What should I do with this car?
I have a 1991 Subaru Legacy wagon with 161,000 miles on it. I got it in 1999 with 113,000 miles for $5000cash, so it's long paid off. It has run well all along and only needed the usual things that wear out fixed. The body is mostly in good shape except for a big dent in the passenger side front door where a drunk driver hit it in the parking lot last fall. I got $2000 from the other driver for the damages. I didn't fix the door as it still functioned fine.
I drive the car once or twice a week and sometimes out of town. I've put 1000 miles on it since Jan 2007 when the oil was changed. I've been keeping an eye on the oil and I noticed that it seemed to be losing oil, up to a qt. It is parked in a garage so I can see there is no fresh oil on the floor. I had the cam seals done back in 2000, and the valve cover gaskets were done a few months ago. So it must be burning through the rings. No noticeable smoke from tailpipe though.
I bought this from the first owners and the folder of maintainance reciepts doesn't show any engine repairs.
Then the other day the muffler goes. It's embarassingly noisy to drive, so it's been sitting. Checked around and a new muffler is $125.
I'm wondering what to do. Researching online I could try putting in 5W-30 oil and a substance called Restore (this info from Car Talks website) to try to nurse a few more miles out of it. The engine may be on it's way out, should I go ahead and put a muffler on it if the vultures are going to be circling soon?