When should you replace a vehicle?

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rashad3000
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When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by rashad3000 »

Hello everyone.

My wife and I currently have a 2003 Honda Pilot with 210,000 miles and a 2006 Toyota Sienna with 190,000 miles. Neither of them are the best looking vehicles, but they get the job done. I honestly cannot see the end in sight for either of them. Both vehicles combined worth about only 4% of our yearly income. I've heard Dave Ramsey say that 50% is "acceptable". However, I could never see owning $75,000 worth of a depreciating item. I am completely fine with driving these cars as long as possible while we continue to build wealth. The issue is that my wife is kind of ready to drive a nicer, newer vehicle than her Sienna. She has been extremely patient while we clawed our ways out of debt. We are catching up on retirement and I simply do not care about driving anything "nice".

My plan is to sock away $500 - $750 per month, solely for vehicle replacement. The only thing is, let's say it gets to $30,000 and our vehicles are still going strong, I can't see spending that on a vehicle. Maybe I can sell my wife's van and buy her something in the $15,000 - $20,000 range. But then I would probably question why I am trading something worth $3000 for something worth $15,000 that accomplishes the same exact thing. I guess that when you've been financially irresponsible with money, then you become responsible, it's easy to be hesitant to make any large item purchases. I don't want to be too uptight, I want some kind of balance.

My question for you all is, at what point do you feel comfortable purchasing a "new to you" vehicle?
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cheese_breath
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by cheese_breath »

Can you afford a new vehicle? Not do you want one. If it was just you I'd say do what you want. But DW should have an equal vote in the matter, and I'm not going to align myself with either side. But since you have two old vehicles have you considered buying a new one for her and keeping an old one for yourself?
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livesoft
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by livesoft »

We have two vehicles. We stagger their ages, so at least one is no older than 7 years. We have only gotten new-to-us vehicles when one of the old ones "died." That's because we could easily get by with just a single car for quite a while if we had to.
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bloom2708
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by bloom2708 »

I think it would be a good decision to upgrade one of your vehicles. They are both at the 200k mileage point. You can certainly keep them going but it will likely be more and more expensive to maintain 2 vehicles over 200k.

First step, save $15k, $20k, etc. Reading your post it sounds like you plan to save a monthly amount for a future car purchase. Do you have anything saved for a car purchase? If you want to pay cash for an upgraded car, first save the money. A difficult step.

It is hard to not start mentally shopping with $1,000 in your car fund. The human brain is tough to fool. Once you start shopping, it is going to be harder to not think about that nicer car/van.

When you get to your savings target, then start seeing what you can get for a $15k or $20k upgrade. If you stay with a 3-4 year old used car/mini-van, you should be able to get a good upgrade. If you like your options, buy, if not, save more.

If one of the vehicles has an expensive repair, then you will have to consider buying before the car fund is where you want. That means a loan or selling taxable investments or dipping into Emergency Fund.
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camillus
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by camillus »

My family's strategy is to also stagger age & reliability in cars. One is a Ford Escape with 40k miles, the other is a rusted clunker minivan called "Elton." Guess which one my wife drives.

Reliability and confidence in snow is a major factor with vehicle no. 1. That car happens to have the cheaper original price. The minivan does hauling of people and things beyond what is strictly necessary.

We are building up a car replacement fund and agree that it's extremely hard not to check craigslist daily at that price point. Speaking of, I'm interested in your sienna. Please PM.
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Nate79
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Nate79 »

Life is short. You have certainly gotten your money's worth out of them. If you think you may get some life's pleasures by upgrading and you can afford it I say go for it.
mortfree
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by mortfree »

Probably time to replace one of them. Should be obvious who gets the "new" car.

Staggering vehicles works well esp if you take out a loan. 0%, 0.9%, or 1.9% interest rates should be easily attainable if you buy from a dealer (new or certified).
Robert4016
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Robert4016 »

DW and I always keep one very dependable vehicle. She has a smaller round "about town" car and I have a larger highway car. At age 80 we do not want to get stranded. So when we feel a car is not trustworthy, we replace it. Some are kept for 300000 miles and 10 years. Others go at 6 years and 150k miles.

