By on June 10, 2014

2003 Mazda Protege5

If the highways appear to be filled with vehicles built during the middle years of Bush II’s first term, your eyes are not deceiving you: IHS Automotive says the average age of a given vehicle on the road has remained at 11.4 years at the end of 2013.

Automotive News reports the average age figure will hold through 2015, then climb to 11.7 years by 2019. Though high at the moment, the firm’s director aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader Mark Seng states the figure is entering a plateau “without a major change in either direction” through the rest of the decade. He adds this is based upon “a number of factors, including the economy and increasing quality of today’s automobiles.”

As for new cars, IHS expects vehicles five years and younger will increase their presence by 32 percent in 2019, with vehicles 12 years and above to 15 percent and those in-between the two extremes to actually decrease in visibility by 21 percent in the same period.

Finally, the highways saw a record 252.7 million units travel upon them in 2013, up from 2 percent in 2012.

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138 Comments on “Average Vehicle Age To Remain Around 11 Years Through 2019...”


  • avatar

    I drive an 11 year old Toyota Camry. It has been very reliable and still runs well

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      I drive a 21-year-old Toyota Corolla that WILL NOT DIE.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      My best friend still keeps a 1989 Camry V6 around, for his grand daughter’s daily ride. Still has the factory original plugs, hoses, alternator, waterpump, radiator, etc. Only thing new is a Chinese-made AC system, battery, tires, wipers and belts.

      Of course this is the same guy who still keeps a 1993 S-10 around too. Says he can’t afford to get rid of it because of all the money he poured into it to keep it going this long.

      But he also owns new cars, so he isn’t a total boob.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Our 2004 Prius and 2004 Sienna are both a decade old and showing very few of the signs of wear that would indicate any kind of serious problem.

      Yeah, they’ve needed a little work here and there – but owning a 10 year old car from the mid-2000s is nothing like owning a 10 year old car from the 1980s or 1990s was.

      Even if my situation changes and I need/want something different, someone will be driving these vehicles for at least another 10 years. The smart money is on us driving them for at least another 5 years, until they’re made obsolete by some sort technological tour De force.

      I can see adding an EV or an RV to the family fleet, though, but there ain’t nothing wrong with what we got – so there’s no reason to change.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      I have a 13 year old Lexus ES300, runs great and hasn’t needed too much invested in repairs, though I learned on TTAC they are unreliable and sludge infested.

  • avatar

    If you are going to use an image of a Mazda Protege 5, at least show one with rusting rear wheel wells and door bottoms, so those of us in the rustbelt can recognize it.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Well, that’s what you get for living in the RUST belt.

      Areas that don’t use salt on their roads have much less of a problem.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Exactly what I thought. That’s not a good example photo of a car which makes it to that age across the US.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s not just the rust belt. Compare this car with any Corolla, Sentra, Civic, Cobalt, or Focus from 2003. 95% of the Mazda Proteges have terrible rear wheelwell rust, compared to less than 40% of the other cars. I drive a 2003 Protege ES. Aside from the rust, bumpy ride, low mpg (25mpg for a light car with only 130 hp), tendency to eat front end parts, and wind noise, it is a great car.

      It is much roomier than the Cruze, Mazda 3, and Focus, and only weighs ~2700lbs with automatic. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t take every turn too fast, but if I could get a modern engine and transmission for this car, I would keep it forever. I would take the Proteges’ baby ’94 Audi A4 looks over the new Mazda3’s lowered budget CUV looks. The emperor has no clothes! Sorry about the rant.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      I bought a protege5 new in 2003 i even got the rust proofing done at the dealer. Rust showed up everywhere in less than a year of owning it. Even directly under the rust proofing.

      Mazda’s came pre-rusted from the factory.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I had my head under the hood of a 2004 Lexus ES350 recently, and was impressed to see no evidence of crappy wrenching.

      Either the car never broke, or everyone who worked on it was a Pro With Standards.

      The reason I had my head under the hood was that the original factory battery had left my wife’s friend stranded. In 2014. After 10 years on the road. We went over to an auto parts store, put in a battery with a 5year warranty, and sent her on her way. The car had around 10 years and 100k miles on it, and didn’t have any signs of being a “used car” yet. It lookeds like they’re going for about $6k used, so I bet one would be a fantastic deal if a you V6 sedan fit your needs.

      This bodes well for my Sienna — same engine under the hood. :-)

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    What was the average age of cars in 1994?

    At my house:
    2009, 2007, 2006, 2006, 1967 = 15 year old average

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      Yeah, a median age would be good to know, also the standard deviation, also some estimate of the age of daily drivers ONLY would be good statistics.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Any data with a one-sided long tail should have median reported, not mean. I’m not sure which the study actually reported.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Agreed the average age measurement is poor at best.

        I have a 2011, 2008, & 1957. Puts the average age of my fleet at 22 years, when in reality the age of the fleet that I tend to use and rely on is 4.5 MY’s.

        I know of a lot of households that have an old car in the garage that skews these figures.

  • avatar
    redav

    Wolfram Alpha has a great tool for tracking given names. It shows how many people were given that name over time, and how many people still living have the name. This would be a fantastic tool for cars.

    I would love to be able to have a tool where I can enter a vehicle model and get a similar sales chart as well as a ‘retirement’ chart and thus see how many are still on the road. It would be fascinating to know what percentage of cars on the road are Fusions, for example, and how that number has changed over time. It also would be interesting to see how brands/models compare by actual longevity. (For example, BMW motorcycles claims that over half of all their motorcycles ever made are still on the road. I’d like to know how that compares to others.)

    Such a tool could be used for the entire vehicle fleet, too. Obviously, saying the average age is 11.4 yrs doesn’t mean the most common car is 11.4 yrs old. I want to see how the ‘long tail’ of much older cars has changed over the years (e.g., does it stay in proportion to overall fleet, shift to the right at a consistent rate, stay constant?). Sales data is common, but vehicle retirement data isn’t. Seeing how many cars (and which ones) are removed from service would make certainly change the discussion about reliability/durability.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Ask and ye shall receive!

      http://www.tradeinqualityindex.com/

      In this study we’re examining at what point a given model is so dissatisfying for the owner, that they are willing to trade that retail vehicle in for a wholesale price.

      https://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/car-dealer-scientific-guide-10-worst-used-vehicles-222709616.html

      We look specifically at the mechanical condition and the mileage, because we want to develop a long-term reliability index that will reflect how long a given vehicle (and powertrain) can satisfy the consumer. We already have over 400,000 data samples and should have over a million by 2015.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        I’ve been taking notes on this as well, ever since I sent a 2005 Ford Focus ZX5 to the scrapyard. (2005! Not even ten years old!) I take very detailed notes for all my trade ins, I should start adding to this list.

