Reader Question: Cutoff Year?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Charles asks: What is the cutoff year(s) for used cars with the old tech? Believe you once mentioned that you wouldn’t buy a used car after 2010 or 2011. Does that still stand or has your recommendation changed?

My reply: I depends – on the definition of “old tech”! All cars made since about the mid-1980s have computers and fuel injection. Almost all cars made since the mid-1990s have port fuel injection, ABS and air bags. But “advanced driver assistance technologies” – such as electric power steering that jerks the wheel when the car thinks you’re in need of  . . . “assistance” (Lane Keep Assist) or slams on the brakes (Brake Assist) or turns off the engine every time the car stops (ASS) and drive-by-wire throttle/transmission controls, direct injection and “connectivity” is all fairly recent technology. Most cars did not have these things until after 2015 or so. But it varies – and you’ll have to check the specific make/model to be sure.

Generally speaking, anything other than a luxury-brand car will not have DI and the “assistance” tech – i.e., the really annoying stuff – if it was made before about 2010.

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