Am not failing the idea of making vehicles last longer but my opinion is that this should not really be the target; unless of course you are in love with vintage cars or you are a collector. If you are not any of the above, chances are that you wouldn't want to be stuck with the same car for the next 11 years and you will need a change regardless of whether that particular car is still in great shape or not. Besides, with new revolution towards energy efficient cars, your car will probably be obsolete in the next decade anyway.
There was an article in the biz section of the LA Times about declining car ownership in the teen-25 demographic. Concerned automakers are putting low-cost "intro" models on the market to get some revenue and capture brand-name loyalty.
The article attributed the sales decline to many choosing urban lifestyles where a car is not needed (or desirable), student debt, environmental and geopolitical consciousness, and living with parents who share their car. My colleages and I (in a suburban area) compared notes...most of our kids were fairly indifferent to getting their driver's license- most of us counted the days!
Battar, this is a valid comment and you are probably correct. I worked for a company about 40 miles from my home and had a daily commute but, I was in a car pool which helped greatly. The other members of our pool had fairly new cars but we decided to combine our resources and purchase an older road-worthy car just for transportation to and from work. No bells and whistles just a very basic "ride". It was not a "looker" but got us there and back for four (4) years and without a great deal of maintenance. We did the "fast-lube" thing every 3,000 miles; i.e. oil change, rotate tires, lube bearings and joints. etc. It worked. The reliability was excellent. Very informative post Charles
I may start buying used, too, Chuck. There's so much stuff on new cars I don't need or want. OTOH, on a recent road trip our rented caR got upgraded to a Chrysler full-size sedan--which was about the size I remember as a mid-size--and were pleasantly surprised at how well it handled, general comfort, ease of controls, etc. Also really good mileage.
GTOlover, the very best handling car that I ever had was a 1965 Barracuda. I was the third or fourth owner, and I bought the car without an engine or transmission. So I dropped in a slant six and torquflite trans, which it had a 273 and 4-speed previously. I also dropped in the power steering from the 1964 Valiant. With the sure-grip rear end, cheater slicks on the back, and K-Mart Roadmaster tires on the front it would oversteer just a little bit, which is just where I think a car should be set. And of course, with rear wheel drive it did handle well. Front wheel drive is great for not getting stuck, the only other advantages it has are that it is cheaper and lighter.
I do agree completely that the disk brakes stop better, but I have had more problems with disk brakes and rust than with all the drum brakes that I ever owned. IT seems that most Chrysler product6 disk brakes eventually stick in the applied position and cause a number of problems as a result. Or else they stick in the almost applied position and cause problems. I have had both kinds of failures on multiple vehicles.
I too have a car since last 10 years i bought it in 2003 and its running fine by the grace of good till now and hopefully it will run good in future as well. Agreed that because of recession the rate of car purchase has decreased but according to me if someone is satisfied with the design the body and the autoparts why would he go for another car. So age of vehicle depends upon the design, relibility and quality of the car.
I had a '96 version of the Windstar. It served well until I blew the engine at 140,000 miles. I learned a hard lesson. When a water hose blows, and you refill the radiator -- and all the water leaks right back out and you don't know that it has -- the temp gauge no longer works. So I thought it was fine until it froze up on the freeway.
Exactly how I've done it, too. CarMax is my favorite buying place – Lots full of certified low-mileage cars for about ½ to ⅔ the price of comparable new models. Plus the CarMax, MAX-CARE warranty is 100% coverage with Zero deductible. Can't be beat for the price. ( 'Cripes I sound like a commercial,,,)
Ann, I've heard the best way to own a car economically is to buy a used car with medium-to-low mileage and drive it until it falls apart. Basically you take the car from 40,000 miles to 150,000 miles or more. The worst way to own a car economically is to own it during those first 40,000 miles.
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