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Cars that are three years old are likely to have as many as twice the mechanical problems as cars that are just a year old (things only go down hill from there, even if you maintain your vehicle faithfully). The physics involved in automotive transportation place incredible demands on the car components. If you have a car that is a couple to a few years old, you should consider buying an extended warranty now that will kick in when your existing warranty expires.
The sooner you buy an extended warranty (i.e., the fewer miles on the car), the less expensive it is. If you're wondering what types of things are likely to go wrong as your car ages the answer is, pretty much anything. According to Consumer Reports, 2000 model year car owners reported nearly quadruple the rate of mechanical problems with exhaust, ignition, drive system, cooling, transmission, A/C, steering and suspension, fuel system, body hardware and integrity, power equipment, brakes, and the electrical system as did owners of 2004 model years.