How To Make Your Old Car Seem New
Trying to eke out a couple more years from your vehicle? Here are 10 ways to avoid having to buy a new one.
Lori Johnson drives the same vehicle she bought 21 years ago--a black 1988 Toyota pickup. Her friends can't believe its pristine condition, she says. And in this economy, they are more than a little jealous that she finished making car payments long ago.
As the scaled-down financial markets continue to lack signs of life, it's tempting to cut corners to save a few bucks, especially when it comes to car maintenance. But foregoing an oil change or coaxing a few more miles out of an old air filter is not how Johnson racked up 281,000 miles on her truck--and it's not the best way to get new life out of an old car.
"I haven't done a ton of replacing things; I do maintenance," says Johnson, who owns Ladies Start Your Engines, an automotive repair class for women. "My engine's still the original engine. I just change the oil every 3,000 miles on that thing. That was what was recommended back then, and it just keeps running and running and running."
The best way to save money on a car? Follow Johnson's lead and maintain it. Simple things, like waxing a vehicle twice a year and getting the car detailed every so often, are easy to do. And all are cheaper than replacing the car altogether.