What one to replace first - Car

We have 2 cars, one being a 2004 04 Astra 1.6 auto with 65,000 miles on it, owned 44 months had a look underneath and some parts are rusting see pics, front exhaust pipe is blowing and air con is as efficient as it was. MOT due December and car cover 1500 miles a year.

The other is a 2004 54 Skoda Octavia Tdi with 123,000 on it owned 59 months, cambelt & water pump replaced 4 years 42,000 miles ago and tyres due 6000 miles time MOT due next month.

The question is what one should we first & when & what with ,for the Astra the wife's we have a budget of up to £3,000, she would prefer an auto and may consider a smaller sized car as long as it could cope on motorways

For mine budget is £7,000 I would prefer an auto this time and need similar sized boot to the Octavia

We will look at Focus, Mazda 3, civic any others ?




What one to replace first - Avant

You might well get another year out of the Skoda if it's going well and passes its MoT next month: it's worth more to you than it would be in the market. If it fails and is uneconomic to repair, I'd suggest something Japanese and petrol-powered - Mazda 6 or Honda Accord, perhaps.

Very low mileage can be more of a cause of wear and tear than high mileage. Others more knowledgeable than I will be able to tell from the pictures whether the Astra is on its last legs: at the very least you'd need a new exhaust for the MoT. Assuming that you still need a second car, the Hyundai i10 and i20m, and the Mazda 2, have traditional torque-converter automatics. Avoid semi-automatic gearboxes at all costs.

Also, look back at some good advice that you were given when you asked a smilar question about the Skoda last December.

Edited by Avant on 14/08/2017 at 00:00

What one to replace first - SLO76
The Astra doesn't look too bad for a thirteen year old motor. Pics don't show any impending doom and mechanically it's barely run in with that mileage. If she's happy enough driving it I'd be favour spending a couple of hundred quid getting it through another ticket rather than spending £3k on what will be another car approaching a decade old that you don't know.

If you must replace it then and it has to be an auto then a Mk II Focus, Mazda 3 or Toyota Corolla would be my preferences. A Mazda 2 is generally good news too but hard to find with an auto and probably out of budget. Hyundai i10/20 good robust little cars also but not as stable as the Astra at speed. Is it worth it on such a low annual mileage though?

As for the Octavia, well assuming it's the 1.9 PD TDI then it's one of the best Diesel engines ever made and fit for 500k if looked after. It's a far more robust motor than any modern equivalent and does without the emissions control gubbins (DPF in particular) that causes so much woe with modern diesels.

Both are next to worthless due to their age but both are good examples of budget cars that I'd recommend to people wanting to run a car on the cheap. The Astra has few vices and is more refined than more modern CVT and more reliable than automated manual equipped cars and the Skoda is barely run in.

I'd keep them both. But again if you must have something newer and assuming your annual mileage in the Skoda is approximately 10k then I'd forget a DPF equipped diesel and look to petrol motors such as the Honda Civic, Accord, Mazda 6, Toyota Avensis or possibly a Volvo s40/V50. Above all don't touch anything with the 1600 PSA diesel.

Edited by SLO76 on 14/08/2017 at 00:14

What one to replace first - RT

It may depend where you live and your usage pattern - pre-DPF diesels will be restricted first by upcoming air quality restrictions. It's not clear what the measures will be - select from banned/penalised from entering cities/towns / high VED / even higher fuel duty on diesel - but some form of restriction is imminent.

There is of course a possibility that petrols up to Euro 4 will be equally hit - so you may need your crystal ball to know what the politicians acutually do - they'll have to do something, doing nothing is no longer an option.

UpdatedWhat one to replace first - Car

A quick update wife spend £300 on getting the Astra serviced full new exhaust with the centre section being replaced for the first time in the cars 13 year life and a new exhaust sensor and rubbing noise from front wheel was brake backing plate rubbing on the disc so was easily fixed. Meanwhile my car the Skoda passed the MOT with just one adivisory Nearside Front Tyre worn close to the legal limit inner edge (4.1.E.1) Garage advise is to keep a watch on it and having checked the tyre there is between 1.5 to 2mm before it reaches the legal limit so perhaps up to another 2 months life in it. Looks like we be keeping both cars for a little whilst longer although I think I'll replace the Octavia before it reaches 500,000 miles as I will be in my late 80's by then :)

Edited by Car on 16/09/2017 at 17:57

UpdatedWhat one to replace first - SLO76
Wise move. You're usually best sticking with the devil you know..
What one to replace first - Avant

Many thanks for coming back to us. There's a useful lesson for anyone wnho has an old car - it's worth nothing in the market, so if it can be got through the MoT test comparatively cheaply (e,g exhaust or tyres as here), then hang on to it, as you've decided to do.

An Astra and an Octavia are also far more sensible to have as old cars than, say, a BMW or Mercedes, which are no more reliable at this age and far more expensive to repair.

What one to replace first - carl233

I know it does not look great but the rusting on the underside is a quick and cheap fix. There are two different strategies: A good quality rust converter or black waxoyl mixed with engine oil would make a world of difference.

Even some new cars in the showroom have rust around items such as driveshafts etc.


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