  • avatar

    1979 LeBaron daily driver through winter, then a 1982 Rampage or some other 30 year old crap can I find between now and then. I sell new cars for a living but I find the utility value in cars under $1000.

  • avatar
    raminduction

    The “newest” vehicle I own is a 1999. It’s still running quite well, does what is required of it, doesn’t get me ripped off with insurance or vulgar monthly payments, and it still passes all PDRK smog tests. The next newest car is a 1991, and it still runs fine, passes PDRK smog tests, doesn’t get me ripped off on insurance, etc. My next “newest” car is a 1971, same-o, same-o, same-o. Why squander scarce natural resources, create a larger carbon footprint, and flush 30% down the toilet (the amount you take it in the butt as soon as your shiney new car drives off the dealer’s lot), while making outrageous monthly payments on over-priced, over-rated electronic PC-mobiles?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You live in North Korea?

      • 0 avatar
        raminduction

        CoreyDL,

        PDRK: Peoples Demokratskii Republik Kalivornja….not quite North Korea, but the “people” voting for the loons running the state into the ground are slowly getting us there…..if you don’t live in the People’s wonderland, and in a moment of lunacy decide to move here and bring your outtastate car with you and register it in the PDRK, you will immediately know what I’m talking about….

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          We had E-Check in Ohio for a while, but then the ROH Republikans Ofv Ohios came, and relegated it to only a couple counties near Cleveland.

          As a result there’s lots of junk driving around here still.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ohio is known for junk cars here in PA due to the nature of “roadside inspections”, or so I am told. I am all for eliminating all emissions control checks after X years, but safety inspections should be an annual event.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            Thanks to Ohio lax emissions requirements I was able to keep my Maxima a good extra two years longer than I would have if I still lived in PA. When the muffler fell off, it went in the recycle bucket never to be replaced. When the O2 sensor died the persistent cel was less of an inspection stopping nuisance and more of a reminder of how cheap if is to keep an old car in Ohio.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hehe you mean Ohio’s N/A emission requirements, save for those few counties.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “but safety inspections should be an annual event.”

            Believe me, you don’t want your registration held hostage by greedy mechanics. I’m sure you’re more than capable of keeping your car roadworthy without a mandatory inspection.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Our inspections aren’t done by mechanics (usually). Whether you pass or fail doesn’t change their potential profits.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I though it was just the PRK, I wasn’t aware democracy was added to it.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Edmunds reports that their fleet average depreciation after one year and about 20k mikes is 23%.

      And you’re welcome to leave CA any time you like, comrade.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      There are only two values that are relevant to a car purchase, the price you pay when you buy it, and the price you get when you sell it. First year depreciation is only relevant if you sell after one year.

      Personally, I prefer to buy new and keep the car for a minimum of eight years, I find I get a good balance between total cost of ownership, driving experience, and the number of repairs needed.

      Why buy new? The new ones are so much better than the old ones. If you want to keep an older car going, by all means do so, that’s your preference, but don’t kid yourself into thinking your older car drives as well as a newer one.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I’m currently driving a 1997 Toyota T100 that I’ve had since 1999. I’ve had other vehicles come and go since then, but this one has been the best that I’ve ever had. It’s nothing fancy, but everything works and it rarely has any issues.

  • avatar
    jhp73

    For the last 20 years I haven’t driven anything older than a 75. I live in California and registration fees and smog fees are ridiculous. An older car for me is more reliable…cheaper to repair…lower reg fees and no smog fees. I currently drive a 72 Mark Iv and it’s an awesome car.

    • 0 avatar
      raminduction

      jhp73:

      AMEN! to that. Fortunately I live in an area of the PDRK (sometimes called Broke Land of Moonbeam)that doesn’t require smog testing on a dyno. When my kids were old enough to get their own cars, I told them to get something 1975 or older so the registration fees would be low, the insurance would be low, and it would be smog exempt, AND they could either fix it themselves or afford to have it repaired. One has a ’75 and the other a ’72. Outtastaters have no idea what is in store for them if the loons in Sakkatomatoes force the rest of the nation to use California smog standards……which the loons are trying to do, btw….

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Around the 10 year mark is a good time to buy a used car these days, assuming decent care and not too high miles on it. Bottom of the depreciation curve (mostly), with lots of usable time left on it. Think what you’d be getting:

    04 TL
    04 GS
    04 LS430

    Good stuff!

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      You’re right those are some nice ones for being 10 years old. I recently bought an ’04 XJ8 from my dad for next to nothing due to the way those depreciate. So far it has been a great car (knock on wood many times).

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Oh Good Lord, get your wallet ready.

        The 04’s had lots of build quality issues from the factory because it was a first year model built in Old Blighty. Watch out for the CATS, and water issues around the sunroof and trunk!

        I love the style of those, it was the last good looking Jag. Round about 08 when they started doing all those ultra-luxe editions, that’s when I’d want to buy in.

        Navy or dark graphite metallic, parchment or black leather. And I’m having Vanden Plas tables and seat piping. And nav. And heated/cooled.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Living my dreams, although my preference is an X308.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I see your XJ8 and raise you a recently purchased 2004 BMW 545.

        Oh yeah, this is going to hurt.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Luckily there’s plenty of wood to knock on in that car.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    It’d be nice if this would slow down the kvetching on TTAC every time a new report comes out that loan terms are stretching out to six or seven years.

    Let’s face it, while the “upside-down-ness” of a car may mean you can’t get rid of it if you get tired of the thing, most any car you buy these days will almost certainly outlast even longer loan terms, barring a catastrophic accident. (And gap insurance can take care of that; I’m actually quite surprised it isn’t required for any car loan with low or no down payment.)

    It used to be hitting 100k was cause for celebration. Now I think most people expect cars to at least hit 150k before the thing even needs any sort of major service, much less a trip to the scrapyard.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      I doubt there’s a great deal of overlap between 72-84 month loan types and 11+ year old car driving types.

