Time for a New Car?

My Toyota RAV4 is 11 years old and has 154,000 miles on it. I had to replace the computer last year at this time and the water pump was replaced in early 2008. Just last month, the thermostat was replaced and the water pump, again. Are these indications that it’s time to buy a new car or simply the additional TLC required with old age?

Thermostat and water pump, normal TLC. I would be saving up and looking around for its replacement, so that when something big goes, like the transmission, you’re ready.

That’s pretty minor stuff. Keep the RAV4 as long as possible. Have you been taking good care of it?

At work i’ve driven cars with 200, 250, 300, even 400k miles, all in excellent condition.

According to Rachel, it’s just broken in:



You’ve got plenty of time until this computer goes up. I suppose you’ve changed the timing belt, brake fluid, and transmission fluid? As long as it’s maintained well, you should have several years left at 14,000 miles per year.

Attitudes change when the transmission craps out…You should call a local transmission shop and have them give you a “ball-park” figure what you are looking at…

But as bad as it sounds, even this repair might be less than taxes, insurance and plates on a new car…If you figure in the first years deprecation too, your old RAV4 will be looking pretty good!

IMO, if you’re averaging less than 500 bucks a year doing most of your own work, and 1000 paying someone to do it, you’re doing okay. If it gets more expensive than that, consider replacing it.

Yes, I’ve been taking great care of my RAV4. It gets an oil change every 3,000 miles (I live on a dirt road) and all the stuff in the maintenance manual (generally within a few hundred miles of the mileage stated). I’m very happy to hear that I should be able to keep her for a while yet.

thank you all for your replies.

Yes, it’s only half worn, especially with the good care it has received.

Though the advice is right on and my son routinely buys cars at 100k and runs to 250K; I think there are equally important reasons to buy a new car. The first is safety. Newer cars are safer on average and a newer RAV4 for example has ABS, Traction, stability control and it’s much wider for dynamic stability. Other makes would have newer safety features as well.
The second more important reason is; I recently retired and anything that stimulates the economy and improves the value of my portfolio, I’m in favor of. I’ll get back to you for make recommendations after I check my investment distributions.

These atems are what I calll “peripheral components”. They are not part of the guts of the engine or drivetrain. If the engine and drivetrain are still good and the chassis and body still sound, and you keep with with maintenance, you’ll probably get another 154,000 miles. I (and my daughter) got 338,000 out of my Toyota pickup before it got totalled. The engine, drivetrain, and chassis were still sound and the body in decent shape…although “peripheral components” had been changed along the way.

My son runs into that problem with his old Accords. How much are you willing to put up with AC’s that don’t work as well, electric windows that fail etc. while the motor/transmission keep purring along ?