If it is not dependable, it is replaced.
gator1
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by gator1 »

I buy cash for my vehicles. And I always buy them used. So for the question of: When should you replace a vehicle? When you have enough cash to replace a vehicle and not on a semi-regular basis(Keep at least 5 years minimum, hopefully much longer).

In your situation where your significant other wants a new vehicle, and you don't want to really spend a lot . . . . how about a compromise . . . . replace the oldest one with a $10k-$15k(cash) car(Hopefully a Toyota) and call it a day.
likegarden
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by likegarden »

We replace cars when repairs become too time-consuming or expensive. Or you expect that very soon troubles will start. You are lucky that your cars did last as long.
We had Buicks and after 12 years or 110,000 miles it was time to buy new cars. With the last one I noticed that the dealer's repair shop no longer knew how to fix a 13 year old car - I did not trust local independent repair shops either.

When you finally buy a new one, you might be surprised about everything now being computerized. I got an infotainment center with functions I do not care about and will never use. Good luck!
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gasdoc
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by gasdoc »

Me- 10 years, 100K miles
DW- 7 years, 150K miles

gasdoc
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greg24
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by greg24 »

I think both cars are right at the breaking point where repairs could become frequent. Or maybe they just keep chugging along.

Compromise. Buy your wife a new car, while you drive your car into the dirt. :sharebeer
2comma
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by 2comma »

I use the aggravation or convenience method. When it starts to be unreliable and I'm spending more and more time and money fixing it or in some cases trying to fix it, it usually becomes clear when it's time for a new car.
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Sandtrap
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Sandtrap »

We replace a car either when it no longer runs or costs too much to fix, no matter how old. Otherwise, they just keep on tickin', like a "Timex". Always pay cash for "nearly new".
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livesoft
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by livesoft »

I wonder if we can put some numbers on "costs too much to fix." For instance, my spouse drives an 11-year old vehicle. New tires and new front-end job might cost $2500. That's a lot of money for such an old car, but if the car can go another 25,000 miles then that's just 10 cents a mile. It does mean that if the repair is made that it delays buying a different car for a year or two. Is that too high a cost?
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fourwheelcycle
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by fourwheelcycle »

We replace our vehicles if they are out of warranty and begin to have major repairs other than brakes that cost more than $500 to $700 in a year. This usually results in replacement in the range of 70,000 to 90,000 miles.

We love our current 2009 Toyota Venza. It is now at 56,000 miles and has had no problems at all. Toyota has stopped making it, so we are hoping it may go to 100,000 miles or more before we need to replace it.
likegarden
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by likegarden »

So when you drive an old car on the brink and pay $2500 in repairs, then you really don't know if in half a year some engine gasket starts leaking, or some displays on your dash board no longer work with fuses OK, etc. And don't forget that normal maintenance has to continue additionally, like new tires, hydraulic flush, radiator flush, new brakes, new battery, etc.. Finally it dawns, it is time to buy a new car with everything brand new.
Conch55
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Conch55 »

A couple of years ago my '03 4wd Tacoma needed some work totaling close to 2K. The truck had been reliable so I looked at that as 12 year maintenance and worth the cost. The truck has been running like new since so I feel it was money well spent. Wife's car is our road warrior for long driving trips so if/when reliability becomes a factor we will replace.
ralph124cf
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by ralph124cf »

Financially the best decision is always to drive it into the ground.

A factor that should also be considered is the additional safety features in newer cars, as well as the generally better gas mileage of an equivalent newer car.

Ralph
poker27
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by poker27 »

You did not share your financial status with us, but if it looks good and your wife is wanting a new car, why not?

We live in a big city so scratxhes, pot holes, and parking taps are very common. I'm hoping that we do not have to replace our 6 year old Hyundai with over 100k or my 10 year old Mazda with 40k miles in the foreseeable future. We are both on board with this
GoldenFinch
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by GoldenFinch »

Husband's car: 2008 with over 230k miles, looks bad, has a lifetime warranty.

My Lexus: 2010 with 64k miles, looks and drives like new.

My feeling is if you start to hate your old car, replace it. If it doesn't bother you and is not a cost burden, keep it.
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rashad3000
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by rashad3000 »

GREAT feedback!!!!!!!!!!
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bottlecap
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by bottlecap »

The percentages of income don't really mean anything other than what is intended to be a limit. So they should not affect your choices.

