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Old 04-02-2011, 01:00 PM
2,080 posts, read 3,401,319 times
Reputation: 1569


Hi folks,

Our car is a good one but 9 years old. (Subaru Forester). I am embarrassed to tell you that it has under 40K miles on it!! This is because we have used the train for work and live in a semi-urban area where you don't have to drive that far for a shopping trip (by car), dentist, doctor, etc. We do drive it to a few states away once in a while but walk to the shops on Main Street!

Walk most places except for the doctor and food and clothes shopping.

So, we will not be putting on a lot of miles over the coming years.

We have the car services at the Subaru Dealer - the scheduled (by miles, sometimes by year) servicing. Have replaced all tires.

How long does one keep these cars? We love this car, by the way. Handles great, good storage, etc. Love the AWD.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:16 PM
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,897 posts, read 23,117,842 times
Reputation: 5306
my 1991 F250 is still going strong after 20 year and hard abuse off-road and towing a power boat through the rockey mountins every summer.

it is easy to work on a and find parts for and is not dealer dependant so it is easy to work on.

I mean it is on the OEM 5.0EFI is under powered but I have a nice 5.8 windsor block and set of ported GT 40 heads and intake and aiting to go in since I decided to keep the truck but I might just go get 408W stroker kit and punchh it out for big block torque out of a SBF and still have it run EFI.

YouTube - 408w Mustang In Car Pulls And Street Burnouts 408
this motor just in a lifted F250
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:17 PM
Location: North Carolina
1,077 posts, read 3,138,871 times
Reputation: 891
Only 40k miles? No reason to get rid of it if you like the car.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:24 PM
Location: Birmingham
11,787 posts, read 13,303,304 times
Reputation: 10015
I would not be embarrassed about having a low mileage older vehicle that I liked. There's no reason to get rid of it. Even if it has a major mechanical failure and needs a rebuilt engine or trans, putting 3 or 4 grand into a car with a straight body and that is familiar to you is better and cheaper then going and buying another used or new car for two, three, four times as much or more.
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:40 PM
Location: Vermont
10,281 posts, read 11,170,749 times
Reputation: 14111
You're doing everything right. If you keep up at a pace of <4,000 miles a year, and knowing that your car can easily go 150-200,000 miles, you're probably at 20-25% of your car's useful life.
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:07 PM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,518 posts, read 54,080,580 times
Reputation: 30736
Just remember that you should change the oil every 6 months even if it doesn't have a lot of miles on it, the moisture in the air will condense and cause problems unless it's run weekly long enough to burn off the water in the oil.

I have a 1997 that I commute in, that's 14 years old now with 150k miles, plus a 2007 and my wifes 2002. Why buy something new if the old ones are running well?
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Old 04-02-2011, 02:52 PM
4,248 posts, read 10,527,232 times
Reputation: 3115
My DD I keep until the wheels fall off or it gets to the point I can replace it with another car <$2k if it needs major repair work. Now my weekend car I usually keep for about 3 yrs then get something different.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:59 PM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,344,725 times
Reputation: 6895
I agree. Keep the Forester for as long as possible. I have a 2005 Volvo that has just over 14k on it, but it does live in a NYC garage (and is not my only car), though it came in very handy this past winter as it is AWD, which is not usually needed in the city. That car follows the severe maintenance schedule, and has always proven reliable. The key with a lower use car is the maintenance, I have found, replacing fluids and hoses by age, not by wear.
All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.
~William Shakespeare
(As You Like It Act II, Scene VII)

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Old 04-02-2011, 05:01 PM
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
Reputation: 14905
We live in an entirely different area, where there is no public transportation and the distances for basic necessities, as well as entertainment, shopping, etc ... are vast. For example, it's 35 miles from my ranch to town, although there is a truck stop only 12 miles away for fuel (and a greasy spoon eatery, along with a couple of fast food like substance purveyors.

We use Subaru Outback Wagons for our main transport when we don't need to use a truck. I've bought my Subie's with at least 100,000 miles on them ... the '95 Brighton Wagon has been extensively upgraded with boneyard parts such as seats and instrument cluster from upper line models. The car now has 250,000 miles on it after replacing the motor and transmission with used items with at least 100,000 miles on them at 230,000 miles. It's still running strong, and it's my wife's daily driver after I put 100,000 miles on it as a manufacturer's rep car.

My 2001 Subie Outback Limited also had 100,000 miles on it when I bought it ... with a catastrophically blown motor because the upper radiator hose had failed and leaked the coolant out. The owner thought she could drive it 30 miles to the local dealership to get it checked out, but it only made it a few before the motor was cooked and seized up. I put a 100,000 mile used motor in it and have had no other issues with the car over the last 3 years. I fully expect it will give good service for another 100,000 miles or 10 years .... at which time I'll have to replace the timing belt/tensioner/water pump/spark plugs, etc. Due to our dirt county roads, the car will need to be repainted at some point with it's tatty appearance, but that's something that will strike any car on these roads.

With proper maintenance, your Forester should be good for well over the next decade, if not much longer than that. I'd add that I've put well over 300,000 miles on many vehicles, although the first 100-150,000 was put on by others. What you purchase with used vehicles is the remaining service life, and I've found that I can get a lot out of almost any quality vehicle ... and your Subie is a quality car. IF it meets your transportation requirements, you will be well served to keep it in good condition and enjoy it for many years to come.
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Old 04-02-2011, 05:13 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,783,192 times
Reputation: 9132
Agree with all of the above. My longest tenured vehicle was the family farm pickup, which was still running well--albeit with a very rough looking body--after 27+ years of hard use. The biggest problem that you can run into with a chronologically old vehicle is that manufacturers only are required by law to maintain parts stock for a vehicle for something like 10 years after the vehicle model is out of production. Of course, the more popular the vehicle is, the less likely that will be an issue, as both new and used replacement parts usually continue to be available for those for years and years. I almost always keep any vehicle for more than 10 years, and my daily driver is approaching that age. And you can certainly put a lot of maintenance/upgrade money in an older vehicle that is serving your needs and still cost way less than a new vehicle.

The only reason that I would even look at a new vehicle now is if it got at least 30%-50% better fuel economy that the model it replaces. That's not currently happening--in fact, a lot of vehicles are going the other (wrong) way.
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