My Chevy Malibu LS is 7 years old. Every year I get letters from the GM dealer telling me that my car is in demand as a used/pre-owned vehicle, and I am offered a pretty good trade-in deal. But I don’t want to sell my Malibu.
It is the first (and probably only) brand new car I have ever purchased on my own, and I researched it thoroughly before I decided on it. For the first 3 years, I drove it in my work as a Home Health therapist, and put almost 70,000 miles on it. But since I retired, I have driven it only where I needed to go–about 3,000 miles a YEAR. I fill the gas tank once every 4-6 weeks, and it gets an oil change once a year, whether it needs it or not. And the tires I bought last year, the 3rd new set, may last as long as I do.
When you keep a car that long, because it runs well and you feel comfortable and safe driving it, you get to know it pretty well. You don’t mind that for several years you’ve had to jiggle the stick shift a bit in “Park” so that the key can removed easily in the 12-o’clock position. You do mind explaining it to anyone who drives it, inspects it, or works on it, because sometimes they forget or don’t think it’s important. And why is it important? Because it may not turn off completely, and the battery will discharge.
I’ve had the AC/heating panel replaced twice, and the AC connecting hoses replaced once. The AC still does not blast cold air in my face on max setting, but I have finally learned how to work with it to get the best from it. (I almost have to talk to it!)
Today I was waiting in a local shop for my state inspection to be done–and yes, I told them about the gearshift. The store was loaded with the newest electronic equipment for sale, and a man who was also waiting started telling me that he had an old truck that still ran well, but the radio was so old that it still had knobs instead of buttons, and it had a cassette deck instead of a CD player.
“It’s a good radio, but I have to fiddle with the tuning knob to make it work. I don’t want to sell my truck, but I can’t find anybody who can fix a radio. They only want to sell me a new one.”
“You need to find an old guy who remembers how to fix that kind of radio, ” I said. ” I don’t think these new ones can be repaired–just replaced.”
Sure enough, the clerk told the man that they did not do any radio repair work, but he thought there was a [certain] place in the next town that might do it.
Well, the registration and inspection stickers are current for another year now. I have the mandatory new license plates for a 7-year-old car affixed. And my driver’s license is still good until 2015. So I can legally drive until my car is 8 years old next year.
Fortunately for us older folks, they still fix people–but I don’t know for how much longer.