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2003 Vauxhall corsa worth repairing for £1300?

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New User

Apr 19, 2015, 7:00 AM

Post #1 of 4 (1023 views)
2003 Vauxhall corsa worth repairing for £1300? Sign In

2003 (53 plate)
Vauxhall Corsa
1.2l engine
125,000 miles

I took my car in for an MOT and it needs £500 worth of repairs: tyres need replacing, 2 front suspension arms worn and need replacing and whole exhaust system needs replacing.
On top of this engine is using oil rapidly (1 litre per week) and mechanic reckons head gasket needs replacing. He estimated the cost at £800 quid.

For £1300 do I buy myself a new car of similar age and (gambling with the state of the car's condition) or do I pay this money in the hope that I know for the most part its biggest problems are fixed?

Any advice would be appreciated.

(N.B from what I've read online, I should be able to get the HG replaced for far cheaper than £800 so may be worth bartering them down on that.)



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Apr 19, 2015, 7:20 AM

Post #2 of 4 (1019 views)
Re: 2003 Vauxhall corsa worth repairing for £1300? Sign In

Hi Tom! First, you don't "recon" it's a head gasket that will solve the problem, you prove it! US based site so can't guess costs of shops and labour rates added up but think today's rate is one British Pound = (1.5) USD$ or about.

Mostly forget tires unless and it is known now anyway as part of keeping a car that need more or lots to keep it or trade out for another. They will all need tires, brakes and service along the way.

Same when another major something happens that might be common with some age and miles you make the decision. I'd rather things like needing a auto or manual trans/gearbox happen or be known when I got a car then just to sell it and have the security of knowing that's out of the way - see what I mean?

Endless things can happen more often with age and miles. I can't decide for you when to quit fixing things and move on at all - only you can.

At least know that this car really is using oil because of a head gasket and not just generally worn out and that wouldn't be an end all or worse not the fix at all! Have to know that much and you have to trust the diagnosis by a tech.

Just know that high engine oil consumption if not obviously leaking and visible thru a head gasket now is not the most common reason IMO to use up too much oil - wear is much more likely,


(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Apr 19, 2015, 7:20 AM)

New User

Apr 19, 2015, 8:51 AM

Post #3 of 4 (1009 views)
Re: 2003 Vauxhall corsa worth repairing for £1300? Sign In

Thanks for the quick reply Tom. I didn't realise this was an US based site, my apologies.

The head gasket is likely the problem, as the coolant is disappearing quickly and there is oil in the coolant tank. It's not visibly leaking, except spatter around the engine and not visibly burning.

I think I probably have to gamble: spend £1300 ($1950) to repair this car, or buy a new car for the same amount.

But first things first, I'd best have the engine leak properly diagnosed!

Thanks again!

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 19, 2015, 9:10 AM

Post #4 of 4 (1003 views)
Re: 2003 Vauxhall corsa worth repairing for £1300? Sign In

All are welcome Tom - it's just for detailed specifics most regulars would have more info on a particular vehicle. I/we also don't have the (£) key on our keyboardsCool! You seem like this is pretty sure so I'd go for it.

What to expect is WHEN the head(s) are off then you send those out and look hard at the block for flaws that would be either fatal or expensive. Tech really doesn't know or a machine shop till it's in hand.

For myself and others when these times come I ask "If I was looking for another car right now, would I buy this one for cheap knowing it needs work and what type or risk unknowns of used if you would choose used." That if you have taken decent care of what you have and at least liked it counts.

Sometimes with things like head gaskets and tires and more, you can get better stuff than it had and be better off.

Good luck with what you decide and hope it ends that problem for you,

Tom (English import about when the dinosaurs roamed!)

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