Something I think about almost every day when I see a piece of junk near me on a highway.
Heh, mine would probably scare you too look at... tinworm is getting at it round the edges, that and the chrysler peeling paint...... it had been sprayed underneath before I got it though so it's pretty damn good underneath. I've been "car shopping" a few times with various friends and rellys and I've seen cars only a few years old that look a LOT worse. Anyway, I'm one of those folks who never thinks it's "not worth" putting $1000 into new brakes, suspension, steering parts etc, and making sure there's still something solid to hang them on, even if I'd only get that for the vehicle. I would rather drive around a dangerous looking vehicle than drop $7000 on something newer, just because, then find out it needs as much work or more to be safe, and the parts prices are probably 1.5-2x worse because it's newer.
Damn some of the mechanics round here are shady though... there's one shop I know that does a "straight" official safety check, meaning they don't pass crap if you give them beer and they don't come up with stupid crap to make $$$ like "rusty rotors" or "smearing wipers" anyway... this one guy my sister in law knows he "got a car saftied" for someone else I knew and I was driving it a lot, borrowing it basically, during which time I replaced front brakes, back brakes, leaking fuel lines, wheel bearings, tie rod ends... the number of items that should have been a safety failure coming up within 3-12 months of it getting a safety certificate was unreal. Anyway, my SIL needed a new car saftied, so I send her to the "straight" shop... and got a laundry list of what was IMO "really" wrong with it.. and her mechanic was all "Oh they should have let that go, should have let this go..." which was all absolute BS, because I could see what he'd got his buddies to "let go" on that other car, which was wayyyy more than nitpickety stuff... it was unsafe...
Anyway, non-DIYers around this neck of the woods are screwed between the places that want to replace every item on the car for $$$$$ if they can get away with it, and the ones who seem to fix something for a reasonable price but often don't do it properly and cause another issue in the process, and in the middle is that one honest shop that often has a 2 week waiting list.
I find it hard to avoid some of that crap even... I mean you want new tires and they're trying to foist a "Free 50 point inspection" on you, and you practically have to yell "DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING BUT THE TIRES" before they go testing your brake lines with a hammer or dumping laser printer toner on your K&N filter or something...
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
Here in ABQ everything has to pass either a tailpipe or an OBD2 test.
They even check for smoke when revving the car and make it sit there off for a little bit to see if it smokes on start up. I'm glad they do it tho. For a city with over half a million people the air is remarkably clean.
Where I live Mt. Pleasant, about 35 miles NE of Charlotte the air is pretty good. In Charlotte on a hot, hazy day you can't see the skyline. They have several high ozone days especially during the summer. The EPA has been onto them about the pollution in Charlotte for several years now. I used to work construction in and around the Charlotte area and on a high ozone day the air was so heavy you could hardly breath. All cars used to have to pass emissions in the county I live in, but they done away with it about 2 or 3 years ago claiming there was so few older cars on the road that it wasn't neccesary to require them to pass emissions inspections. The person who does my inspections for me does a straight inspection, but is not nitpicky. He also told me once since they dropped the emissions inspections that about 1/2 of his inspections were older cars that don't require emissions testing. The older cars are the ones that are more likely to be causing the problems that the 2-3 year old cars. I guess I don't live in a county where everyone can afford a new car every year or two. I know I can't.