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Old 10-01-2016, 09:31 AM   #21
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Several have said when $ repairs exceed the $ value of the car. That seems somewhat arbitrary. Wouldn't when $ annual repairs are expected to exceed the $ annual cost of a new (used) car make more sense? [Not purchase price of course but for example I wouldn't do a $6000 repair on an old car if I expected a new car to run me less than $6000/year over it's life].

And once you don't consider your car to be reliable, it's time.

It depend on make/model and use, but I've had several Toyotas and Hondas for 10-12 years and 105-165K miles with no major issues, and few minor issues.
Midpack, I think you have this right. I often hear people say they do not repair a car if repair cost is close to or in excess of car value. If you are holding the car a long time, the value of the car will be near zero and thus is relatively unimportant, IMHO. So the better question, in my view, is will you hold the car long enough to make doing the repair make sense, and what is the alternative? If the alternative is buying new, you will take far greater annual hits on depreciation than the repair contemplated, in most cases. If you are buying used, you could immediately get hit with a large repair cost.

Last two cars I have sold were under $2K and had 150-200K miles and more like 10-15 years old. As several have said, 10 years and 150k+ miles seems a pretty good rule if looking for "sweet spot".

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Old 10-01-2016, 09:48 AM   #22
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My trigger for buying a new car is a little different than it is for most people.

I guess I know a lot about a variety of things, but I have come to accept the fact that I know absolutely ZERO about car repairs and never will because my interest in car repairs is also zero.

Also, I am 68 years old and after owning several used cars that were lemons with erratic undiagnosable electrical problems, I am completely over any excitement one might have at the prospect of calling a tow truck. That gets old after the umpteenth time and I hope to never have to call one again.

So, my objective when buying a car is NOT to minimize costs. My objective is to buy a car with not only a good repair record, but hopefully a sterling repair record. I like Toyotas because my perception is that they fit into that category. I will tolerate one repair, but the second substantial repair is a trigger for me to sell it and buy a new one. I prefer brand new to used, because I don't want to risk getting somebody else's lemon.

Is this my version of RobbieB's caviar? Maybe, I don't know. I just feel like I am so over dealing with broken cars and I'd rather spend my money keeping that from happening, than spending it on almost anything else. Life is even more wonderful when you don't ever have a broken car to hassle with.

My last car was a Toyota Solara and it lasted 10 years and 30,000 miles before the "check engine" light showed that some switch needed repair, and when I took it to the dealer to have that done I found that the timing belt needed to be changed (which is more like maintenance, but still pretty costly). I only counted this as one repair. Still, these repairs plus the fact that I retired a few months later and had already planned on getting a new retirement vehicle anyway, all added up to enough for me to trade it in on a new Toyota Venza. My Venza will be 7 years old in January and so far, so good with no repairs yet. The leather upholstery has a rip in it but my attitude towards that is "so what". It only has 24,700 miles on it and I maintain it very well.

If my spending has been low for a year or two (which it hasn't been lately), then I will start looking at edmunds dot com to see if there's another car I'd rather have even if no repairs have been needed on my present car. So far I haven't seen a car I'd like better than my Venza, even though I gripe about it and call it my "nanny car" sometimes.

At some point I will want to stop driving and have no car. I do not feel that I am quite that old yet, however.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:18 PM   #23
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With such low mileage per year you might be close to occasional rental and/or taxi being cheaper. Avoids the whole maintenance hassle too. Depending on geography of course.
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Old 10-01-2016, 02:42 PM   #24
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With such low mileage per year you might be close to occasional rental and/or taxi being cheaper. Avoids the whole maintenance hassle too. Depending on geography of course.
Or maybe W2R could get by with a slightly used electric car like a Leaf? Longer trips get a rental?
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Old 10-01-2016, 03:22 PM   #25
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And once you don't consider your car to be reliable, it's time.

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DW and I like to go on the occasional long weekend trip. We currently have 2 newer cars. But when the mileage gets to the point where we would be concerned about taking the car too far from home, that would be the deciding factor for me.

That's become more of a concern for us, as well, as we age and see our physical capabilities diminish. Geography and climate play into it also. A rural breakdown during a Minnesota winter might have been an inconvenience when we were younger. These days it could be more serious.

