I live in Texas (no salt on roads in winter) and have a 2004 Avalon XLS that is in good condition. It currently has 75,000 miles on it. I put in about 12,000 miles a year. It is our ONLY car and I want to be sure if we decided to keep it for several more years that it will be reliable. I do all the routine maintenance called for. In about a year it will be due for a new timing belt and a fairly expensive maintenance so my question: is this a good car to hang on to for another five years or so? Should I do the expensive work and keep it?
Keeping your existing car going is almost always less expensive than replacing it.
I would definitely keep it, and do the maintenance. I have a '96 ES300, earlier version of the same basic car, bought new, and I’m keeping it for a few more years.
Also, your '04 was the last year for that body style, and was particularly reliable. It should go on for years, given careful maintenance.
If you live in Texas and drive 12,000 miles a year your car is good for many more years. I am semi-retired and bought a new Toyota in 2007. The reason for picking a Toyota were several, and they might apply to you as well:
The car has to be reliable, and is designed for long life.
It should have reasonable or low maintenance and repair costs.
The manufacturer will be in business 15-20 years from now, so I can get parts at affordable prices.
There are enough shops around to get the vehicle repaired.
The vehicle has sold in large enough volume that I can get some parts from recycling yards if necessary.
The car has the right options, such as power windows, that I can still operate it even with arthritis.
Your Avalon certainly meets all these criteria and I would strongly advise you to maintain it well and hang on to it as long as possible.
The answer is obvious…YES.
You have an extremely reliable vehicle…It’s not unusual for this vehicle to go to 200k miles with nothing but PM. While the timing belt may be an expensive PM…it’s still far far cheaper then buying a new car.
Timing belts are actually only about as expensive as oil changes, over time.
Keep the maintenance up and you probably have another 150,000 to 200,000 reliable miles left on it.
After 150,000 you may have to replace a minor peripheral component now and then, like perhaps an alternator or something. After 200,000 you may have to replace something a bit more elaborate like perhaps a starter motor or a radiator. But the car itself, it’s major systems and components, is good for a very, very long time yet.
Your car is the last year of the second generation of Avalon. Any problems are fixed by then. As long as you maintain it well, the chance of major failures is remote. You should easily be able to keep it another 6 years if you want to.