Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Is it time to splurge on a new car?
Old 04-13-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 78
Is it time to splurge on a new car?

I have always followed the advice given to me by one of our retired partners. He used to always say:

"Your cheapest car is the one you are already driving".

I sold my first car after it left me sit three times along the road within one month. I got my money's worth from my AAA membership that year.

We got rid of our Minivan after it was totalled because its engine caught on fire while my wife was waiting in line to pick up the kids from elementary school. Fortunately everyone was safe, and the kids enjoyed seeing the firetrucks show up at school.

Now for my current decision......

My 2001 VW Passat has over 150,000 miles on it. It works fine but some of the dashboard warning lights keep coming on. We took it to the mechanic several times and he says that the brakes are working just fine. Is it time to buy another vehicle? The next car should last me until I retire?

I'm considering one the following three vehicles:

2012 VW Passat TDI
2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid when it comes out this fall
2012 Audi A3, A4 or A5

Do you have any advice or recommendations? I don't need to get financing.

Oh yeah..........., my wife thinks I should buy her a new Mustang.

Thanks.
__________________

__________________
KMyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-13-2012, 07:36 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
Rowdy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 105
I can't see buying a new car at all. Why not a 2 year old version of any of the above suggested models (except for the hybrid, which isn't available yet)? Quite frankly, a hybrid typically takes a long time to recoup, unless you are doing it for reasons other than saving gas.
__________________

__________________
Rowdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy View Post
I can't see buying a new car at all. Why not a 2 year old version of any of the above suggested models?
Worth taking a look, but the extremely steep depreciation curve of the first two years isn't as common as it used to be. The strategy of "buy almost new and let someone eat 1/3 depreciation in the first 2 years" became a victim of its own success and popularity. For many makes and models, the depreciation curve has flattened out due to increased demand in "nearly new" vehicles and, in some cases, is almost linear. Where it's almost linear I'd actually opt for new -- full warranty and you don't have to worry about where the car has been or how it has been driven and maintained.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
These days there are many reliable makes that you can expect 200,000 miles from without a major (thousands of $) repair. The best rule of thumb I've heard is 'you should replace a car when the cost of repairs exceeds half the book value of the car.' Being left stranded several times or catching fire would understandably trump repair costs.

And buying a late model used car is less costly than new as noted.

Full disclosure: The longest I've ever kept a car is 164,000 miles and it was still running and looking fine. I just traded in a 10 year old car with 124,000 miles, also running and looking just fine - I'm confident I could have gotten several more years of service without serious issues. IOW, the decision to get a new car is part cost, part irrational for most people, self included...

Good luck, you can't go far wrong whatever you decide.

We owned an 2001 Audi TT for 7 years. Solid, fun car and pretty reliable, but for routine service or any repairs, be ready for a shock. For example, brakes all the way around ran us $1200 after about 60,000 miles - and that was about 7-8 years ago. They had to replace the front rotors, when I asked why, they told me 'they're designed to be replaced every 60,000 miles' - the seemed almost proud of it. My Honda Element went 124,000 miles before the front rotors needed to be replaced, at a much lower cost...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,382
I have had 2 lights on concerning my brakes for 3 years. My brakes had been changed just prior to light coming on. They have been checked out and they are fine. My check engine light comes on all the time. I figured out its just my gas cap that is partially stripped, so if I dont take the time to put it on the exact way, it comes on. My car has never failed me in 10 plus years. Im not saying ignore your lights, Im just saying your car may not be ready for the junk yard just because of a few lights. Get them checked out to reassure yourself.
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:01 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy View Post
I can't see buying a new car at all. Why not a 2 year old version of any of the above suggested models (except for the hybrid, which isn't available yet)? Quite frankly, a hybrid typically takes a long time to recoup, unless you are doing it for reasons other than saving gas.
The Fusion hybrid has been available for several years, the OP is probably waiting for the 2013 model as it's a complete restyle...
__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
Rowdy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 105
My old Taurus had a check engine light on for about 5 years. After the dashboard lights burnt out, the check engine light was the only light I had to illuminate the dash.
__________________
Rowdy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:29 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
In many cases the "check engine" light comes on due to a malfunction of the oxygen sensor. This is an environmental requirement and is covered by the warranty. Don't hold me to this but in some cases it's covered for life, sometimes 100k miles. Review your owners manual first and then ask the dealer for a diagnostic check. Most car part places like Pep Boys also do the diagnostic check. If it's an oxygen sensor and not covered under warranty you can replace it. Or have someone disconnect it unless you are really into the environment thing.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Should you get a new car because some lights come on? I'd say no, try to fix the lights problem. If it's a check engine type of light, put tape over it.
__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Bikerdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,901
I'm buying new because:

1.) I'm retired

2.) I have the $$$

3.) I'm not getting younger

__________________
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” Alan Greenspan
Bikerdude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 09:49 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikerdude View Post
I'm buying new because:

1.) I'm retired

2.) I have the $$$

3.) I'm not getting younger


+3
__________________
powerplay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:11 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Should you get a new car because some lights come on? I'd say no, try to fix the lights problem. If it's a check engine type of light, put tape over it.
They don't have emissions test in CA? In IL, we have to get tested every two years, or no registration. Used to be a sniffer up the tailpipe, now they just plug into the port that provides the data for the check engine light. If the cars computer says all is well, they accept that.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:26 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 7,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
In many cases the "check engine" light comes on due to a malfunction of the oxygen sensor. This is an environmental requirement and is covered by the warranty. Don't hold me to this but in some cases it's covered for life, sometimes 100k miles. Review your owners manual first and then ask the dealer for a diagnostic check. Most car part places like Pep Boys also do the diagnostic check. If it's an oxygen sensor and not covered under warranty you can replace it. Or have someone disconnect it unless you are really into the environment thing.
Unless one wishes to pay big money for wasting gas, get the oxgen sensor fixed. Plus the car won't run like crap.

My car has had sensor replaced a few times during it's lifetime. The first thing I noticed was the improved mileage.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2012, 10:54 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: seattle
Posts: 643
With basic care most cars won't struggle to get to 200k mechanically, but the body, interior, and niggly small stuff has trouble lasting that long.

I have a '97 Ranger pickup that at 202k has just begun to use oil. I do however keep my triple A current.
__________________
bld999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 05:46 AM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
IMO most of us here are savers, not spenders therefore you will get biased answers advising against a new car, especially a flashy Mustang.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KMyer View Post
Do you have any advice or recommendations? I don't need to get financing.

Oh yeah..........., my wife thinks I should buy her a new Mustang.

Thanks.
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 07:40 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,287
I have a Ford Explorer.... and had the ABS light come on and off for the last two years.... took it to a Ford dealership to fix and they said 'nothing wrong' (the light was out at the time)....

Took the car in for another light to a new place.... they said that the error could be one of two things... but first they needed to reflash the car... now both light were on and they fixed the ABS light (it was a bad sensor), which fixed our intermittent speed control problem... it did not fix the other problem... that cost $550...


One of the issues is that during inspection, if you have a check engine light on they are not supposed to pass you.... that is the only reason I got it fixed...


On a final note, I start to look at getting a replacement car after 100,000 miles or 10 years... most of the time I will do both.... after awhile, I just want a new car....
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #17
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,571
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
... and you don't have to worry about where the car has been or how it has been driven and maintained.
That's why we'll buy new when replacement time comes. Our prior experience with used cars was not positive, I think mostly because the previous owner knew they weren't going to keep it long and skimped on maintenance. I'm meticulous about maintenance since it's a lot cheaper than repairs or replacing the car.

DW's little Buick is coming up on 134k miles and everything works fine although it's just starting to use a quart of oil between changes. I'm hoping to get 200k+ miles out of it. Anything more than that is gravy.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,899
Have you researched this on the internet? I did a search for Passat brake warning light and got lots of hits.

I've had good luck in the past searching for what often turns out to be common for a particular model, even when dealer mechanics are stumped.





OK, Now you can buy that Mustang convertible that you really want.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:22 AM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
I see a Mustang in your future.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:43 AM   #20
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
IMO most of us here are savers, not spenders therefore you will get biased answers advising against a new car, especially a flashy Mustang.
I'm glad I purchased my "flashy Mustang" before I joined this forum!
__________________

__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
audi, fusion, mustang, passat


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:45 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.