With that said, we're trying to decide what to do with our 13yr old Honda with 200k miles. As long as it just serves as our around-town beater, we're willing to run it into the dust. Problem is that our newer car, a 2015 SUV, is less comfortable for DW to get in and out of (in fact she avoids riding in it whenever possible) so we are highly unlikely to take it traveling. Although I've been a "buy new and drive forever" kind of guy most of my life - and DW's gotten comfortable with that approach as well - we may just go half-way and look for a moderately used and hopefully reliable road car.

Back to the original topic, I don't know what the sweet spot would be for a 200k mile Honda but I'm sure we're there or past it. The TCO just keeps getting cheaper and that's difficult for us to let go of.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:02 PM   #26
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With such low mileage per year you might be close to occasional rental and/or taxi being cheaper. Avoids the whole maintenance hassle too. Depending on geography of course.
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Or maybe W2R could get by with a slightly used electric car like a Leaf? Longer trips get a rental?
I have thought of transitioning to Uber at some point.

Plus, if/when I get the two knee replacement surgeries that I think I need, then I'll be able to walk more so I won't need Uber that much. My neighborhood is very walkable. Almost everything that anybody could ever want is available within a half mile. This would be ideal for me because I need the exercise and enjoy walking.
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Old 10-01-2016, 04:57 PM   #27
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I drive so little that the sweet spot for selling is too hard to determine. I currently have a 2007 Subaru Impreza with just 91,000 kms (56k miles) on it. In its current condition and considering how little I drive, it will probably last another 15 years, but it's time for something newer. However, the frugal part of me says to keep it.

I did sort of make a decision...I live on the Canadian prairies and winter is on the way, so I'm keeping my car at least until spring simply because I don't want to get a new car just before winter...I'd rather enjoy the newness of it over a summer than a -35 winter.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:27 PM   #28
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I drive a 2004 Toyota Highlander; it has 141,000 miles. Friends have the same car with 210k! I am perverse enough to want to best their mileage but we plan to move out of state in about a year and I will want/need a pickup. She will be a good car for somebody.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:14 PM   #29
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My objective is to buy a car with not only a good repair record, but hopefully a sterling repair record. I like Toyotas because my perception is that they fit into that category.
I believe Hondas have a similar, if not superior reliability record. Mine certainly have, and they always get great ratings. Also (as with Toyota to a large extent) they don't depreciate anywhere near as quickly as other brands.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:25 PM   #30
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Here's the JP Power ranking for 2016. Note that 3 GM models are ranked in the top six positions:

Quote:
Highest-Ranked Nameplates and Models

Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates for a fifth consecutive year, with a score of 95 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100).

Porsche (97 PP100) follows Lexus in the rankings, moving up from fifth in 2015.
Following Porsche in the rankings are Buick (106 PP100), Toyota (113 PP100) and GMC (120 PP100).
General Motors Company receives eight segment awards and Toyota Motor Corporation six.

GM models receiving an award include the Buick Encore; Buick LaCrosse; Buick Verano; Chevrolet Camaro; Chevrolet Equinox; Chevrolet Malibu; Chevrolet Silverado HD; and GMC Yukon.
Toyota awardees include the Lexus ES; Lexus GS; Lexus GX; Toyota Prius v; Toyota Sienna; and Toyota Tundra.
2016_vds_rank_1.jpg

http://www.jdpower.com/press-release...lity-study-vds
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:39 PM   #31
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Here's the JP Power ranking for 2016. Note that 3 GM models are ranked in the top six positions:

2016 US Vehicle Dependability Study VDS | J.D. Power
These initial quality ratings are interesting, but 3 years or more in service is where the spread really occurs.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:06 PM   #32
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These initial quality ratings are interesting, but 3 years or more in service is where the spread really occurs.
Hard to capture good data after three years of personal auto use and variations in keeping up with necessary maintenance. My Jetta (13 years old) has 300K miles on it and it runs very well, but I keep up with scheduled maintenance.

The best reliability information seems to be obtained from auto user forums that operate like this forum does.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:19 PM   #33
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Hard to capture good data after three years of personal auto use and variations in keeping up with necessary maintenance. My Jetta (13 years old) has 300K miles on it and it runs very well, but I keep up with scheduled maintenance.

The best reliability information seems to be obtained from auto user forums that operate like this forum does.
I have my own source of reliability information.

