I’m not the kind of person that likes to run a car past its drivable limit. I’ll drive it for a long time, but I prefer to sell my running car before it tanks, not after. If you’re like me, here are some signs that it may be time to sell your car and get another one.

Current Shape

Maybe your car is still running, but it has a list of undefined shakes and rattles. It’s old. It’s only a matter of time before one of those shakes and rattles turns into something serious–something that could cost more than several times the value of the car. If you’re like me–and you’re not a mechanic by a very long stretch–you should say goodbye to your beloved set of wheels before it lets you set. I know that I usually get more out of it if I sell my running car than if I wait.

Maintenance Costs

How much is it costing you to keep your car on the road? Are there constant little drips–literally and figuratively–that eat away at your new car fund? For instance, are you getting your oil changed every month? Or are you continually adding oil? Does your coolant seem to disappear quickly? An older car needs more help to stay on the road than a new car (normally), but when you’re continually having to stay on top of its fluid levels, it could be signs of a dying car.

Potential Repair Bills

You know those necessary things that keep your car running–the suspension, the engine, the tires, the brakes, the water pumps, the timing belts, and much, much more? How many of those things are likely to need work or replacement in the next year? For instance, a timing belt connects the inner workings of your car. It costs $600 to replace, but if you don’t replace it, you just might have an engine repair on your hands. Or, if you’re starting to see blue smoke puffing from your tailpipe, it’s a sign of burning oil and an oncoming engine replacement.

Ask your mechanic what signs of trouble are brewing under the hood of your car. Then, sit down with a calculator and add together the maintenance and repair costs for the previous year with any potential repairs you’ll need to do in the current year. Once you’ve got that total, compare it to the current Kelley Blue Book value of the car. If the maintenance and repair costs outweigh the value of your car, it might be time to drive down the road and start looking at new (or newer) cars.

Your Car Needs

Are you planning any major road trips within the next year? Do you need a reliable car for long commutes each day or for frequent business-related trips? Coaxing an old car to keep running for important–and especially, time-sensitive–needs gets to be a drag. Do you wonder every day if this is the day that your car will break down at the side of the road? Or are you mortified beyond measure each time you rattle into the pristine parking lot of a client’s business? These are signs it’s time to move on.

These are things I look at when I consider whether I need to sell my still-running car. After all, it might not be running in a few months!