      At least until the next economic tremor.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        Well despite the fact that 72-84 month loan types may regret essentially “renting” the car from the bank, the risk to the lender really isn’t that great. Certainly it’s no greater than a 48-month loan was in the Days of Yore.

        And with auto loan rates as low as they are, a long-term loan, even if you don’t plan to keep the car, can make perfectly good financial sense. (For the same reason that people take out 30-year mortgages even if they plan to move in under 10 years…)

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Sirwired,
      The issue isn’t with people keeping their cars to the 72 or 84 month term of their payments. The issue is with people who stretch to get more car than they can afford with these terms.

      Then, after 4 years, they need new tires, new battery and new brakes. But they stretched to get this car, and they are maxed out on their credit cards. So, they go to the car dealer for help.

      Except that they are still underwater on the loan. So the dealer puts them in a new car, again with a long term, but now with a much higher interest rate. And the cycle continues, as the consumer gets deeper and deeper into a debt they can never repay.

      And everyone else makes money.

      • 0 avatar
        sirwired

        People will always make bad decisions. And railing against that fact is nothing more than proverbial windmill-tilting. Whatever.

        What annoys me is the implication that we are inherently headed for another financial crash because of it. As I stated before, the risk to banks for these extended loans is quite low. Certainly, the borrowers run a pretty high risk of regretting their purchase (I’d never personally take out a seven-year loan on a car), but that’s not an economic problem.

        I don’t see why borrowers would be more likely to “stretch” to take out an extended loan than they were when terms were shorter. And given far lower frequency of repair (or even major maintenance) with cars these days, it’s often far less necessary than it used to be to “fix” your car by trading it in and taking it in the proverbial shorts.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          That’s what everyone said about the housing bubble. But, what if nobody wants to buy those repossessed cars?

          That’s exactly what happened with the housing bubble. Lots of mortgages were made to less than stellar buyers because the bank could always unload a property without losing money…. Until everyone who could afford a house had one, and nobody was standing in line to buy the foreclosed houses for top dollar. It didn’t help anything that the job market took a dive, thereby shrinking the number of people who could afford a house.

          And a lot of people were making so much money selling houses and subprime mortgages that they never prepared for the possibility that the buyers would dry up, and party would end. But they managed to postpone the end by selling to less and less qualified buyers.

          It’s worth thinking about the parallels, ad thinking about how you’d handle the potential problems, even if you don’t agree. Just in case you can’t unload a repo, or in case everyone decides they’re happy with their ride.

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “People will always make bad decisions. And railing against that fact is nothing more than proverbial windmill-tilting.”

          This was a fine attitude back in the day when banks carried their own paper. They properly vetted borrowers because they (the bank) would be carrying the risk. But now they bundle loans into CDOs and other derivatives and sell off the risk, so they don’t give a flying purple rat’s a$$ whether or not you can afford the loan. They make money either way, and people DO get hurt (people who think, “hey, if it wasn’t ok then the bank wouldn’t lend me the money, right?). Of course if you’re a social Darwinist then I guess that’s ok…

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            It’s worse than that, because the dolls who put together the CDOs get to shop around for an AAA rating.

            Which means you can’t trust the rating, because there’s an economic incentive to overrate the security.

            That’s just deeply messed up.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Freaking rust. SO many otherwise solid vehicles round these parts forced to retire because they are rotting away.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I would not buy a Mazda if I were a Canadian.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Which is interesting, because Canadians do buy lots of Mazdas.

        The rust is an issue on many models, and very much in the areas that salt, but it’s not insurmountable: you need to rust-check the car and, if you can, avoid parking it indoors.

        You can keep, say, a Protege5, around for some time, but you need to do a little more body maintenance.

        • 0 avatar

          “The rust is an issue on many models, and very much in the areas that salt, but it’s not insurmountable: you need to rust-check the car and, if you can, avoid parking it indoors.”

          So are you saying that it’s the owners fault for that their car rust out, not the manufacturers?

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “So are you saying that it’s the owners fault for that their car rust out, not the manufacturers?”

            No, Mazda clearly has a corrosion-resistance problem, but in places where they salt aggressively (like, eg, southern Ontario) you’d be wasting your money not to avail yourself of aftermarket rust-proofing if you intend to keep your car a long time.

            That advice is simply doubly important for Mazda owners.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        I’m not Canadian… and I still won’t buy a Mazda

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The last one to interest me was the 99 MPV All-Sport AWD. But they’re extra super rust magnets.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            No AWD MPVs made in 1999, ’98 was the final year for the gen 1 rwd based vans.

            I wouldn’t call them extra super rust magnets either, more like middle of the road/mediocre. Ours wasn’t any worse than a late 90s Explorer and actually better than a Caravan/Durango of that vintage. Worse than something German or Swedish obviously. Nowhere as bad as the Proteges of the mid 90s (bubble look) or the 99-03 cars, or the 99+ MPVs for that matter.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh fine 98 then! I can’t recall the last time I saw a 99+ MPV to notice any rust. They just aren’t around here.

            Certainly any MPV’s (pre-99) round here in SW OH have rusted worse than Explorers. I see decent rust Explorers commonly and no rust ones occasionally.

            Agree on Dodge vehicle rust. I feel they have had (and still have on the trucks) sub-par rustproofing. I’ve seen a 2010+ RAM 2500 with a very rusty backside. My dad has rust on the wheel arches (slight) and tailgate (considerable) of his 04 Ram 1500, and it’s always been garaged and washed regularly. My mom’s 99 Caravan got a highway rock knick in the hood, and it was a rusty ball the size of a quarter within four years.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Where I live in the Great Southwest of the United States, rust is nowhere to be found. So it is all a matter of where one chooses to live.

      Regrettably, word is getting around and many people are moving to this area. That may be good for the real estate business, but it is hell for roads not designed to handle as many cars as are traveling over them now. It’s beginning to feel like I live in some densely populated area like Southern California rather than the wide open spaces of New Mexico.

      There are a lot of old cars still driving around my area. It is not the rust that kills them. It is the E10 ethanol-spiked gasoline that’s eating away at their seals, gaskets and hoses that were never designed to handle alcohol.

      It’s an insidious method of forcing people to dump their old cars, or burn up in them.