My brothers are/were both car crazy guys. The oldest even raced cars rather successfully back in the day and has a room full of trophies to prove it. When I was about to buy my Solara, back in 2000, I e-mailed them both and asked them what brand (offering cars in my price range) was the most reliable. They responded independently as follows:

My oldest brother responded:
(1) Toyota
(2) Honda

My other brother responded:
(1) Honda
(2) Toyota

So, I went with Toyota. Honda would have been an equally good choice. But since my Solara was a Toyota and I was happy with it, I have stuck with Toyotas.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:33 PM   #34
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Hard to capture good data after three years of personal auto use and variations in keeping up with necessary maintenance. My Jetta (13 years old) has 300K miles on it and it runs very well, but I keep up with scheduled maintenance.



The best reliability information seems to be obtained from auto user forums that operate like this forum does.

I don't agree. People maintain their cars within the warranty period and it is in this interval that major problems start to occur, like transmission issues. The initial quality surveys are full of stuff like radio knob hard to reach and interior surfaces too hard to the touch. I've spent a lot of hours analyzing these surveys in my old j*b. Forums are useful for finding solutions but they are more anecdotal and less statistical.


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Old 10-01-2016, 08:03 PM   #35
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Forums are useful for finding solutions but they are more anecdotal and less statistical.

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Well, as an example, the Honda forums were beneficial in providing users/potential buyers with evidence that early '90's + automatic transmissions puked before 100 K miles. That's just one example of many learned on user forums. And, yes, they are also good for users to find solutions.

I'm not that strung out on reliability these days as most modern cars are very reliable for the first 150 K miles. For people like W2R that averages roughly 2,000 miles per year, her Toyota will rust into the ground before it has reliability problems.

Actually, my plan going forward at 72 years old is to keep DW happy with an SUV, keep my 300K mile Jetta for as long as I can, and buy a sports car for my second midlife crisis I am just now entering.
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Old 10-01-2016, 11:18 PM   #36
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I don't put many miles on my cars because I live close to work so I always have this internal debate about when to replace my car. Currently I'm driving a 2005 Toyota Camry with only 103,000 miles. I'm starting to look for something else which means I'm probably about 2 more years out. I certainly don't need a different car given this one never has any problems but I've been bored with it for a while and my needs are different than when we had smaller children 11 years ago. When I find one I like, I'll probably chicken out anyway and save my money.
......
We don't drive much for the same reason, but our Camry is 1998 with 101K miles.
Thinking about trading it in, just because of concerns over things we don't know about, like has rubber rotted somewhere, will the ball joints fail us... etc.
Yours seems practically new
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:46 AM   #37
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All the rules get thrown out with me as far number of miles/years to keep a vehicle. I usually get tired of it before the sweet spot hits. Usually though I'm fine with one for at least 5 years. Over the years I purchased pre-owned to help control the cost, but bought a new one last time around. As I age and perhaps my driving slows down, who knows how long I will keep one. When I get to the point of only driving around town, I imagine I will hang onto one a lot longer.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:00 AM   #38
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I've only gotten rid of my cars for 2 reasons.
1) For medical reasons, my vehicle was killing my back as the seat height put too much pressure on my lower back.
2) It becomes too undependable. So when I am getting stuck on the side of the road or the lights keep coming on and I'm wasting too much time waiting for the car to be repaired.. I move on.. basically I'm anti-towing...
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:02 AM   #39
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I would say that the sweet spot for me would be when it is worth about $3k or I don't feel like it would be good for extended road trips. The fact is that I usually get tired of the car before it is necessary to replace.

As to figuring dependability, I agree with the forum comment. I also use True Delta where car owners update repairs on a quarterly basis. It highlights problems (even with very dependable cars like our Highlander) that aren't captured by JD Power ratings.

Also, I read an article not too long ago where it pointed out that the Motor Trend Car of the Year is a terrible way to pick a car since in the past, they have selected many, many lemons.
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:49 PM   #40
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Well the rear diff went out on my RXV last week. The part (65 pound rear axle assembly) is $1150, which I ordered and it will be a few hundred more to get it installed. The cart may be worth $3K (maybe close to $4K depending on how long I want to keep it on CL) after the repair.

Here's the conundrum - should I buy a brand spanking new Evolution golf cart for $6K shipped (fully loaded, similar to the RXV) or drive the RXV into the ground?

The Evolution carts have a self-contained charger and are capable of 25 MPH

I probably have about $5K in the RXV right now, I just put new batteries in it last year - $1K and put mirrors and a horn on it. The exterior is new and it came with lights.
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