Drivers Keeping Their Cars Longer

Monro Muffler CEO: Drivers Are Keeping Cars Longer – Driver’s Seat – WSJ – worth a read.

I know the feeling – my car is now 12 years old, a 1999 Audi A4 Quattro that is starting to feel its age, especially in the suspension. The rest of the car is great though, the interior still looks only a couple of years old, the body is perfect except for some side mouldings that are falling off (but who cares at this point), the motor runs great, still has the original (stainless steel) exhaust, even the climate control and electric window and power seat motors all still work fine (knock wood).

Bought it used in 2005 with just under 40k miles, and have only put another 45k on it over those six years. Best quality car I’ve ever owned, end of discussion. Which is probably why I still have it, and even today, would still pay to fix the suspension, if it wasn’t going to cost me at least half of what the car is worth at this point. Or, who knows, maybe I’ll go ahead and do that anyway and dig in for another 2-3 years. But my kids aren’t young any more, and that back seat is starting to get a little cramped . . .

I used to like looking for new cars, and now it just feels like a chore. I think, deep down, I’m probably afraid of not liking my next car nearly as much as I like this one. Because, of course … breaking up is hard to do-ooo

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4 comments
  1. CGHill said:

    I know (at least some of) the feeling. My ride is eleven years old and coming up on 133,000 miles. I’ve survived most of the Known Issues with this model, and the two remaining are starting to manifest themselves – a crossmember that holds up the radiator is subject to corrosion, and the fancy-schmancy electronically-controlled engine mounts can become balky or worse.

    Still, who’s got $35k for something new? Not me. And I hate shopping for cars with a purple passion.

  2. Electronically-controlled engine mounts? Sheesh. Who needs that?

    I also won’t be spending $35k, or even $20k, for something new – brand new cars are for suckers, frankly. I’m all over the “under $15k and under 45k miles” cars.

  3. Ric Locke said:

    I’ve been driving worn-out semiwrecks most of my life. That’s because I HATE HATE HATE car payments, and rarely have enough cash to get anything decent.

    I went to visit my son, and my latest hooptie died halfway between Tucson and Phoenix. I managed to bludgeon it into continuing long enough to get it to his house — sixty-odd miles at 45 MPH, watching the temperature like a hawk — and he and I worked on trying to fix it for a bit. Then I said f* it and opened up Craigslist.

    Now I have a ’98 BMW 323iS, on which everything works but the light on the radio dial. The BMW dealer in Phoenix says it needs $2786.42 worth of repairs including a new guibo, whatever the H– that may be, plus new front brakes. Brakes I can do. The rest can wait. $3K.

    Regards,
    Ric