Your vehicles will likely go a long time. Sometime in the 200s, they will need some minor repairs, and perhaps a moderate one. Not really a reason to get rid of them.

However, if your wife put 200,000 miles on hers and thinks it's time for something different, then it's hard to argue that she's being unreasonable or fiscally irresponsible.

Maybe have it cleaned and detailed for a few hundred bucks and see how she feels? Unless you think she's completely made up her mind already. Although you'll probably want to clean it up before you sell it anyway.

JT
corysold
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by corysold »

Depending on what you replace the Sienna with, you can argue that while it will be doing the same job, transporting people, it will likely be doing it in a safer, more comfortable manner. Any car can move people from A-B. But people can spend a lot of time in the car and if they can move from A-B more comfortably, I don't see the harm in upgrading in a fiscally responsible way.
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rashad3000
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by rashad3000 »

LOL. My wife and I have actually had a lot of discussion today. She is in love with the Toypta 4Runner. We found a 2016 that we REALLY love! I'm able to get it for $37,500 out-the-door. My wife thinks it's a good vehicle to drive for 15 years then give to our son his senior year in HS. If you buy a car for $37,500 and drive it for 15 years with minimal repairs, you've done well.

My credit union has approved me for 36 months. I think the plan is to knock it out in 12-18 months. I believe I can get $2500-3000 for the Sienna, so I will throw that on the new loan. I worked the deal without a trade-in.

Thanks for the feedback. It was very valuable.
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Toons
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Toons »

If you can well afford it ,,,then by all means
Buy It.
Time Flies by,,enjoy driving ,,"while you can".
Having saved and invested for the majority of my life,
I plan on trading for a new one every three years.
Whatcha living for? :mrgreen:
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chmcnm
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by chmcnm »

My wife and I both work and have kids. At least one of our cars has to be absolutely reliable. Safety is also a major concern. When her car reaches the point of being "iffy" it's gone. If the newer cars have safety features that would be a huge gain then we'd consider upgrading. Otherwise, mileage is only a number. If the body is solid and it runs well keep it. We've had trucks that approached 500k miles with only routine maintenance. I think bogleheads would agree that a car is not an asset but an expense. That said, if your financial plan is on-track and you have some cash...live a little. There's a reason we work.
finite_difference
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by finite_difference »

If you bought new:

I think that 15 years / 150,000 miles (whichever comes first) is very reasonable if you can afford it.

I think 10 years / 100,000 miles is reasonable if you can afford it.

I think you should keep a car at least 7 years though. Nothing wrong with replacing it more often I just think that you're not spending money very efficiently at that point. I don't think safety features improve enough year to year to justify buying a new car every year, but the improvements add up over time. So I'd rather spend extra money on a nicer car and replace it less often.

But if you have enough money to buy the exact car you want, new, every year, who am I to stop you?
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researcher
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by researcher »

rashad3000 wrote:LOL. My wife and I have actually had a lot of discussion today. She is in love with the Toypta 4Runner. We found a 2016 that we REALLY love! I'm able to get it for $37,500 out-the-door. My wife thinks it's a good vehicle to drive for 15 years then give to our son his senior year in HS. If you buy a car for $37,500 and drive it for 15 years with minimal repairs, you've done well.
Have you read reviews of the 4Runner?

It is poorly rated for what you intend to use it for.

"For those accustomed to the smooth ride and swanky interiors of car-based crossovers, however, the 4Runner may fall short. Those who have no use for the 4Runner’s rugged construction and off-road chops probably would be better served by one of the many carlike SUVs that now rule the roads."

http://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/4runner
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rashad3000
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by rashad3000 »

researcher wrote:
rashad3000 wrote:LOL. My wife and I have actually had a lot of discussion today. She is in love with the Toypta 4Runner. We found a 2016 that we REALLY love! I'm able to get it for $37,500 out-the-door. My wife thinks it's a good vehicle to drive for 15 years then give to our son his senior year in HS. If you buy a car for $37,500 and drive it for 15 years with minimal repairs, you've done well.
Have you read reviews of the 4Runner?

