How do you know when an old car is ready for the bone yard?
I think it is a matter of determining the cost-benefit analysis. However, that is neither my forte nor my inclination. To me it is much more emotional and lots less analytical. To me the important things a car must have are these:
- Driver‘s door works: that is it opens and locks regardless of the weather
- Driver’s window opens and closes
- Car is capable of starting and running regardless of the weather
- “Shotgun” passenger window opens and closes
- Windshield defrost works sufficiently to allow for visibility (it is ok if there is some fog around the edges.
- Windshield wipers allow for visibility
All other parts are wonderful if they work, but not strictly necessary. But the most critical feature of an old car is that the car has to feel right. Not sure how else to describe this purely subjective and very personal evaluation element.
We had a gray van that was a great deal. My husband was very pleased with the find. I on the other hand disliked the vehicle from the first moment I climbed inside. It just never felt right. The ride was a bit more bouncy than I like, the seats were worn and dusty but my sense went way beyond aesthetics. Not sure what triggered the reaction from me, but fortunately this deal did not last more than 3 years. We had repaired the differential when it broke but then when the transmission also decided to revolt, we called it quits. Off to the boneyard (junkyard) it went. I was actually relieved.
We intentionally buy vehicles near the end of their useful life as a matter of principle. We believe that if the car is capable of going where we need to go and meets the basic safety needs (working lights and brakes for example), then sending the machine to the bone yard prematurely is wasteful. Not only is it wasteful of the machine itself, our transportation method has saved us money over time.
This outlook is unusual. Most people who know us typically find it vaguely amusing. Some police officers find our habit one that requires attention or correction. Traffic stops or tickets issued under this circumstance we call DWB–that is Driving While Broke.
But I digress…. The evaluation process is one of the gut, not of the brain, Then in very human fashion, I assign some logic to that decision. I suspect that this means I should look at most of my decisions to see how much is real evaluation and how much is my guts. Despite the idea that I should be more objective in my process, I like the fact that over-all most decisions have turned out alright.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
How do you arrive at important decisions? Lots of brain and little guts? Little guts and lots of brain? All brain? All guts? How did your end results work out for you? Let’s discuss!