How old is too old for a car

My husband has this 1991 Suburban. It is over 200,000 miles on it. The interior is in poor shape. My husband insistes that every repair on the thing is justified, because it would take $61,000 to “replace” it. I refuse to drive it, because I feel it is unsafe. Once last year the thing overheated and left me stranded(repair).The suspension was shot. That was an 800 repair. The truck is rusted out every where. He recently replaced the fuel lines and brake lines because they were rusted and leaking. Now there is a hole in the gas tank. The truck won’t start if there is any moisture ing the air. I know that at least a car payment every month has been spent repairing the beast. At what point are you throwing good money after bad?

Does he do the work himself? Has he had it since new? If so, this heap probably has enormous sentimental value to him. Let him keep it as long as it is safe to drive–he is correct about the replacement value. Do replace the gas tank right away as that sounds dangerous.

However, he sounds like the kind of guy who will do what he wants to do and you should not try to change him. How long have you been together?

Of course, you should drive something else that you feel safe in. What vehicle do you have?

The marines have an expression:
"Is this the hill you want to die on?"
Some battles are not worth fighting.

So long as you don’t have to drive it, just smile and let him have his old Suburban until he decides that it is too far gone. In the mean time, make sure there is a fire extinguisher and extra warm clothes, a jug of water, and a cell phone in it at all times.

It sounds like you are at the point to trade in the car, your husband isn’t. He is attached to the beast and gets more satisfaction keeping it going than riding in a shiny new Suburban.

You might need to do some homework on what a car payment would be. For a nice Suburban replacement you could be looking at $800 a month, plus more for insurance (you need collision if you have a bank loan).

The Suburban has -0- value so you won’t get anything for a trade in. Are the repairs are worth it, no since they add no value to the truck. But if you keep it on the road then the repairs pay off just by providing more service life to the truck.

You and husband need to sit down and discuss vehicle needs, budget, and available funds for a down payment. Perhaps you need another car for you and he keeps his beloved truck for runs to Home Depot.

[b][i]“How old is too old for a car [?]”

I think your husband just may be too old for a car. [/i][/b]

Senility has set in prematurely and has impaired his judgment, I’m afraid. When safety is at stake then you’ve got a problem. You need a newer car and I hope you won’t mind driving him around.


As long as he keeps it safe, which means he MUST get the brake and fuel lines and gas tank fixed, and that the rust isn’t causing the frame or suspension to be unsafe, write it off as his hobby. But if those things are not fixed he shouldn’t be driving it.

You are throwing money away on it, however he may be happy.

He is a bit dramatic about $61k for a new one. You can buy a newer used one from 2000-present with for between $5k and $30k(2010).

I missed the $61k part - what’s he want, an Escalade? Good argument strategy - come up with a crazy option, then call it crazy…

I think it’s time to consider another vehicle for you to drive (not at 61 grand) and your husband can keep this one around for his personal use and tinker time.

It sounds like you need a mechanic to do a thorough inspection and give an objective opinion on whether the car is safe and, if not, what needs to be fixed to make it safe again.

Thanks for the reminder to carefully “choose your battles”.

Not really. If he got a 3/4 ton 4x4 version with the sun, sound and destination package, luxury package, heated camper mirrors, engine block heater, skid plates, read dvd system with 3rd row screen and the rear cargo mat(in other words, every available option you can get), you’d be darn near $61k after taxes.

He can get a 2008 Suburban 1500 for $25,000. What’s he waiting for?

He wants his toy, maybe new spark plug wires would solve the problem. Now you want your toy, time to turn into a 2 car family. Downside depending on your vehicle of choice could cost more than the rust bucket.

True. Of course, he could buy a 5 year old Suburban 10X better than what he’s got for, what, $20k?

If gas is gonna spike in the summer time like it did a few years back, he might be able to get a BRAND NEW one for $20k. :stuck_out_tongue:

I have a bet for you. Add up all the repairs done in the last 12 months and I will bet they don’t equal the car payments on a new Surburban in a year.

True; most people prefer the certainty of HIGH car payments over the UNCERTAINTY of repair payments, even though those repair paymnets may ony be one half or less of the bank payments.