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Old 09-16-2012, 07:28 AM   #21
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We're pretty much on the same page as the other posters. We'll buy new vehicles and keep them until reliability or parts availability become issues.

Both of ours are now ten years old. DW's car has 140k miles and I'm hoping to get 200-250k miles out of it. Anything more than that is gravy. My truck has 81k miles so it's just broken in.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:04 AM   #22
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We're pretty much on the same page as the other posters. We'll buy new vehicles and keep them until reliability or parts availability become issues.

Both of ours are now ten years old. DW's car has 140k miles and I'm hoping to get 200-250k miles out of it. Anything more than that is gravy. My truck has 81k miles so it's just broken in.
Bought a new Suburban in 1996. Paid it off in 1999. In addition to it being my daily driver, I used it to occasionally tow an 8,000lb boat to the dealer for service. Had 225K miles on it in 2007 when I replaced the engine with a brand new Chevy crate engine ($5200).

Drove it another two years and 40K miles when the transmission and transfer case went out. Facing another $4500 in repairs, I decided that was it. Repairs alone might have been worth it but with gas prices becoming a considerable factor as well, I had to factor in the average 12mpg.

Traded it in on a Kia Spectra. $4500 trade in credit, net outlay for the Kia was a little over $11K. Averaged almost 30mpg.

Kia was totalled two years later when a pickup rear-ended me. Insurance paid over $14K. Bought a Kia Sportage for $22K and I figure I'll get at least 10 years/100K miles out of it - the length of it's powertrain warranty.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:28 PM   #23
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Lots of good thoughts on $$ aspects, but another thing to consider is tech advances in safety of newer car. There is independent evidence showing that things like air bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, etc. improve safety. When I traded in my '01 Chrysler for '10 Nissan Altima my insurance premiums (same ins co, coverage, & limits) actually dropped a bit due to much lower bodily injury coverage cost. In many areas insurance can be a relatively larger overall cost of operating a vehicle.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:54 PM   #24
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Another issue is where the vehicle is driven in West Texas for example a reliable car is more important since there are spots where cell phones don't work. It is also a long ways to anywhere. Back East if the car for example stays east of the Missouri River Line, then this is not as much of an issue.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:02 PM   #25
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This is an interesting question to me because although my car is not a "Jalopy" (2009 Dodge) with only 40,000 miles on it and has been wonderful so far, at the time I purchased it it looked like the end of the world for Chrysler so they were offering a lifetime power train warranty (engine, transmission, driveaxle). So I'm wondering if the car starts doing normal wear out things (such as starter, alternator, windows,brakes etc etc) at what point is that lifetime power train warranty not worth it anymore?
I've got a 2008 Dakota with one of those lifetime warranty's also.
Sure hope they mean it, I sense a transmission job in my future.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:28 PM   #26
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I don't believe in driving really old cars. I've had 2 not-at-fault accidents in 8 years, the most recent one last week when some nut-job blew through a stop sign and hit me mid-ships at full tilt, stolen car and all.

The cop said "you took a real hit", and I said you should have seen it the last time. Both times the body shop said 10 years ago not many would have walked away from this impact, but cars are much better now. The cars get totaled, but you go on living, often with relatively minor injuries.

I am not impoverished, so since I respect myself and whoever may be riding with me, I feel I should invest in safety. Luckily there was no one with me this time, as the impact was passenger side.

Additionally, air bag technology has become so much better. Even a small car like mine was, today will have frontal, side, side curtain, rear seat, etc. bags. Side curtain bags can spare you a head injury that might really make your life suck.

The first time I had a 4 year old Integra, this last time a 6 1/2 year old Subaru. And these cars or their replacement models are better still now.

I guess a really big old cadillac might work as well, but I could never park them or get them into my parking space.

Ha
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:39 AM   #27
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I guess a really big old cadillac might work as well, but I could never park them or get them into my parking space.

Ha
You could get one of these: F650 SuperTruck

Funny thing though, I didn't see any mention of fuel mileage. I guess people who buy those don't care.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:39 AM   #28
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I've got a 2008 Dakota with one of those lifetime warranty's also.
Sure hope they mean it, I sense a transmission job in my future.
My warranty book says it "should" be covered. An important note is that the lifetime warranty requires an inspection every 5 years to remain in effect.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:00 AM   #29
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I'm actually of a slightly different school these days. Previously, I drove an old Honda Accord until repairing it was more than the car was worth. Bought another Honda Accord that is approaching 100k miles. However, in the intervening time, my current Honda has accumulated more than its fair share of door dings, scratches and the like - none of which were caused by me. People just simply don't care about other people's cars. As a result, my Honda is slowly beginning to look like a ding/scratch-mobile, rather than a nice car. It still has a good 20k-40k miles left before major repairs start to make it less attractive to keep, but the aesthetics are becoming a problem with the professional circles in which I run. Most folks I know drive Acuras, BMWs, Infinitis, Mercedes, etc.... While it would be nice to own one of those, I have two very small children who like to trash car interiors with their shoes, food, candy, and other detritus. Likewise, people will again ding the sides of the car, making it painful to see a $35k luxury car slowly take on the appearance of my old ding/scratch-mobile.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:02 AM   #30
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Repairing a car will almost always be cheaper than buying a new car, especially if you have already paid off your car loan.

