Your car has provided years of good service, but even the most reliable car will eventually give up the ghost—hopefully not leaving you stranded by the side of the road awaiting the tow truck while you miss that important meeting. Be ready by being vigilant and prepared for that final breakdown. Here are the surest signs it’s time for a new car.
Starting the Engine Is a Regular Challenge
If getting the engine to turn over has become a morning ritual even in the balmy days of summer (which have their own issues and hazards), your car might be on its last legs. When an older car fails to start, it might be a simple fix like replacing the battery or tightening or cleaning corroded leads, or something bigger like a blocked fuel filter or loose belt. But if you’ve taken care of all these issues and the car still refuses to start, it might need a new starter or pricier piece of equipment, or it’s simply worn out. If you’re struggling to start it up every time you stop, you might want to sell it and trade up.
You’re Spending More on It Than It’s Worth
It’s a fact of life that cars depreciate the second you drive them off the dealer’s lot. Every minute of the road drops the resale value. But with proper care and even the occasional repair, it’s worth it to put a little money back into the car to keep it going. The problem is when repairs and service happen over the course of weeks rather than months, and the accumulated bills approach the car’s resale value. If it’s spending more time at the garage and less on the road, your car is telling you to cease performing heroic measures and to just let it go.
There’s Less of the Car Than There Used to Be
Time eats up everything, especially cars. No matter how often you clean, wax, and protective seal them, eventually they fall apart. Driving places stress on a vehicle, from the rain and snow to the pelting grit and grime of the road, to basic wear and tear on the engine and other internal parts. If the car’s body is spotted with rust, the floor punctured with holes, and you’re regularly losing bits and pieces of parts on your journeys, no amount of duct tape can save it. And that’s not just unsightly—it’s unsafe. Time to give what remains a final sendoff.
It No Longer Feels Like a Good Fit
Sometimes it’s not the car, it’s you. More to the point, it’s your needs. Some of the signs it’s time for a new car include being too small for your growing family, being too sporty when you need something sensible, being unsuitable for your new neighborhood’s parking restrictions, and the like. When your vehicle fails to serve your needs, find someone who’ll be able to better appreciate it and get a new set of wheels to better suit your lifestyle.