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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #15
Very much disagree, what are the chances of being struck by a deer or other animal or your car getting totalled in an accident? Assuming the OP is an aware driver with a clean record and not a magnet for accidents then it would make more financial sense to put the money into the Subie than to buy a new (or used) car. If the car gets totalled after a fix then yes that would suck but statistically it is a better choice long term. Case in point - you don't play the lottery to make your retirement money even though some people do win.

As stated above you know about the rest of the car and that everything else has been maintained. On Subies HG's are considered wear items, albeit expensive ones. If all 4 brakes needed replacing you wouldn't hesitate to do it...

I say sick it up and pay the cash and have a good well running Subie for another 100k miles. If you really put $6k into it over the past year then almost every other wear item should have been replaced.

Side note, that repair quote seems really steep, not sure what others thoughts are on that.
Yes. Jan 2019 I had the timing belt/water pum/thermostat service as well as worn wheel bearings replaced (& a few other odds & ends replaced/repaired; roytine styff as far as I'm concerned). More recently I had to replace the ? brake booster and spark plugs (the spark plugs come with a larger than expected pruce tag because of labor, replacing ? valve covers which are removed to replace spark plugs).

I'd have to look at maintenance & repair records, which are in the glove box of car in Alpine, TX to recall exactly what odds & ends have been done and exactly what has been spent; as you can tell, the car has been maintainef and any known problems addressed).

As far as hitting things like a deer, the possibil8ty definitely exists in the places I like to travel. In fact, I'vebeen in 3 deer hit incidents over many traveling years, anly one caused substantial damage requiring a tow (it happened in a new 1985 Volvo 240DL wagon). In my opinion, such incidents are equally likely to happen to any vehicle; the OB is not a deer magnet.

That being said, I do have a clean driving record, and consider myself a very conscious driver. Having taken numerous motorcycling safety classes and doing motorcycling touring definitely sharpend my awareness and taught me to "always (exxept when it's truly impossible) have a way out in case a crazy trafgic situation happens around you". I've also done more driving than nearly everybody I know other those who make their living doing so (truck drivers 've been in 2 other collisions (one minor, one totalled a Subsru wagon, late 70's or early 80's). The minor collision happened when a home heslth nurse was talking to a doctor on her cell phone while bringing her patient to the hospital I was not at fault in either collision
 

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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #16
The bottom line, whoever said the car isn't worth much is correct when it comes to imsurance or resale market.

Without having repair/maintenance records on hand, It's hard for me to remember the lityltle odds and ends that have been repaired/replaced and also hard to remember exactly what I've spent. $6-$8k is a rough guess. Much of the stuff I expect to need repair/replacement in 10yr old vehicle. I bought it used (2nd owner); was maintained nicely by previous owner. That said, I knew there would be big expenses coming up.

Some of the things done:

Not included in $6-$8k cost, I immediately replaced the original battery & battery cables, and bought nice new tires (which are kept properly presdured and rotated with every oil change; done as close to every 3500 miles as possible).

In Jan 2019, it was time to do timing belt/water pump/thermostat service; worn wheel barings were replaced; a few other small things were done, normal wear & tear stuff.

Several months ago the brake booster was malfunctioning & replaced. At the same time the spark plugs were misfiring (I didn't realize the subtle signs until they were gone). Spark plugs were expensive due to labor, the need to replace valve covers, etc.

I do have a clean driving record & have done more driving than most people I know (keeping most vehicles until they had over 200k miles). Motorcyle touring & the many motorcycle safety classes I took definitely sharpened my driving skills, mentally & manually. In my driving days, since mid 70's, I've been i 2 motor vehicle crashes, neither my fault.

I do travel places that hsve many deer and other "large animals jumping out into road". I've had 3 collisions with deer over the years, only one caused significant damage requiring tow (at the time insurance saw it as "an act of God", and we were liable for only the $200 deductable to repair our veautiful 1985 Volvo 240DL wagon).

As far as deer go, I do NOT believe Subarys are deer magnets, and in ky opinion, you are eqyalky likely to hot one no matter what you drive.

Yes. Of course the car is not worth much on the resale market, but if the head gasket repaired it should be like new again (and it has been running at brand new factory specs). As I said, it was (& according to mechanic in Alpine) & is still running like a brand new vehicle; the mechanic questioned problem being blown HG because of car's performance. He tried new thermostat, but car overheated and boiled out coolant in no time.
 

