Automotive

Should I Sell My Old Van or Invest in New Tires?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 21st, 2019 6:02 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 15, 2014
69 posts
22 upvotes
Oshawa

Should I Sell My Old Van or Invest in New Tires?

Advice wanted!
I have a well maintained 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan with 197,000 km. I'm serious about maintenance so it's reliable and it looks good... but the rust is starting and we don't need three rows of seats anymore. We don't drive that much ... so gas mileage isn't a huge issue. But hauling around a mostly empty minivan in the city doesn't make a lot of sense. I was planning to get another winter out of it before selling it (and getting all the km I can from all the recently installed spark plugs, struts, shocks etc ...).
I discovered on the weekend that my winter tires, while having a lot of tread left, are ten years old. And I understand that old rubber is bad rubber (source: Consumer Reports, which says ten-year-old tires should not be used). I don't cut corners on safety for the family. The other tires are nearly new Generals ... Altimax R43 .. which I'm not comfortable using year round (I know some people in the GTA do).
Is dropping a few hundred bucks on new winter tires sensible at this point?
It's a question of when to stop putting money into an older vehicle and move on. I find it hard to pick the best moment. I'm thinking of buying a gently used RAV4 or Nissan Murano ... so new tires won't fit my next vehicle.
I was kicking around the notion that a really good deal on mid-range winter tires might convince me to keep the van for another 12 - 18 months. But the family says after one last road trip in July (the van is perfect for vacations)... it will be time to turn in the keys.
Any guidance or thoughts welcome.
Cheers.
39 replies
Deal Guru
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Oct 5, 2008
12113 posts
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Toronto
I wouldn't buy new tires, i would use one of your current sets and keep running it until it dies or until the next big repair then reevaluate

You won't get much, if anything, from selling it.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
7443 posts
2099 upvotes
I never understood the mindset of buy a new vehicle to avoid repair and upkeep costs of one which is already paid off.

If you want a new vehicle, that's fine. We all do at one time or another, but buying it to avoid buy new tires is not a good reason.

Also, remember you new car, will also need winter tires bought for it this fall as well. So you are buying them regardless.
Temp. Banned
Jun 18, 2008
5095 posts
4611 upvotes
Montreal
Gutty96 wrote: I never understood the mindset of buy a new vehicle to avoid repair and upkeep costs of one which is already paid off.

If you want a new vehicle, that's fine. We all do at one time or another, but buying it to avoid buy new tires is not a good reason.

Also, remember you new car, will also need winter tires bought for it this fall as well. So you are buying them regardless.

Why not? Lets pay $30,000 for a new vehicle to avoid paying $1,000 for repairs or upkeep on an old one that still runs. Makes perfect sense.

And to the OP, my winter tires are also 10 years old, so are my summer tires. I plan on driving both until the tread wears out, which is at least 3-4 more years for the winters.
Deal Addict
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Jul 26, 2007
4543 posts
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Toronto
How much money can you get from it at that mileage? $1k or 2k if lucky? Buy all weather tires and use it for winter and drive your other cars.

I bought new tires for my junker so should you.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 15, 2014
69 posts
22 upvotes
Oshawa
I get what you are saying. I really like the old van and the very cheap km I'm getting right. It's just that a smaller vehicle would make more sense for us now ... and I'm trying to select the most cost effective moment to make a switch. I have to confess I would like some of the safety features on newer vehicles - but I'm not a person who enjoys putting money into a new car. There are many other things that I value more than the new car smell ...
Is there a rule of thumb for when to sell?
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 15, 2014
69 posts
22 upvotes
Oshawa
Maybe I'm being too cautious about refusing to use 10 year old snow tires. Hmmmm.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
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pennysaved wrote: I get what you are saying. I really like the old van and the very cheap km I'm getting right. It's just that a smaller vehicle would make more sense for us now ... and I'm trying to select the most cost effective moment to make a switch. I have to confess I would like some of the safety features on newer vehicles - but I'm not a person who enjoys putting money into a new car. There are many other things that I value more than the new car smell ...
Is there a rule of thumb for when to sell?
Nope, only you can decide this. IT will rarely come down to cost, as a used car will almost always be cheaper to maintain vs buying another new one.

It will always come down to wants and needs. In this case, you said you want a smaller vehicle with more safety features. So that is driving factor in your decision, not the need for new tires.
Newbie
Nov 18, 2018
12 posts
14 upvotes
pennysaved wrote: I get what you are saying. I really like the old van and the very cheap km I'm getting right. It's just that a smaller vehicle would make more sense for us now ... and I'm trying to select the most cost effective moment to make a switch. I have to confess I would like some of the safety features on newer vehicles - but I'm not a person who enjoys putting money into a new car. There are many other things that I value more than the new car smell ...
Is there a rule of thumb for when to sell?
Forgetting about all the other variables, purely money wise, currently you are paying '0'$/month for the current van, lets say you spend $2K/year on maintenance, so the total cost is $2K, if you can find a car under 2K/year then it would be a good option but then just like any other thing, there are so many other variables, like peace of mind, new features, driving experience etc. If you are a person that doesn't care about any of this ,then keep the current car, i drove my 2001 car until it had 460 K Km on it cause i didnt care about the other things, money was the main driver.