Will the repairs cost more than the market value of the car? If your car is only worth $1000, it may not make sense to spend $2000 in repairs. To find the market value of your car, go to Kelley Blue Book's or similar website.

Most modern cars will be trouble free for at least 100K miles and cost effective to repair to 200K. Most people succumb to the emotional aspect of owning a car with questionable reliability (being left by the side of the road) before the financial reality prompts them to sell.

I'd use mileage as an indicator of years before actual years owned. That said, except in my very early (young & stupid) years, I've kept every car I've bought for a minimum of 7 years and two I kept out to 10 years with 130K & 164K miles. I am positive both the latter cars would have done fine if I'd kept them for a few more years.

Buying late model used cars (3 yrs ±) is also an excellent way to reduce total cost of ownership as you undoubtedly know.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:32 AM   #31
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Buying late model used cars (3 yrs ±) is also an excellent way to reduce total cost of ownership as you undoubtedly know.
I went this route for my last car two years ago. Got a low mileage ( 26K ) '07, saved about $12K over the cost of new equivalent. It should last long time as I only do about 4k miles/yr now.

It does depend on the vehicles. You can get a used Caddy that way at about 50% of a new one. For the econobox types, you can buy new sometimes cheaper than 1-2 yr used one.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:38 PM   #32
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You could get one of these: F650 SuperTruck

Funny thing though, I didn't see any mention of fuel mileage. I guess people who buy those don't care.

Also interesting on how much fuel you can have onboard... looks like 6 tanks with an option of having one between the rails....


BTW, who wants a truck with your fuel tanks hanging along the side (unless of course these are fake....)
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:38 PM   #33
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Also interesting on how much fuel you can have onboard... looks like 6 tanks with an option of having one between the rails....


BTW, who wants a truck with your fuel tanks hanging along the side (unless of course these are fake....)
More than likely, those trucks have Diesel engines. And Diesel fuel doesn't explode like gasoline will.

As for fuel economy, the EPA doesn't rate anything with a GVWR of greater than 8500 lb. So essentially, any pickup or SUV that's a 3/4-ton or greater doesn't get rated. At one time, Ford somehow managed to get the extended-length version of the Expedition exempted from fuel economy testing, but I think it's subject to it nowadays.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:10 PM   #34
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Normal maintenance and wear-n-tear items discounted, I will drive a car until it has a major component failure.
I'm facing this situation right now. My 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee (96000 miles) has a cylinder misfire and sometimes will not start. It runs like hell when it does start.
I've owned the Jeep since 2004. I recently had to spend $500 on sensors to get the check engine light off to get it inspected. The check engine light is back on again.
The antifreeze reservoir is emptying at a faster rate than normal, even though the radiator, themostat and hoses are intact.
The mechanic (a trusted friend) thinks it might be more than just a tuneup problem after checking a few key things. The tuneup parts would cost $100 alone.
He estimated it would cost a minimum of $1500, mostly in labor hours, if it needs a head gasket repair, and possibly a water pump on top of that. There is no way of knowing until he opens the patient.
So I am contemplating putting it on Craigslist as a parts car or a real deal for a home mechanic, as is, and getting a used Ford Escape as a replacement. We definitely need a 4WD for the wintertime.
No decisions have been made yet. We still have 2 vehicles to use, so there is no immediate requirement to buy.
My thinking is I would rather use the cost (the total of which is unknown) of fixing the Jeep as a down payment on a newer used vehicle.
Mr B is looking online at used vehicles. He and I will split the cost 50-50.
Usually, if a head gasket is the issue, you will have some white smoke coming out of the tailpipes...although often that won't show until the car warms up.

The antifreeze gets into the combustion chamber and "gums up" the combustion process...and the white smoke is essentially steam from that reaction. The worse the leak, the more "cumulous" the smoke.

Head gaskets are expensive to replace on most cars, and definitely not something you'd want to try at home unless you are a competent mechanic.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:13 PM   #35
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Also interesting on how much fuel you can have onboard... looks like 6 tanks with an option of having one between the rails....


BTW, who wants a truck with your fuel tanks hanging along the side (unless of course these are fake....)
Definitely not fake.

And I know a lot about the engine in that thing.

And I mean A LOT.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:24 PM   #36
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A bit off topic, but I have spent quite a bit of time working on my car this year. As a key note, I used to be an auto mechanic...so I have the tools and knowledge to do most things myself.

It's a 2002 Honda CRV, with 75,000 miles (yes, living in a small town is great). I am very "tuned into" my vehicles...I hear problems before most people would even notice them.

