If you decide to bail on this one-you can usually get a 100,000 mile Cobalt- maybe 2004 or a 100,000 Focus for $4000 or so.
The later Focus- maybe 2004 on- were actually good cars- earlier ones were not so reliable.
Usually best to just fix what you have-sucks to have to do all that greasy work- but at least it isn't too hot yet. You are in TX maybe- I-35??