So I blew a friggen headgasket on my beloved 2000 Nissan Xterra, and the cost of fixing it is half the cost of its worth. And I have basically that same amount left on the loan.

My options as presented to me thus far:

1. B/c it’s not showing any signs of this issue (long story how it was discovered),  take it to a dealership, play dumb, and get into a different car. Rationale being that dealerships are spawns of the devil and have no worries about screwing over most people. Maybe so, but I have ethical discomfort with this option in the off-chance it would eventually land in the hands of a single mother with two young kids.

2. Sell to private buyer (prob. a mechanic) for cost of loan, start over in different car. Problem is most people wouldn’t want to do the shit-ton of work it will take to fix it, and will want a good deal. I need it to be fairly priced to break even.

3. Take it to dealership as is and go from there.

4. Find a couple thousand under my mattress and fix it. Viable option considering the brand is usually super-dependable and durable, and it’s supposed to be paid off in December. BUT, all parties queried brought up the risk of it happening again. Mechanic specifically mentioned this as worry (and yes, mechanic is friend-of-friend and trustworthy).

Help! Need thoughts and advice por favor. Ready.. go.