When you spend more time waiting for a tow than actually driving, it is probably time to let your cherished car go. Here’s a checklist for when that time is.
Wheels are freedom, and you may have held onto yours for ages, saving yourself the cost of financing something new. But, let’s face it, when your friends start calling her a ‘rust bucket’ or a ‘skorokoro’, it may be time to say goodbye to your cherished wheels.
But, before you make that decision, there are several factors to take into account. Here’s a list of items you need to consider when weighing up your options.
1. Repair work
Every car needs maintaining, but this means new tyres, shocks, and regular services. It doesn’t mean replacing engine parts, or whole aspects of the suspension that can’t really be considered wear and tear items. CV joints and wheels bearings, for example, should not have to be changed every few years. Clutches should also last more than 50 000 km. When you find yourself replacing these items on a very regular basis, it may be time to work out just how much keeping her on the road is costing versus a replacement. This especially becomes an issue when the service plan or warranty runs out, and you have to fork out yourself. A good rule of thumb is when repair work costs you a third or more of the cost of an equivalent – although newer – vehicle per month, it’s time.
2. Always standing on the side of the road?
If you’ve recently invested in new jumper cables, a tow rope and replaced the warning triangle because you always seem to be breaking down, and avoid freeways with a verge too narrow to stop safely along, then your car is more trouble than it’s worth. In addition, it’s a safety hazard. No-one wants to be standing next to a broken down car, or risk sitting inside it in case someone doesn’t see you and rear ends you.
If you get to a point where your car is breaking down every few months, then you’ve got a serious problem on your hands, and it’s time to move on.
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3. Car seats look like granny’s sofa?
When the inside of the car – the dash, the seats, the ceiling and door trim - starts to crumble, it’s going to cost more to upholster or revinyl than she’s worth. When you can see the road pass by beneath your feet, or water comes in via some or other gap – above or below – you need to head to a dealership before something serious happens – like the seat belt release fails and you are quite literally stuck with your car.
4. Your fuel consumption goes up
Let’s face it, fuel is costly nowadays. And we all want as much economy out of a car as we can get. But, when the motor starts getting tired, no matter how often you replace the oil, spark plugs or fuel filter, she’s going to use more fuel.
Granted, you can get up before the sun to avoid traffic in the hopes of trimming some fuel use, but this isn’t sustainable, and neither is the car. Looking to understand fuel efficiency better - check out this great article for more information.
5. Your insurance is getting out of hand
While – in theory – the cost of insuring a car should go down as its book value goes down, this doesn’t always work out in real life. This may be true of newer models, because they have more safety features, but any insurance company is not going to look kindly on a car that doesn’t have the current basics – such as ABS and airbags.
Looking for some additional advice about servicing your car - read this great article: 6 Reasons why you need to service your car..
6. What happens if you crash?
Speaking of insurance and safety features, the older your beloved chariot, the less likely it is to have all the mod cons when it comes to safety. Yes, it will make a great battering ram one day, but at what cost to your personal safety? If you, or passengers in your car, feel uneasy when on the road – it’s time to talk to a dealer. Want to know more about car crashes? Here are the 9 most common causes of road accidents.
When you’ve weighed up all your options, and are pondering whether to let her go or not, the toughest test is perhaps in her value. To you, she’s worth a fortune, but when a dealer laughs and suggests the nearest scrapyard instead of a decent trade in value, then you know – the time has come.
Conclusion: If in doubt about whether, after these tips, to move on, pop into one of our Suzuki dealerships for friendly, honest, advice. You can contact Suzuki and a dealer will advise you on the factors you should consider and the options available to you.
Looking for some advice on the best ways to care for your car so that you keep it running smoother for longer? Download our guide to extending the lifespan of your car.