Honda had 195k on it, was a radiator murderer so that was leaking again, had an oil leak, needed 4 new tires & a new catalytic converter. It randomly stopped accelerating on me and wouldn't start, towed it to a shop & they tried everything. Finally replaced spark plugs and tada! Worked. A few weeks later quit accelerating AGAIN this time in an intersection but started after. After that I didn't drive it for 2 weeks and then only to work. It did it once more, & that was it no more driving. My mom wanted to STUPIDLY drive it to San Diego(about 45 minutes away and down an insane freeway, I hadn't taken it on the freeway since the first non acceleration incident because it's plain unsafe) & that morning it wouldn't start for her to take it. I told her it was the car saving her life and she better listen. It started right up a few hours later when we were waiting on a tow truck to take it to a nearby shop, haha. So they replaced the fuel pump, ignition module and multiple other things, put hundreds of dollars into it and it STILL wouldn't start. We decided to cut our loses and not fix it when it was going to be another 800 on top of that for a new cat, atleast 300 for new tires, not to mention the radiator and the oil leak. It also needed a new hood. Before this I had put hundreds of dollars into maintenance for the dumb thing. Enough was enough & I needed something reliable
But I loved that car! It was zippy and cute and incredibly fun to drive. Im still in grieving.
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You need a new mechanic.
I think your desires are reasonable but the old phrase "beggars can't be choosers" comes to mind. When I was 17 "I" bought a vehicle that my parents required me to buy. I had very little say in what was purchased, although I had to make the payments(including insurance). It made me mad at the time but I wasn't harmed by the decision. I was also looking for a truck and ended up getting a full sized SUV that got horrible gas mileage. But at least it was 4 wheel drive. Remember, "this too shall pass"..........