I usually drive my commuting cars until they are quite old - at the time when repairs start to crop up, the amount and frequency of repair bills dictating when I get a new(ish) one.
So far, I never had a problem where the car failed instantly during a drive and I had to get towed off.
Do you know hard numbers/statistics of how much more likely it is for older cars to catastrophically and unexpectedly fail on the road, compared to new/middle age cars? The only frequent reason I know of is if the timing belt snaps => game over. Are there other things that happen reasonably frequently?
- Car is regularly checked as per manfucaturer's specification and state regulations (Germany / TÜV). It's not a lump of rust. In addition, it gets a quick eye-over by my favourite mechanic every time he changes summer/winter tire.
- All of the usual wear&tear is replaced promptly, oil changed, brakes/tires changed etc.
- Normal or defensive driving, no racing. I am the only driver, so I know nobody did much wrong with it.
The question is meant to be rather general, not targetted at a specific car or make. In my case, that would be a petrol engine (not diesel), medium sized, 10 years, 220 Mm. I'm not even sure if that is considered "old" these days, or at which age cars normally start to fail because of age.