With most house appliances, it's important to strike a fine balance as far as repairing and replacing them is concerned, and microwaves are no different. Individual repairs are usually cheaper than the cost of replacing the microwave; however, a series of repairs in quick succession could cost you more than it would to just buy a new microwave.
To avoid spending too much money on successive microwave repairs, you have to know when it's time to stop spending money on repairs. However, if you replace your microwave early, you'll be getting a sour deal.
How Old Is Your Microwave?
It's never a good idea to spend too much money on an old appliance. The age factor makes it easy for other parts to fail separately or because of the initial problem. If you've had your microwave for many years and the problem seems fairly complicated, don't bother with repairs.
How Expensive Was the Microwave?
The pricing of microwaves is quite diverse, with some costing as little as $60 and others costing more than $500. Replacing an expensive microwave is not something many homeowners will be eager to do. In such a case, microwave repair will probably be the way to go. On the other hand, there's only so much money you can afford to spend repairing a microwave you can replace for $60.
What Is the Problem?
The nature of the problem your microwave is having should be the main guiding factor when it comes to replacing or repairing it. Over the course of its life, your microwave could suffer from a wide range of issues. Some of these will be as simple as a faulty touchpad while others could be fairly complex, such as a malfunctioning motor.
Some microwave problems are simple enough for a do-it-yourself (DIY) fix and shouldn't cost too much if repaired by a professional. However, an issue like the microwave running with the door open is very serious, and no solution is likely to be cheap.
Is the Microwave Integrated to Your Kitchen?
If your microwave simply goes on top of the counter without any fancy additions, replacing it should be easy enough. However, if you've gone to the trouble of creating a custom area for the microwave that is designed to fit its dimensions, replacing the microwave with a different model could require other changes to your kitchen. In such cases, repairs may cost you less.