It is poorly rated for what you intend to use it for.

"For those accustomed to the smooth ride and swanky interiors of car-based crossovers, however, the 4Runner may fall short. Those who have no use for the 4Runner’s rugged construction and off-road chops probably would be better served by one of the many carlike SUVs that now rule the roads."

http://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/4runner
This is one reason I really would rather have the Highlander over the 4Runner. It has a 5-star safety rating compared to the 4-star of the 4Runner. Unfortunately, my wife dislikes crossovers. She thinks they are "glorified vans". Lol. I do think the Highlander is more practical for our family.
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stemikger
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by stemikger »

I would drive yours until it doesn't want to leave the driveway and as soon as you get enough money buy the wife what she wants. She has played along and now it might be time to put the balance part into play. Happy wife, happy life. She has been responsible enough. But I'm with you, I don't care a hoot about a new car, so I drive mine until I no longer feel safe going longer distances which I hardly ever do. Good Luck!!
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Watty
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Watty »

When should you replace a vehicle?
You do not want to wait until your car dies and you have to replace it in a hurry. I have had to buy a car in a hurry when I moved across the country once and did not bring the old car with me. That is not a good way to find a good deal on a car, especially a used car.

If you have means then it would be good to start casually shopping now and only buy when you can find a fantastic deal. It might take six months to find the right car but if you do then getting it at a good price and getting a really good car will make up for not squeezing a few more years out of your old car.

My situation may be different but I usually start watching the car market when one of my cars gets to be about nine years old with the ideal of replacing it within couple of years. I normally buy new cars at a discount when the model year changes, some years the deals are a lot better than others so I can wait a few years for a great deal to be available.
MnD
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by MnD »

examples: (All of which were bought new and we got very decent money for selling as always garaged one-owner vehicles with all service records)

16 years old - 2WD pickup with valves starting to making noise and horrible ice/snow handling in a new town where ice/snow is common.
12 years old - small 2WD pickup beat up on 4WD roads and trails to the point where everyday handling was very impaired.
11 years old - wife had enough of econobox with hand crank windows that had transported 2 kids from birth to age 10.
12 years old - AWD wagon with oily film showing up in antifreeze reservoir. Model has history of head gasket issues. Time to go.
14 years old - AWD wagon with slight but ever increasing transmission noise that might indicate very major transmission issues.

Reliable brand, newer used cars are sold at a huge premium or else they are a scam seller.
Considering the first 4-7 years are the best years of a car and that you keep cars forever, I'd reconsider your "buy used" approach.
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MathWizard
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by MathWizard »

I never keep an unreliable car.
My wife and I have 3 vehicles, one of which my son drives.
I would not hesitate to take any of the 3 on a coast to coast trip.

We are at 135K, 116K and 75K, all at least 15 years old.

We'll probably be looking within the year to replace the highest milage vehicle.

I try to replace before we hit 150K or 20 years whichever comes first.
I save up in short term savings so I can pay cash when the time comes.
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Tamarind
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Tamarind »

Last one was a hand-me-down. 2003 VW Passat wagon that made it to 10 years and 180k miles. Thanks to a nasty pothole it had 3 cracked engine mounts and was starting to make periodic grinding and squealing noises. Didn't want to sell it to anyone who might try to drive it, so I got it cleaned, drove to a dealer (stopping just down the road to put the hubcaps back on), and "traded it in" (just a negotiating cypher as they wouldn't have resold at 180k regardless).

Hoping to keep my current car to much higher age/mileage, but my standard is to drive it until you wouldn't feel right reselling it to someone. Another rule I find helpful is to call it when repairs would exceed KBB value but would not give you confidence that same would not be required again soon.
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Cyclesafe
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Cyclesafe »

Me - 2 years and 8k
DW - 17 years and 77k

I worry about dings. DW makes everyone else worry about their cars. All happy.
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Rupert
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Rupert »

We are a two-car family, and our goal is to keep cars about 10 years and purchase a new (or new to us) car every 5 years. So our family always has one newish (5 years old or less) and one oldish (between 5 and 10 years old) car at all times. This pretty much insures that we won't find ourselves in the position of having to replace (or repair at high cost) both cars at the same time and gives us time to save for new car purchases. OP, since both of your cars are so old, I would replace one of your cars (the one most likely to need expensive repairs soon, which is not necessarily the older one) now with either a new car or a slightly used car and begin immediately saving to replace the other one in 3-5 years.
ravenecw
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by ravenecw »

I was going on a trip this past weekend with my vehicle (Jeep Grand Cherokee), it's always been dependable and now has 92k on it. I got it years a go with 57k (aprox.) on it.

