07-22-2003, 11:17 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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These cars tend to last a long time even with neglect. If you want it to last, develop a proper maintenance routine. Develop a sensitivity towards the car so that if anything isn't 100% you will know and get it tended to. Be careful not to let little things that need fixing slide. If you do, one day you'll end up with tons of little stuff to fix and you won't be as motivated to fix it if everything else is going. If it is a non-clearance engine, a broken timing belt will cost you tons to fix if it snaps, causing a valve & piston to meet.
I'm not sure which area you are from in the U.S., but if in the rust belt or near the ocean you must always keep the body touched up & waxed, even more so in areas that are hidden from view (wheel lips, behind bumpers, lower rockers, under the windsheild molding). Those hidden areas are where rust often starts (don't ever let it get started and you will be miles ahead). Make sure your weatherstrip is always in good shape. If it isn't, water and crap could accumulate and rust out the lower doors or whatever. Keep junk out of your cowl. That out to keep you busy for a long time, but before you know it a decade will pass.
I recently wrote off my 14 year old Corolla GT-S
. Everything worked on it despite 13 winters in the rust belt and 355+ kilometers (about 225k miles). It had plenty of miles left on it, but because the body was solid it could still make a great rebuilder if you don't mind front clipping it and replacing some crunched mechanicals. There's no reason why your car couldn't last as well, epecailly if you have a good game plan for maintenance.
'89 Corolla GT-S (RIP 1989 - 2003 very sad!)
'67 Chevelle (2owner)
'10 Passat (1owner)
'84 Honda XL350R (1owner)