Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

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Deacon
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Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Deacon »

Hello,

Long Friday afternoon post incoming. Get a beer :) :

Lately, my car decided that she needs an extra care with (starting last year) new radiator, new heater matrix, new oil-to-water heat exchanger and an incoming brand new top engine wiring loom. Add to that the usual maintenance of a new set of belts and pulleys, water pump, oil and filters. The car has 200 170 kms on the clock.

There are other secondary (as of now) things that I'd like to do to it like check and maybe change front brake hoses and handbrake connectors. New disks and brake pads are due next year from the looks of it. There are some squeaky front suspension joints that I may do next year with the change of LHM. The list is long as you see, but I love that car, it served and still serves me tirelessly (it's the first car of my own), I know how it works, and I'd like to pay my gratitude to it. (sharing Car Throttle's ideology, if you watched their latest videos with the maintenance of a few hundred thousand mile'd Octavia):
Spoiler: show
Now, being the only "car guy" in the family, I have an issue explaining to my relatives why I am putting so much money in that car, let alone that it's a hydraulic Citroen. They all take turns on me, saying I should stop "wasting money" and buy a brand new car. A new car has its bonuses of being new and under warranty the first 3 years, but there is the micropayment side of it (each month). Add to that the load of pending issues with all the electronic gadgets when they start to age and the questionable build quality of new car models. I'd like to keep my stuff for at least 5-7 years. Yes, older cars need additional maintenance here and there from time to time, but you're not obliged to give money to someone each month.

Am I in my right mind of keeping and maintaining my Xantia or should I listen to my relatives and get a new car, which I may have to exchange for the newer model in 3 years and be forever indebted to my leasing institution, but ride in a new car?

Will be happy to see what you guys think. :tgif:

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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Bargain basement motoring has been my motoring of choice or necessity. Buying cars running them often for 100,000 miles, with the final journey for all of them being the scrapyard when they expired through natural causes.

Our good old UK is a great place for the bargain basement motoring shopper. Here's my latest, after a little hiccup with a crankshaft position sensor but, touch wood, I have had my money's worth (well to be entirely accurate wine which was the currency used for the purchase!) out of it already.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59084#p559131

I have no desire to commit to a large monthly repayment for a newer used, never mind a brand new vehicle depreciating its head off. Personal Contract Purchase or any other such arrangement which involves restrictions on the milage you can do, and the potential at least for being ripped off with penalty charges for "damage" in your period of use of the vehicle is definitely not for me. I would like to go 100% electric but its going to be a few years before second hand electric enters the bargain basement market.

I would like to invest in a nice classic as a hobby and weekend car and I am always window shopping in that area. Very much like thre Renault Caravelle/Floride but they are getting a bit pricey now. The Rover P6 is also one of my favourites.

Regards Neil
Last edited by NewcastleFalcon on 01 Jun 2018, 15:59, edited 1 time in total.

Deacon
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Deacon »

Ah yes, the bargain... I envy you guys over in the UK. Cars get pretty cheap pretty quick there. Unlike continental Europe. Maybe because the market here is all about left-hand drive. You also have quite a healthy number of local specialists who know what they're doing. A pretty good way of keeping older cars run forever. I also think that it's much better on the ecology to keep already produced cars healthy and running. I think I read it in Nat. Geo., but they said newer cars with their "lesser" emissions should go a few times around the face of the Earth to get to ground zero, i.e. "repay" the emissions that were produced during their assembly and transportation to showrooms in terms of being more ecological than older cars. I know no car that has such mileage. That is about conventional fuel cars. I too think to hold dearly to my Xantia and buy a brand new or used electric car, when they become mainstream.

Peter.N.
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Peter.N. »

Like Neil cheap cars are a necessity for me too. The 406 Hdi estates I run now must be among the best cars I have ever had, certainly for build quality and longevity.

My first one I scrapped at 246k not because of a mechanical problem but due to water in the electronics, I tried to repair it but for less than the cost of an ECU and associated bits I bought another one for £400 which was a trade in by a posh garage that didn't want it on the forecourt, it had 11 months MOT and half a tank of diesel.

