Piston Slap: You’ve Got to Ask Yourself One Question

Dirty Harry, Image: http://ultimateactionmovies.comNaseem writes:


I read TTAC every day but have never commented. I’m not as witty as most of your readers. (Don’t sell yourself short! – SM)

Here’s my problem: I have my head screwed on too tight. I have always loved cars and am always shopping for my next car, but I rarely pull the trigger. My wife has a ‘12 Sienna with 40K miles that serves our family (three young kids) well. I drive an ‘04 MDX with 171K miles and I honestly love it. I really want a new car, maybe another MDX, maybe an F-150, but my MDX keeps going and going with little more than routine maintenance. I’m 41, have a good job, am on track for solid retirement savings, college savings and could afford whatever I want but I’m too financially responsible. Why buy a new car if the one I have is just fine — I should just continue to save, right?

So, I need a reason to be irresponsible and buy a new(er) car. Should I get rid of the MDX before it requires a major repair? What other reasons do you have to justify buying a newer vehicle?

Sajeev answers:

For someone in your sane, rational, fiscally-responsible life?  You’ve got to ask yourself one question: do I like making bank or do I want a new ride? 

I mean, you could sell it now before a busted transaxle turns it into a $500-1,000 pile of junk … but that figure is the monthly note on a new/new-ish vehicle of the same caliber. The big problem for your situation is thinking that buying a new(er) car is somehow “irresponsible.”

Nothing could be further from the case:

  1. You are fiscally conservative and/or savvy with your finances
  2. It’s okay to want a significantly more reliable vehicle for years to come
  3. Safety features have come a long way in the last 15 years
    1. Ditto the Ride/Handling/Performance
    2. Ditto the in-car technology

Go sit in, test drive, etc. every new vehicle you’d possibly want to experience. Narrow it down to one make/model, pick your ideal color/options, and wait for the right pre-owned example to hit the ground. Or for the new vehicle factory incentives to ratchet up one month.

What say you, Best and Brightest?

[Image: Dirty Harry/The Malpaso Company, via ultimateactionmovies.com]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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