Most of us tend to rely on our cars a bit more than we probably should. After all, we force them out into the worst weather, rev them up and down hills and over uneven roads, and generally treat them like mechanical slaves/mobile rubbish bins.
It’s a thankless and difficult job. And yet, at the first sign of car trouble, we mercilessly berate the poor machine with a string of curses so volatile they would make a sailor cry.
Still, there comes a point when your long-suffering vehicle just can’t be expected to go on. When that happens, you’ll have to reluctantly accept that it’s time to retire the poor thing and invest in a younger breed. The trick is in being able to recognise that time when it comes, rather than waiting for your car to sputter to a groaning stop in the middle of the outback.
So, as a helpful service to all motorists, here are four signs that it’s time to get a new car.
When every single operation, from unlocking the doors, starting the engine, or slowing down, all require a complex set of actions, workarounds, and prayer, it may be time to move on
Sign Number 1 – If you’re the only person who can get it to work.
Most cars tend to develop interesting little quirks. Sometimes, this can just add to the charm of the vehicle. For example, knowing that the car radio can only be tuned by turning the dial clockwise has no real negative impact on your driving experience, and makes for a somewhat intimate connection with the car.
On the other hand, when every single operation, from unlocking the doors, starting the engine, or slowing down, all require a complex set of actions, workarounds, and prayer, it may be time to move on.
Sign Number 2 – If you’ve become desensitised to the various dashboard warning lights.
Years of having to deal with false alarms have made many of us totally unresponsive to the “check engine” light. This isn’t too surprising, considering it will sometimes light up if you simply don’t tighten the fuel cap enough.
However, the dashboard lights really shouldn’t ever be ignored. Particular lights such as the brake system alert, or the temperature warning are ones you should never get used to seeing. If a few trips to the repair shop don’t seem to be helping, then you might be better off just cutting your losses.
Sign Number 3 – If you pay more annually in repairs than you did for the car.
How much is too much when it comes to repairs?
At what point does it no longer make sense to shell out another few hundred dollars to get your old clunker back out on the road?
These are personal questions that require personal answers, but it’s pretty safe to say that if the repairs cost more than the car is worth, it’s time to put her down.
Sign Number 4 – If it just isn’t what you need anymore.
You’ll even be able to sell your trusted old friend to someone who’ll be able to put her to better use
Hey, not every new car purchase is precipitated by a spectacular vehicle breakdown or a suddenly faltering system; sometimes people’s needs just seem to change. You won’t need the same car as a parent that you did as a teenager, and there’s nothing wrong with that. So don’t feel bad if you need to move on.
Maybe you’ll even be able to sell your trusted old friend to someone who’ll be able to put her to better use.
Just make sure none of those dashboard alerts activate during the prospective driver’s test run; it’ll be more pleasant for them if they can learn about all of the car’s little quirks on their own.
Prevention can be an effective solution. Read our article called ‘4 Simply Smarter Tips To Keep Your Car Healthy‘ to hopefully keep your car running longer.