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When to sell my RAV4 with high mileage

My 2014 RAV4 has 178,000 miles on it. It runs very well and does not give me any problems. I take it to the dealer for regular maintenance. My question is how long should I keep the car before it requires major maintenance or break down?

A 2014 with 178k miles? I assume you mean it’s a 2004.

It depends on what your objective is. I suspect you’ve already had to do some repairs on it beyond scheduled maintenance, maybe CV joints, minor electrical problems, routine suspension problems, something fairly like that. If it is a manual transmission, I suspect that story would continue for at least another 50k miles. If an automatic, whether it lasts another 50 k miles, that’s more of a risk. So I think if your car sports an automatic, time to start looking for a replacement. If a manual, you still have quite a bit of breathing room.

Hi George, you are right that I meant 2004. And it is an automatic transmission. Thanks for your reply. I will start looking for a new car then.

A good mechanic can go over your vehicle for about 100.00 and give a fair estimate of what is needed now for safety and possible future repairs. You could just drive it the ground or if you want a new car just go for it.

I think the real question is – can you deal with an older car that will need more repairs more frequently? The car is 10 years old with 180k miles. You need to budget for more repair bills, such as $1000 per year.

Volvo V70, what a good idea. I will take it to a mechanic for an assessment then. That will give me a better idea of how much time/mileage I can go before I absolutely have to buy a new car. I have my eyes on a XLE RAV4 2015 and the price on the website is about $26,000…yikes!

With tax title any any other options that they come with, you may be lucky to get out of there for much less then $30k. As far as a good mechanic going over your car, you all ready have a general idea as anything drastically wrong, the dealer certainly would have informed you. No mechanic can tell the future. There is no accurate way of predicting when major repairs other then maintenance items like brakes, are going to be required. I would save the $100. There are two ways to look at this. You can dump much less then $30k, over the next five years and probably save the most money. Personally, I would start thinking about a used one if $30k is too much. Two or three years and off lease can save you many thousands. I try to shop two to three years old instead of a new car if I want to save money. Independent mechanics are no more or less reliable then dealers unless you have a lot of recommendations from friends you can trust to go by. You are definitely at a stage where more repairs may be required. The biggest concern should be breakdowns. If you travel a lot away from home, I would be more incline to think about changing the car then milking this one.

Kathy, We have two Toyota’s. My wife 1994 Camry and my 2000 Tundra. Camry has 170k and only issue has been we had to replace a starter. My Tundra is past 200K and it to had to replace a starter. Seems to be the weak point on Toyota’s, otherwise we’ve had no other issues with them. The truck even hauls a camper and boat at the same time going over the Cascade mountains in Washington St. I’m planning to run it for another 100K if I live that long. I’m not too fond of these new fly by wire vehicles. Too many issues and you’re stuck at a dealer shop almost every time.

By the way, I forgot, We take annual trip from Washington State to Tucson Arizona doing the back roads with the Tundra loaded. From looking at your mileage, it appears to be you take pretty good care of your vehicle. I wouldn’t be in such a hurry in buying another vehicle. You’re not going to get much for a vehicle with that much mileage so just keep on cruising and spend your money elsewhere.

Starters on Toyotas. That’s been the most serious problem on my early 90’s Corolla also. I’m wondering if the Toyota starter design is the problem, or just that Toyotas don’t exhibit other problems as much, so starter problems become the thing folks focus on?

It’s like when the other day I heard an advertisement on the radio saying “Taking this product will reduce your chance of developing XYZ disease. And doctors agree you’ll with 100% certainty die of XYZ disease if you don’t die of something else first.”

But think about it. You could make that statement and be accurate about any disease.

You can start looking around, but as long as it runs well, there is no need to replace it. If you want to replace it now because the high mileage scares you, that is a different matter.

I’ve always bought new cars when my old car had many miles and years but was still reliable and working. This allowed me to not have the pressure of needing to buy soon and the confidence that I can probably get a decent price selling my old one and not be passing on existing problems to the next owner.

That is an excellent idea. Look now and be prepared to buy when the first repair bill that hits and makes in not worth keeping. You do loose trade in value but it does allow you to stretch the value out on the user end.