      • 0 avatar

        I hate ethanol too, bloody corporate welfare for ADM and Iowa farmers, and as you say an insidious destroyer of otherwise serviceable vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Because of the arid climate, we have quite a few collectors of old cars in this area, many of them retired military guys who brought back European cars acquired during their military tours in Europe. Some real beauties there.

          Many of these Porsche, BMW, M-B, VW and Audi engines of antiquity were never designed to run on anything but “leaded” gasoline, so to offset the corrosive and non-lubricant qualities of today’s E-10 Unleaded gasoline, they have to add 2-cycle oil to the gas tank to achieve the optimum 100:1 ratio to keep their valves and seats lubricated and the seals, gaskets and fuel lines pliable.

          If you don’t think THAT adds pollution to the atmosphere, you should see one of them drive by with a light-blue misty cloud coming from its tail pipe.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Maine has had 10% ethanol for 20 years or so, I have never had any fuel system issues with any of the myriad old crocks I have owned. I suspect those gaskets and hoses would have died regardless, just from old age.

            I hate the corn juice as much as anyone in that it is an incredible
            Y inefficient farm subsidy, but I have never had an issue caused by it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Agree that all rubber gaskets and hoses eventually die. But I believe that alcohol has hastened the process quite a bit.

            I offer you this from my own experience: my dad and my mom’s brother used to race dragsters at Riverside Raceway in Southern California, way back when before ethanol reared its ugly head.

            What they used was NitroMethane, a highly explosive and corrosive fuel that packs an exponentially greater amount of energy than plain old gasoline.

            The fuel hoses they used? Neoprene, not rubber compound.

            These days, the car makers have caught on and are using neoprene fuel hoses, and for most other gaskets and hoses under the hood as well. The downside is, neoprene is hard to recycle and will not degrade for centuries.

            SOME automakers, like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Saab, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Bentley and other high-priced vehicles I can’t remember, started using neoprene long before it was cool to use neoprene, like way back in the ’70s when neoprene was first introduced on a commercial scale. Probably because cost was no object for someone buying one of those cars.

            For most of us in the US who can afford only the American version of the People’s Car, cheaper rubber hoses fall victim to the corrosive characteristics of alcohol, if we keep these vehicles for any length of time beyond their expiration date established by the manufacturer.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          One thing which is a big annoying thing that nobody is fixing: corn subsidies.

        • 0 avatar
          raminduction

          Larry,

          Here’s how the scam works: first, you are sold on the “concept” that ethanol is 100+ Octane. Then you are sold on the idea (mostly from California loons) that adding ethanol to your gasoline will save the air and make our “peak-oil, dwindling supplies” of gasoline go farther/further. The eekko-wakkos started beating the drums and whipped everybody into a “feeding frenzy”, and the next thing you know, it’s state and federal law. Here’s the facts: besides being corporate welfare for ADM, a gallon of ethanol has 125,000 BTUs of energy. A gallon of gasoline (regardless of grade) has 225,000 BTUs of energy…at this point you should be starting to realize how you are being screwed… So, adulterate perfectly good gasoline with 10% crap (ethanol), for which you pay extra, for having the privilege of saving the air, and guess what happens? Instead of getting good gas mileage and having plenty of power available, you get WORSE gas mileage, and have to burn MORE adulterated gasoline to get the same or close to performance. So, pay more for adulterated crap, get WORSE gas mileage (along with having your gas tank eaten out and your rubber hoses rotted out), and end up paying through the nose. The only people making out are AMD and Big Oil, oh, yes, and starving people south of the Border, because now the price of corn (their staple food) us unaffordable, so they all come here. The eeko-wakkos are in bed with the corporate welfare cheats on this big time.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Evidently the ethanol scam was an old idea as my 240’s manual referred to it as early as MY1981 when the 240 was certified to handle it.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          In those days they generally called it ‘gasohol’. The idea has been around for a very long time, but it got a pop in the ’70s when gas prices ran up.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Need more Krown?

  • avatar
    genericuser1

    I guess I’m in the minority, I couldn’t stand driving a car that is more than 6-8 years old, the newer the better. Current car is a 2011.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Ever since I go too old to tool and wrench on my own cars, I have adopted the same attitude; it’s up or out after 3-5 years, depending on the length of the warranty. In the case of my 22-yo grand daughter’s 2011 Elantra the warranty is 10 years, but I doubt we’ll keep it that long.

      I have made one exception for myself though, to a 2008 Japan-built Highlander. I’m keeping it as long as it remains problem-free because it has been a flawless car since day one, and is still doing duty as my 16-yo grand daughter’s daily ride.

      (I have NEVER in my entire life owned any car, truck, motorcycle or any other conveyance, that has never needed any thing beyond fuel and regular maintenance. The word “appliance” comes to mind.)

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Newer cars are certainly nicer, and need fewer repairs. I’d rather drive a newer, less expensive model than an older higher priced car.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s difficult to simplify it that far and still have it apply. You’d rather have a 2012 Yaris as opposed to a 2006 Land Cruiser? Really?

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          There isn’t too much I’d rather not drive than a Land Cruiser, other than maybe a Land Rover, so in that case it would be true, but what I was getting at is that I’d rather drive a new, less expensive car in the same class than its more expensive equvalent, say like a 2012 Mazda 3 rather than a 2005 BMW 3 series, or a 2013 Fusion rather than a 2004 BMW 5 series.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @genericuser1:

      If you trade ib a 6 year old car, it doesn’t go to the junkyard. It goes to someone else, and the middlemen make money.

      So, even if you trade in your car every year, someone is still driving that car – until it becomes unworthy of maintenance. I’d guess that most cars probably have 3 or 4 owners before they go to the junkyard.

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        I’d say a cheaper car will be 3 or 4 average, and a nicer car will reach 5-6 owners before being “done”.

        I am the 11th (Yes, eleventh) owner on my 1995 LeSabre. Some cars just live forever.

        The more reliable, the longer they last.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    7.6 year average – 05, 06, and 09.

    The 05 was built in September 04 and the 09 built in June of 08 – didn’t factor the early production into math.

    Plan to keep the 05 Saturn until wheels fall off.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Which one is it, Astra or Vue?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I don’t think the Astra was out in MY05. I’m thinking Ion in his case.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I am the proud owner of the worst vehicle ever built in the 2005 model year.

        Worse than the Ion.

        Worse than any Mitsubishi or Suzuki.

        A Saturn Relay, FWD3. 145K miles. I am the fifth owner (yes you read that right).