I think everyone on here will suggest some thing, you are the best person to make the decision cause you know all the variables
Newbie
Nov 18, 2018
12 posts
14 upvotes
Al12309 wrote: Forgetting about all the other variables, purely money wise, currently you are paying '0'$/month for the current van, lets say you spend $2K/year on maintenance, so the total cost is $2K, if you can find a car under 2K/year then it would be a good option but then just like any other thing, there are so many other variables, like peace of mind, new features, driving experience etc. If you are a person that doesn't care about any of this ,then keep the current car, i drove my 2001 car until it had 460 K Km on it cause i didnt care about the other things, money was the main driver.

I think everyone on here will suggest some thing, you are the best person to make the decision cause you know all the variables
Also you will be taking on a liability of the loan for the car assuming you are not buying in cash,
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 15, 2014
69 posts
22 upvotes
Oshawa
What I need is a crystal ball that tells me thirty days in advance that a major repair is coming.
But seriously, Consumer Reports was very clear about never using ten year old tires (I just went back and looked at it again). There was even a reference to the actor Paul Walker who died ... when his nine year old tires failed.
I like saving money on cars. But we have only one vehicle, which has to be able to handle all conditions. Imagine how I would feel if somone in the family was hurt in a crash because I cut corners on safety.
So if I'm keeping the van ... it's my personal decision that it has to have new tires for the coming winter.
Which gets me right back to ... is it time to make the change to a smaller car? Or should I spend the $500 or so on new winter tires and enjoy my still cheap ride for awhile longer?
Deal Fanatic
Jun 24, 2006
7443 posts
2099 upvotes
pennysaved wrote: What I need is a crystal ball that tells me thirty days in advance that a major repair is coming.
But seriously, Consumer Reports was very clear about never using ten year old tires (I just went back and looked at it again). There was even a reference to the actor Paul Walker who died ... when his nine year old tires failed.
I like saving money on cars. But we have only one vehicle, which has to be able to handle all conditions. Imagine how I would feel if somone in the family was hurt in a crash because I cut corners on safety.
So if I'm keeping the van ... it's my personal decision that it has to have new tires for the coming winter.
Which gets me right back to ... is it time to make the change to a smaller car? Or should I spend the $500 or so on new winter tires and enjoy my still cheap ride for awhile longer?
If money is driving the decision, this is the obvious answer.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 2, 2006
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Stouffville, ON
just an FYI, you won't be able to sell it certified if tires (along with brakes, lights, windshield) are bad. If they're sellable, why not, sell it make $1000 or something.
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Deal Addict
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Sep 9, 2012
3636 posts
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Oakville, ON
pennysaved wrote: What I need is a crystal ball that tells me thirty days in advance that a major repair is coming.
But seriously, Consumer Reports was very clear about never using ten year old tires (I just went back and looked at it again). There was even a reference to the actor Paul Walker who died ... when his nine year old tires failed.
I like saving money on cars. But we have only one vehicle, which has to be able to handle all conditions. Imagine how I would feel if somone in the family was hurt in a crash because I cut corners on safety.
So if I'm keeping the van ... it's my personal decision that it has to have new tires for the coming winter.
Which gets me right back to ... is it time to make the change to a smaller car? Or should I spend the $500 or so on new winter tires and enjoy my still cheap ride for awhile longer?
While the age of the tires may have played a factor the overarching issue was that they were driving at an estimated 130 kph - 150 kph in a zone posted with a 70 kph limit. The spot where they crashed is known to be an area where enthusiasts drift so no doubt they were seriously pushing the limits when the driver lost control.

In your scenario you’re driving a minivan in the city in the winter - how hard do you push the performance limit of either the van or tires in conditions like this? If the rubber hasn’t hardened and hasn’t got any cracks then they’re probably still good for another season or two (assuming they still have decent tread depth remaining).

If you still feel that you don’t want to run the tires another year then I’d get new winters and run the van another few years. This is based on you saying it’s in otherwise good condition and meets your needs other than the nagging thought that you don’t need a vehicle this size any more.

Personally, I’d wait for a more compelling reason to switch vehicles.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 26, 2007
5943 posts
1417 upvotes
???
Age of tires is basically a ceiling that gets lower and lower as the years go by. For example let’s say it started at 10ft. And every year it dropped 6 inches. After a while you won’t be able to jump without hitting your head (emergency maneuvers, high intensity driving , I.e track.) while you would still be able to walk comfortably around (city driving).

I wouldn’t worry about age of tires unless you have it on a high performance vehicle. Or it’s a low profile tire. For the general consumer, 10 year old tire is fine.

If your worried tho, you can always find a set of used tires which start at least 50% off the retail price once driven on.

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