With all the things I read i'm not sure if I start replacing parts it's going to fix my problem so i'm starting to look for a different vehicle. It's hard for me because i'm pretty cheap to be honest. The thing that makes me want to do it is what some others said, to feel safe. I don't know (even if I start changing some of the parts) if i'd feel confident going on a trip with this vehicle.


This weekend cost me money (for hotels I wasn't planning on, for the hotel I never got to....) lots of time (about 3 days worth of driving to finally ending up deciding I better make sure I get home instead of being stranded on the other side of the country by breaking down). My vacation time at work... so much it cost me. I'm looking at certified used, I found one with 20k on it and it's more than I usually would spend but I would hope it would last a long while.
Luckily I do have my 2002 Ford Explorer (100k on it) that I actually do feel confident enough in to drive and look at vehicles. I will be trading my Jeep in though, I loved it but i'm not sure I can be confident in it anymore :(

So for me, it's all about how confident I feel in them, and I do like to travel once or twice a year. I wouldn't want to take my Explorer (even though it would probably be ok) and the Jeep was perfect (good power with it and plenty of room). But now I need to get something before my next trip, otherwise there won't be a next trip and life is too short not to live a little (even being cheap, I find ways to live lol).

Now to really find something I want, that is the hardest thing and I don't like to look at vehicles.... I just see $ going out the window (but it's something you need.... a dependable vehicle).
Texanbybirth
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Texanbybirth »

We buy a new car when we can afford it (we don't take loans, pay cash, debt-averse even though I know people might have different thoughts on 0 or low APR financing) and we want it. This has to align with our other savings/spending goals; it's not just about $$$ in the account, but it's also about safety. We recently bought my wife a brand new Honda Odyssey because we have two kids under two and she was driving a 2012 Focus Hatchback. She loves it, and she'll probably be fine driving it for many more years (and kids). We had the money and we wanted it. If you can afford it (remember to align this with your overall goals) and your wife wants a new car, then it probably won't hurt to get one. It's okay to drive a nice/new car if you can truly "afford" it. It doesn't mean you have to get one, too. :happy

I have a 2007 Toyota Yaris, and although I WANT a new car we don't have the money. We've started saving up for a new car, and I'll probably get one when we've saved enough. Until then I'm happy as a clam with what I've got. (As a bonus, I love to tinker with things and this car is still relatively simple enough that I can do all kinds of maintenance on it at home. My wife probably wouldn't be happy with me doing as much "tinkering" on her new van, so we get it professionally serviced.)

So that's a summary of how we do things over here. :D
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gmc4h232
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by gmc4h232 »

ravenecw wrote:I was going on a trip this past weekend with my vehicle (Jeep Grand Cherokee), it's always been dependable and now has 92k on it. I got it years a go with 57k (aprox.) on it.

With all the things I read i'm not sure if I start replacing parts it's going to fix my problem so i'm starting to look for a different vehicle. It's hard for me because i'm pretty cheap to be honest. The thing that makes me want to do it is what some others said, to feel safe. I don't know (even if I start changing some of the parts) if i'd feel confident going on a trip with this vehicle.


This weekend cost me money (for hotels I wasn't planning on, for the hotel I never got to....) lots of time (about 3 days worth of driving to finally ending up deciding I better make sure I get home instead of being stranded on the other side of the country by breaking down). My vacation time at work... so much it cost me. I'm looking at certified used, I found one with 20k on it and it's more than I usually would spend but I would hope it would last a long while.
Luckily I do have my 2002 Ford Explorer (100k on it) that I actually do feel confident enough in to drive and look at vehicles. I will be trading my Jeep in though, I loved it but i'm not sure I can be confident in it anymore :(

So for me, it's all about how confident I feel in them, and I do like to travel once or twice a year. I wouldn't want to take my Explorer (even though it would probably be ok) and the Jeep was perfect (good power with it and plenty of room). But now I need to get something before my next trip, otherwise there won't be a next trip and life is too short not to live a little (even being cheap, I find ways to live lol).