        I bought it in 2010 knowing what I was getting into. I knew the well established reputation for this van. It did have one option I didn’t want – those power sliding doors designed by a collaboration of Rube-Goldberg and Satan.

        Rube-Goldberg and Satan also collaborated on the ABS/TCS system.

        I would actually love to write a review on this stunningly bad vehicle.

        So why on earth would I buy it? Because it was cheap. Because no one wants them. An equivalent CUV/SUV would have been literally double the money.

        My particular model started as GM press unit. Yup, you read that right. Some of the editorial staff at TTaC very well may have flogged this cutting edge representation of we don’t give a crap GM engineering back in late 2004 or early 2005.

        The plus side to that is – it is pretty much loaded. It thankfully did not come with the rear air suspension, also designed by Rube-Goldberg with help from Satan.

        It does however have remote start, the overhead storage bins, XM Radio, Stabilitrak and a few other you don’t see that too often options.

        I picked it up for $7,400 with 96K miles on the odometer – if I remember correctly that was about 75% depreciation in 5 years.

        It never lived with a single owner for more than 18 months, I would suspect as customer number five, it had become auction fodder.

        In digging on its history I did find that it had been dealer maintained by every owner. So that was a lucky break. Also during its year as a press car, GM basically did every TSB repair that came up, and replaced the alternator (which there was a TSB on) so a lot of the longer term issues that would come up with these vehicles, were addressed.

        So what is the good. Did I mention it was cheap? I could probably sell it today for $5K – so not bad for four years use. I’ve driven it about 50K miles – a lot of that I would describe as hard miles – stop and go, suburban traffic light sprints, the misery of Puget Sound traffic.

        It is versatile than any CUV/SUV I could have bought, but that isn’t saying much. The floor isn’t flat when you fold down the third row and remove the second row seats. The vehicle is narrow limiting how wide you can put things in. I had bought this specifically as my Home Depot run hauler, and grocery store, and the kayaks, and taking the dog down to the ocean front dog park, and any other sloven duty you can think of. I recently had 20 2 cubic foot bags of wet bark mulch and 10 1 cubic foot bags of wet topsoil in the back, with two people on board, and room to spare. Ya, the rear suspension wasn’t happy.

        The other thing is the GM 3.5L and 4-speed auto at this point and time were boat anchors, and about equally reliable. I’m not worried about the tranny falling out or the engine melting down (the 3.4 was removed from the GM minivans in 2004). The AC blows cold, front and rear system works, the heat is hot, the rear defroster works etc.

        The reports of it being quiet inside, and a good highway cruiser on flat terrain? True. It is the one area where the Gen II U-Bodies do shine. It is quiet, when you don’t have to flog the 3.5L to go up a hill or motivate the mass to pass a Prius in the left lane. The ride is complaint but not overly soft – and I don’t emerge feeling like I was beaten by baseball bats after sitting for three hours in bumper-to-bumper Seattle traffic to travel 27 miles.

        The last thing in the good, is the interior is held up amazingly well. There was a cut in the so called leather in the side of the driver seat when I picked it up. Other than some signs of rubbing from the seatbelt for 10 years, and the carpet suffering the slings and arrows of a press unit and likely the rug rats of three different families, the interior looks new. The paint is in a word perfect. It looks basically new inside and out (when the floor mats are in).

        The bad. Oh man, where do I start.

        I’ve given up on the power sliding doors. Pulled the relays and fuses and just given up. They are a big ball of suck. The doors are so heavy when used manually.

        On the subject of heavy, complaints of the rear pull out captain chairs being incredibly heavy. True. Holy crap, unless the target market was body builders these mid-row seats are hard to unlock and even harder to carry.

        Oh the traction control and ABS system. When the rain season kicks in (you know, Seattle, seven months out of the year) the TCS/ABS lights come on in the first couple of seconds of starting the van. Turn it off and restart, the lights go off. The TCS will kick in at random times when it isn’t appropriate, which can make pulling out into traffic – errrr – interesting. I’ve concluded it is a bad wire, which I understand is microscopic in its diameter and exposed to all the elements. The harnesses are subject to corrosion and failure. The we don’t give a crap GM has elected to ignore this issue on the Gen II U-Bodies. Chasing down the problem is even more difficult because Rube-Goldberg and Satan designed the system. The low or high volt condition that engages TCS is translated by the system as “I just saved your butt” so it doesn’t trigger a check TCS/ABS light when it happens and shows as a normal event. Even if the light comes on, the system translate it as a out of spec voltage but I saved your butt so I didn’t store a code. Who came up with this?

        The dash lights are about 20% burned out – and given that the two screws that hold the dash trim in place fell out – I’m guessing this isn’t the first time they’ve burned out. A check on the internets shows a booming cottage industry repairing the clusters in the GM U-Body vans.

        Driver heated seat died and is about $600 to repair. Forget that. I troll junkyards from time to time but no joy in finding a leather, power, heated, with side airbag seat to match up.

        The fuel economy is deplorable. If I’m in that infamous stop-and-go, maybe 18 to 18-1/2 MPG. Pure highway I might get to 23 MPG.

        The van wallows and rolls in turns, squats when you brake, and is generally speaking under-braked.

        The rear spark plugs would take an oompa-loompa with the strength of King Kong to remove. They should have been replaced 45K miles ago and I’ve decided next oil change, I’ll just farm it out.

        If you have the seats down/out (like I do now) the visibility is great. But with seats in – what visibility. Rear visibility doesn’t exist. Thank God it came with the rear parking assist, which only works by the way if you’re going 3 MPH or less.

        The wipers by the a-pillars – well everyone knows about that piece of genius work.

        The headlights are useless – I installed HIDs (not the obnoxious blues, nice cool yellow ones) and that helped A LOT.

        It is seven passenger if the seventh passenger is Slender Man. The vehicle has “theater” seating which is good apparently to help with motion sickness in the back row but not good for headroom or legroom, and given the third seat sits about where the rear axle is – not great for hip and shoulder room in the “seven spot.”

        The van can be hard to start at times – which I suspect is related to the neglected spark plugs.

        I have been, other than the spark plugs, doing all required care. I flushed all bodily fluids at 100K miles and replaced the tranny filter. At the next oil change I will be doing bodily fluids again (minus tranny filter) as well as the spark plugs.