It has now covered 205k miles and nothing serious has happened with it, they just don't to seem to go wrong. The 8 valve hdi engine is relatively simple for a common rail and virtually bombproof. I bought another a little later for £350 which has also been virtually fault free. I don't know what I can run when these are no longer available - although I will probably not be driving then - or not here.

Peter

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Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Pug_XUD_KeenAmateur »

Definitely keep the Xantia going as long as you're able to do at least the bulk of the fixing yourself.

Family will always take the mickey about putting money into an old car.... at least until it gets old enough to be considered 'desirable' by the masses and this is reflected in its value.

I'm in a similar position to Newcastle Falcon whose points I think he makes brilliantly and they very much reflect my own viewpoints.

I've kept my Pug 405 estate on the road for the past 7 years and also feel a little 'indebted' to it, ... its most serious breakdown in that time, 78k miles, happened in the very street in which I live! Its averaged 47mpg over that period (I'm a bit anal like that!)

I like it styling and I like having something unusual. I also simply couldn't afford to run a modern with the financial costs entailed in that: purchase or lease cost, servicing (of perhaps 'dubious' quality), diagnostics, new parts, etc, etc. I've also found over the years that most of the repairs I have paid for, via various outlets, have been unsatisfactory and feel that with a 'modern' I'd have no choice but to 'trust' a trade that in my experience cannot be trusted.

Keep the Xantia going and enjoy both low cost motoring and the satisfaction of knowing its your labours that keep you mobile.

Also be aware of its structure, where the key structural areas are that need not to be rotten for your country's annual roadworthiness test and ensure you're putting money into something that's about to be forced off the road due to rust.

Be open to a second Xantia car coming up as a spares car or a replacement in a similar way to Peter and ask advice here on the Forum as you need it; including if you struggle to source reasonably priced spares. I don't know little or nothing about Xantia's but many here are very knowledgeable on the model.

Oh and similarly to the NatGeo article our "Practical Classics" magazine made the point in a recent issue that a non-electric car needs to be kept on the road 25 years minimum to offset the carbon footprint involved in its manufacture, and an electric car a great deal longer..... and don't forget all that nuclear waste that's resulting from the process of generating electricity: my recent electric bill stated that their fuel was over 70% nuclear.

Deacon
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Deacon »

Thanks for your thoughts, guys. Now I can sleep fine, knowing I did the right thing. I fixed the electrical issue on my Xantia. The major thing that I did was flush the system, changed the water pump and Modine oil cooler. The radiator is brand new, changed last year. Of course the oil was changed too. If you do this to an engine at any age, regularly, you will be amazed by the results.

And yes, there's a bit of rust on the second left door, usual for this model. Going to fix this and also treat the rear suspension win anti-corrosion wax spray. These cars are a keeper if you take care of them.

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myglaren
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by myglaren »

Definitely hang on to it as long as feasible - eventually cost of repairs and maintenance will become excessive but until then it is worth keeping.
I get a lot of stick for my shedlike C5 but it does all I require it to do and most of that better than most would think.
It is a bit thirsty but that is mainly down to far too many short trips. Best I have had is 700 miles on a tankful, not trying though.
At
IMGP1528.JPG
it isn't doing too badly, although the driver's interior door handle did snap off on Saturday :(
Rust-free despite a fair number of bashes, scrapes and creases.

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Michel
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Michel »

myglaren wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 17:42
....although the driver's interior door handle did snap off on Saturday :(


They all do that sir.

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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Deacon »

myglaren wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 17:42
Definitely hang on to it as long as feasible - eventually cost of repairs and maintenance will become excessive but until then it is worth keeping.


Yep, definitely going to keep it and drive it daily while there are still parts readily available, which are of finite supply (like the hydraulic stuff, strut tops, etc.). When parts run out, it goes into storage - my first car, not gonna part with it. Then I'll seek something else. Seeing what used post-2005 cars look like and how fragile they are, I am seeing myself forced to buy a brand new one, just to be sure the soul isn't revved out of it and that it has been maintained properly. Downsized engines with loads of electronics don't mix well with abusive owners and bad maintenance....

