How Long to Keep It

I am a bit of a car nut, must be as I listen to your show, and have a 1995 SAAB 9000 CS with 127,000. It is in great shape no rust, door dings, dents, etc; Everything works on the car. It is in showroom condition. However, it is costing me about $1,500 a year in repairs to keep in running in first-class condition.

I feel I should continue running it until it dies as it is worth very little. But I would like a car with side air bags. Your thoughts?

If you like it $1500 is not much to keep it going in pristine condition. Saab’s are very safe cars even without air bags.

$1500 is much less than a new car payment. Is the transmission in good condition ( shifts smoothly). Do you have oil consumption or coolant consumption issues. If not just drive it. You are saving money.

$1500 per year is nothing and 127K miles isn’t that much. What do you mean by “until it dies”? You can drive it as long as you are willing to maintain it.

Just consider that $1,500 as two car payments.  That gives you 10 months a year without any car payment.  You can put that away so next time you might be able to pay cash!

Most will tell you you should just drive it till it falls apart, which is good financially. However, if you can afford a new car(payment?), by all means, get one. It’s only money :stuck_out_tongue:
Like my 99 civic, it’s only got 87k miles on it, but I’d like something with a bit more room inside, and maybe a couple more doors. Since my Chevelle isn’t even drawing so much as a phone call(do internet scams or telemarketers count?), I’m gonna get a fun sedan for my next ride.
One thing does bug me about the 08 Accords, who the heck decided that the fan control should be on the passenger side?

It is highly unlikely that you will need the side air bags. Enjoy your Saab.

… or any other air bags.

Nor a seatbelt on that line of thought.

Funny, I never noticed any seatbelts on my motorcycle. It’s simpler if you just don’t run into stuff.

There was a recent article on a guy in Wisconsin who used his Saab for business and accumalated nearly one million miles on it. Agree that $1500 per year for upkeep of a Saab is reasonable. I’d drive it until the body gave out from rust; this usually finishes off a unibody car.

Yup, depends where you live and if you use it in the winter. Fortunately, they don’t use salt on the roads in my part of the world.

I Put about 275K miles on a '89 900 turbo without any real issues.

Seat Belts are an excellent device in an accident at any speed. The side air bags really only help in a high speed accident, as do the frontal air bags.

Nothing wrong with seat belts, I do normally use them. I don’t really trust air bags (and other “active” systems), I don’t buy cars with air bags.

What types of things are you spending $1500 a year on? Normal maintenance? At 127k for a '95, that’s only 11,000 miles a year. 3 or 4 oil changes a year? Plugs? Brakes every 30k? Tires every 30k? I can’t see the $1500 yearly spending. What types of stuff have you been repairing? Just curious, but that sounds a bit expensive to me for a car with that low mileage. Rocketman

$1500 is expensive? That just sounds like normal maintenance plus maybe one little repair, depending how much you drive. Keeping a 10+ year old car in perfect condition will cost a little, stuff does wear out. Figure a few $100 for oil/filter changes, a few $100 more for transmission service, maybe $600 for tires/alignments, maybe $500 for brakes, the usual little hoses and belts, maybe a trip to body shop to freshen up any stone chips or a windshield replacement. Throw in one little nit, like a cruise control (mine just cost $600+ in parts only) or a blower motor (about $300 on my car), and you are well over $1500 for the year.

For example, I just spent about $300 in labor to replace a $12 gasket that was making annoying little drips in my garage, resulting in another $100 in labor due to a broken fitting on an oil line. Driving old cars is only cheap if you let them fall apart.

Agree with Craig. You can maintain a similar basic Honda Civic for a lot less, especially since after- market parts are widely available. But Saabs are special, and each part costs a lot more. This fact is often overlooked by Consumer Reports addicts, who only look at reliability. A Subaru Legacy has sterling reliability, but costs a lot more to keep going than a less reliable Chev Malibu. But cars are a lot like women; if you only want a good cook, marry Aunt Jemima!

“But cars are a lot like women; if you only want a good cook, marry Aunt Jemima!”

That’s likely to generate a comment or two.