New Math of Driving Your Car Till the Wheels Fall Off

… that’s going to be hard to do. Long-term consumer data says my 2005 Nissan Altima with the V-6 engine should be good for 250,000 to 300,000 miles. I only have 98,000 miles on it.

https://www.wsj.com/personal-finance/the-new-math-of-driving-your-car-till-the-wheels-fall-off-9c23b7bc?st=g12cmgxj6zuk8fz&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

intercst

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My 10 year old VW only has 80k on it. I see Jettas of that generation with over 200K on them, on offer on Autotrader regularly. (no, it’s not a diesel) The limiting factor in Michigan, over the decades, has been rust. So far, my car looks nearly new on the outside. I keep thinking of getting a beater to putz around town during the winter, but insurance costs in Michigan, in spite of the “reform” a few years ago, are still the highest in the country.

As my paranoia about slamming an elderly car down the highway builds, I have considered adding road aid to my car insurance, and getting a cheap burner phone, with which to use the road aid. Tracfone has a “smart” phone for 30 bux, and service for $20/quarter.

Steve

Tracfone is my regular phone. Been using them for close to 20 years. A years’s worth of service with more talk time, texts and data than I use costs about $120/yr with discounts.

intercst

There are literally dozens of credit cards which give “free road insurance” as a perk. No need to buy more from your insurance company, I wouldn’t think.

I don’t know about the “free road insurance”, but the rental car collision damage wavier usually only comes with credit cards charging an annual fee. Getting 2% cash back is better value for most people.

intercst

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Interesting article as a dyed in the wool ‘drive ‘til they die’ car owner.

I also buy new and yes, I know I’m losing value as soon as I drive off the lot. However, I’m playing the long game. I think one of the reasons my car lasts as long as it does is because I take good care of them from day one. Works for me.

We also don’t drive many miles. I don’t want to buy a 3 year old car with more miles than I’ll put on in 13 or 14 years.

As an aside, we drove on the thruway to a Costco in a city about 90 miles away to try out and order new hearing aids (our Costco couldn’t see me until August). Yay, new hearing aids!!! The only thing I’m not happy with regarding our 2024 Accord Hybrid is the mileage (although it’s improving with the warmer weather). For this trip we averaged 49 mpg. That put a smile on my face. Took the ROI for the additional hybrid cost down to 12 years. LOL. The Adaptive Cruise Control worked like a charm.

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Since I started walking everywhere within a 3 mile radius of my home for the exercise about 15 years ago, I’ve been averaging only 1,500 miles per year (note that’s 1,500 miles not the US average of 15,000 per year or so.)

My bigger fear is that I’ll create a 10-year-old car with only 15,000 miles on it for some lucky buyer while eating a lot of depreciation.

My next vehicle will be a 2-3 yr old used one with about 60,000 miles on it.

intercst

How about getting your own used phone and then getting 360 days for 30 bucks? Then you can have a smart-ish phone that can do other stuff when necessary.

I’ve always said something similar over the years, but then when looking (usually at carmax), I saw that 2-3 years with 30,000-39,000 miles were only a few hundred dollars more than 2-3 years with 60,000. So I bought the ones with 30,000 or so.

Yes. I think that makes sense. If you can get a lower milage car for about the same price – take it.

I bought my 2005 Altima on e-bay as a 1-yr-old car with 13,000 miles on it. Purchase price was a 30% discount to a new car with the same options and a 5-speed manual transmission, which Nissan made very few of.

intercst

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I miss my manual transmissions. There are VERY few cars sold with manuals anymore in the USA. My nephew just bought an older Honda S2000 with a manual, but I haven’t driven it yet.

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Carmax currently has 600 used cars (2020 and newer) with manual trans.

DB2

Wow!! I didn’t know the Kia Forte comes in manual! And I didn’t know that the Mustang GT can also be ordered with manual.

I love ACC. I wouldn’t think of buying a car without it.

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Ditto, Had a 2004 Honda Pilot with 200k on it, followed maintinenece schedule, didn’t do stupid stuff with it, gave it to my niece when she was learning to drive in 2018. Six months later, some light came on, took it to shop, some chip needed replacement. BIL afraid of more problems, traded it in on some 3 year old small Mazda SUV. He is the type to buy used 2-3 year old cars and replace every 5 years or so. Well, a few months later, transmission goes (not under warranty), gets another used car that has some recurring oil leak. Anyway, I’m sure someone is enjoying my old Pilot.

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@steve203 I have used Tracfone since moving from DE to WA State in 2003. I buy a year’s air time and then add another year (at a discount) at checkout. This works out to about $100 per year. The minutes continue to build up as I don’t talk on my cell phone much. (I have a land line at home.) This is really economical. It’s one of the few things that @intercst and I have in common. :wink:

Most of my friends text more than they talk on the phone. Tracfone sells 1000 texts for $5.

Some people live on their smart phones since they are essentially miniature computers. I use my desktop computer with a large monitor since I don’t like to squint at a tiny phone screen. But it can be handy to have internet access while shopping (e.g. I recently watched a video on a specific type of rhododendron before buying it).

The one killer app that the smartphone brings is Waze, a direction-finding program that uses the GPS in the smartphone. I would have been totally lost in NJ while visiting my friends if not for the voice from the phone directing me. Waze can direct you to gas stations, restaurants, etc.

For safety, you really should carry a smart phone on the road. A woman in my area drove into a ditch and was trapped unconscious. Her husband and the police found her by triangulating her location by her smart phone. If she had been conscious she could have phoned or texted for help. (Texting uses less power than speech and people in a weak-signal area should text.)

By the way, my “almost new” 2017 Subaru Impreza has about 20,000 miles on it. Since I’m 70 and I expect the car to last for 300,000 miles I think this will probably be the last car I own.

Wendy

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I gifted my 1998 Honda Civic hatchback to mentee as a high school graduation present. She learned to drive the manual transmission but nobody else she knows is able to drive the car.
Wendy

That crossed my mind too. When I bought the VW in 2014, I discovered that, in spite of what the brochure said to the contrary, it does not have a compass. So I bought a Garmin navi. That navi earned the name “Gruppenführer Helga, the dash Na2!”, for her stubborn, dictatorial nature. Example: I was heading over to Ann Arbor to pick up some snow tires I had bought on eBay. I set Helga for the guy’s house in a subdivision. As soon as I got off I-94, and started making my way to the house, Helga decided I had left the road entirely, and refused to give any directions at all. Fortunately, a friend had wanted to come along, and I had the address written down, so he punched the address into his cell, and that it how we found the guy’s house.

However, every time I updated Helga, she used an additional block of memory. When I tried to update her for this season, I got a message that the memory is full, and no more updates can be installed. Garmin designed the thing so the memory cannot be cleared, and more memory cannot be added. At least she didn’t brick, so I can keep using her, with potentially obsolete maps.

I never deleted my 98 Civic from my Carfax page. It had 110,000 miles when I sold it in 2013. It is still registered and running in Marysville, Ohio.

Steve

That may slow down the transition to EVs… :slightly_smiling_face:

DB2

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The way automakers are building their engines to burn oil now (they blame big gummit fuel economy regs that make them reduce friction in the engine) a lot of engines will be killed because the owner didn’t check the oil level between changes, and ran the engines out of oil.

Steve

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