This spring, I heard some light valve clatter coming from the engine, so I did a valve adjustment. Surprisingly, the intakes were only off .002-.003", and the exhausts just about .001" more than that. Not significant by any means...most people would have just kept driving...but now that I've adjusted them, I can't believe how much more quiet it is (my wife says she never heard anything in the first place). This will prevent valve beat-in and other issues down the road.

I also had a squeak in the engine, and determined it was a glazed belt, so I replaced that. $35, 1 hour labor, and the squeak is gone. Most people wait until the belt breaks, then they spend $80 on the tow truck alone, not to mention any engine damage.

Then I had a popping noise on low-speed turns. I knew right away what this was...the strut bearing plates were worn. While I had the struts out, I went ahead and put new ones in...although I could have re-used the old ones and delayed spending $100...I didn't want to do the 3 hours of labor again next year when the struts started leaking oil.

Then about a month ago, I heard a serious buzzing/rattling noise under the car. Turns out there is a 'dual layer' heat sheild around the catalytic converter, and one of the spot welds had broken. Most people would simply remove it (the rest of it was really rusty...it needed replaced). It serves two purposes.. 1) To allow the converter to heat up more quickly, thus lowering emissions at startup 2) Prevent a fire when driving/parking in tall dry grass. I paid $110 to Honda for a new shield and installed it.

Yes, I've spent a few hundred dollars and about 3 Saturdays on the car. And if I had to take it to a shop, it would probably be $1,500. But, the car now runs as good as new, and I feel very proud to drive a vehicle that looks and runs better than most 3-year-old cars, even though mine is nearly 11 years old now.

I plan to keep it another 2-3 years. I'm saving $600/month, and have been now for 2 years...so I can pay cash for the next car.

Maybe I should start a thread on simple things you can do to maintain your car or make it last longer.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:12 PM   #37
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Finance Dave...here I thought MY DH was a good diagnostician! My goodness!
I like the idea of your thread on car maintenance items, though, as we are huge fans of the "figure out how to do it yourself" club! Our current POS fleet is a 1990-something Oldmobile Cutlass, a 2001 Buick LeSabre, a 1984 Chevy pickup and a 1991 pickup, all of which are running pretty well, though the trucks don't go but to the store and the dump.

We'll never own new ones, but we like finding older good deals (under $5k) and keeping them running. Our last pair of 1990-era Saturns had over 300k miles when we quit. And to answer the OP, we wait until they just don't make sense to keep running anymore, either in aggravation, time, or expense of repairs. Then we sell them to the scrapyard.

And jalopy is a great word, far more dignified than POS, which is what my mom nicknamed our cars and we took as a badge of pride some years ago.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #38
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Finance Dave...here I thought MY DH was a good diagnostician! My goodness!
I like the idea of your thread on car maintenance items, though, as we are huge fans of the "figure out how to do it yourself" club! Our current POS fleet is a 1990-something Oldmobile Cutlass, a 2001 Buick LeSabre, a 1984 Chevy pickup and a 1991 pickup, all of which are running pretty well, though the trucks don't go but to the store and the dump.

We'll never own new ones, but we like finding older good deals (under $5k) and keeping them running. Our last pair of 1990-era Saturns had over 300k miles when we quit. And to answer the OP, we wait until they just don't make sense to keep running anymore, either in aggravation, time, or expense of repairs. Then we sell them to the scrapyard.

And jalopy is a great word, far more dignified than POS, which is what my mom nicknamed our cars and we took as a badge of pride some years ago.
lol, thanks.

Ok, I'll start a new thread on car care so to speak...but with a different twist to it. Shall I do that in FIRE? since it relates to saving money? Or in one of the "other" areas?
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #39
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My daily driver is a 1998 Nissan Maxima that we bought new in 1999. My wife drove it for 13 years and 140k miles, then when I bought her a new Subaru in 2012, I inherited the Maxima and sold my 1993 Saturn SL2, which had 180k miles on it. We maintain our vehicles on time and properly, keep them in the garage and they last quite well. My 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 has 104k miles on it, but it's a Cummins diesel, so probably good for 350k-400k with careful maintenance. Given that now I drive the truck about 5000 miles a year, that's about 55 years to go! Hell, I'd be 112 years old then! The Nissan gets about 2000 miles a year on it now, so will likely last another 20 years.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:06 AM   #40
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Can I hijack this thread? In June 2013 we will be returning to the US and have to buy two vehicles - this will also be the start of FIRE!!!. We are 58/59 and are trying to decide if we need two NEW cars or buy used. If we buy new - will it last us the 20 years until we can't drive anymore, or buy 2 used that will last 10 years, then go down to just one car. We don't expect to put many miles on - after all, I won't be commuting any more! Any thoughts?? I know I could look at it as $200 bucks a month, but would like to hear others experiences. I have always bought new.
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