Okay, here's the deal:
My air conditioning is shot in the Taurus. The dealership wants $700 to fix it and that's a good deal. Steven called several places for me locally and no one would do it for less. The car has 78,000 miles on it. BUT I owe a lot more on it than it's worth.
Steven and I have been researching new vehicles. Yes, I know I could get a used vehicle (and actually that's where I started the search) but if I am going to be "upside down" in this loan by rolling over what I owe on the Taurus minus whatever they give me in trade for it, I need something that will not cost me anything in car repair for several years. 'Cause I will be paying on this vehicle for a long time to come.
I am looking at a 2008 Honda Odyssey. It gets better gas mileage than my Taurus is now AND it's only $16 more every 6 months to insure (already talked numbers with the insurance lady). IF I can get about $4000 for my trade, my payment would go UP $100 a month, which would be $50 more a paycheck.
Steven and I are working on a budget to see if I can swing this. I don't know what to do. It seems crazy to be going farther INTO debt when I'm sending a kid off to college, with another one right behind in 2 years. But every time I get into the Taurus now, all I can think about is sinking another $700 into a car which in all likelyhood will need MORE repair at some point in the next few years. And I have to do something soon, because Steven talked to the service department manager and he said every time I drive the car with the broken air conditioner, even though it's turned off, I could be doing damage to something (don't ask me what...I'm not good with mechanical stuff...ask Steven) in the engine. I can't just say, "oh I'll just suffer and go without air conditioning", which is what I was going to do for now.
I don't know what to do. I want the security of a new vehicle, one I won't have to worry about for awhile. I have been wanting to go back to a van or an SUV for awhile now. I don't want to just waste my money (actually the money I would have to borrow from my parents and pay back) only to turn around and need more repair next year (or month or week). BUT I am so scared to get into this farther. It. Is. More. Debt.
I am considering going test-driving the Odyssey van this weekend.
What do you all think I should do? Help!!!