Now to really find something I want, that is the hardest thing and I don't like to look at vehicles.... I just see $ going out the window (but it's something you need.... a dependable vehicle).
I am of the opinion that a vehicle is the sum of its parts, and a well maintained used vehicle is just as reliable, if not more reliable than a new one. I am sure there are plenty of folks out there who have been stranded in a newer car by the failure of some component that was designed/built/installed incorrectly at the factory. Hence the necessity for recalls in the automotive industry, as well as lemon laws.

I suspect most people's fear of being stranded by their used car stems from subconsciously or consciously knowing that they have not maintained their vehicle in accordance with generally accepted mechanical practice. I know that's where my fear comes from.

As far as when to replace a vehicle, I believe that ideally, a vehicle should be replaced when the value of repair or maintenance exceeds the value of an equivalent vehicle, so when a 1995 dodge caravan needs a new transmission, it's time to think about getting another vehicle.
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Index Fan
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Index Fan »

I replace mine when they die or when they cost as much to keep on the road as getting another car would cost.
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srmach05
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:40 am

Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by srmach05 »

rashad3000 wrote:LOL. My wife and I have actually had a lot of discussion today. She is in love with the Toypta 4Runner. We found a 2016 that we REALLY love! I'm able to get it for $37,500 out-the-door. My wife thinks it's a good vehicle to drive for 15 years then give to our son his senior year in HS. If you buy a car for $37,500 and drive it for 15 years with minimal repairs, you've done well.

My credit union has approved me for 36 months. I think the plan is to knock it out in 12-18 months. I believe I can get $2500-3000 for the Sienna, so I will throw that on the new loan. I worked the deal without a trade-in.

Thanks for the feedback. It was very valuable.

Wife and I bought a 2016 4Runner a little over a year ago and absolutely love it. Sure it's a little more difficult to put our 2yo and 6mo in their carseats compared to a crossover, but I love the way it looks and I love driving the thing. Way I see it is if I'm planning on using a car for 10+ years I might as well enjoy it.
ravenecw
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:41 pm

Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by ravenecw »

gmc4h232 wrote:
ravenecw wrote:I was going on a trip this past weekend with my vehicle (Jeep Grand Cherokee), it's always been dependable and now has 92k on it. I got it years a go with 57k (aprox.) on it.

With all the things I read i'm not sure if I start replacing parts it's going to fix my problem so i'm starting to look for a different vehicle. It's hard for me because i'm pretty cheap to be honest. The thing that makes me want to do it is what some others said, to feel safe. I don't know (even if I start changing some of the parts) if i'd feel confident going on a trip with this vehicle.


This weekend cost me money (for hotels I wasn't planning on, for the hotel I never got to....) lots of time (about 3 days worth of driving to finally ending up deciding I better make sure I get home instead of being stranded on the other side of the country by breaking down). My vacation time at work... so much it cost me. I'm looking at certified used, I found one with 20k on it and it's more than I usually would spend but I would hope it would last a long while.
Luckily I do have my 2002 Ford Explorer (100k on it) that I actually do feel confident enough in to drive and look at vehicles. I will be trading my Jeep in though, I loved it but i'm not sure I can be confident in it anymore :(

So for me, it's all about how confident I feel in them, and I do like to travel once or twice a year. I wouldn't want to take my Explorer (even though it would probably be ok) and the Jeep was perfect (good power with it and plenty of room). But now I need to get something before my next trip, otherwise there won't be a next trip and life is too short not to live a little (even being cheap, I find ways to live lol).

Now to really find something I want, that is the hardest thing and I don't like to look at vehicles.... I just see $ going out the window (but it's something you need.... a dependable vehicle).
I am of the opinion that a vehicle is the sum of its parts, and a well maintained used vehicle is just as reliable, if not more reliable than a new one. I am sure there are plenty of folks out there who have been stranded in a newer car by the failure of some component that was designed/built/installed incorrectly at the factory. Hence the necessity for recalls in the automotive industry, as well as lemon laws.

