Fix Your Car Or Trade It: How to Decide

You have noticed that your car repair bills are beginning to go up.  Should you trade your car?  How can you get the most for your automotive dollar? You don’t want to throw good money at a car that won’t be around in a year. On the other hand, you don’t want to trade a car that has lots of life left.

What are the markers of a car’s lifespan?  You’ll need to know that in order to decide when to trade it at the right time.  For that matter, how should you define the optimal moment when a car should be traded? 

Perfect Timing

For some, a car’s life span is the end of its warranty. The average warranty period expires at five years. A few brands push that to six years.  A small number of manufacturers cover the powertrain for up to 100,000 or ten years.  If you drive 10,000 a year, you’ll make it to ten years. However, it must be said that most of us drive 15,000 miles a year or more. 

After the warranty expires, the waiting and watching begins.  You need to be vigilant about maintenance to extend the car’s life and make sure that small  issues don’t turn into expensive repairs.  

You are looking for the optimal moment to trade your vehicle before you waste money on repairs that you could have foreseen. Your regular mechanic should be involved with helping you make a decision about when to trade.  If you want good car repair advice, you need to settle on a good shop and stick with it. Shopping around for deals may save a little money, but you will miss out on a good mechanic’s expertise. 

Admitting that Time is Up

If your repairs bills are so much that they add up to the equivalent of new car payments, then you need to admit that time is up.  Even if you aren’t facing a huge repair, you may be looking at some big car expenses such as new tires. That’s a car payment right there.  If your car just has six months or a year of good health, you should trade it instead of getting new tires and major maintenance.

A light on the dash may be a sign that time is up. It may signal that the car is about to have a major issue. At that point, it may be worth having the light turned off and just trading the car as is.  You don’t want to plunk down $1,000s on a new transmission. That money is better spent as a downpayment on something new. 

A strange noise may signal a problem with your suspension.  A funny smell may be letting you know that the exhaust system is breaking or the engine is getting too close to a breakdown.  In either scenario, you can admit time is up and trade your car.  You’ll get some good money for it, and you can use that toward a down payment.

You need to stay ready for a sign that your car is going to turn into a money pit.  As soon as you or your mechanic recognizes the clues, you should trade right away. You’ll have less stress about break downs, and you’ll spend your automotive dollars on a sure thing.

~ by velofinds on February 16, 2021.

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