Almost 270 million vehicles are registered across America, and they all have a shelf life. The average age of a roadworthy vehicle today is pushing 12 years, and most cars on the road are previously used or secondhand. So there’s a common concern lurking in the minds of most drivers today: How will I know when my jalopy becomes a junker and what can I do about it when it outlives its usefulness? There are several telltale signs to knowing when it’s time for a replacement vehicle. And fortunately, it’s easy to sell your junk car for cash. Of course, keep your junk car too long and you’re putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. But what are some common dangers of driving a junk car?
Excessive and Ongoing Repairs
Every vehicle requires basic maintenance to keep it going. After all, what’s the point in having a car if it can’t get you from point A to B? But older vehicles start to break down and need a lot more attention, especially after they hit the 70K mile marker. Expect the timing belt to start clicking around 70K miles. By 100K miles, chances are you’ll be looking into replacing the entire exhaust system. And you’re not going to get to 200K miles without some major brake work. Engine block and transmission trouble often soon follow. Ongoing big repairs can not only threaten your finances, they can threaten your safety if ignored or postponed.
A typical passenger car is composed of several types of metal, and approximately 65% of that is steel. While the material is strong enough to resist energy from outside forces and crashes, it’s not impenetrable. Over time, metal rusts. It happens to every vehicle eventually, but it’s not simply an aesthetic issue. Rust spots grow and eventually spread to the undercarriage of the car. Once it’s there, it eats through the support system of the vehicle and can work its way into the fuel line, brakes, and other essential operating components. If you see some rust on your vehicle, there’s a good chance there’s more you don’t see. And that’s a problem.
Life Changes and Challenges
Older cars may look larger compared to newer models, but the internal room is quite different. Most older vehicles don’t offer the right amount of space for modern growing family needs. Even if only a couple kids are in tow, storing and toting car seats, booster seats, strollers, and daily supplies can be quite a challenge in vehicles with limited internal space. Since there’s no legal or safe way to not use the modern safety equipment for expanding families, it may be time to consider selling your junk car for cash and upgrading to a newer and safer vehicle.
Compromised Safety Rating
Older cars have lower safety ratings than newer models, and this is especially true for vehicles over 15 years old. Older cars have far few safety options, including airbags, seat belts, and anti-locking brake systems. That doesn’t mean you should automatically sell a classic car if you truly love it, but don’t drive it if the safety rating is suspiciously low. Always check your vehicle’s safety rating, and if it’s not up to par it may be time to ask yourself, “is it time to sell my junk car?”