Elbow grease

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One thing that I don’t see or hear of being done on newer cars is the lubrication of the door hinges, door locks and key cylinders. If you have ever owned a car built around the 1980s or older, its owners manual would recommend the regular lubricating of various parts of the car: the hood hinges; trunk hinges; door hinges; door lock mechanism; key cylinders; door handles; and even the window riser mechanism. Some cars would even have access holes for lubrication by the side of the door. Cars way back then required some hands-on time by their owners. Nowadays, cars have more rain-proof designed doors and the advancement of lubricants applied by the factory clings better to the metal and last longer. Most are with power windows these days. More things that could break down…

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Another concern on older cars are the stainless steel body moldings and emblems. These were usually attached to the car by clips mounted on holes on the body. These holes would be starting points for corrosion if not addressed properly. Some car owners would use compressed air and force it in between the molding and the sheet metal. This would remove excess water and dirt from back of the molding. Nowadays, emblems and moldings are mounted with special double-sided tape.

It may sound like that having a very old car can be a bit tedious when it comes to maintenance. A bit, but older cars have a different character to them. I think these are the pre-EFI (electronic fuel injection) era cars. Their design defines an era of years gone by. And it is not surprising that at this age, as compared to the newer cars, they can hold their own.

To deviate a bit… how much are you willing to spend on an old icon? A few months ago, a friend purchased an Evo 5. An original left-hand dive, locally acquired low mileage unit. Now according to another friend, the purchase price was way too high for such a car. My friend (who bought the car) called me up and asked for my opinion. According to him, the car was not originally for sale. It’s just that he knew the previous owner of the car and was asking if ever he would sell the Evo. Then one day, the Evo owner gave an outrageous price. Too bad my friend had the money and grabbed the car from under his feet. Now this is a classic example of little boys having an itch for a certain toy. And when the item is presented to them, chances are they would pay for it without thinking twice about it. As they say, “When you’ve got to have it, you got to have it.” Actually, the car, even with its high price tag, is not a bad buy. The car is still 100-percent stock, well-maintained, low mileage, with complete papers and full history, and has never been in an accident. For me, if the owner can show me paper work of a car, sales receipt and service history, that adds value because those papers are unique to that car. Secondly, a lot of Evos that are for sale are not as fresh. There are some repairs done on it already and may have been abused. There are a lot out Evos out there with some kind of upgrade done on it. With upgrades, wouldn’t it be best to try it out first?

Now trying to add reason to the thought of paying for a higher premium for a second-hand car can be a bit of a discussion. But if you got that itch and that small voice in you head says you have got to have it… then I think reason will take a back seat.

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