        I see 150K miles as the point of no return. That is the sell or keep it because you’re now on borrowed time mark. I believe I can get 200K miles out of it – and plan to drive it until the wheels fall off.

        I can dream that Mary Barra will decide that the TCS/ABS light issue in these vehicles is worthy of more than a TSB – I don’t see it happening.

        One day I’ll dive under there to find those bad wire, or wires, or…

        Ugh.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          18.5 mpg in stop n go in a minivan is deplorable? That’s right in line with the expected mileage of every other competing minivan of that year.

          Anyway, I’ve bought some of these vehicles too. The last of the GM U bodies are usually a pretty solid buy as long as you avoid the power doors and too much of the fancy crap. They always seem to need little sh1t like a single power door lock switch, or a seat belt buckle, but in general the powertrains seem to give little to no trouble. Thanks to the heavy fleet bent of the final few years, low option versions are everywhere and cheap for those who just want utility and minimal hassle.

          I prefer to get people into Chrysler vans of the same year, but those aren’t always worth the premium.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            …They always seem to need little sh1t like a single power door lock switch, or a seat belt buckle…

            Exactly. I have a single vented rear window motor that is working when it feels like (yes I’ve been lubricating them annually).

            Agreed that if you can find a base model that has received middling care, they aren’t a bad buy.

            I would recommend the 3.9L V6 over the 3.5. It really needs the extra boost in power and there is minimal MPG penalty.

            I seem to recall at the end of the line, the 3.5L V6 was dropped completely.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “I would recommend the 3.9L V6 over the 3.5. It really needs the extra boost in power and there is minimal MPG penalty.

            I seem to recall at the end of the line, the 3.5L V6 was dropped completely.”

            Yes, ’07 and later were 3.9L only IIRC. I drove a shorty Uplander in municipal white with that engine and I dare say it was peppy.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnnyFirebird

          Lessee, according to my pricing software, a 2005 Saturn Relay with 150,000 miles would get… uh… $2500 retail (average transaction price). This is something I’d probably give $500-1000 for depending on body condition.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            YMMV by market – similar examples are for sale on dealer lots on Craig’s List locally for up to $9K – which is bat $h1t crazy insane pricing.

            In the Seattle area if it runs and can pass emissions, its worth $3K.

            If it can run, pass emissions, has a body not bent up and cold AC, $4K to $5K.

            Just the way it is here.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnnyFirebird

            I gotta send some cars out to auction in Washington.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            In Canada maybe, but in the US, 150k miles is just broken in! It’s astonishing the difference in used car values sometimes. Here in the great white north, people shut the door and walk away at 200,000km or only 125,000 miles. It’s funny how round numbers affect people’s attitudes.

            Of course 150k miles in Canada is very different than 150k miles travelled entirely in Texas, so there’s that to consider as well.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Here are some local examples.

            Here is a low miles 2005 FWD2 version (stripper) for just under $11K!

            http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ctd/4507641344.html

            Here is a private sale version with 140K miles on it for $4700

            http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/4511275064.html

            Unlisted mileage – similar equipment 2005 – just under $10K

            http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/ctd/4496513000.html

            Stripper version, 130K miles, FWD2, $6000

            http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/ctd/4475506766.html

            The only one I think priced well is the private sell AWD model. When you compare the other models, probably under priced for the region.

            Crazy isn’t it!!!

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          Are you really saving that much money to make this worthwhile?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Is your question directed at me?

            I’m not sure I understand your question.

            I haven’t put one penny in the Saturn Relay beyond regular maintenance.

            Tires replaced, bodily fluids flushed, oil changes, did the front brakes about 30K miles ago – will need to the rears around 160K.

            I can live without a heated seat, but would be nice if I could find a junkyard replacement one day. The power sliding doors – forget it.

            The TCS/ABS issue is a royal pain in the butt – but the actually cost to fix isn’t the issue – wiring can be DIY (lots of info on the Internets) and I have the tools and talent – the time on the other hand.

            I’m not defending – but I’m not sure the “cost” issue here beyond gas, regular car, and insurance.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          APaGttH, all I can say is “WOW!”

          Up to now I thought the worst vehicle in the world was the Dark Green 1996 Saturn SL I bought brand new for my daughter for her High School Graduation and to go to college with.

          But yours beats them all!

          I’ve to to say it, “Thanks for sharing!” I read it twice.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I saw a Relay in nice shape the other day. I forgot all about them. I’ve seen even more of the Buick Terrraza than the Relay.

          Of course, I’ve forgotten about most Saturns.

          • 0 avatar
            JEFFSHADOW

            My wife and I went to Minnesota in the Fall of 2012 and have never seen so many wonderful Buicks as on that trip! Rainiers, Terrazas, Lucernes, LeSabres and Park Avenues just about everywhere you looked! Sometimes it’s really great to get out of California!

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I believe it. There are a lot of low income people in our society, including about 25 million undocumented immigrants who get paid 5-7 bucks an hour under the table or something like this. They will drive what’s cheapest and goes from A to B. So that pushes up the “average” age.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yup, in Jan 2011 I sold about 15 roadworthy old hulks I had parked on my property behind my house, mostly to illegals.

      My wife made me do it! It was a swap for the 2011 Tundra 5.7 I bought.

      Even though many of these illegals are duly licensed in New Mexico, the vast majority are uninsurable and carry no insurance when they leave the state in search of greener pastures and a job elsewhere in the US, and Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Maybe try substituting the word “people” for “illegals”. Language has the ability to change how we think.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Nope. Illegal aliens in the US are illegal aliens. We have an overabundance of them in New Mexico. That’s why we license them, so they can leave the state and drive to wherever they want to go.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            So you are happy to hire them to do your dirty work (and pay them under the table), but refuse to consider them as actual people.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            I hear Roswell has a serious illegal alien problem.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            As opposed to VoGo, who’s not only happy to have them doing his dirty work, but uses them as a source of righteous indignation when he needs an ego boost.

            That’s hardly helping to improve their lot, compadre. In fact, I’d argue it’s significantly more dehumanizing than whatever you’re suggesting HDC is doing.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            VoGo wrote: “So you are happy to hire them to do your dirty work (and pay them under the table), but refuse to consider them as actual people.”

            Who says I refuse to consider them as actual people? You? Who the fock are you?

            Illegals are illegals. My daughter in law married to my youngest son in TX was an illegal alien when she came across the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo at age 12, many years ago.