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Michel
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Michel »

Deacon wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 21:10
myglaren wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 17:42
Definitely hang on to it as long as feasible - eventually cost of repairs and maintenance will become excessive but until then it is worth keeping.


Yep, definitely going to keep it and drive it daily while there are still parts readily available, which are of finite supply (like the hydraulic stuff, strut tops, etc.). When parts run out, it goes into storage - my first car, not gonna part with it. Then I'll seek something else. Seeing what used post-2005 cars look like and how fragile they are,


Fragile in what way? I've had plenty, all better built than any Xantia I owned (I had 9, I think). Dull, yes, but certainly not fragile.

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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Deacon »

Michel wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 21:25
Fragile in what way? I've had plenty, all better built than any Xantia I owned (I had 9, I think). Dull, yes, but certainly not fragile.


Too much plastic on the interior and exterior (even headlights), LCDs that lose half their pixels after 4-5 years, too many buttons that cease to work on a random basis each. Too much plastic on the engine itself, which is ... come on, the thing's job is to get hot, put metal on it.

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Michel
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Michel »

Deacon wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 23:23
Michel wrote:
18 Jun 2018, 21:25
Fragile in what way? I've had plenty, all better built than any Xantia I owned (I had 9, I think). Dull, yes, but certainly not fragile.


Too much plastic on the interior and exterior (even headlights), LCDs that lose half their pixels after 4-5 years, too many buttons that cease to work on a random basis each. Too much plastic on the engine itself, which is ... come on, the thing's job is to get hot, put metal on it.


You're describing most Xantias perfectly, but what's wrong with post-2005 cars?..

Plastics on engine - it's sound deadening. If it were metal, it'd echo and rattle! Some HDi engines also need it to keep heat in as insulation. Again, metal wouldn't be any use for that as it conducts heat out. It's also heavy and expensive, neither of which are desirable properties. Plastic headlights, in my experience, stand up to stones and damage much better than glass, and will be far easier to mould and manufacture. Lighter too. Same for body panels - my Picasso has plastic front wings, and plenty of other bits. Makes it lighter, more durable, more efficient.

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white exec
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by white exec »

Plastic headlights do not survive exposure to bright sunlight - 000 000's of cars here with yellowed and matted lights, impossible to completely polish out.

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Michel
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Michel »

white exec wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 06:51
Plastic headlights do not survive exposure to bright sunlight - 000 000's of cars here with yellowed and matted lights, impossible to completely polish out.


I agree this is an issue on cars with older plastic headlights, but I've not seen it being an issue with post 2010 cars. It was an issue on my C1 which was an 06 plate but the Picasso and Meriva which are later are both fine. I think overall for build quality, safety and emissions, new cars are far better than old.

They are a bit dull though.

Deacon
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Re: Buying new car vs. maintaining an older one.

Post by Deacon »

Well, most mechanics I speak to say 2005 at most, vehicles are fine. If you buy one now, you'll need to pay a bit upfront here and there to change stuff, but after this they're fine. Specifically post 2010 vehicles are a brainchild to a throwaway society, hidden behind the "They're more ecological" sticker on the windshield. Downsizing of the engine and loading it with electronics, loading the interior with electronic gadgets just makes these vehicles way more complex since more stuff can brake with age. And that's how manufacturers make their money - selling spare parts. An integrated Infotainment system might be cool, but it isn't cool when the electronics in it start degrading, plus it is dangerous as people are working with it while driving, which leads to the same problem as chatting on your phone and driving. Where I live, conditions are tough. During the winter we have extreme down to -20 C cold, the summer - up to 30 C degrees. We call them Spartan conditions. And sophisticated cars are not exactly liking the idea of operating in them, so people trade them in after 3 - 4 years.

PS: I was given a brand new Bose edition Kadjar from work last year, it has all the bells and whistles of newer cars. Yes, it is silent and all that, but getting 130 HP from a 1.2 TCe, you cannot hide that this engine is overstressed, with loads of wiring going all over the place. Going to be a dream after 6 years. Not.