For several weeks now I have had a dilemna . . . a decision . . . and try as I can I cannot come up with a final decision and so I'm turning to you folks for input.

My dilemna is this . . . my 2000 Toyota 4Runner has a badly rusting rear differential. I've fixed it now with a temporary patch (well the garage fixed it) . . . but since the first patch failed I don't have a lot of faith in the second patch.

If I opt to make a permanent repair the cost will be $700-$1,000 (not including labor). On top of this I am currently driving around with the check engine light on due to a faulty oxygen sensor (another $200) which my mechanic says shouldn't be an issue unless I notice it not running normal.

A little background . . . this is my "spare" vehicle. Generally I only use it for camping, hauling firewood/lumber/ATVs/sleds or for use on those slippery days in the winter. It is not my main vehicle, but on the days I use it generally I'm hauling something or going somewhere on a trip . . . it is not the vehicle I drive around the town of Unity.

If you've done the math it is about 10 years old and has 114,000 or so miles on it.

So my question . . . keep it and fix it up . . . or sell it while it still has some value ($4,500-$5,500 to a dealer).

I keep waffling on this issue since:

* It is paid for with no car payments every month which is nice since my wife and I are renovating the house
* It's in decent shape and has been reliable until recently
* It has relatively low miles
* I only use it intermittently and it has worked OK for my needs

On the other hand:

* I keep thinking of the cost to repair it permanently and correctly and wonder if it is worth putting into a vehicle at this age
* I find myself wondering if other components may fail on it and if this is the start to many repair bills
* My needs/wants have changed . . . I could use a pick-up now much more than I could use a SUV

So any input . . . any ideas . . . keep it or can it? I honestly go back and forth on this issue . . . one day I'm ready to sell . . . and the next day I think the best thing to do is keep it.