Retirement

Is it time to upgrade to a nice car?

Lately, my YouTube feed has been full of new car reviews. How did this happen? I may have Googled a new car or watched a car video. Ah… I think I get it. Last month, I complained that the price of a new car was too high, and a reader commented that a new Chevy Trax was selling for around $25,000. I looked at it and the AI ​​owners concluded that I was lusting after a new car. This is true to some extent.

Our car is getting pretty old, but it’s still going strong. However, a new car would be nice. Entertainment systems and safety technology have improved tremendously over the past 14 years. Plus, we’re a lot richer now than we were last time we bought a car. We can buy a very nice car this time. Should I trade in my perfectly working car for a nicer one?

Our trusted vehicle

Currently, we only have one car – our beloved 2010 Mazda 5. We bought this car in 2010 after our BMW Z3 broke down. Mrs RB40 was pregnant so we needed a more practical vehicle anyway. We paid about $17,500 for this little minivan and it has served us faithfully ever since.

Mazda 5 was perfect for us when the RB40Jr was born. It had plenty of room for a stroller, baby seat, and other baby gear. It has 3 rows of seats which is very helpful when I need to run some extra kids around. There is plenty of room to bring everything for camping and road trips. We drove it up and down the west coast and took it to Yellowstone. We made a lot of good memories with this car.

The Mazda 5 has good interior space and is not too big on the outside. We live in the city and park on a busy street so a small footprint is nice. This too has been trouble free.

Repairs and maintenance

We don’t drive much so a 14 year old car still has low mileage. The odometer only has 80,000 miles on it. I do an oil change every six months and follow the maintenance schedule religiously. However, there was one thing I missed…

The manual called for new spark plugs every 75,000 miles. However, we don’t drive like other families and it took us 14 years to get there. Last week, I finally took the Mazda 5 to the dealer to have the spark plugs and serpentine belt replaced. I knew spark plugs could catch after such a long time and the dealer would be best equipped to handle it.

Unfortunately, one of the bolts holding the valve cover was seized. When they tried to remove it, they broke the valve cover. Oh! the dealer had to order a new valve cover. This added $900 to the repair bill. My tax refund goes. Anyway, they were able to replace the spark plug and belt without any further problems.

The Mazda 5 drives great once again. Before that, it had a bit of rough work at the stoplight.

Car care advice – Car owners should replace spark plugs every 75,000 miles or 7 years, whichever comes first. Don’t wait 14 years to replace the spark plugs like I did.

Extended test drive

While my car was in the shop I asked for a loaner and they loaned me a brand new Mazda CX-30. It was a small sporty SUV. The new car was nice. It had a leather-trimmed interior and various new features such as a start/stop button, rearview camera, blind spot detection, and an infotainment display. The extra power was great too. Mrs. RB40 loved it.

However, I gave up my Mazda 5 and am very happy to have it back. The interior is old school economy car, but I like it. Everything is easier and less annoying. I also like a little more interior space. If I get a new SUV, I’ll probably go for something a little bigger than the CX-30.

While I was at the dealer, I checked out the new MX-5 Miata convertible. It was great. I’m not a big guy so I fit perfectly in the driver’s seat. This is the car I want. However, this is not yet practical. While the RB40Jr is young we need a vehicle with more seats. I could have bought it as a second car, but that doesn’t make sense either. We park in the streets and all the cars are full of dents and dings. I don’t want to put a shiny new car in there.

Finally, the Pacific Northwest has short summers. A convertible is not the best choice here. The Miata will have to wait until we move to California after the RB40Jr graduates high school.

Well, you probably guessed from the start that I wouldn’t be getting a new car while our Mazda 5 is still going strong. It runs great now with the new spark plugs. A nice car would be nice, but I’m still too cheap to completely replace a job. Also, the Mazda 5 served us very well for 14 years. I hate to get rid of it. It is a perfect vehicle for a small family. I hope it lasts another 5 years without any major problems. After the RB40Jr is out of the house, I pick up a Miata. Hahaha

What about you? When would you trade in a reliable old car?

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Joe started. Retire by 40 2010 to find out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at the age of 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects all over the US so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.


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