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When To Dump It

If you are going to take on a project like this, or for that matter own a vehicle of any kind with higher mileage, the one question that you might have to answer is when is it time to dump this thing and move on?

In my mind, there are really only four good reasons to get rid of a vehicle.

1.  You simply can't afford the vehicle.  This is probably the easiest decision to make but at the same time needs some serious careful consideration too.  If your circumstance have somehow changed and you don't have to money you really have no choice but to get rid of the vehicle.  I say careful consideration however because I have known people who dumped a paid off car that was in otherwise good condition in order to save money on gas.  In my mind this was not a very good choice as they didn't weigh the total cost of their decision.  Saving 20 bucks a week on gas is no bargain if you pick up a car payment as well as having your insurance go up.

2.  The vehicle is unsafe or unreliable.  This one is the reason I got rid of my last two vehicles.  I consider reliability the number one requirement for a vehicle with safety a very close second.  Being broke down on the side of the highway is at a miniumum a giant pain in the butt and can be extremely dangerous.  Even with my Project92RS Camaro, unless I feel that I have the vehicle in good operating order I won't leave my neighborhood.  Since it is only a mile around my loop the most I have to walk if it were to quit is 1/2 mile!

3.  The vehicle no longer meets your needs.  This is the main reason we got rid of a compact car when we had our first child (with plans for another a couple years down the road).  The car simply did not meet our needs with kids.  It was difficult to get them into the back and there just wasn't enough room for what we wanted to carry.  When a vehicle doesn't do the job you need it to do it is time to start looking at alternatives.

4.  You flat out can't stand the thing anymore.  Don't laugh at this one.  This is a very subjective criteria to dump a vehicle but to me completely legit.  If you hate the car you won't take care of it and it will lose value.  Before that happens just admit you hate it, get a different vehicle and get on with your life.

Replacing a vehicle is big decision - especially one that is completely paid off.  The new car industry often uses the notion that repairing an older vehicle is like throwing your money away.

Scenario 2 begs the question "how much are you willing to pay to restore reliability?"  I am going through that with the Project 300K Subaru Forester as of this writing (July 2013).  The car has developed an issue with occasionally wanting to stall when you stop after it has been running for a while.  While I can adjust - all you have to do is lightly tap the accelerator while on the brake and it comes back up to correct idle - I do not consider this a satisfactory situation for my family.  It is very frustrating to me not to be able to isolate the issue myself.  Considering the cost of a new vehicle, I am willing to spend at least a grand to restore total reliability.  I will update this after speaking with the service advisor at my local Subaru dealer.

Of the four reasons, number 2 is the absolute most critical to me with number 1 a close second.
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