Many of us love our old and faithful cars that have gotten us to and from places every day for years. So when the day arrives when we start to consider if it’s on its last legs, it’s an emotional time. But, no matter how loyal your car has been to you and how well you’ve cared for it over the years with regular maintenance and an all weather car cover, it’s still a machine with a shelf-life. If you aren’t sure if your car has reached the replacement stage yet, see if you notice any of these top 10 signs that you need a new car.
1. The Mileage Is over 100,000
Americans drive 10,000 to 15,000 miles annually and will see the odometer hit 100,000 within seven to ten years of a new purchase. This is also when major repairs begin to crop up, regardless of how well the car has been maintained. Even if your vehicle is driving well and you are past this odometer milestone, it may be time to consider a new car. A big and expensive repair problem may be just around the corner with a vehicle of this age.
2. It’s Not Reliable
Engine lights flashing, strange noises from under the hood, vibrations, leaks, and frequent stalling are signs of an unreliable car. While these symptoms may not indicate the need for significant repairs, you may constantly be wondering whether that day could arrive anytime soon. This car may be costing you more than an expensive repair. It may be costing you lost work, stress, and time in your day as you worry about this problem. If it doesn’t feel reliable even after taking it to the mechanic for a tune-up, it may be time to start shopping for a new vehicle.
3. Repairs Cost More Than the Car
When your depreciated vehicle needs a new transmission or a motor rehaul, or if you are frequently taking it in for multiple repairs at once, this is a sign you need a new car. Consider the value of your vehicle relative to the cost of the repairs. If your car is worth $2,000 and the repairs cost $2,500, the money you are spending on repairs could be a downpayment on a more reliable vehicle.
4. Interior and Exterior Problems That Are Costly to Fix
Most drivers have had a car where knobs are gone or duct tape is considered a solution. If you haven’t protected your vehicle with a high-quality car cover or kept it parked indoors, the exterior may have severe rust that can be fixed with a simple buff and polish. Repairing rust, repainting your entire car, or fixing multiple interior cosmetic issues can quickly add up and may end up costing more than your car is worth.
5. The Climate Control Is a Serious Problem
Climate control in a vehicle is integral to its performance. It may not start if it is too cold or stall when it is too hot. Or, you may struggle in heat waves because the AC is out, and you wear mittens and a hat in the winter because it won’t heat up. These could be caused by radiator problems or a fan issue, or you might need new hoses. Unfortunately, these problems are usually the first signs that you need a new car.
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6. The Fuel Efficiency Is Tanking
The cost of fuel may be rising, and you may be noticing it more than ever. If you are filling up too much, your vehicle’s reliability and performance could be suffering. Poor gas mileage could be due to several issues, from malfunctioning oxygen sensors to clogged air filters to misfiring spark plugs. Add up your monthly gas bill and the cost of potential repairs and see how close it comes to a new car payment.
7. Safety Tests Worry You
If you are worried that your vehicle won’t pass its inspection to get your safety sticker, this may be time to look for a new car. You might already be failing your inspections and are unsure what to do. You can pay for more repairs to pass the inspections, or you could invest in a new car. The United States Department of Transportation offers vehicle safety ratings checks. Enter the year, make, and model of the vehicles you are looking at to compare safety ratings.
8. The Technology Is Dated
You may have outdated technology in your car that can create a real problem. It’s one thing to ignore an outdated nav system, but a missing chip or electrical issue could create a problem on the road. Today’s newer models are safer than in the past. You don’t have to be super-wealthy to afford lane assist, collision warnings, or have rear view cameras that help you to back up. All this technology saves lives and improves your driving experience. Dated technology in your vehicle could mean that you need a new car.
9. Your Life Is Changing
When life changes, a new car can often help you to transition to this new life phase more easily. Your family might be getting larger, you might be relocating, or you might have a job change that has a longer commute. If you are worried about the logistics of a new lifestyle situation and you don’t know how it will work, consider a new car.
10. You Don’t Like Your Car Anymore
You dread getting in the car. It costs you more now that it’s paid off, and it just doesn’t feel good anymore. All these signs add up to a quality of life issue that can be improved with a new car.
Shop for a New Car Today
Although a new car is a significant investment, purchasing a new vehicle can often save you money and stress over the long term. However, many people hesitate due to the perceived expense. With payment plans and affordable car loans, buying a new car is now easier than ever.
Once you’ve decided to get a new vehicle, it is critical to protect it to prolong its lifespan and performance and preserve its resale value. An all-weather car cover is one of the best protective options you can get for your car. Simply covering up your vehicle each time you park can prevent cosmetic damage from animals and the weather and reduce the need for repairs due to wear and tear.
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