Is your ride showing its age? Americans are keeping their cars and trucks longer than ever. Take me for example, with my 2002 Mazda Protege 5 (pictured) and its 330,465 miles,  of which I have accounted for over 255,000. Lots of highway miles with my long commute and frequent synthetic oil changes, but still. So if it starts falling apart a piece at a time down the highway one morning I guess I really can't swear at it too much. Anyway, according to Associated Press, data from the Polk research firm reveals the average American car is nearly 11 and a-half years old, so I'm guess I'm pretty close to being right in the middle of the pocket. That's up two years from 2007. Research says owners are able to keep their cars longer because the quality is better and they want to avoid car payments. The aging auto fleet is also creating more opportunities for auto parts stores and for vehicle repair places. I hear that. I don't think it's too neat when I walk into my repair shop and tire store and everybody knows me by my first name. But the ol' Mazda just keeps humming along. Pray for another 150,000 for me would you? DB