            She HAD to become a US citizen when my son got his Commission in the US Army. The rest of her family never did!

            Just try crossing illegally into Mexico and squatting there to see what happens to you!

            You WILL find your lard @ss in a Mexican prison, even if you don’t bring guns into Mexico with you.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            APaGttH, Roswell has a problem with imaginary Space Aliens.

            But it is a handsome source of tourist income for them. It gets the potholes fixed. How many other cities and towns can say that?

            Roswell was successfully able to turn an alleged 1947 UFO crash into a lucrative tourist attraction.

            But the reality of illegal border crossings is a problem, most currently children coming across on their own while the parents stand on the other side of the river in Mexico waving goodbye to them.

            My youngest son became a Supervisory Border Patrol Agent after he retired as a Lt Col from the US Army because of his work with the Military Police in Iraq and Afghanistan.

            The US government wasn’t going to let all that experience just go away. So they recruited his narrow @ss even though he had other plans. They made it worth his while. He traded his Silver Oak leafs of the US Army for Gold ones in the Border Patrol.

            The sector he supervises has some of the highest border crossings along the stretch border from the Gulf to the Pacific.

            I can tell you guys volumes about that, but this is not the venue.

            We talkin’ cars, dudes and dudettes!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            All I’m suggesting is that we treat people as people and not get so tied up over the status of their documentation. I work with people all day long, and the color of their passport is not an issue for me, and wouldn’t change how I treat them.

            I’m not clear on how this request is so dehumanizing, darkwing, but I’m sure you won’t be shy in sharing.

          • 0 avatar
            LALoser

            Illegals and the status cleansing by all political parties is insulting to those who came here legally. Most of my family came from other countries, most served in the US military and all became hard working members of US society. But to get here took time and money…a lot of both. You have to have a background check to weed out criminals, an education verification, multiple interviews, physical exam, proof of support and a ton more. Sorry, but when someone comes in thinking they are exempt from the rules and they are allowed to get away with it, is insulting.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Have to agree with the Cat on this one. Illegal is illegal. They take American jobs, and they are single handedly responsible for keeping virtually all of our 4th Generation F-bodies and SN95 Mustangs on the roads, offending the American aesthetic.

            Let’s see how touchy feely NoGo feels next time a clapped out’ 01 Infiniti QX4 comes barreling drunkenly towards him LOL! Hope he has good insurance because the driver sure won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            VoGo, illegals have NO passports. If they did, they would be here legally because their crossing would be documented and in the system at ICE and Homeland Security.

            __________________________________________________

            LALoser, ALL of my family on both sides were immigrants to the US. I am the first to be born in America as a result of the union of my Portuguese dad and German mom. Six more kids would follow.

            The difference is, my kin got here legally, officially documented, officially sponsored, even though my dad did not have a passport (because he fled Portugal during WWII and escaped to England aboard a British submarine with the help of a British Naval Officer.

            My mom arrived here from Germany as a kid with her family in 1932, again legally and officially documented by the US government.

            Neither waltzed across the US border and squatted like the illegals do. Most importantly, my parents became American citizens at the earliest opportunity. Most illegals do not, because they can’t come out of hiding for fear they will be deported.

            So now they send their kids across the border. Great for the military bases in Oklahoma, Texas and California, who will be babysitting them and feeding them in the chow hall, three squares a day.

            Here’s a twist. Federico, my American-born Mexican foreman, chooses to live in Mexico while at the same time holding an American passport. His dad came to the US during the early 1940s as part of the Brasseros program, invited by the US government to work in America as a Guest Laborer while Americans were off fighting WWII.

            Federico’s dad came here legally, lived here much of his adult life, never became a US citizen and moved back to Ciudad Juarez to live on his ranch in his final years, a wealthy Mexican landowner because of money earned in the US legally.

            America welcomes anyone who comes here, as long as they are here legally.

            Send me your tired, your hungry, your poor huddled masses……

            ….. as long as they get here legally!

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I am not advocating for a change in immigration policy here. I am not denigrating those who come here legally, which I respect.

            All I ask is that we treat people like people in our everyday lives. Why that is so repugnant and controversial is beyond me.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “All I ask is that we treat people like people in our everyday lives. Why that is so repugnant and controversial is beyond me.”

            If you use the term “people” to describe the individuals I sold my old cars to, it would not convey the meaning that those “people” were here illegally, and that they were purchasing a means of transportation to further their illegal activities in the US.

            You do understand that if you do something illegal in the US and then cross the border of states it becomes a Federal issue, right?

            Because the current administration only selectively enforces Federal Law re immigration, what the illegals are doing now is to send their kids across the border en masse.

            No one in the US is going to deport kids here illegally. We’ll give them asylum instead, which is grounds for the parents to apply for a visa to join their kids already here.

            If you don’t know about this stuff or don’t understand the ramifications of illegal immigration, maybe you should read up on it first. There’s plenty of information, pro and con, out there.

            Words have meaning, and your sanctimonious comment about referring to illegals as “people” does affect the meaning someone tries to convey when using specific words and language in regards to individuals who have entered the US without legal authorization.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            HDC,
            To summarize:
            – you are aware of a set of “people” who are performing illegal activities across state lines
            – knowing this, you sold them 15 cars to aid and abet them in these illegal activities.
            – you also like to hire illegal aliens, to avoid paying employment taxes.

            Best wishes,

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    My ’05 Scion xB approaches 10 years old, as it has a June ’04 build date.

    Being a bit of a cult classic, it hasn’t depreciated much. If you believe Kelly and Edmund, it’s still worth 50% of what it cost new.

    It hardly depreciates, never needs fixing – costs me next to nothing to run. Why get rid of it?

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’ve owned 3 cars now, the newest one being 19 years old.

    Someday I’ll own a car that isn’t almost as old as I am…

  • avatar
    2kriss2kross

    If my car doesn’t get totaled in an accident or dies (goes for me too *knocks on wood*), in 2019 I’ll still be rolling around in my ’93 Vigor.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    This is definitely something that I’ve been thinking about lately, especially when sending trade-ins off to auction or the scrapyard. Due to Quebec’s roads and climate vehicles have a rougher time making it to eleven years without rusting through completely. I’ve also started noticing how few cars from the 1990s are left on the road here.

