Is Your Vehicle Above Average?

I saw today that the average age of US consumer vehicles is 11.5 years old. Are yours above or below average? I’m thinking only of this criterion. We have 1 above average cars and 3 below average cars.

Silhouette 12 years
Accord 10 years
Cobalt 6 years
Cobalt 5 years

2003 Mustang GT - 12 years old
1997 F-150 - 18 years old
1974 TR6 - 41 years old

Well above average for the most part.

03 tb, 170k above
15 kia 8k below

I remember a story from my past, the army in ww2 decided to make an average uniform based on all the stats, shirt, pants, shoes, hats etc. and the average uniform did not fit anyone.

Like we used to say a guy has his feet in the fire and his head in the refrigerator but on the average he is quite comfortable. Averages really tell you very little. We have one at 20 that we don’t drive, and one at 3 and one at 6 that we do drive. So our overall average is about 10, but our real average is about 4.5. That’s why its meaningless.

I currently own one vehicle, a 2005 Scion tC with almost 228,000 miles that runs beautifully. Other than normal maintenance and wear items, I’ve replaced the rear calipers (just recently) and the alternator (three or four years ago). I did discover recently when I changed my spark plugs that two had oil on the shells… so I need to change the valvecover gasket (this engine has the spark plug tube O-rings molded into the valvecover gasket). I have the gasket, just need to get in the mood.

I did have to change a wheel bearing some years back due to pothole damage. And I’ve changed my struts front & rear. The rears are actually shocks, but that’s a different discussion.

The car drives, rides, runs, and handles beautifully, getting the original mileage and using almost no oil at all. The clearcoat still shines and there’s no signs of rust whatsoever.

But is it better than average? I’m reluctant to make that claim, because the truth is that I maintain it obsessively. If it were maintained like some of the cars we’ve read about here, it would probably be in the junkyard.

Both of mine are much beyond the 11.5 year mark. 20+ and 40+.

2002 Ford Explorer
2002 Mercury Sable
2006 Lincoln Town Car
1999 Chevy Silverado

The pickup is kind of a work/utility vehicle now, so for the other 3 daily drivers that puts us at about 12 years, close to average.

But then again I’m a mechanic. We tend to drive older cars that we pick up for cheap. Right now the family hauler is the 02 Explorer that I picked up for $1800 a year ago. Needed a diff overhaul, A/C compressor, and some electrical work.

My cars are a mixed bag with some below and some above average. My preference is to find a decent older car on the cheap or buy a clean one with a major problem which I fix myself.
My daily driver is a '96 Lincoln Mark VIII and like asemaster I’ve tended to pick up a few cars on the cheap which are suffering from a problem, fix it, and then drive it forever.

Years ago I picked up a 5 year old Subaru with a bad engine (run low on oil) for 150 bucks when the owner said they were going to scrap it rather than spend money. Another extremely clean Subaru was had for 700 bucks with an engine problem at 70k miles. A few hundred bucks and I kept that one for 13 years and 300k miles.

I’m a sucker for Lincoln Mark 7s and 8s which unfortunately, are no more after 1998. They’re the best riding and most reliable cars I’ve ever owned and have a bit of a cult following with me being one of the brainwashed followers… :smiley:

That number is a lot higher than I expected. I know cars are better and more reliable than they used to be, but I still didn’t think so many cars could last that long.

'12 Veloster, below
07 TL, below
93 MR2, above
91 CRX, above
88 Mighty Max (cripes what a dumb name), above.

The number was higher than I expected too - not because I didn’t think cars could last that long, but because car owners seem to last that long so infrequently. I still know people who get a brand new car every 2 years like clockwork.

@ok4450 I remember when the Mark 8 came out. My. God. The road was full of boxy 80’s bricks and then along came a car that looked like they just… Poured the body over the wheels. What a beautiful car, especially for its era.

At 10 years our vehicles usually have over 300k miles on them. That’s about the time we think about getting a new daily driver/family car. But for the last couple years my daily commute and wifes daily commute have dropped a lot. So 300k miles may be 15 years.

Currently a Corolla 2007 and a Mazda 3 of 2012. Prior to that I had a 1994 Nissan Sentra and a 1988 Caprice, both well above average in age. And both reliable.

As my wife says, age only matters if you’re WINE or CHEESE!!

I’d personally like to see the age distribution curve. A normal distribution drives a different conclusion than a skewed, bimodal, or multimodal curve.

Myself, I always kept my vehicles until my needs changed… or the vehicle became unsafe or unreliable. I bought my first new car, my Vega, because I liked the car, with no consideration for longevity or reliability. I bought my second, my '76 Corolla, based solely on reliability and longevity. Most of the rest were based on “growing family syndrome”. My current vehicle was based on reliability and comfort. My needs changed as I aged.

'93 Ford Festiva - 196k
’96 Jeep Grand Cherokee - 100k

Both of which need to be replaced. Hard to get parts for the first, body integrity issues on the second. But then I read about things like cars being ‘hacked’ and I think “Well, maybe I can hold out another six months.” New cars today have too many bells whistles not to mention privacy violations.

I'd personally like to see the age distribution curve.

Between ages 17 and 25 I probably owned 10 different vehicles.

From 25 to 61 I’ve owned 6.

Actually, I meant the ages of the cars in the original study… {:slight_smile: Averages can be misleading.
I probably could have worded that more clearly.

Also, no car dealer seems to want to sell you a car anymore, they want to rent you one. They use the euphemism ‘lease’ to make it sound respectable. And then there was that dealer I stopped at because they had a whole row of vehicles with what I took to be very reasonable prices chalked on the windshields. Turns out that’s what they wanted for the down payment. I suppose with my $24,879 cash down or trade, I could brag about a $2 a month car payment. :wink:

I think a persons age has a lot to do with it also. Everyone I know…when they were young owned more cars in a shorter period of time. I had several cars that only cost me $50. Ran well for about a year. Really couldn’t afford a new car back then.

My Dad had a,1939 Chevrolet when I was born. He kept the car until 1950. It really seemed like an old car when I was growing up. He had it overhauled and repainted right after WWII. The car had 70,000 at the time. It had 105,000 when he traded it for a,1947 Dodge in 1950. Some years later, in 1955, he bought a 1954 Buick. I bought the car from him in 1963 and sold it in 1965. That Buick seemed like an old car back then. My wife and I bought a new Toyota 4Runner in 2003 and it still seems to me like it is almost new. My wife drives this car and she keeps it looking as if it just came out of the showroom and it runs perfectly.
I think I have a different perspective on what is an old car, but cars do not seem to age as fast.

2008 Chevy HHR and 2007 Nissan Sentra. We looked at a 2015 Kia Sportage last week but my wife hated the ride and I hated the price. We’ll keep what we have for now.