The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

25 February 2005

Money pit, right lane, exit only

There's an old wives' tale, presumably passed on by old wives, that cars start to develop problems once they're paid off.

I don't think there's any causal relationship between making the last payment and heading for the garage; more likely, it's just that auto loans go on for so long these days.

After almost four and a half years (on a five-year note; don't ask), my car is now paid for. The warranty — three years/50,000 miles — ran out for chronological reasons 16 months ago, so if anything horrible was going to happen, I figure it would have happened then. It didn't. Then again, except for the midsummer World Tours, I don't drive all that much: at the 52-month mark, I've got 41,100 miles on the clock.

While I expect I will need tires and brake pads within the next year or so, maintenance on this little darb has so far been fairly cheap; everything I've had to have fixed has been windshield-related (two cracks, one bent wiper blade). There are some definite signs of wear here and there, but nothing compelling enough to make me look at it in despair and go sign away my life for another five or six years.

Posted at 6:32 AM to Driver's Seat


The '98 PF just turned over to 105,000.

She is being run into the ground for as long the tuitions continue to suck us for every penny we own.

I must say, though, the religious oil changes and whatnot really keep her humming.

Posted by: Vickie at 6:56 AM on 25 February 2005

I wouldn't mind getting 105k out of this car. I know where its weak points are, and I plan my maintenance accordingly; I think 105k, maybe 150k, is easily attainable.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:27 AM on 25 February 2005

I don't even start considering a car until it has at least 50K miles! (I've always bought five-to-six-year-old used cars and paid cash, but I have a mechanic I trust, and he checks them out before I buy.) I then keep the car another five-to-six years before starting to look for a replacement.

Posted by: Michael Meckler at 7:40 AM on 25 February 2005

This is the first car I ever bought new. If I'd like to have a newer version, I'd have to buy used; the last year they made this model was 2002. Then again, the differences between the '02 and my '00 are fairly minimal.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:38 AM on 25 February 2005