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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Problem statement: "Critters" chewed through PRECISELY 47 wires in the engine bay on the MAIN engine harness about 6 inches from the firewall penetration of '99 Sonata with 60,000 miles.

Question: What would you do?

Options

1. Scrap the vehicle.
2. Sell it "as is" for parts.
3. "Part out" the car on eBay, craigsList, etc
4. Tow to a dealer for repair.
5. Tow to an independent for repair.
6. DIY.
7. Something else.

Facts

Subject Vehicle: 1999 Hyundai (Duh!) Sonata Base trim, 2.4L engine.

Current age: 18 years
Current mileage: 60,000
Current "fair market price": $1500-$2000 (per craigslist, edmunds and [ick!] kbb)

Owner ship history: I'm 2nd owner. Purchased in California from original owner's estate in 2003 at 15,000 miles. Purchased for $7200 with documented (dealer!) maintenance history in "needs nothing" condition.

Repair history: Output speed sensor, replaced radiator (damaged on parking lot car stop), replaced rusted-out power steering cooler.

Maintenance history: Fluids, tires, battery, cleaning.

Service history: 4 cross-country trips from Chicago suburbs to SF Bay area (and back). Primarily "winter car" for pleasure driving and daily "chores" (groceries, christmas shopping, etc).

Mechanical condition: Good.
Exterior condition: Good to (nearly) very good.
Interior condition: Good.

Projected Costs

Brand-new, dealer-supplied OEM Replacement harness is about US$1400.
Used harness from eBay is about US$400. (This car has CA emissions).
Pick-and-Pull charges US$38.00 for "large" harness. (Again, CA-spec car now located in Chicago suburb.)
Labor hours unknown.
 

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$1400 for new OE harness, and some of your labor,,, 60,000 mile, all good condition,,, that maybe 4 or 5 car payment,, and you going to drive it for couple more yr,, why not.. 1400,, or car payments for how long ??

Dealer or independent,, you dont know if fella is going to do aircraft quality wire repair, or Junior Achievment Project... and if there is SRS & ABS/ESC in that bundle,, you'll want to go new harness for safety sake... and do something about the critters

Had a new 17 Elantra that was only week or so old,, squirrels nested in engine compartment,, and was still in there when received for repair.. 2 harness and 12hr labor I think it was, something like $5000 in damages insurance company paid for
 
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The only question you need to answer for yourself is if the car is worth it, to you, to repair and keep on the road?

All of the other stuff you so nicely laid out doesn't really mean anything.... is it worth it to you to keep it running? If not, then junk it, if it is then repair it.

That engine harness is going to go to a lot of places... are you going to trust your local corner mechanic to do it properly? The guy that wants jobs in and out as fast as possible.... I would pass on that. Hyundai labor is going to cost thousands.... I'd put that money towards a new car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
True, but not helpful.

[Q]uestion is if the car is worth it, to you
This is, indeed, the fundamental question motivating this thread.

With the underlying question phrased so succinctly, I'm now interested in the factors you'd consider in formulating YOUR response to the question, how you'd weight these factors against (potentially) conflicting objectives and what you'd most likely decide.
 

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...are you going to trust your local corner mechanic to do it properly?...
Yes, I would trust them with it. Surveys have been conducted that find that dealers are not necessarily the most skilled or the most trustworthy vehicle repair shops. I have at least three local independent garages that are far from being "the guy that wants jobs in and out as fast as possible." It seems to me that dealers fit that description more than small independent shops.


I would not hesitate to trust my preferred independent shops with this type of repair. I also have at least one or two independent garages that I would not go anywhere near, and a few dealers that I would tend to avoid as well.
 
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Personally, I'd have it repaired. It's low-mileage, pretty much problem-free, and investing the $1400 will give you several more years of use, while that same $1400 will give you, what, 6 months of a car payment? Of course, ymmv, but that's my 50 cents...
 

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This is, indeed, the fundamental question motivating this thread.

With the underlying question phrased so succinctly, I'm now interested in the factors you'd consider in formulating YOUR response to the question, how you'd weight these factors against (potentially) conflicting objectives and what you'd most likely decide.
This sounds more like a social experiment college essay than a real help needed question. Conflicting objectives? To repair the car or not, that is the question.

My considered factors...

Car is 1999, old, and out of style for what I'd want to be driving if I had another option. But no money owed on it and probably low insurance costs. Still ran good with only minor maintenance costs over the years.

Repairs are $1400 for the harness PLUS labor, of up to $5000 all in as mentioned in this thread as a possible labor rate. $6400 in repairs for an old car that I don't really like any more. Twice the cost of the estimated book value, of which you would never actually get anyways. $300-$500 is more likely a realistic value for a 18 year old car, if you could find a buyer in the first place.

Other considerations... do I have other cars to drive? Is this car important for me or family? What's my current financial situation? Can I afford to replace it with something else if I needed to? Do I want the hassle of trying to get it repaired? Do I want to take half of the estimated repair cost and get a used car or take the full repair cost and put it towards a new low cost car like an Accent or something like that... et cetera.

Lots of possibilities and considerations.. but again, nobody here can tell you what you should consider, and if you're writing some kind of social thesis then anyone you ask is going to have a different opinion and good luck forming an aggregate that is realistic.

I personally would not spend thousands of dollars on this car, but I can afford other options. Some people might not be able to afford other options so trying to come up with thousands to repair this car is their only option. However, if they can find the money for a $5000 repair, then they can find $3000 for a used car that is newer without any problems. So again, not spending the money on this car.

Good luck.
 

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I personally would not spend thousands of dollars on this car, but I can afford other options.
I'm with tenergy on this. The car's old and even with low miles wear parts are going to start going. Plastics are going to start getting brittle (I just had a heat sink in a PC fail due to brittle plastic cracking) if you can afford to pour a few thousand into repairs on this you'd be better off putting that money towards a newer car. With enough money and time you can fix/repair anything but you have to weigh the values.
 

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47 wires? That shouldn't be too difficult. (yeah...easy for me to say :laugh:)
At least the wires are just chewed/ broken and you can match up the colours. I've had to repair quite a few harnesses that had shorted and basically gone on fire. Nothing but strands of charred copper left but I've still managed to fix them.
 
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