Well, it might be July/August before we have my student loans completely paid off – we just replaced the struts on Dad’s car for a cool $1,200. That’s about half of the car’s worth, but it’s “normal” maintenance according to our mechanic. We had been talking about replacing his car at the end of the year, but after hearing that it’s “normal” maintenance, we might keep it until it’s unreliable – and maybe avoid another car payment. At this point, I think we’ve replaced everything in his car except the engine, transmission, and body. So, it should hopefully last us a while longer. And to be fair, there have only been two “non-maintenance” repairs to the vehicle since I’ve known Dad: a window motor, and a seatbelt retractor (kept setting off the SRS light).
His maintenance manual doesn’t mention a lot of these parts that have had to be replaced, but seem to be very common “wearable” items that just eventually need replacing. My car manual has pretty much nothing except oil/filter changes until 200k miles. Does your car’s manual/maintenance schedule have things like catalytic converters and struts?