One of the more common ideas behind frugal living is to keep something as long as possible and the depreciating value of a car is near the top of that list.
There are how-to sites all over the web to maintain your car and keep it in optimum condition but we don't always have access to the internet and having a book handy that binds it all together can be very useful.
Motorbooks Workshop has a new book in their series by Tom Torbjornsen, who is host of the radio show "America's Car Show" and wrote How to Make Your Car Last Forever.
This book has 17 chapters but broken down into 3 sections - I'll just go over those sections since the chapters are self explanitory.
First, there are handy maintenance tips, Q and A sections and DIY projects throughout the book that help not only to save money, but build confidence for those of us who are toolkit unready.
Section one - Vehicular Systems (chapters 2-9)
What can this section tell you that your car manual can't? As someone who is not mechanically inclined, I would say that the color photos and the limited black and white drawings already put me at ease. And if the mechanic calls me and tells me that my connecting rod needs replaced, I can visually see what he is talking about and going to show me.
By this section you are over half of the way through the book. The DIY projects range from 1-3 skill level sets. And one project is replacing the serpentine belt (skill level 3). Author Tom also has a section on what to do and not do in hot summers and freezing winters.
Section three - Straight Talk (chapters 15-17)
These chapters are about understanding your warranties, when to buy a replacement car instead of replacement parts, what kind of parts are best for a car (manufacturer parts or after-market) and a chapter is dedicated to killing your car off as quickly as possible, which we don't want.
I loved the question: The other day when I "launched" off the starting line with my Honda Accord, from neutral, I heard what sounded like nuts and bolts in a blender.... What did I do to my car?
Is this book worth reading? I would say so for the newbie car DIYer or handy for a student going off in their $700 car to college. We all have starting points and this books takes condenses a lot of the information online and in the car manuals into something quick to read, easy to understand and with descriptive pictures to go along.
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