I suspect most people's fear of being stranded by their used car stems from subconsciously or consciously knowing that they have not maintained their vehicle in accordance with generally accepted mechanical practice. I know that's where my fear comes from.

As far as when to replace a vehicle, I believe that ideally, a vehicle should be replaced when the value of repair or maintenance exceeds the value of an equivalent vehicle, so when a 1995 dodge caravan needs a new transmission, it's time to think about getting another vehicle.
I maintain my vehicles. I have had my 2002 Ford Explorer since 2003 and have had no problems. The jeep has been great since I bought it but these problems I had over the weekend appear to be something that can be a number of things to fix. I'm looking into fixing it however I could be throwing money on top of money until it gets fixed. It's not something I can reproduce quickly either so when i'm going down the road I could all a sudden lose power again even after I think i have it fixed.
I am concerned for my safety, as well as reliability. I don't just give up after 1 problem but if the problem is going to be hard to track down and fix I might have to move on. I do take care of my vehicles, regular oil changes, spark plugs, always checking fluids and making the necessary changes to whatever i need to at regular intervals (such as spark plugs at every 30k for the jeep).
We'll see what happens, however I just wanted to point out i'm not lazy when it comes to my vehicles - I go to extremes and even make sure the tire pressure is accurate (all the time, meaning if i have to add air... i add it.... if they are too inflated I let air out.... so yes, I make sure things are right!).
Now this electrical stuff is hard to track down sometimes though... but we'll see, hopefully I can fix it or get it fixed but I don't want to start throwing thousands of dollars at it either.
NibbanaBanana
Posts: 247
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by NibbanaBanana »

Drive them until the wheels fall off. Then buy the absolute cheapest new vehicle with no options. Cars are a 100% depreciating asset. No matter how much you pay, they end up as a rusting hulk of scrap iron in a bone yard somewhere. And the more you pay, the more expensive they are to repair and maintain, the more problems you have, the more expensive they are to insure, and the shorter their life. 100% capital loss. Expensive cars = expensive egos.
david99
Posts: 676
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 11:56 am

Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by david99 »

It's a tough decision. I have a 2000 Corolla with 95,000 miles on it. It runs well and everything works but I'm reluctant to take it on a long trip--- I've already had some minor problems on long trips such as the engine light coming on. And recently one of the brake lines rusted and I had to get towed to my mechanic--- this was just coming back from work. So I'll probably get a new car this year or next. The new safety features on new cars are enticing.
Last edited by david99 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
jayhawkerbeef
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:10 am

Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by jayhawkerbeef »

Forever, unless the cost of repair greatly outweighs the cost of buying another one, in the meantime, save up for when that time occurs.
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Sandi_k
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by Sandi_k »

I have replaced cars for a variety of reasons:

- major repair upcoming that is more than the car is valued (10 year old Chevy with clutch, tires due);
- unreliable (randomly dying while driving);
- bored with it (10 years, 130k miles);
- medical reasons (directed by my doctor)

I am currently driving a car that is 7.5 years old, and has nearly 200k miles on it. I never expected to be driving it and putting on so much mileage. My initial plan was to own it at least 10 years. Since it is still reliable, I am piling up savings as much as possible so that I can springboard it to the next car purchase.

However, if the transmission went out (expensive repair), or it became unreliable in other ways (not feeling safe with my 100 miles per day commute), I would be ready to think it's time to find another car.
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rashad3000
Posts: 305
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Re: When should you replace a vehicle?

Post by rashad3000 »

Thank you all for the feedback!

I really did hours upon hours of research. My wife and I have really thought hard about this decision. We decided to purchase a 2015 certified Toyota Highlander. It's absolutely beautiful and very practical. We didn't pay cash, but we plan on paying it off in 18-24 months max. We made this decision knowing that we'd drive it for 12-15 years. With our driving habits, we are looking at around 200,000 at year 15. It'll still be kicking strong and hopefully we can give it to our youngest, who would be graduating from high school. I don't think anything is wrong with buying a newish used vehicle and driving it until the wheels fall off.

My wife was hellbent against the Highlander because she wanted the 4Runner. However, she is now in love with the Highlander and realizes that it's the best family vehicle for us.
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