I have been shopping for a new car for the last 6 years. I WANTed to replace my 1998 Toyota Corolla. When I bought it Past Me told Future Me would keep it for as long as it drove or 20 years, whichever came first. Crazy? Me? YES!
Any day it was going to kaput on the side of the 5 Freeway.
ANY DAY NOW...
My 1998 Toyota Corolla is still getting 24/26 miles per gallon. It is still in pretty good shape. No body work is needed, but the paint is totally shot. Saying it is black is generous. At the tire place I told them the car is “Blackish” years ago. It says "blackish" right there on the paper work.
Air conditioning works great. I replaced the inside door panel after replacing the outside back-right-side-door handle that broke. The key pins to start the car sticks and you have to commune with it just right to turn it on. I stopped using the radio because it would suddenly GET LOUD, and I just never cared about fixing it.
Years ago I pulled out a light bulb on the dash. It was blinking because the Airbag was not likely to deploy. It was 10 years old at the time. There was no way I was expecting them to still work.
It passes the California smog check, at least it did a year ago. I just replaced the starter last year. It has a really slow leak at the top of the engine block. Oil needs to be watched and added as needed.
Oh, did I mention the duct tape? The windshield wiper fluid container has duct tape on it to keep the fluid from evaporating out from the giant hole on the top. It happened because of opening and closing to check the oil. But the windshield wiper fluid still squirts out!
It all works. Just needs general maintenance. aka. lots of babying the quarks.
NEEDing a new car changed with The Spawn. Why did I NEED to replace? Safety.
When I bought the Corolla, airbags were just going in, side reinforced doors were not yet required, and LATCH was not fully implemented, etc. keeping the Corolla was being “penny wise and pound foolish”.
I should have replaced it as soon as she was born, but that was not something as a household we could fiscally do. Time has changed that a little bit. Enough to make carrying a car payment again a more flexible idea.