Here's How to Know When You Should Give Up on Your Car

Illustration for article titled Here's How to Know When You Should Give Up on Your Car
Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

It’s a hard day for all of us when it’s time to give up on a car, especially if it has high personal value. If you’re on the fence about this very decision yourself, you might find some answers here.


Earlier this month, we asked you how you decided when it was time to give up on your car. Did your life situation change so you no longer had time for it or a place to keep it? Or did the repairs cost so much that you couldn’t justify holding onto it anymore?

From what I can tell, deciding whether to keep a car comes down to two main factors: how much sentimental worth it has and how high it ranks on your list of priorities.

Once you can emotionally separate the two, the choice becomes much easier.

Rotten and Unsafe (Dances With Squids)

Body rot and subframe rot. That’s when.

Love (JohnnyWasASchoolBoy)

When you don’t love it anymore, that’s when it’s time to give up.


Three Reasons (Sethersm)

Your car may still be worth it, despite your first reservations, unless you reach three particular qualifications.


A Few Factors (Dakiraun)

Which category does your car fall into?


Emotions (ptgreenphone)

Sometimes you need to take emotions out of the equation. It’s hard, though!


Internal Debate (TXP True)

If your friends know you’re coming half a block before you come into view, it’s probably time to say goodbye.


Formula (FlashGordon)

Those are all value judgements, and if that’s becoming a real stumbling block, here is some math that can help you.


Wrench (Head Gasket Addict)

There is an alternative to buying a new car, and that’s going full Ship of Theseus. Also, good Kinja handle.


Worth (arach)

There is more math you can get into, to help put numbers on what something’s worth. What is “worthiness” anyway?


Monthly Payments (Harmon20)

As always, everyone has a price.


Ouch (IDriveEveryDay)

I feel so seen.

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.


We kind of decided the breaking point on our 2005 Freestyle will be if the transmission goes, because apparently the CVT is impossible to find replacements for. Of course, if we have an accident that fires the airbags, we’ll be getting a new car, too.

That’s the thing that worries me about driving around in something with low book value, even if it’s great shape. It’s a fender-bender away from being totaled.