Hey Kyle - I was just listening to his podcast today and he addresses this very topic. Might want to give it a listen - #8492.
It’s hard to give specific advice without a true picture of your finances but… Your car should be a line item in your budget for maintenance and, if it were me, anything I didn’t use in that monthly budget would snowball until I needed to buy a new used car. I don’t believe your $1k emergency fund should be used for a car. A medical expense, loss of job, or house fire are more likely to be things I would tap into the emergency fund to cover.
I too drive a hoopty (01 Hinda CRV) and will keep that puppy until the doors fall off. She looks ugly but runs good. Hope this helps but feel free Tom each new tun if you have any questions!