Both of those issues probably will get worse over time, especially the oil burning. But unless you forget to check it, and you run the engine out of oil, neither of those problems will leave you stranded.
So my suggestion would be to put that $7,000 of repair money aside, and start adding to it every month. And when the oil burning gets intolerable – when you’re traveling in a moving cumulus cloud of blue smoke – or when something major, like the transmission, really gives out, then take the plates off the old Civic, and buy yourself a brand-new car. Brand new!
You’re only 74. And even if this next car does turn out to be your last one, don’t you want to enjoy it? Don’t you want to be rocking Led Zeppelin IV through the subwoofer via Bluetooth on your iPhone 8?
And more importantly, with a lot of new cars these days – including the new Civic – you can get the latest and greatest safety equipment, particularly automatic emergency braking. That’s great for everybody, but especially for older drivers, whose reflexes may not be as quick as they used to be. Or who are distracted by filling out the Bingo card they keep next to the shifter.
And who knows, that automatic emergency braking may save your life and give you even more years behind the wheel. It may work so well that you’ll need a 2032 Honda Civic someday.
So if you can afford it now, I’d say sell the old Honda and buy yourself a new car. If that’s a stretch, don’t put any more money than you have to into the old Civic, and save up until you’re ready.