I’ve owned several Nissan Frontier pick-ups, including my current 2002 model, which is now almost 20 years old. I’ve decided to continue owning it for at least another 10 years – because it’s a whole lot cheaper to do that than buy a new Frontier.
Because new cars – and trucks – are the new money pits.
The way you don’t save money.
The reverse of the way it used to be, when buying a new car saved you from pouring more and more money into your old car or truck – which had long since become not worth putting more money into.
This happened pretty quickly because cars used to wear out faster and so cost more to keep on the road the longer you kept them. That’s no longer true, either – but in a different way (more on this follows).
The main thing is, it’s often cheaper these days to repair what you have than to replace what you have – with something new.
Among the heavies, their creepy “connectedness” to corporate-government interests that are interested in monetizing, monitoring and micromanaging our every move and every inclination.
Without or knowledge or our consent.
I prefer my relationship with my vehicle to remain between us – and I most definitely have no interest in anyone else having any way to listen in on or know about what goes on inside my vehicle.
That means no embedded cameras, microphones, hard drives or WiFi. Which means nothing that’s new, because they all have some if not all of the foregoing and there is no way to know whether they’re on and no surefire way to turn them all off – short of melting the whole works into slag.
And even then . . .
There is also this insufferable “assistance” business – which is nothing of the kind. It is programmed-in pre-emption. The vehicle intervening to chasten/correct you over your driving.
This is nothing less than having an electronic mother-in-law backseat-driving all the time. I’d rather have the mother-in-law, since you can kick her to the curb.
There is also the over-teched/disposable aspect of new vehicles. They are less and less owner-repairable and more and more likely to be rendered economically useless on account of some critical electronic functional component bricking – without which the vehicle won’t run or won’t run right – that is no longer available or which costs so much it’s not worth replacing it.
A good example of this being the tablet-style touchscreens that one uses to tap/swipe most of the car’s functions. Almost every new car – and truck – now comes standard with these things. They are getting bigger with each new model year and used to control more of the car’s essential functions. Instrument clusters are becoming flatscreens, too. And almost everything in a new car is controlled remotely, via signals rather than directly, through cables and switches.
People are attracted to these glittering, glitzy Ebaubles in the way that seagulls at the beach are attracted to pieces of shiny tinfoil. But ten years hence, these “state of the art” displays will look as cheesy as your 2012 flip phone does today. And like your old flip phone, it is probable your in-car tablet’s OS will no longer be supported long before the car, itself, gets close to what would otherwise have been the end of its useful service life. Which until they began embedding all this stuff in cars was around 20 years- the age my ’02 truck almost is.
And still going strong.
Mechanically – as well as electronically. Because it doesn’t have a lot of electronics, beyond those that run the fuel injection system. It’s pretty simple – relative to anything new.
Thus, it still runs almost as new and will be easy to keep it running for years – even decades – to come.
It will this save me a lot of money – in addition to the money it has already saved me.
An example will convey the point I’m trying to make.
A new Frontier – the one Nissan just transformed from a modestly-sized, modestly priced and not over-the-top-tech’d pick-up like my Frontier into a nearly full-sized truck – comes standard with a very full-sized price:
$27,840 to start.
This of course does not include the considerable add-on costs of the taxes (there are several) applied to new vehicles, which are all based on the price of new vehicles. Nor the cost to insure a new vehicle, based upon the repair/replacement of new vehicles, which is also maximally high.
But let’s call it $28,000 (rounding off) to run some numbers.
If I had to replaced the engine in my truck, which I may need to do – eventually – the cost would be somewhere in between $1,500 or so for a good used engine and around $3,000 for a new/rebuilt engine (as here). Because it’s a basically simple engine. No direct injection, turbocharging, variable cam timing or cylinder deactivation “technology.”
A going-through of the manual transmission (if necessary) and a new clutch will cost maybe another $2k.
Now the odometer of my truck’s drivetrain has been re-set to zero.
For about $5k, ballpark.
That $22k is money I can use to make more money – not having paid the opportunity cost of spending it (and then some) on a new money pit.
It is also ample to pay for the as-needed replacement of worn suspension parts, brake parts, exhaust parts – and so on. Keeping in mind that these wear items also wear on new vehicles – with the difference being you haven’t got $22k (and then some) to spend on fixing what needs fixing when it needs to be fixed because you already spent the $22k (and then some) on the vehicle.
I could even have my truck repainted, to look as new – and the interior freshened while I’m there – and still have a tidy sum in my pocket rather than some finance company’s. Plus, the keys (the physical keys) to a truck that isn’t over-teched, subject to electronic obsolescing and obnoxiously second-guessing of my every move while monetizing and monitoring my every move.
There’s one more perk, too:
Even if rebuilt to as-new it is still regarded by the government and insurance mafia as old – which is a boon as far as the taxes and insurance we’re forced to pay.
That alone saves thousands over the course of ten or fifteen years, which means you’ll have plenty of money on hand to fix whatever needs to be fixed – whenever it needs to be fixed.
I’ll soon be able to hang Antique Vehicle tags on it – and thereby avoid annual registration and “safety” inspections, too.
Now that is an investment – a word that applies to new cars (and trucks) like heterosexual applied to Liberace.
. . .
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