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2010 OB 2.5 limited (past: 2009 OB Special Edition; unknown late 70's-early 80's wagon
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
That price seems high. I do HG repairs with the EJ255 head gasket for 2000 to 2500 depending on head condition when I take it apart. This is all EJ253 gaskets otherwise with timing kit, thermostat, plugs, oil, filter and coolant.

Most engines I've repaired that have a breech in the HG do not need refacing. The head will have a good plane after cleaning.

If the engine is repaired proper with the MLS head gaskets, the oil leak issue is taken care of and the chances for a HG breech in the future is slim. This alone prolongs useful life of the engine.

If you have that shop do the repairs you'd have to make sure he uses a Subaru, Mahle or Beck Arnley thermostat. FelPro valve cover gaskets don't fit proper and will leak; Subaru or Mahle again is the best choice. And DO NOT let him replace the water pump.
I compared the price quoted by Buddy's Auto Repair in Alpine, TX with my local Subaru dealor (they know me and admire how well my old car performs). The price is right on Target; maybe costs are higher in Louisiana and Texas).

I am going to call Midland Subaru. Buddy offered to tow it there (3-4 hours away) on his ? flatbed tow truck for $400. The original quote to get from Marathon (30 miles from Alpine) to Midland was $800. For $400, I'm definitely considering sending car to Midland Subaru. That would mean flying to retrieve the car (ugh) verses taking Amtrak's Sunset Limited back to Alpine; very appealing. Actually, I can take train to Alpine, and then a local bus service to Midland if car sent to Subaru (the only car rental place in Alpine is an independent compang; rebtal cars must be returned directly to company].
 

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We're having a technological revolution in automobiles, whether it be self-driving, electrification, etc.

Cars like the Rav4 Prime coming out in 2021 are leading the way - either that, or a new generation of full-electric Tesla-like vehicles, as battery technology improves, and potentially new construction methods evolve. The cybertruck uses an exoskeleton.


Subaru and Toyota are increasing their collaboration, with Subaru now officially becoming part of Toyota's family.


If you need a new car right now, a 2020 Outback is nice, but if you can hold on to your Outback, you'll be able to enjoy the car you love a little longer, and enjoy what's coming around the bend in a few years.
 

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Thanks for your input. It certainly is worth considering getting rid of it.

If I hit a dear (very possible in Big Bend country), no doubt it would be totalled by insurance since the car is 10 yrs old; but only 115K miles on it. It runs like brand new, serves my lifestyle, etc.

While the car isn't worth much by insurance standards, the money already spent is water under the bridge. The car is running like a great brand new vehicle (except it now boils from blown head gasket).

You are right that the car is not worth much "as is"; I'd get very little for it if I sell or trade in. That means I end up with very little to put toward another car (even adding "as is" value with cost of repair).

So this is my predicament. Do I sell or trade in the Outback "as is" or fixed, and try to find another used maintained vehicle that runs great & meets my needs? The other option would be to figure out (& buy) my ultimate travel vehicle I hope would last most or all of my remaining road tripping years? Buying my ultimate road-trip vehicle will cost a moderate to large fortune more than the $3400 required t9 fix my Outback.

I'm old enough to take these issues into serious consideration. The Outback is great, but not necessarily what I want to drive the rest of my road tripping days. Buying the ultimate would require tapping into an investment I'd rather let grow. But, It can als9 grow after I tap into it, though more slowly. I'm disabled/retired, so taking on a major car note can't be taken lightly.
I just wanted to point out the possible lose. A lot of people don't think of that side of it while dumping money into an older car.
 

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while the car is not worth much let us put this into perspective

1. I got my 2003 Legacy 6 years ago for 2990, I put 5K in repairs and maintenance into the car an d have driven it 82K total cost of car $8K or about 1,333.33 a year to own, car was paid for in cash. Mileage on car 142K
2. I got my 2014 Legacy 4 years ago for $25000 all in. I have spent $2000 in maintenance and repairs (including warranty deductibles) total for 4 years is 27000 or 6,700 a year to own so far. Took a loan on car and the cost above reflects total paid for said loan, down payment (huge) and repairs. Mileage on car 73K
3. I just purchased a 2010 outback 3.6R for 9200 all in. I have put in about $1500 all in to get it running so total cost so far 10,700...Mileage on car 143K. Paid cash for the car.

point is cars always cost more to acquire than to repair and keep them as long as the structure of the car is intact. The 2003 Legacy is now a good beater car or first car for a kid to get by as the rust is now starting to get into the structure and this is why it is on the chopping block (aka for sale).
 
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