    My biggest observation has been that some cars just seem to have not been built to last. The biggest offenders:

    2005-2007 Ford Focuses – Every one I’ve driven (three) this year has had major engine vibrations and a loud exhaust. I tried fixing up a low-mileage 2007 Focus with new mounts, but it still sounded terrible, especially on startup.

    2005/2006 Chevrolet Cobalt – I’ve had two traded in, and both had paint fade and interiors that were literally falling apart. Broken locks, trim failing. At 105,000 kilometers / 60,000 miles this is pretty shameful.

    2006 Saturn Ion – No rust at least. But wrecked suspension, tired interior.

    2004-2007 Mazda3 – Unlike the other cars, these usually come traded-in in decent mechanical shape, but the exterior steel perforation should honestly be a class-action suit in Quebec. Wheel arches and trunk / tailgate dissolve here.

    Now part of this may be the cheap, cheap price at which these were sold – people buying cars for utility, not willing to spend more than the bare minimum to keep them running. But I’ve seen plenty of much-maligned Golfs and Jettas treated in the same manner but still be salvageable for retail, partly because the retail value of a 2005-2006 VW can actually cover a few grand of repairs, while getting $4000 retail for a manual 2007 Focus is pretty tough in this market.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Corrosion and particularly rough road conditions make lives for vehicles in Quebec much shorter on average. It’s not surprising at all that bottom of the barrel econo-cars would be clapped out at 6-8 years old there. Heck, 3-5 year old examples on average statistically need significantly more money in repairs as compared to their US or Southern Canadian brethren.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        Yeah, rotor damage, tie-rods, table bushings, shocks, bearings, they’re all wrecked by terrible roads and salt here.

        The cars I listed were also among the cheapest to buy in Quebec. People who can afford to buy more expensive cars usually (usually!) opt to keep them in better running condition.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      On a Focus, it’s typically that top motor mount that fails, the one that’s connected to the cylinder head. If you replace it with a factory unit, it should fix the problem.

      The aftermarket motor mounts are not worth the boxes they come in.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnnyFirebird

        Yeah, even OEM mounts aren’t particularly expensive. Was more that I didn’t want to keep throwing money at the problem. Shouldda just gone on here! (Though mechanics don’t exactly love when you start with “So I was looking online…”)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    04.5 350Z checking in. Creeping up on 180K miles and running like a god damn top. Gonna run it to 200-210 or so and maybe retire it as a track car. Get one of those Jetta TDI wagons to take over for daily driver duty.

    Quick question though. I bought a 93 Accord with 93K miles in 2003 for $2200. An 04 Accord today with ~120-150K miles goes for about 3-4x that much. I think the newer car is better… but I’m not sure it’s 3-4x better. It’s good for maybe another 50K miles. This is especially interesting when you consider a W220 Benz of the same year goes for less in stuff like KBB. What’s the deal??

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I own a 2011 (crossover), 2007 (commuter), and a 2003 (truck/workhorse).

    The oldest car I ever owned was a 72 Ford Mustang.

    I was 18 years old when I bought it. Had a rebuilt (carbed, obviously) motor- a 302 bored over to a 306. I even put a new radiator and fuel tank in it. Tranny was rebuilt.

    I planned on fixing it up while driving it. I must have been dreaming. It turned out to be a disaster and it was literally rusting away underneath me.

    A car over ten years old is damned old to me. Kudos to you guys driving 20 year old beaters, been there, done that.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1989 Electra, 1989 Allante, 1992 Bonneville.

    Am I the winner?

    • 0 avatar
      JEFFSHADOW

      Let’s see . . . 1989 Buick Electra: 3800 V6-check; 1989 Cadillac Allante: 4.5 V8-check; 1992 Pontiac Bonneville: another 3800 V6-double check.

      Yep, the winner so far!

      I have a 2001 Park Avenue with 28,000 miles, a 2005 Terraza with 67,000 (just had the TCS/ABS Yaw system fixed today-no big deal)and nine others, all GM.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Anyone who owns a larger Buick (Much less an Electra) is a winner by default.

      I do keep older stuff than you, though:

      1992 Dodge Dakota
      1987 Chevrolet R-10
      1995 Ford F-150
      1997 Ford E-350 Box Van
      2000 Chevrolet Impala
      1995 Buick LeSabre
      2001 Audi A6 Avant

      I never sell cars. I actually use most of those vehicles. The Impala is my long-term project car, but the others are all drivers.

      Is it sad that all of my vehicles are older than the national average- and that I like it that way?

  • avatar
    dcars

    I have three vehicles median age 2006 and average age 2004. No rust on any of them, but live in Buffalo NY.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    As several others have pointed out, 11 year old cars or trucks are close to scrap in the Great White North. Those who live in Southern British California or Vancouver Island can get a long life out of their vehicles.

    I find that there isn’t much benefit in buying used. When I was looking at pickups in 2010 factory rebates put new pickups in the ballpark of 3-4 year old pickups that were in excellent shape.

    I definitely would not go the @APaGttH route and buy a POS just because it was dirt cheap. I wouldn’t trust it for my family’s safety. A winter breakdown in Seattle is a tad bit easier to live with than a breakdown in winter in Northern BC.

    Mind you, I’ve seen some socioeconomically challenged First Nations people in some horrifically clapped out vehicles heading off into the bush to return to their reserve or can I say that without offending anyone? ;)

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The average age of a nations vehicle fleet is directly proportional to it’s economic activity.

    The less income to older the average age of the vehicles.

    I don’t think many want a 10+ year old vehicle. Most would want a shiny and pretty vehicle.

    As I’ve stated wealth is the biggest driver in a countries vehicle culture, then regulations/tax/protection and energy.

    Finally infrastructure.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I just found some Canadian data saying the average age of light duty vehicles is 9.6 years.
    http://www.aiacanada.com/document.cfm?itemid=220864&smocid=1487

  • avatar
    mars3941

    This fact just proves further how automobiles have improved over the last 10 to 12 years, Less upkeep, less fuel required, less rust and more money with 5 year financing the norm and now 6, 7, and heading for 8 years being available to finance a car. If usage miles per year are to high that eliminates leasing so with the average price of a new car now at over 31K people will have no choice but to drive and keep them longer.

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  • greaseyknight: Thats nuts, homeowner grade battery saws exist and are pretty good from what I hear. But in a...
  • Crosley: California really is trying their best to make life miserable for everyone still there.

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