Ah, at times The Auto Prophet sounds like - how do I best put this? - like a brother from another mother. Yea, that sounds about right. Anyways, he takes on the task of talking people out of buying a new car by offering up an excellent list of mods to renew one's enthusiasm for the ride currently in their driveway. It's amazing how folks will groan at a repair bill of a few hundred dollars or think that it's foolish to invest a few grand in modifications, but don't think twice about a monthly payment approaching what some people pay on their home mortgages. Of course, there is a limit to good taste, but I'll leave that assessment up to the person who's writing the checks.

At the end of the post, AP observes that many automotive engineers don?t drive new vehicles; it?s a statement that?s easily backed-up by looking in the parking lot at work, or in my own garage. The average age of my household?s fleet is nearly 11 years, with a total of 679,000 miles on the odometers. Don?t get me wrong - I?ve been tempted by an ?inexpensive? new diesel pickup many times this past summer, but that $800/month payment sure buys a lot of spare parts for a used vehicle. Not that such an investment in repair is needed with a modern used car, of course; my ?96 pickup so far has required slightly less than $100 in repair costs in the four years I?ve owned it. If the engine or transmission went out tomorrow it?d still only be a few month?s worth of new-truck payments to fix the problem.

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