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Used Cars Becoming a Burden: When Selling Is the Best Option 

Any technology or mechanism, even the most reliable, tends to fail, and a vehicle is no exception. Someday, it will have to be sold. In general, there are many reasons to get rid of a car. The professionals from the Indy Auto Man used car dealership explain the most common ones and offer several recommendations on when it is best to sell a used vehicle. 

Expiration of the warranty period

The average age of a car in the US is growing – about 12 years. However, many car owners in big cities like Indianapolis adhere to selling a car when it reaches 3 or 5 years.

As a rule, the manufacturer’s warranty is valid for one of these periods (many car owners do not bother to roll out the warranty mileage for such a time).

Of course, it is in 3-5 years that the car loses the most in price – up to 50%, but there is no need to worry too much about this for three reasons:

  • Some models are selling fast and at a good price regardless of their age. 
  • When serviced properly during the entire warranty period, the car can still be a good trade-in and bring favorable terms for the next car purchase, whether new or used.
  • When worrying about the value loss, the car owner continues to operate the vehicle without a guarantee. This may result in additional costs due to malfunctions at high mileage. 

But is the expiration of the warranty period always a reason to sell a car? Of course not. If it is reliable and does not give a hint of any malfunction, then the owner can continue driving and enjoying it. But there is still a pitfall: nobody knows when the car will make an unpleasant surprise of a brakedown. And it will, sooner or later.

Operational resource

Nothing is eternal – even the most reliable units have an operational resource. For example, the motors of most modern cars work trouble-free during the warranty period. Manufacturers provide different powertrain warranties, and the best is 100,000 miles. Further, problems of varying severity may appear. The need for a major overhaul, depending on the unit, occurs at 180-250 thousand miles for most models. The resource of modern gearboxes, according to manufacturers, depending on the type and model, varies from 150 to 200 thousand miles.

But the car does not always live up to the resources mentioned in the documents – significant troubles may appear earlier, depending on the conditions and modes of operation. Those who drive aggressively should expect premature problems with the gearbox and internal combustion engine. If the vehicle is operated somewhere in the coastal region, premature corrosion is highly possible. Drive off-road in a car not intended for this leads to a body geometry violation.

And here, the car owner should feel that fine line when it is better to sell a car. The main alarms are:

  • regular minor breakdowns;
  • increased oil consumption;
  • deterioration of controllability and maneuverability;
  • reduction in acceleration.

In most cases, it is unwise to neglect malfunctions and delay the maintenance – the longer you operate the problematic vehicle, the worse its technical condition will be at the time of sale and, accordingly, the lower the price.

Of course, there is always an option to fix the problem and sell after that, but this is not profitable (especially if an inexpensive model requires a lot of investment) – forced repairs do not increase the cost of the car.


Years ago, drivers welded rusting thresholds in garages and drove carefully for years. Is it worth doing today with all the beneficial financing and trade-in offers from dealerships in Indiana or any other state? Corrosion is a very insidious thing. And sometimes hardly noticeable.

One should consider selling the car at the first sign of corrosion or chips. Even if you weld, clean, and repaint it, this does not mean that rust will not appear somewhere else.

Moreover, the repair of corrosion centers is not cheap.

Together Forever Is Not the Case

Let’s digress from the technical aspects and talk about the emotional ones. Perhaps, every car owner can feel a certain sentimentality – when the car is not just a means of transportation but a family member and friend.

Such an emotional connection has consequences – when buying a new car, the value of the old one covers only a tiny part of the costs. Therefore, most experts recommend being as pragmatic as possible. Never delay until the last and sell your used vehicle on those terms that are still profitable.